Firstly, this site is a reaction. In magazines, books, and all over the Internet, I found a never-ending noxious ooze of Christian film reviews. Comically, they all took the position that they were part of a poor oppressed minority that was fighting bravely against non-Christian forces that control the United States. Right. With ignorance that can only be attained by conscious effort, the writers of these reviews attack any film that promotes free thought and free behavior. If it feels good, they are against it. If it stimulates the brain, they are opposed. And if it doesn’t directly promote their God and their narrow lifestyle, they scream they are being oppressed.
With all these religious reviews, there wasn’t a word from atheists. (OK, there weren’t a whole lot of words from Buddhists, Hindus, Shintoists, or even Muslims and Jews, but it isn’t my job to ensure equal representation for Buddhist film criticism.) Something had to be done to give an alternative to the brainless ranting of fundamentalists. So here we are. And who are we? Well, we’re atheists. And what are those?
Atheist: One who lacks a belief in the existence of a deity
That’s it. Atheism is not a religion as most of these Christian groups like to claim. Not believing in God no more constitutes a world view, with metaphysical assumptions and moral rules, than not believing in Santa Claus. So, I’ll admit it is a little tricky to write with the atheistic mind set, because atheists can be so very different from each other.
But then only a portion of what we write here has to be a position generally acceptable to a majority of atheists, because, as I mentioned before, this site is as much a reaction to the fanatical religious groups as it is an advocate of the lack of belief. So, with that in mind, what can I say? Well, that life has whatever value it has for its own sake. That the meaning and purpose of our lives are determined by us; we are not merely empty subjects of an entity whose whim determines our importance. We do not have the sin of others we never met upon us, and that we must be saved from. And there are no rules forced upon us from on high declaring that there is something wrong with, or that we are forbidden from, the pleasures of life. Somewhere in there, you’ll find the heart of what we have to say.
Plus, it is just so much fun to make fun of religious extremists. And here, we’ve got a sense of humor.
So, in a country where seven states have constitutions that forbid atheists from holding public office (currently countered by the U.S. constitution, but still hanging out there), and the president’s father and an ex-president, George H.W. Bush stated, “No, I don’t know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God,” it’s good to have a place to sit back and read some film reviews that don’t discriminate against atheists.
So, with tongue firmly in cheek, I welcome you to The Film Atheist.