• October 18, 2013 · 6:00 PM
  • Stone Creek




A Film Not to Be Missed...

Why Are There 2 Churches on Every Street in Harlem?

A Black Filmmaker Explores Why African Americans Cling to Religion

Jeremiah Camara, a Black author and filmmaker based in Atlanta, is giving NYC Atheists an exclusive preview of his as yet unreleased film, “CONTRADICTION, ” which explores the role of religion in African-American communities.

Camara, author of the respected book, “Holy Lockdown: Does the Church Limit Black Progress?” travels, in this film, across America to visit Black churches and interview churchgoers and ministers. He asks, why are there so many Black churches, yet major problems in Black communities?  Why are Blacks among the most Jesus-praising people in the world, yet the most fragmented and economically dependent?  Is there a correlation between high-praising and low productivity?

Are Churches Part of the Problem?

Camara points out that there are 85,000 Black churches in America--or, 1,700 Black churches in each state. He takes a critical look at the impact the church and the Black ministers’ sermons have made on the Black psyche.  Despite the common belief that these churches offer comfort and community to Blacks, Camara puts forth the possibility that they may actually be a contributing factor to the social problems of Blacks in the U.S.

Come on Friday to see this deep, disturbing film that has the courage to examine a longtime totem in the Black community.  Has religion actually been a vehicle to keep our Black citizens separate and unassimilated? Does it limit the opportunities for Blacks if it keeps them hoping for rewards in heaven?  Come and share the concerns of some forward-looking African-American leaders in the U.S.

The Washington DC-based Secular Coalition of America says about this filmmaker:

"Jeremiah Camara is an author, international speaker, activist and documentary filmmaker. He is the author of the books Holy Lockdown: Does the Church Limit Black Progress? and The New Doubting Thomas: The Bible, Black Folks & Blind Belief. Camara received national attrention during his appearances on the Michael Baisden Show. Camara is the creator of the acclaimed video series Slave Sermons, which addresses the perils of religious intoxication and the consequences of being theologically conditioned to rely upon supernaturalism and divine intervention to deal with critical issues.  In 1989, Camara created a video documentary titled Psychological Wars, which examined subliminal messages in sitcoms, cartoons and commercials that negatively impacted the psyche of African Americans. 

Currently, Camara has produced a full-length documentary film fitled CONTRADICTION, which explores the impact of religious loyalty and how an unyielding commitment to belief in an omniscient and omnipotent being is affecting society, particularly the African American segment.


There is a peculiar consistency that one cannot help but notice when riding through predominately African American neighborhoods in most major cities in the U.S. Black communities are saturated with churches, and the abundance of  churches co-exists in the midst of impoverishment, despondency and deprivation on countless levels.  The question is, if the presence of god allegedly dwells withing these "holy" facilities, why are the surrounding areas laden with so many social issues?  If god answers all things and if praise, worship, belief and love for god are prerequisites for prosperity, then why are Blacks collectively in such an unprosperous position? This analysis is the crux of the film.


WHAT:           NYC Atheists Inc. Book & Film Club,  led by Dr. David Orenstein.  


SUBJECT:    “CONTRADICTION” - a film by Jeremiah Camara

WHEN:          Friday, OCTOBER 18, 2013

                              6 p.m. - Happy Half Hour

                              6:30 -    Meeting starts

WHERE:        Stone Creek Bar &  / 140 East 27th Street (3rd/Lex) / Back Room

COST:            FREE. But you are expected to buy food/drink to compensate Stone Creek. The knoshies are eclectic, from tacos to Baked Brie & a notch above most pubs. The beer selection is excellent. 


New York City Atheists Inc. is a 501C not-for-profit association dedicated to the separation of church and state and promotion of the Atheist lifestyle and values.



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  • Jane E.

    Thanks, David Orenstein, for bringing us such important films and books. So much learning and new insights can be brought to us in the form of art. It will be difficult for this film to be shown in a regular movie theatre; I sure it would be picketed by the religioso. (Religioso = my semantic version of Mafioso.)

    2 · October 19, 2013

  • martinheinsdorf

    It was very worthwhile. This meetup had a documentary film about religion in the Black community, which was an interesting subject for me. It was great to see many more POC in the audience than at typical NYCA meetings. The well-facilitated discussion after the film added personal insights from individuals in the audience.

    2 · October 19, 2013

  • Tamara S.

    I'm going to see the 10:20pm showing of 12 Years Slave at Union Square (820 Broadway) afterwards. Your welcome to join me. Tickets are $14.50.

    1 · October 18, 2013

    • Willie F.

      I didn't know you were intending to see the movie. I would have gone with you and others. I guess I will see it next week in Manhattan after work one night.

      October 19, 2013

  • David o.

    Always nice to play to a packed house . Great film and such a wonderful group of freethinkers to join in both watching and discussing afterwards. The 5 stars is for everyone and jerimiah Camara . Cheers , david o .

    2 · October 19, 2013

  • Eileen Marie R.

    Great film.

    1 · October 19, 2013

  • Eileen Marie R.

    I thought it was a very enlightening film. It is astounding how many of these communities are impoverished and yet none of those preachers seemed to be starving. As we all laughed at certain points in the film it is ultimately heartbreaking.

    3 · October 19, 2013

  • Jane E.

    Fabulous film...sometimes sad, sometimes funny, always heart-wrenching. My heart went out to the people who said they thought there was nothing left for them but to hope for a reward in heaven.

    2 · October 19, 2013

  • Maximus A.

    I'm here, let get this started

    October 18, 2013

  • Jane E.

    Great idea, Tamara, but that makes it too busy an evening for me. "12 Years a Slave" is an Oscar contender and will be around for a while. It's an interesting juxtaposition of ideas, however: "12 Years" tells of one guy's being enslaved by a human master; CONTRADICTION tells of freed people being enslaved by a belief in a delusion. Which is worse? I'd say the latter. You can always run away from a human master, but you can't run away from a delusion so easily.

    2 · October 18, 2013

    • Tamara S.

      It's in limited release at the moment, but I've heard great things about the performances.

      1 · October 18, 2013

  • Eileen Marie R.

    I don't know how easy it was to run away from your master in days of slavery, but I find it ironic that slaves probably held on to a belief in a higher power to get them through the day, and now in freedom are held back by the very same belief.

    2 · October 18, 2013

    • Tamara S.

      Some (too few IMO) descendants of slaves have rejected Christianity because it was the faith of their slave masters.

      1 · October 18, 2013

  • Jane E.

    Willie, I didn't know this film had been released yet. Perhaps you mean the Flushing showing was also a pre-distribution special? I have heard that it is a very powerful film.

    1 · October 1, 2013

    • Willie F.

      Jane, I saw the pre-distribution version at a hotel with about 15 people and the creater, Jeremiah Camara. He was at the Black Reason Rally and we saw it later that night (July 27th). It is an excellent film. It is now playing in theaters in Atlanta, Georgia (Jeremiah's home town).

      1 · October 2, 2013

    • Jane E.

      It looks like it is going to have very limited distribution, as many revolutionary films do. I still have difficulty finding the revolutionary movie "BURN" anywhere, an Italian film starring Marlon Brando in his heyday. You have to catch these films any chance you get.

      October 2, 2013

  • Willie F.

    Saw this terrific movie in July 2013 after the Black Rally in Flushing Meadow Park. Really worth viewing again.

    1 · October 1, 2013

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