6:00 PM - HAPPY HOUR
6:30 PM - VIDEO AND DISCUSSION
HOST: DAVID ORENSTEIN
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.