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Top 5 Movies That Poke Fun At Religion

Posted on 30 June 2014 by That Heathen Girl

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Every now and then I like to sit back, relax, and relieve stress…

                By watching movies of course! And what better way to easy some tension than by laughing at the insanity that religion can be. I did leave out documentaries for this particular list so I could do a different one later, but until then check out my list for Top 5 Movies That Poke Fun At Religion:

 

5. Carrie


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Carrie was Stephen King’s first novel and was made into a movie in 1976 (and a remake, but we won’t get into that), telling the story of a young girl suffering at home from an abusive overly religious mother. It speaks volumes when you watch their interactions and the kind of things Carrie goes through at home and at school. I can’t imagine how horrifying it would have been to get my period at school and have no fucking clue what was happening to me. I’d think I was bleeding to death too!

 

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How am I not dead right now?

                The mother takes the cake in this movie, showing how an oppressive religious environment can cause someone to snap, especially someone as impressionable as a teenager. At least everyone gets what’s coming to them in the end right?

 

4. Saved!

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A little know movie, Saved! satirizes the lives of students at a Christian high school, showing how one wrong move can cause you to be ostracized and demonized in a heartbeat. Mary, played by Jenna Malone, ends up having sex with her boyfriend Dean after he tells her he might be gay. She hits her head and sees a vision of Jesus, telling her to do everything in her power to help him. Well what does any Christian girl do to make sure her boyfriend isn’t gay? She has sex with him. Not surprising, she ends up pregnant, and a cascade effect occurs as all her friends abandon her.

It’s really telling of the Christian household, especially overly Christian, as they don’t speak to their children about sex and sexual safety. Personally, the best part of the film is Eva Amurri, who plays Cassandra, the only Jewish girl in a Christian school. Her jokes are hilarious and the part where she starts speaking in tongues in order to freak out the students at an assembly is priceless. She even attempts to rip her shirt off in order to shock the masses.

 

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She’s speaking God’s language! Hallelujah!

3. The Invention of Lying

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Ricky Gervais, well known Atheist, stars in this film in which people live in a world without lying. Meaning no can lie. Ever. Meaning, no religion. However, when Gervais’s character’s mom is dying in a hospital, he tells her of a wonderful afterlife, introducing lies for the first time. Everyone takes him at his word, shocked and awed that maybe there is a great man in the sky and maybe there is a Heaven. Who knew making a religion was so easy?

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A little tooo easy.

                The point I took from the film is to make you realize how easy it is to dissuade people, and how if you tell a lie often enough eventually it becomes the truth to them.

 

2. Dogma

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Dogma is a great film when it comes to poking fun at religion. Two angels, Loki and Bartleby, have been living in Wisconsin as a punishment after being cast out of heaven. After discovering a loophole in the Catholic Dogma that would allow them back in, they set out for New Jersey to find this church that will ‘cleanse them of sin’. Loki’s (Matt Damon) exchange in the beginning of the film at the airport are hilarious, as he convinces a nun that it’s really not even worth it.

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What have I been doing with my life?

                Kevin Smith had some amazing actors brought into this film. Making Alanis Morissette God was just icing on the cake, and watching her prance around the church yard doing handstands says a lot about the Christian God. It makes God out to not only be a woman, but to be childish and forgiving in the most nonsensical ways.

 

1. Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

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I think this film pretty much speaks for itself. You’ve got songs like “Every Sperm is Sacred”, which makes fun of the Catholic’s views of masturbation, and “Galaxy Song”, which speaks heavily on evolution. It’s basically a slap in the face to the Catholic church, and certainly a fun movie to watch in order to get a good laugh.

Monty Python’s been pretty famous for making films that poke fun at religion, and any of them could have made this list, so be sure to check them out as well.

 

Honorable Mention: The Life of Brian

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Social Media has spoken, and so with all the requests, I present an honorable mention of The Life of Brian (or substitute “Meaning of Life” with it). The Life of Brian can best be summed up by IMDB‘s storyline writeup about it: Irreverent satire of Biblical films and religious intolerance focuses on Brian, a Jew in Roman-occupied Judea. After joining up with an anti-Roman political organization, Brian is mistaken for a prophet, and becomes a reluctant Messiah. – The Secular Nerd

 

So there you have it, the Top 5 Movies that poke fun at religion, hope you enjoyed the list! What are some of your favorite movies out there? Any that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments!

Until next time,

– That Heathen Girl

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Top 5 Movies about Demonic Possession

Posted on 29 June 2014 by That Heathen Girl

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   I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid growing up in the deep south movies like these would scare the shit out of me. Religious fear makes seeing what could be lurking in the dark that much more frightening, and our imaginations run wild. Now that I am older (and wiser), it is interesting to see how these kinds of movies still scare people so much. I’m a huge horror movie buff myself, have been even when I was still religious. What’s even more interesting, is going back and re-watching these movies that used to strike the fear of God into me. So here are what I think are the best movies about possession.

