Note: This article contains spoilers about Flight and Life of Pi.
Since I’ve become more open about my atheism, I’ve found my responses to theism in popular culture have changed. I notice theism more and my response to it in a movie can run counter to my impressions of the movie itself.
When it comes to a fictional universe, I accept that gods can exist. The writer has created a universe in which gods are real and I have no difficulty accepting those gods within the context of the story. Immersing yourself in fiction is the suspension of disbelief, after all.
Even if a story is set in the “real” world, if the existence of god is an important part of the story, I can go with it. I don’t immediately find myself pulling away from a story because of that element.
I can’t deny, though, that I notice it.