Young Sheldon Justifies A Major Big Bang Theory Character Trait

Young Sheldon season 6 doesn’t align perfectly with The Big Bang Theory’s version of events, but it does explain an aspect of Sheldon’s persona.

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Young Sheldon season 6.

Although The Big Bang Theory never explicitly explained the origins of Sheldon’s atheism, it is fair to say that Young Sheldon season 6’s story more than justifies this character trait. The story of Young Sheldon doesn’t always align with the way that the title character remembered his childhood in The Big Bang Theory. For example, Sheldon’s father George Sr. is a generally good-natured, if crabby, everyman in Young Sheldon while Sheldon and his mother wrote him off as an unreliable drunk in The Big Bang Theory.


However, much like Young Sheldon’s tragic George Sr. death might explain why Sheldon doesn’t think positively of his father in later life, a lot of his The Big Bang Theory traits find their origins in the sitcom spinoff. Young Sheldon season 6’s plot line explains everything from Sheldon’s obsession with getting credit for discoveries to his dislike of organized religion. Throughout The Big Bang Theory, viewers could reasonably assume that Sheldon is an atheist who has little time for faith because of his love of science, but Young Sheldon proves that the church’s mistreatment of his mother in her hour of need could also be the cause.

Related: Young Sheldon Adds A Final Insult To George’s Big Bang Theory Legacy

Young Sheldon Explains Sheldon’s Lack of Faith

Young sheldon mary Villain the church

When the university profited off Sheldon’s grant database idea in Young Sheldon season 6, episode 7, ”A Tougher Nut and a Note on File,” this explained Sheldon’s obsession over credit which followed him through to The Big Bang Theory’s finale. Similarly, when he called out the church for their failure to support Mary after Georgie got Mandy pregnant in the season 6 premiere, Young Sheldon sowed the seeds of Sheldon’s distrust of organized religion. Since Sheldon is so obsessed with logic, it stands to reason that he was confused by a supposedly charitable organization turning its back on a family in need during a time of crisis.

As a result, Sheldon learned not to trust churches when he was exposed to the human cost of their hypocrisy at a young age. The sitcom spinoff didn’t belabor this point and Sheldon never explicitly linked his ardent atheism to his formative experience of the church’s hypocrisy. However, Young Sheldon also never explained why Georgie and Mandy broke up, instead giving viewers enough clues for them to piece the rest of the story together. Mandy was repulsed by how much Georgie acted like her father and how much she acted like her mother with Georgie, much like Sheldon was appalled by the church’s failures.

Why The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Would Reject Church

Young Sheldon & The Big Bang Theory's Sheldon custom image

Sheldon has every reason to reject organized religion not due to his belief in science, but due to the church’s transparent hypocrisy. Since the institution was willing to accept his mother’s work and devotion for years only to immediately abandon her when she fell on hard times, Sheldon logically presumed that it would do the same to him and others. While the death of Sheldon’s father George leads Mary back to her faith later on in The Big Bang Theory canon, Sheldon’s unpleasant run-in with the church seemingly sticks with him long after Young Sheldon, and it is not hard to see why.

Young Sheldon season 6 airs Thursdays on CBS.

Next: Young Sheldon Season 6 Makes Sheldon’s Future Even Worse

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