 

5. Rec


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   I don’t go for foreign horror films often, but when Rec came out I thought, zombies? Hell yeah I wanna see some zombies! The story is about a group of people trapped off and quarantined because of a virus that has been spreading throughout their apartment building, causing people to become bloodthirsty, screaming and trying to tear you to pieces. Sounds very zombie like right? Well, by the end of the movie you find out whatever is making people want to eat your face off is actually demonic in nature. Fancy that. A tenant in the upstairs apartment had been messing with the occult and a mean rabies virus. Apparently this guy that owns the apartment was working on what looked like a biological cause for demonic possession on behalf of the Vatican.

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Cliche portrait of the Virgin Mary, check!

   This Spanish film is shot just like the Blair Witch, jumping on that “found footage” bandwagon. They did manage to do a really good job, it kept you wanting to look away because you knew at any minute something was going to come out of nowhere.

  Quarantine is the American remake of Rec, staring scream queen Jennifer Carpenter. She did a pretty good job I think, I love her as a horror actress but the Americanization of the film made it seem a bit lacking in comparison to the Spanish original.

4. The Evil Dead

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   I will admit this now, I haven’t seen the original Evil Dead yet. I did, however, watch the remake. I know, I know, it’s probably not near as good.

   The Evil Dead centers on five University students taking a trip out to an isolated cabin for spring break. I won’t use their names, because both versions have different character names, but in both one goes nuts and ends up possessed. One thing after another leads them all to question who is possessed and who isn’t, and trying to stay alive in a place where even the trees will attack you (and in some cases, rape you). There is a more comedic value as the films go on, showing a more humorous side to demons and how silly it all really is.

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3. Constantine

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   Oh, how I adore this movie. Constantine took a very modern approach to demonic possession. Keanu Reeves plays Constantine, a chain smoking exorcist who seeks out demons hiding in humans to gain favor back into heaven. You see he had a little run in with some razor blades at a young age and ever since he’s been able to see angels and demons. I’m sure we all know how the Catholic church feels about suicide. Oh, and he’s also dying of lung cancer.

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Fuck it.

   The film is great in the exorcism scenes because he makes it look like such a chore, and the way all these creatures fit into the human society and prey on the weak. The conversation between Constantine and Lucifer is great, their casting choices were good in that regard. Their exchange is very nonchalant and business like.

 

2. The Exorcism of Emily Rose

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   In regards to the horror aspect of this movie, I love it. The idea was great, the story was great. Laura Linney was great. However, it went the path most movies with anyone Atheist of Agnostic goes, they become believers.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose
The Witching Hour? Shit I smelled sulfur at around 3am, I better go back to Jesus!

     Jennifer Carpenter plays a girl who dies after a parish priest performs an exorcism on her. Linney’s character, a defense attorney named Erin, takes his case after he is charged with negligent homicide. Watching the court and seeing the flashbacks is like seeing two different worlds when you watch it as an Atheist. It’s like, you want to be on the side of the state, but all the flashbacks make you feel for this character. The actual exorcism scene is amazing to watch, Jennifer Carpenter goes all out and you can feel the hatred coming off this character. It’s certainly a movie I would recommend.

 

1. The Exorcist

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   Ahh we knew this would be number one! The Exorcist came out in 1973, and has sense been regarded as one of, if not, the scariest movie of all time. Rumors of strange occurrences on set spread after the film’s release, many sequels followed, and Linda Blair would always be remembered as that possessed kid that pukes on a priest.

    If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure you know the basic premise, so I won’t explain. I watched this movie when I was 13 years old, when I was still religious and went to church camp and Sunday school and all that fun stuff. So you can imagine what seeing that movie would do to a preteen Jesus freak. It was the first and only time I ever had to sleep with the lights on.

Now of course I can appreciate the horror aspect more; every time I watch it I actually find humor in some of things they made this kid say.

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     In any case, to go back and re-watch some of these movies and see what religious fear does to people is an interesting experience. Try it one day and see what I mean, maybe get in a few good laughs if you’re like me and find it all very humorous (I am sick and twisted at times though).
For now that is all until next time!
– That Heathen Girl

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Secular Sunday Matinee #4 – God Bless America

Posted on 22 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

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From IMDB:

Loveless, jobless, possibly terminally ill, Frank has had enough of the downward spiral of America. With nothing left to lose, Frank takes his gun and offs the stupidest, cruelest, and most repellent members of society. He finds an unusual accomplice: 16-year-old Roxy, who shares his sense of rage and disenfranchisement.

