Documentary “Refusing My Religion” coming soon.

At the American Atheist convention this year I was fortunate enough to be interviewed for an upcoming documentary by Michael Dorian and Marc Levine called Refusing My Religion.  The documentary focuses on the Clergy Project and addresses the trend of even ministers becoming convinced that their religion is untrue.

Here’s the preview:

Yeah, I might have a sentence that I spoke nestled among interviews with those superstars.  I think it might be time to retire.  :D

Here’s how they describe the documentary:

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.

Michael and Marc both struck me as a pretty cool dudes, and also as very committed to this project.  I suspect it’ll be a good one.  If you’d like to toss some dollars toward the project you can do so here.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • DeistReality

    The so called Tufts study that’s more about evangelizing the faith of Atheism. I said Feb 2013 (see Youtube “THE CLERGY PROJECT”by DeistReality) that it was all about promoting Atheism and that there’d be a documentary,or movie.

    These college educators say they’re “secular” but they’re not as they go out of their way to promote their own views on the nature of this First Cause that the billions of us rightly honor with the sacred title of God. They don’t denote religion and spirituality they push and promote their own views in the same manner as any religion does.

    “Hypocrites” the whole lot of them!

    • Feminerd

      Tell me more about this First Cause. What evidence have you that it exists?

      • DeistReality

        The evidence for a First Cause of some kind that reason tells us is eternal in nature making IT supernatural,or metaphysical to our understanding at this time in our “evolutionary” growth as IT defies space and what we call time is the collective whole found in Life.

        We come from Something we call this something God.

        But this documentary is more about promoting Atheism the so called non faith that’s supposedly not being pushed as a religion. The burden of proof is now the “active” Atheists to prove Atheism or the belief that there’s no intelligence behind the design,or behind the patterns found in Life..again Life being the very evidence that proves this Something billions of people call God?

        I don’t wish to go back and forth with you on the nature of God (the Starting Point to all that is) as I believe Atheism is a valid valid as Theism but both points of view are ones faith on the matter.

        When you actively promote your faith in hopes of grouping like minded believers together this becomes a religion and is no longer “secular” as you’re not denoting no religion your promoting religion or your own thoughts on what this Force that’s behind the all is,or in the Atheist case isn’t.

        • Guest

          Should read….you’re not denoting “no religion” your promoting religion.

        • Feminerd

          Wait, what? How does our reason tell us there must be a first cause of some sort? I don’t get it. We don’t know what things were like before the big bang (we’re bounded by our universe), but the rest of it all has at least plausible scientific explanations for it. We may never know what “really happened”, but we know how it could have happened. There’s no magic involved.

          The documentary is about how there’s no evidence for any supernatural anything, and promoting critical thinking is for-the-win. I “promote” atheism, I guess, because I promote the scientific method and the importance of the null hypothesis. I don’t seek to disprove any god or gods; I merely point out there is no reason to believe in them. There isn’t any faith involved in the matter: show me the evidence, and I’ll believe in a deity or supernatural being like a faerie or unicorn. Absent that evidence, I won’t believe in something without evidence. Burden of proof: totally yours. You are still the one making the active claim.

          I actively promote critical thinking because it’s, well, a societal good. If you apply critical thinking to everything, not just the notion of gods, we get better problem-solving, critical analysis of policy positions, ability and desire to peek at empirical evidence to see if our policy prescription might work, and so many more great things.

          • DeistReality

            If “we’re bounded by our universe” then cause and effect is a law that’s never been broken..every event needs a cause and leads us to the ultimate Cause that started the effect.

            Your right “We may never know what “really happened”, but we know how it could have happened. There’s no magic involved.”

            Who says there’s magic involved? And just because we don’t know what really happened does this mean we don’t name IT?

            I’m just insinuating there’s intelligence behind the design or the patterns found in Life this is my faith,or what I trust to be true. The Atheist asserts that there isn’t intelligence behind the Source of all that is. This is their own faith or what they trust to be true.

            Burden of proof is on both parties who assert their view. Why do Theists have to prove their stance and Atheists don’t when both parties actively promote their faith?

            This is an Atheist video promoting Atheism a stance that’s all about where Life comes from with the title that unites them. I don’t care that you don’t believe intelligence behind the design but the active Atheists are being disingenuous when they say they’re “secular” or that science even means Atheism. They have an opinion on where Life comes from and they want their opinion to be a world view..this is called religion.

