Here is a 13-year-old kid at the graduation of his elementary religious education. Becoming a man in the eyes of his religion and in that same moment eloquently, intelligently reflecting on it in a way that renders all of it completely meaningless and ridiculous to him is quite remarkable. Taking this special moment as an opportunity in front of his whole family, his friends and their rabbi, to powerfully articulate his rejection of all of it in real-time is something we don’t get to witness every day. This was, we think, unthinkable only ten years ago. The maturity and lucidity of the Bar Mitzvah boy’s remarks are striking. It says not only that the earth has shifted under our feet, whether we know it or not, but that it is actually evolving while we post this here. The video itself was uploaded in 2007, making this family way ahead of it’s time. We are excited to be capturing America’s journey through uncharted territory in its religious identity, or lack thereof, as it happens.
“May You Live In Interesting Times” ~ Chinese Proverb used as a curse upon an enemy
Refusing My Religion Co-Director Michael Dorian is quoted in this New York Times article. It’s about how atheists handle the holidays via the perspectives of numerous members of the diverse and colorful New York City secular community.
It’s no wonder that NYC is a fair microcosm of the differences that sometimes divide the overall movement on the actual playing field. How “assertive” should we be? How conciliatory ? Are we picking the right battles? Is our public image what it can be? How do we increase our numbers? What can we do to achieve the most important of our agreed-upon goals? And what, exactly, are those goals?
As America’s religious landscape tilts below us, the atheist movement could be positioned to have an even greater impact than it already has. Refusing My Religion has chronicled the past two full years of atheism (including a year on our other film, A Cross To Bear, about the American Atheists’ lawsuit over the inclusion of the 9/11 “Miracle” cross in the September 11th Museum). To be sure, it’s quite an eye-opening time to have documented, for those of any religious affiliation, or a complete lack thereof.
N.Y. Times article by Liz Robbins: ‘During Religious Season, Nonbelievers Assert Right to Celebrate’
In the darkness of an Upper West Side concert hall last weekend, 150 audience members holding twinkling plastic candles sang and swayed to celebrate reason and the season. Snow fell with abandon outside.
“We are not alone,” a humanist rock band crooned in a call and response… Read more here.
Alex Federici at the “Brighter Than Today: A Secular Solstice” show last weekend.VICTOR J. BLUE FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Sometimes Finding Salvation Means Losing Your Faith
This story could only take place in America. What happens when preachers lose their faith and become atheist activists?
WHAT IS THIS DOCUMENTARY ABOUT?
Our feature-length documentary, REFUSING MY RELIGION, examines through intimate first-person accounts the experiences of clergy members who have left their careers in ministry, renounced religion, and gone on to become prominent figures in the secular movement.
When ministers lose their faith and “come out” not only as non-believers but as atheist activists, this is a clear indication that our society is transforming right before our eyes. We are making the definitive film about the unprecedented and rapid changes to the religious and cultural landscape of America.
As the internet and access to information continue to shape our world, religion now finds itself in a place it has never been before.
The Clergy Project is an online safe haven for former or active ministers, priests, rabbis, imams, etc. who have “moved beyond faith”. The website went public in March of 2011 with 52 original members; since then it has increased to 425.
The Clergy Project grew indirectly out of the 2010 Tufts University study “Preachers Who Are Not Believers” conducted by Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola. In 2011 The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science provided funding to help launch TCP. Some of TCP’s founders include Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, clinical research consultant Linda LaScola, Clergy Project Executive Director Catherine Dunphy, and Executive Director of the RDFRS Dr. R. Elisabeth Cornwell.
We are so fired up to be on the air with the great Jamila Bey this Thursday, April 11th from 6-7 PM est. We will be on for the entire hour discussing our experiences making our documentary REFUSING MY RELIGION. Please listen in and feel free to share the info. Listen to us here live: http://ruvr.condensa.ru/ruvr05_eng_us.html Thank you!
Jamila’s show is also carried by:
Washington, DC: AM 1390 AND WTOP 103.5 FM HD-2
NYC: AM 1430
Chicago: WILV 100.3 FM HD-2
Miami: 99.9 HD-2.