Faith Toleration

Greetings, Family Guy fans. This is probably going to be my only attempt at writing a Family Guy story, and I hope it's a good one. I watched "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven" on Sunday evening, and I wasn't happy with it. I am a Christian, Protestant for the record and the way Brian acted in the story was no better than the Christians he was so angry at. And I think in arguing his point, he took something very precious away from Meg; he took away her feeling of self-worth and loving herself for the first time. This is what I think should've happened.

Disclaimer: Family Guy is the property of Mr. Seth MacFarlane and Fox.

Brian Griffin stood in horror in front of the family station wagon as Meg headed toward the people at the St. Blaise Catholic Church who were burning books. The white dog with the black nose smelled the acrid smoke coming from the volumes of books that the angry crowd had deemed somehow unacceptable. 'How can she go along with this?' he wondered, looking at the girl with brown hair and dark brown eyes, dressed in a pink shirt, blue jeans, glasses and a pink beanie hat. She had just found religious faith and Brian had admitted to the family that he was an atheist. As typically happened in the small town of Quahog, people overreacted, going as far as to deny him his favorite alcoholic beverages because he didn't believe in God. 'She's a smart girl… I'm going to stop her!' He ran after her.

"Brian, what the heck?!" she yelped as he caught her arm. "I'm doing the Lord's work!"

"Meg, you're a smart girl! How can you go along with this?" he argued. "You know this isn't right!"

"These books are evil! They have to be destroyed!" she countered, eyes alight with the conviction that what she was doing was right. "God wants me to!"

It was on the tip of Brian's tongue to tell Meg that she shouldn't be taken in by religion. 'If there was a god and he loved you,' the dog thought, 'why would he put you in a family where they don't care about you? Why would he put you in a family with such a hot mother and leave you flat-chested and with a big butt and have you grow up to look like Peter?' He could've said that and crushed her emotionally. Sure it might've brought her around to his way of thinking but then he thought about it carefully.

'For the first time in her life, she loves herself. She thinks she's beautiful because she's made in God's image,' he thought. He remembered how she came downstairs after having been bedridden with the mumps, looking happy, instead of like the self-conscious upset girl he'd known his entire life with the Griffin family. She was happy; misguided at the moment, yes, but happy. 'What right do I have,' Brian thought, 'to take that happiness away from her? I can't let her burn those books, but maybe I can let her be happy with herself…'

"Meg," he asked, looking at the books in her arms, "why would God want you to burn the knowledge he gives humanity? Look at the books you're holding… I may not believe that there is a God, but if there is one and he's what you say he is, wouldn't he want you to use your brain and decide for yourself if these books are evil? And who told you that God said these books were evil?"

Meg stopped struggling to get away and Brian released her arm. She looked at him. "Brian…you don't believe…but…you make sense." She looked at the copies of On the Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, and Thus Spake Zarathustra. "I've never read these before… And these people," she said thoughtfully, looking at the faces in the crowd, "have never really been nice to me…" There at the head of the crowd was Connie D'Amico, a very popular yet hateful blonde girl at James Woods High School, surrounded by her ever-present football player entourage. She was tossing books and getting pictures taken. "This is the popular thing to do, but that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do," Meg said, her expression becoming determined. She went to the car and set the books down in the back seat.

"Good girl, Meg," Brian grinned.

"Thanks, Brian… Now, I'm going to follow what the Lord really wants me to do. And it starts with me apologizing to you. What I did was wrong. I read about the Spanish Inquisition and sure people said they were converted, but maybe they weren't because it wasn't their choice. I wasn't forced into this and I shouldn't force you in, either, Brian. Can you forgive me for what I did?" she asked, feeling terrible about what she'd done.

Brian nodded. "Meg…I won't convert to what you believe, but if it's what makes you happy and you're not hurting me, I'll just let you be. So yeah, you're forgiven." Meg knelt down and Brian gave her a hug. He took a good look at her and realized something. 'She does have Peter's hair and eyes, but she does look a lot like Lois, too. I'm going to tell her that.' "Meg?"

"Yeah?" she asked, enjoying hugging him like one of her stuffed toys that ran away from her.

"You are pretty. Everyone's too hard on you," he answered gently. "I have been too, and I'm sorry for that."

"Thanks, Brian," she said, tightening the hug and then releasing. "Hey, guys?!" she shouted to the crowd, straightening. The mob looked up from the fire they'd created. "This is wrong!" she added. "And what we did to Brian was wrong! This isn't what God wants us to do! It's what a lot of you want to do because you're afraid of ideas or afraid to look weird! Most of my life, I've seen you in church and listened to what the priest says about doing unto others as you'd have them do unto you. How many of you would like to have meat thrown at you, treated like you're ugly or don't exist, or that because you're not what everyone else thinks is the ideal of what's pretty, you're ugly? That doesn't seem very Christian to me, and I don't wonder why Brian's atheist when Christians don't act Christian! It's wrong. If anyone wants to join me in acting toward people like how we should act, you're welcome to. Thank you."

If this were a movie or some TV show, perhaps the mob would've stopped what they were doing and cheered Meg on. But this was Quahog. "Oh, yeah, Meg, like you should tell us what to do, you filthy whore!" Connie shouted back. "Get out of here and come back when you want to be like us!" The crowd cheered Connie on and they began taunting Meg.

Brian took her hand with his paw. "Just ignore them. They'll see the error of their ways some day, Meg. If you're happy with who you are and what you believe, that's what matters. Let's go home…"

Meg looked down at the dog that cared about her, smiling. "Yeah…let's get out of here, Bryan…" With that, they headed to the car, leaving the mob behind. Brian wouldn't change his mind about what he believed, but he wouldn't force Meg to give up what made her feel special and loved. He only hoped someday she'd find someone who loved her better than her family seemed to. Meg knew she was happy with her newfound faith, and she was also happy that Brian could be happy. She wouldn't give up on maybe getting him to believe someday, but she wouldn't hit him over the head with a Bible, either.

THE END

I hope you enjoyed this story, everyone. Please read and review. Thank you.