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.
N.Y. Daily News EXCLUSIVE: British atheist group looking to expand will host sermon at city dive bar
The Sunday Assembly, co-founded by comedian Sanderson Jones, will make a stop in New York during its U.S. tour. The location for the sermon will be at Tobacco Road, a ‘bikini bar’ where the staff has vowed to cover up during the service.
Bronx native Michael Dorian, who is making a documentary film titled “Refusing My Religion” about members of the clergy who have become atheists, believes that many New Yorkers will embrace the Sunday Assembly. “One thing I hear a lot is that people miss the sense of community that religion gave them,” Dorian said. Dorian was inspired to become a secular activist after the 9/11 attacks: “I couldn’t stand that people were doing these evil things in the name of religion,” he said.
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.