          • Feminerd

            Uh, a nonphysical, totally spiritual THING that is outside time and space but can totally affect them? That’s magic.

            The rest of your arguments are invalid because they are based on that magic.

            This is why you have the burden of proof.

          • DeistReality

            “The rest of your arguments are invalid because they are based on that magic.”
            Magic is when you make something appear from absolutely nothing. I find when the Atheist says “my arguments are invalid” this is their way of bowing out from the truths presented.

            If its true these thoughts are invalid then I say good for you..go get yourself a Mars bar…you deserve it!

          • Feminerd

            You are making something appear from nothing. Your Creator Thing, what created it?

            I note you haven’t responded to the burden of proof arguments. Convinced there, at least?

          • DeistReality

            This question “Your Creator Thing, what created it” is an oxymoron as this is what we’re talking about when we use the pointer word God.

            Its like saying “what created the First Cause”…nothing because it’s the First Cause. The Atheists and the Theists are both in the same conundrum when it comes to the Source of all that is. A conundrum that could easily be solved if we would only understand the word God to be an abstract title that means different things to different people. A title whose meaning can change as we learn more about ourselves and the “Life”that surrounds us.

            At this time whatever IT is is supernatural,and metaphysical making the title God a reasonable word for IT…because whether this Power,or Force is Nothing,or infinite in nature both concepts fit under something that’s considered supernatural..again to our scientific understanding at this time.

            Saying we don’t know what IT is so therefore we shouldn’t name IT seems like poor science. I’m not here to antagonize I’m here to show the Atheist a better way of eliminating these dangerous Abrahamic faith and the faiths they breed.

            “I note you haven’t responded to the burden of proof arguments. Convinced there, at least?”

            I have responded with “the burden of proof” for a Force that we rightly honor with the sacred title of God in a prior comment. Getting you to agree with this absolute is another thing.

          • baal

            Is that you commentmaker? I ask since you’re getting ‘oxymoron’ wrong again if you are. Maybe you’re not him in which case whatever church or website you come from needs to work on using words consistent with the regular meanings.

          • Feminerd

            You aren’t making any sense. Something can’t come from nothing, but your First Cause came from nothing, but it couldn’t have because something can’t come from nothing …

            Sorry, you don’t get to say “God is magical and ALWAYS EXISTED”. It doesn’t work that way. I don’t accept ‘because magic’ in any argument.

            And given that I don’t accept magic, the proper answer to what existed before our universe began is “I don’t know”. It’s not scary to admit ignorance, it’s really not. “Goddidit” is just as much an admission of ignorance, with an extra scoop of gullibility on top.

          • baal

            hrm, remind me not to use argument from definition (i.e. what I make up) when arguing for the existence of the supernatural with you.

          • Feminerd


            If you want to argue that magic is a real thing, of course, that changes things. ‘Because magic’, when you argue that magic is a real force in the universe, is actually an argument. I will still be very skeptical, though!

          • Zinc Avenger

            So your argument is “the universe can’t come from nothing, therefore there must be something else… which came from nothing”.

            I’d note that the atheist position at least assumes only the existence of the universe, which I can hit with a rock from where I’m sitting.

          • DeistReality

            No my argument is that we and the Life that surrounds us come from Something and to call this Something God is advantageous to the arguments at hand especially when dealing with people from the Abrahamic faiths.

            To tell them there’s no God (First Cause) when their very Life proves otherwise will only breed contempt for the Atheist faith and so more war. To show them the proper path of understanding which can be found in the very Life that surrounds them is the key.

            We don’t want them to lose their faith in Theism we want them to harness this faith and put it towards Life itself rather then ancient linguistics from books written and voted on by mankind.

            Could you imagine if they treated Life like a sacred text from God..I can.

            The Atheist “assumes only the existence of the universe” is a faults statement as their very title that unites them implies many things about the nature of this Force that all of Life comes from. All Atheists know the universe comes from Something even if this Something is Nothing its still Something because all of Life is here to prove IT.

          • smrnda

            The problem is that our words ‘something’ and ‘nothing’ aren’t really as accurate as the words that physicists use to describe time, space and matter, and when we take what they tell us and shove in these vague, intuitive words instead of the hard science, we’re no longer discussing the science, but playing games with words based on their intuitive meanings.

          • EvolutionKills

            +1 for Qualia Soup video on Burden of Proof. That is my go-to video for explaining the concept to laypeople.

