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The atheist missionary film thread

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 9:05 am
by Stierlitz
There was this thing in the Bush II era for atheist movies doubting parts of the Bible or religions in general, or just filming certain religious groups and letting the viewer decide. Here we are looking at some of the output from that period.

The God Who Wasn't There (2005). An exploration into the "Christ as myth" theory of Christianity, this shot-on-HD-video is now horribly dated visually and musically, which damages its ability to make good presentation of the facts, mainly that the Christ story has predecessors in Mithra(s), Apollo, Hercules, and numerous other "hero" figures. Director Brian Flemming was a ex-Fundamentalist, and he confronts the principal (Dr. Ronald Sipus) of the private Christian grade and high school he went to near the end of the film - it does not go well. Sam Harris, Alan Dundes (folklorist, author of the book Holy Writ as Oral Lit), Richard Carrier (Sense and Goodness Without God), the couple behind, and Robert M. Price appear in the film as experts, plus a smattering of Fundie Christians outside a Billy Graham event at the Rose Bowl.

Hatemongers (formerly Fred the Movie), 2001. Less a film about religion, Hatemongers is a documentary about Fred Phelps (1929-2014), lawyer/pastor of the cultish Westboro Baptist Church (Topeka, Kansas), infamous for a twenty-plus-year campaign of picketing funerals with their charming GOD HATES FAGS signs, ragingly angry blast-faxes, and Fred's rant-sermons which were carried on C-band satellite TV and shortwave radio at points. Director Steve Drain was somehow converted by these nuts after the film was completed, as Louis Theroux's documentaries on the WBC have shown. Phelps was actually dethroned from his cult by his ranty daughter Shirley Lynn Phelps-Roper, who was in turn excommunicated by a "board of elders" which includes Steve Drain!

Re: The atheist missionary film thread

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 7:44 pm
by ericbarbour
I remember the first one--it was a sad little mess. You need MONEY as well as talent to pull off a documentary about a "contentious subject".

Hell....If a guy like Morgan Spurlock can do it....