The Raving Theist

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World Religions Collapse as Atheist Documentary Shatters Box-Office Records

July 22, 2005 | 25 Comments

Tew York, New York
Special to The Raving Atheist

Predicted to rake in more than $17 billion in receipts by the end of its New York run tomorrow night at the 59E59 St. Theatre, the atheist documentary The God Who Wasn’t There has forced religious leaders and believers worldwide to renounce their faith and immediately dissolve their churches, synagogues, Mosques and Covens.

Propelled by a recent review in Newsweek, the film by ex-fundamentalist Brian Flemming had by its opening day already eclipsed the estimated $611 million take of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. Unlike The Passion, TGWWT does not celebrate Jesus but compares him to psychopath Charles Manson and exposes him as simply as another in a long series of mythical, sacrificed savior-Gods that most early pagans quickly rejected as frauds. Modern Christians are not portrayed as spiritually and intellectually-deep seekers of eternal truth, but as gullible, brainwashed, unreflective dupes woefully ignorant of the history, context and precepts of their dimwitted, incoherent superstition. Even liberal and moderate Christianity is dismissed as nonsensical double-talk lacking the courage of its half-hearted convictions.

On Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI, Pat Robertson and other religious figureheads are scheduled to hold a press conference to concede that adherence to their alternatively comforting/terror-inducing God-fictions has been rendered futile by the onslaught of TGWWT’s atheistic truth. “It violates human dignity for me to continue to insist that I am the Vicar on Earth of some non-existent Dionysis-clone,” said the Pope. Mel Gibson has announced plans to withdraw The Passion from circulation, offering complete refunds and admitting that he was insane to release a film glorifying suffering, vengeance and undeserved collective guilt. Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Wiccan leaders who have screened the film have reported “surprise” at how closely their own beliefs mirror the clumsy fairy tales of Christianity and vowed to encourage their followers to study science instead.

The success of Flemming’s godless blockbluster is widely attributed to its special effects. They include digitally-recorded video interviews with intelligent, knowledgeable experts talking sensibly about the idiocy and perils of religion — as well as confrontations with believers which abandon the assumption that people should respect every utterance anyone spouts about God. The technology is considered superior to that used in prior depictions of religion, which attempted to portray faith as something “deep” and “mysterious” by piping in organ music over dimly-lit scenes of cud-chewing worshippers babbling piously in pews as sunlight streamed through stained-glass windows.


25 Responses to “World Religions Collapse as Atheist Documentary Shatters Box-Office Records”

  1. qedpro
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 12:23 pm

    If this were only true….

  2. Brian Parra
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 1:47 pm

    Oh please make it so.

  3. GeneralZod
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 1:50 pm

    Those FX WERE pretty impressive!

  4. msf
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 3:03 pm

    Is atheist activism on the rise? It does seem as if the fundamentalist turn in the US has started an important backlash.

  5. Mookie
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 4:28 pm

    Indeed so, msf. We are sick and tired of having nutballs with insane ideas about the nature of reality telling everyone what to do. We don’t have that mentality that says we can’t scoff at someone’s beliefs. I’ll scoff at beliefs that I see damage humanity. If it happens to be religion (and it often is), I will scoff and debunk it as I would any harmful idea.

  6. boywonder
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 6:56 pm

    Thanks RA! You made my day. That is one of the best articles you have done. It is so sad this is not reality, because the only thing you had to makeup was the boxoffice take, and the nutball reactions of the religious.

  7. Snap Crafter
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 7:45 pm

    Well, if this doesn’t make me wish my order of Tgwwt would hurry up and get here, stupid 15-20 business day wait.

  8. Jennifer
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 10:24 pm

    I think Atheist Snark is on the rise….and that leads to Atheist Activisim.

  9. Eva
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 11:44 pm

    i’ll pray really hard to make it be that way!

  10. r_m
    July 23rd, 2005 @ 1:04 am

    I don’t think the movie will make it here in Texas, but I would at least like to see it. The truth is, Reality is NOT for everyone, it takes real guts to step away from fantasies and face the random and often illusory world as it is.

  11. Delta
    July 23rd, 2005 @ 2:27 am

    Great post RA. And r_m, I’m in Texas too and I don’t think it will be playing here unless it’s at an atheist student group at a university (which probably won’t be advertised for all that well). I just bought a copy, it’s worth it. You can buy it here.

  12. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    July 23rd, 2005 @ 8:21 am

    Make sure you get the DVD version though, you get to hear RA on one of the commentary tracks totally losing it when Flemming asks him about bestiality.

    More seriously, while I found the film informative, interesting, and amusing, I was kind of wondering who the target audience is.

    Flemming, especially near the end, seems to be addressing people who were in the same boat as he was — a kid confused and scared by what he was being taught in a fundamentalist Christian school (he ends the film talking into the camera from his former school saying he denies the Holy Ghost, which he was taught was the only unforgivable sin.)

    However, the humor (e.g. the use of wacky old Jesus films in the historical section at the beginning) and the interviews with naive Christians on the street (selectively edited to get them saying dumb things like how they think they heard about that Mithra guy on the news) seem to me like they would cause people who were in mortal (or postmortal) dread of thinking sinful thoughts to shy away from watching all the way to the end as they come off as mocking (lightly so, but part of the fundamentalist education system is to harden students against mocking by foolish unbelievers, and I think the presentation here will trip their mockery detectors).