          • DeistReality

            The “laypeople” become the Atheists as well when they actively impose their faith on the world like some kind of truth as todays “new” Atheists are doing. When they do this they too become the non secular,non freethinkers,zealot religious types propagating their own faith on the world with a title that in all reality refers to God.

            They’re replacing one god that isn’t found in most Abrahamic faiths with another. A lot of truth in Qualia Soups videos that can easily be turned around on “active” Atheists who again are imposing their own understanding on where Life comes from.

            This again isn’t saying Atheism isn’t a valid faith,or stance but it is saying Atheism becomes just like the faiths they despise when actively propagated,or imposed like some kind of truth as today’s Atheism is.

          • baal

            Atheism as much a faith the same way as me walking to work is a car type choice (what type of car is it? it’s the Noh-Car! You can’t see it, taste it or touch it and it’s great for your health and the environment!). The absence of a thing is not a type of that thing (though it can be a category for mentally shuffling ideas around – ideas in head =/= actual things).

          • EvolutionKills

            “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.” -Jedi Master Kenobi

            Atheism is not replacing any gods. When you learned that Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny were not real, what did you replace them with? If you’re anything like most sane adults, nothing. When you learn the truth of a delusion, are you obliged to replace it with another? Once again, I would imagine that the answer to that question is ‘no’.

            When you make a claim, the evidence is on you. If you want to posit that a god exists, and it’s the first cause or a creator, the onus is on you to support your claim. Simple as that, the skeptic is not obliged to have counter evidence. So in the case of your desired divine ‘first cause’, any honest person will answer with a simple ‘I don’t know’. But because you are not intellectually honest you want to posit a god, then pretend it’s up to the skeptics to prove you wrong. Sorry, doesn’t work that way; unless you’d like to start presenting evidence for the non-existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Intangible Invisible Pink Unicorn.

            If an atheist makes a positive claim that no gods exist at all, or that specific gods don’t exist, then they are obliged to provide evidence for their assertion. In the case of a god like Yahweh, it’s possible to make a valid and evidence based case for his nonexistence based simply around the logical fallacies that are created by it’s own attributes as described in the Bible. Doing so is the atheist attempting, and often succeeding, in meeting the burden of proof.

            Atheism is NOT a faith, and repeating it over and over again will not change that. Atheism is a denial of a claim that gods exist, that’s all it is. It is not a method of thinking like ‘skepticism’, it is not a moral philosophy like ‘secular humanism’, it is not a proven means of demonstrating reality like the ‘scientific method’.

            Also, the only difference between a ‘new’ atheist and an ‘old’ atheist, is that the new guys don’t keep quiet because the religious can no longer kill us for simply disagreeing with them. At least in the liberal democracies of the developed west…

        • baal

          “The burden of proof is now the “active” Atheists to prove Atheism”

          Not really. Your assertions don’t shift the burden. You can say you mailed me 5 sheets of stamps and that it’s now my burden to prove I’m not a stamp collector (i could use the stamps for mailing things for example or not otherwise preserve the stamps; it’d be idiotic and futile for me to go through my house and explain to you in detail how each part of it doesn’t have a secret cache of stamps). That wouldn’t make me a stamp collector and there is more evidence for stamps than there is for god.

          • DeistReality

            The full quote goes more like this
            “this documentary is more about promoting Atheism the so called non faith that’s supposedly not being pushed as a religion. The burden of proof is now the “active” Atheists to prove Atheism or the belief that there’s no intelligence behind the design,or behind the patterns found in Life..again Life being the very evidence that proves this Something billions of people call God?”

            If you read further down you’d read

            “Burden of proof is on both parties who assert their view. Why do Theists have to prove their stance and Atheists don’t when both parties actively promote their faith?”

            This documentary,or film in question is about advocating Atheism making them the asserters who’re giving their opinion on the nature of whatever “IT” is that got the ball rolling. They’re the ones trying to make Atheism a world view and who unite under a title that in all reality refers to the nature of God,or this First Cause that mankind calls God in like manner that any Abrahamic faith does.

            Your stamp analogy could work on the Atheist who asserts their own position on the matter as well because they too know that all of Life comes from Something,but like the Theist has no clue what this Something is.

            IF Atheism ever becomes a world religion the very arguments they used to disprove the nature of the Theists God could be used to disprove the Atheists God,or this Nothing thing that some feel is at the heart of Life.

          • baal

            As the full quote is on the same page, I was making a tag rather than cut/paste the entire block. I don’t think it changed anything regardless.

