The Godless Girl

There’s so much shameless propaganda against atheists, I tell you!

It’s been going on for decades.

In this case, since 1929!

GodlessGirl

Just look at this excerpt from Cecil B. DeMille‘s last silent film The Godless Girl:

Apparently, our atheist heroine (actress Lina Basquette) falls in love with the head of a Christian youth group. (We don’t get to see that part of the movie in the clip.)

Here’s some of the backstory behind the movie:

The film’s high school “Godless Society” was partly inspired by a controversy that broke out at Hollywood High School in 1927 when American Association for the Advancement of Atheism flyers were found in student lockers. The ringleader of the Godless Society, played by Lina Basquette, was loosely based on Queen Silver, a precocious agitator from Los Angeles, who at the age of 12 wrote a pamphlet on evolution that came to national attention during the “Scopes Monkey Trial.”

More details can be found at IMDB.

Some thoughts:

It appears that evolution was accepted by at least some intelligent people back then.

What’s with the swearing in on the head of a monkey…? I mean, I thought that was something only my old campus group did!

I’m offended that the new atheist inductee’s name is Bozo. That attack’s not even subtle…

How did atheist groups back then get so many women to come to their meetings?! That’s impressive. Clearly, we’ve made backwards progress in that area since the movie came out.

(Thanks to Tom for the link!)


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • JeffN

    Where looking at a clip from a man who has been dead for nearly 48 years?. I don’t get it.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Interestingly, the only criticism of atheism in the clip was that atheists loose the holidays. That’s strange because atheists can still take all the same days off, be with family, celebrate humanity, and exchange presents. Atheists just do it for each other, not God. If someone would have mentioned that, Bozo would have stayed…

  • Vincent

    Curse you Hemant for introducing me to the term “goat gland” – ewwww.

    Here’s to kneeing Hitler in the nad though!

    As to the clip, agreed. He decides he will believe in God because atheists don’t get presents? Of course! Why didn’t anyone ever think to bribe me with presents? A shiny new bicycle would have made me believe there was a god.

  • Julie

    I love that Bozo declines atheism because of Christmas. Good for him. He’s got his priorities straight!

  • Mriana

    Hemant, you link for Godless Girl doesn’t seem to work and what clip is everyone talking about? :? I see a big blank white space. :( sigh.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    Mriana — Try this direct link to the video.

  • Mriana

    Thanks Hemant. :)

    “No fanatics are so bitter as youthful fanatics”. We’ve seen that too.

    Yes, there were states at one time that did not allow atheists. :roll: It was rediculous.

    Don’t high hat him, he’s your cousin. :lol:

    BTW JeffN, that clip is more than 48 y.o. I think it’s pushing 100 or at least twice as old as I am. ;) However, I think the acting in todays movies is far better. :)

  • http://thewayward1.blogspot.com/ Brett

    That clip almost seemed for a while to be about how atheist groups are discriminated against and persecuted.

    “Under state law, the student responsible for this outrage is liable to imprisonment.”

    ??? WTF? what law is that?

  • Mriana

    ??? WTF? what law is that?

    Brett, it depends on what state you are in, but if you check the books, (I think mostly in the South) you will see they still have such laws about atheists on the books. It’s just like that law about a White person married to a Black person- still on the books, but buried.

  • Mriana

    This does not state the exact law, but this guy has named some states who have anti-atheist laws (on their books at least): http://www.joegrossberg.com/archives/001072.html

    http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/StateConstitutions.htm

    That’s just a couple of sites that lists states that have laws against atheists on their books. Now whether they are still inforced is another question.

  • Mriana
  • http://heathen.tv HeathenTV

    I found the clip pretty funny – not only because of the over-the-top smugness of it all, but also because ‘Bozo’ is the one who ends up choosing religion!

    Happy holidays to you and yours.

  • Karen

    That is quite a gem! What’s with that eerie version of Ave Maria playing in the background? ;-)

    What’s even more interesting is that tie-in to real events at Hollywood High, which I’ve never heard a thing about. I’d love to learn more about Queen Silver, the 12-year-old girl atheist. She sounds like quite a character.

  • monkeymind

    Love it!

    Karen: I think it’s a musical saw. Or else a theremin. Very unearthly-sounding.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    I feel let down. There was never a monkey when the Evil Atheist Cult indoctrinated me. I’m thinking of handing in my membership badge and looking for a new club that’s hip and cool like that one.

  • Mriana

    Hey hoverFrog, try the Jane Goodall Society. Those cousins (chimps) will gladly indoctrinate you. :D Or even Koko. She’s good and will talk to you even… if you know sign language. I love Koko. :D

  • http://thewayward1.blogspot.com/ Brett

    Mriana,
    Thanks for the links. If any of those were enforced, they could then be struck down as unconstitutional fairly easily when challenged in court. I’m glad that none of those are my state… still dispicable though.

  • Richard Wade

    Hi Brett, The subject about anti-atheist laws reminded me of a site I found that is full of information about religious discrimination including against atheists. Here is one of its pages listing the amazing number of state constitutions that carry discriminatory clauses.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/texas.htm

    Several of them have to this day requirements for public officials to certify that they believe in God. These were all made officially null and void in a Supreme Court case in the astonishingly recent date of 1961!

    Most of the state legislatures have chosen to simply ignore the unconstitutional parts of their constitutions and pretend they’re not there probably because to remove them they’d have to go on record “voting against God” so the asinine parts are still there.

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ miller

    I believe the music is “Meditation” by Gounod.

  • Mriana

    Brett said,

    December 23, 2007 at 1:12 am

    Mriana,
    Thanks for the links. If any of those were enforced, they could then be struck down as unconstitutional fairly easily when challenged in court. I’m glad that none of those are my state… still dispicable though.

    You’re welcome and absolutely right too.

  • Karen

    I believe the music is “Meditation” by Gounod.

    The tune definitely sounds like Ave Maria. And I think monkeymind is right, it could be played a theremin – though I’m not sure that instrument was around that far back.

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ miller

    “Meditation” is apparently an arrangement of both Ave Maria and Bach’s first prelude, written by Gounod. I feel foolish because I’ve played this piece before, and never noticed the similarities to Ave Maria.

  • ellen

    The trick is to call them HUMANIST meetings. My humanist group is almost all female.

  • Mriana

    Ah! Now that explains why I’m a Humanist. :lol: jk

  • JeffN

    Mriana said,

    December 22, 2007 at 11:03 am

    BTW JeffN, that clip is more than 48 y.o. I think it’s pushing 100 or at least twice as old as I am. However, I think the acting in todays movies is far better.

    Ok 78 years old. Wow. I was going by the date of Cecil DeMilles death rather then the date the movie was released. Oops. :) And as to the acting I agree; everything about todays movies is a lot better. :)

  • GullWatcher

    If anyone is interested, this is actually showing in its entirety later this month in Seattle, at the Paramount with live organ music, as part of the silent movie mondays.


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