    As a tool to deprogram fundamentalists, I’m not sure the film would be very effective. As a film aimed at recovering fundamentalists, I suppose it works as an affirmation. As a film aimed at nonchristians/postmodern-wishy-washy-Christians in general, there’s a lot of preaching to the choir (although the historical overview is well done and worth while.)

    Oddly, towards the end when Flemming inserts himself more centrally into the film, he starts to come off as being like the David James character in his other film Nothing So Strange — sympathetic, but obsessive to the point of making counter-productive decisions. The interview with the principal of his former school was slightly wince-worthy since it came off as an ambush (regardless of whether he deserved to be ambushed, he got Flemming on the defensive about it) and the aforementioned “I deny the Holy Ghost” ending… well, lets just say it’s hard to hold a camera on yourself while making religious pronouncements and not look somewhat deranged.

    I think the problem is that Flemming was making two films at once: one is an informative documentary on the history of Christianity and how unaware of that history most Christians are, and the other is an autobiopic of Brian Flemming and his quest to confront his own demons. While I understand his concept and need to personalize the former with the latter (a sort of reverse testimonial), I’m not sure it worked as well as it could have.

    Definitely worth seeing, but probably not worth showing to missionaries who show up at your door.

  13. Jennifer
    July 23rd, 2005 @ 1:20 pm

    Where is the DVD, the Happy Meal Toys, the PS2 Game, the Action figures, the desk calendars? Where is the crapatorium that makes Movies profitable?

  14. Snap Crafter
    July 23rd, 2005 @ 9:42 pm

    Agreed, given that all those things are run by jews, you would think that they would be everywhere, a ‘tgwwt’ jesus doll, and a mithra doll and the like.

  15. Switch25
    July 23rd, 2005 @ 10:18 pm

    Wait, whats going on here? First qedpro says “If this were only true” and then Jean-Paul goes into a full description. Is this true or is this some kind of joke?

  16. Jennifer
    July 23rd, 2005 @ 11:29 pm

    I just had a revelation! What if you had action figures of ‘probable’ viewers. Random Atheist action figures. I would buy them. I would definitely buy them.

  17. Viole
    July 24th, 2005 @ 1:10 am

    Ooh, ooh! You could do an action figure of me! Yeah! I’m hot, and sexy, and I have sex with women! What could be more appealing? Jahrta servicing Hermesten? Bleh. Yeah right. It’s definitely all me, all the time. Doesn’t everyone agree? Of course they do. ‘Cause not only am I sexy, I’m smarter than all of them put together. IQ in the triple digits. Could out-think them all without even thinking, and obviously the looks aren’t even in question. Brains and beauty. What could be better? It’s totally apparent that I’m the only possible person to use as an action figure. If the atheists had one, I’d be their goddess.

    [note to those who are over serious; the above is a joke. If you wish to complain, do so on the basis of it not being funny, not on my being an arrogant, egotistical bitch. Thank you very much.]

  18. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    July 24th, 2005 @ 8:41 am

    Switch25: “…then Jean-Paul goes into a full description. Is this true or is this some kind of joke?”

    My description is of an advance version of the DVD (advance as in it’s on DVD-R and the menus are messed up) that I won in RA’s obitoon contest.

    I also won a lock of RA’s hair, which I will be selling on eBay shortly. Much more collectable than Happy Meal toys or action figures.

  19. Jennifer
    July 24th, 2005 @ 11:07 am

    “[note to those who are over serious; the above is a joke. If you wish to complain, do so on the basis of it not being funny, not on my being an arrogant, egotistical bitch. Thank you very much.]”
    Viole, its funnier when they don’t get it and blather on.

  20. Eva
    July 24th, 2005 @ 11:15 pm

    and just it can not be said that Raving Atheist Action Figures (TM) (accesories sold separately) are racially insensitive, you need a hispanic Bible_bashing Figure!……ME!!!!!
    my action figure comes with a bible that breaks apart when hit, and with a j-lo-sized ass.

  21. Jennifer
    July 24th, 2005 @ 11:59 pm

    Eva that rocks!

    We also need super villians. Do you Thomas would be ok with that?

  22. David
    July 31st, 2005 @ 10:54 pm

    I’m in Houston, Texas and I’ve shown this movie twice at my personal mini-theater. About 9 attendees the first time and about 18 the second. Additionally, I showed the movie Heart of the Beholder. Another good movie. It’s based on the true story of a video store owner being put out of business by religious zealots. Any ways, I liked the movie. Not all of the logic is solid, but it brings up some good points how a belief system can be made up. We need more movies like these. The religious right is putting on a big effort in turning this country into a theocracy. In the Bible belt, most Atheists feel isolated from main stream society. In this day and age, I think preaching to the choir is a good thing.

  23. overman16
    July 31st, 2005 @ 11:57 pm

    Man, I’ve been trying for five years to get back to Houston, and it may happen this week. Anyway, Houston, and TX in general, are very conservative right now, but all the factors are in place for rapid change. Such as, a high rate of immigration supported by elements of both the left and right, record levels of personal debt, high government deficits, a disparity of wealth not seen since the Great Depression, energy price rises with no real policy to address it, the upcoming retirement of the Boomers with a bunch of very different young folks to replace them, etc. Keep showing that movie, faith alone is killing all of us.

  24. Rob
    August 1st, 2005 @ 12:07 am

    “When the weird happens, when the inexplicable comes calling, the government calls

  25. slacker
    April 29th, 2011 @ 8:23 am

    Good post , I’m going to spend more time researching this subject

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