            “IF Atheism ever becomes a world religion the very arguments they used to disprove the nature of the Theists God could be used to disprove the Atheists God”

            This statement is bizarre. Atheists don’t want a world religion, they (me!) want those who follow specific religions to stop trying to have us follow your beliefs. Also, your argument in this quote is substantially an argument from fear. We’d best not mess with your god or something bad will happen to us (we won’t get our god). As we don’t have a god, this argument falls flat.

            So far as atheist tend to be materialistic naturalists; the ‘god’ you’d have to undermine is objective reality. The counter-apologetics arguments we use would not disprove reality. I have very little trouble substantiating my claim that I’m sitting in a chair and no about of disproof of the Kalaam will have any impact whatsoever on the chair itself.

            Ergo, I’m finding your points incoherent.

            You should really go check out that QualiaSoup vid on burdens. It’s downright amazing.

          • DeistReality

            “This statement is bizarre. Atheists don’t want a world religion, they (me!) want those who follow specific religions to stop trying to have us follow your beliefs.”

            If they didn’t want to be a world religion then why would they go out of their way to recruit others to think like them and to have them assume the title of Atheist a word that refers to the nature of God?

            The Atheist is asking people to follow their beliefs and those who don’t are usually belittled,or demeaned in some way.

          • baal

            Your definition of religion is a bit off. We aren’t looking for followers. Quite the opposite really, we’d like folks to get on with their lives but in a way that’s based on reality instead of supernaturalisms.

          • DeistReality

            ” We aren’t looking for followers” are you being for real? The Clergy Project is pure recruitment for the Atheist cause. Get to their leaders and the flock will follow and they disguise it all by calling it some kind of study. What do you think the “out campaign” is all about,t shirts,and all the other Atheistic propaganda? Do you really think these aren’t recruitment tools?

            It’s about imposing your religious epistemology on others because the Atheist feels it’d be a better world without all the other religions that conflict,and compete with their concept of God,or whatever you want to call the Starting Point to all that is.

            Atheism is the reverse mirror image of the faiths they despise.

          • baal

            Point the first

            “imposing your religious epistemology”

            Hrm. You smell like a creationist. It’s the dishonesty. I politely suggest you take your faux outrage and smoke it, or something. You really have no clue what you’re talking about. You cannot shoehorn atheists into a nice neat little religion. That’s not the right mental model and is leading you to make one nonsense statement after another.

            If I say, “I own a car” and you only ever see me riding the bus, you might doubt me. I could then bring you over to my house and have you hop in the car, i could show you the title, insurance and my license to drive. At that point, you’d probably have to concede that I do own a car.

            I’m still waiting for you all to invite me to sit in your god and actually go somewhere. Instead, all I get for evidence is an imaginary choo-choo train type game that I played with my son when he was 4. We lined up the dining room chairs and made toot-toot noises. It was a blast. It’s not, however, a real train.

            This is the atheist “religious epistemology” you’re railing against. I’m saying it’s better to stop pretending once you grow up or at least if you’re playing the imaginary game, admit it.

            Point the second
            You’re an asshat. Christians are downright mean to atheists in the U.S. and try stabbing us to death in Bangledesh (or was it the extremist muslims? or the RCC in India? or the Russian Orthodox in Putin’s Russia? it gets hard to keep track which sect is being violent since it’s somewhat common). Given that context of religious violence, us atheists want a better life. Shocking and demanding of us, I know. We see other atheists and want them to not suffer the xtian bullying. The best way to protect this (our) minority group is to come out and show the broad middle that we’re normal decent people and the religious loons (like you) are mean bastards (and you are, we actually don’t have to work too hard to find example, i point you to this blog and the friendly atheist one).

            So what you call “proselytizing for the atheistic religion” I call standing up against bullies and community building. We aren’t making a pope, a synod, or dogma. We don’t molest alter boys and we don’t protect our ‘leaders’ from the consequences of their criminal acts.

            I take great solace that people like you are making more people like me everyday.

          • DeistReality

            There’s a middle ground here and I’m sorry if I insulted you and your epistemology on religious matters. Google youtube “Black Israelites meet Deist Reality” to see why I too could be killed for the things I believe to be true by religious fanatics. Peace

        • smrnda

          I don’t follow with this first cause stuff. I note a lot of people using this term are referencing Aquinas, but I wouldn’t really go to a guy from his time period for an accurate history of time and space or accurate information about the nature of the universe, since the best he could do was appeal to intuitive notions about what ‘felt’ true.