Except for anti-Catholicism, Downton Abbey has steadfastly ignored the theme of religion throughout its run. The chapel has shown up when weddings were celebrated, but otherwise the vicar has had little to do.
This article explains why: we can't have historical accuracy when atheists might be offended!
The trials and tribulations of the Crawley family have enthralled Downton Abbey viewers for six series. But some have questioned why Christianity, which would have formed a central part of the lives of the aristocracy in the early 20th century, is largely absent from the show.
Eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed that the Crawley family is never shown in the process of sitting down to dinner, with the action instead shown from part-way through the meal. This, Mr Bruce said, was to avoid having to show the characters saying grace.
He added: “In essence you hardly ever see a table that isn’t already sat at. We never see the beginning of a luncheon or a dinner, because no one was ever allowed to see a grace being said, and I would never allow them to sit down without having said grace.
“I think that the view was that we’d leave religion out of it, and it would’ve taken extra time too. I suggested a Latin grace, but they decided that was too far, and no one would’ve known what was going on.”
Here's where it gets silly:
I liked the show when it was set in World War I; there was briefly some real historical impact to the family's response to the crisis that decimated English youth. Otherwise to me it has become a period costume soap opera. Perhaps the producers should have trusted their audience more: surely atheists are a little more broad-minded than that!