Hug An Atheist
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(Dec 09, 2013)
Hug an Atheist: a documentary film about atheism in the USA, dispelling the myths and untruths by following ordinary American atheists on their journey through life. The film illustrates how atheists deal with morality, love, grief, Christmas, education, hope and other topics.
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The film emphasizes that you can be good without God. Empathy is natural in psychologically healthy people. We don't need the fear of eternal damnation to be nice to other people. The parents that were interviewed talked about teaching their kids that they are "good for goodness sake". They give their kids critical thinking skills and will let them investigate religion if they decide to.
There's not a heck of a lot of religion in Christmas these days and atheists have no problem celebrating the holidays with the tree and decorations. For some of the people in the film, doing the whole Santa thing is fun and it also gives the kids their first experience in debunking a myth all by themselves. In a funny reversal, one woman's son was actually terrified that a guy would come into their house at night while they were sleeping even if he was dropping off gifts. She had to level with him and also about the tooth fairy.
There is a marriage ceremony documented in the film which is a mix of a traditional looking religious wedding without the God stuff and some funny moments included in their vows. It was very nice. There's a section titled Sickness and Health and an interview with a late teens early twenty something woman named Ellen with cerebral palsy. She is absolutely adorable and her outlook on life is fantastic. She is at total peace with her situation and she declared that she gives her own life meaning. Her strength and lighthearted view of her time here on Earth is very empowering.
When it comes to death, atheists have no fear of what will happen after they die but that doesn't make death and dieing any less sad in their lives. They spend their time memorializing the life of the deceased and don't go on about how they will see their loved one in the next life or that they are in a better place. For them, there is only one life and one place and it is all the more special. They feel the need to take care and appreciate what they have here on Earth, including the environment. There's no second chances and they want to make this one count.
They talked about how churches have a built-in social network and sense of community. They find that losing that can be rough but as more and more people come out of the atheist closet, community groups and support are growing too. The bottom line of the film is that atheist are people too, with all the needs and wants of any other human being.
Too many theists vilify atheists without even realizing it. They have heard the myth that no one can be good without God so many times that they no longer even think to question the myth. Theists also often seem to not understand that for some people belief requires evidence; it's not a lifestyle choice. These misunderstandings lead to a lot of unnecessary conflict, such as atheist organizations being turned away from volunteering opportunities and charitable donations from atheists groups being refused.
This movie attempts to dispel myths about atheists by showing them as ordinary people living their lives. Atheists have friends, families, spouses, and children, just like everyone else. They deal with pain and suffering, they celebrate Christmas, and they have marriages and funerals. By showing atheists as ordinary human beings this movie attempts to destroy the caricature many theists hold of atheists as immoral, egocentric, hedonists.
MOST DEFINITELY a film worth buying. Show it to friends. Discuss it.
Superbly well-done with a beautiful soundtrack - let's hope Ms. Broeckx does us a favour and makes more films.