The Secular Nerd:

This movie did not disappoint at all. It touched on the world we live in today, and showed what one man who has had enough and had nothing to live for would do. I’d never support something like this in real life, but to creatively and imaginatively think about it? Absolutely. It spoke volumes on things we may be too afraid to admit to.

Trailer:

 

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Secular Sunday Matinee #3 – Contact

Posted on 15 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

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The Secular Nerd:

This movie is based off the novel written by Carl Sagan which was published in 1985. Ann Druyan, his wife co-produced it. If you haven’t seen the movie or at least read the novel, you need to get on that. I recommend it to anyone who has an appreciation for Astronomy and Science Fiction. 

 

From IMDB

Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway has long been interested in contact to faraway lands, a love fostered in her childhood by her father, Ted Arroway, who passed away when she was nine years old leaving her then orphaned. Her current work in monitoring for extraterrestrial life is based on that love and is in part an homage to her father. Ever since funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was pulled on her work, which is referred to some, including her NSF superior David Drumlin, as more science fiction than science, Ellie, with a few of her rogue scientist colleagues, have looked for funding from where ever they could get it to continue their work. When Ellie and her colleagues hear chatter originating from the vicinity of the star Vega, Ellie feels vindicated. But that vindication is short lived when others, including politicians, the military, religious leaders and other scientists such as Drumlin, try to take over her work. When the messages received from space are decoded, the project takes on a whole new dimension, which strengthens for Ellie the quest for the truth. Thrown into the mix are the unknown person who has up until now funded most of Ellie’s work and what his motivations are, and Palmer Joss, a renowned author and theologian, who despite their fundamental differences in outlook, is mutually attracted to Ellie, that attraction based in part on intellect and their common goal of wanting to know the truth.

Trailer: 

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Secular Sunday Matinee #2 – Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

Posted on 08 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

 


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If you are looking for some slapstick comedy, blasphemous zingers, and all around fun this Sunday, then Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life is for you. Enjoy such hits like “Every Sperm Is Sacred” and the “Galaxy Song“!

From IMDB

Why are we here, what’s it all about? The Monty Python-team is trying to sort out the most important question on Earth: what is the meaning of life? They do so by exploring the various stages of life, starting with birth. A doctor seems more interested in his equipment than in delivering the baby or caring for the mother, a Roman Catholic couple have quite a lot of children because ‘every sperm is sacred’. In the growing and learning part of life, catholic schoolboys attend a rather strange church service and ditto sex education lesson. Onto war, where an officer’s plan to attack is thwarted by his underlings wanting to celebrate his birthday and an officer’s leg is bitten off by presumably an African tiger. At middle age a couple orders ‘philosophy’ at a restaurant, after which the film continues with live organ transplants. The autumn years are played in a restaurant, which, after being treated to the song ‘Isn’t It Awfully Nice to Have a Penis?’ by an entertainer, sees the arrival of an extremely fat man. He can eat a lot, but also throw up quite copiously. The Grim Reaper brings for the final stage of human life, death, a visit to a mansion, where the people are rather interested in him. But life doesn’t stop at death. It’s onto heaven, where it’s always Christmas.

The Official Trailer for Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

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Nerdy Fun Fact of the Day #14 – Darth Vader

Posted on 05 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

 

In a story development session for Return of the Jedi, George Lucas toyed with the idea that after Luke removes dying Vader’s helmet, he puts it on, proclaims “Now I am Vader” and turns to the dark side. – [Source]

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The Dalai Lama had a point…

Posted on 24 August 2012 by That Heathen Girl

Image ©dreamstime.com

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” – Dalai Lama

What if all the religions sacrificed the need to build monuments and temples to their faith and instead built schools, houses, even hospitals. If they instead used kindness to their fellow man instead of living in fear of some unknown entity. Helping their fellow man because they care, not out of fear of some unknown entity. Not to say I condemn them for their beliefs, because I’m just not that kind of person. I live in the bible belt, and there can be up to 10 churches in one town around here. That’s just way too much! If they used that money to help the community instead of building fancier and fancier churches, they could help their fellow man.

I’m That Heathen Girl, and I figured since the Secular Nerd posted such a thorough opening post I’d introduce myself.
You can check out our bio’s to learn more about us. We will also have links to our personal sites at a later date.

The kind of posts you can look forward to from me are going to be the entertainment reviews. Some of my nerdy points of interest are:
– Books & Movies
– Graphic Design & Photography
– PC Gaming

Welcome to the site and enjoy!
– That Heathen Girl

 

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It all started with a big bang…

Posted on 24 August 2012 by The Secular Nerd

It all started with a big bang…

The Secular Nerd said “let there be nerdy reasoning” and so it began…

We are extremely thrilled to start what is going to be a very exciting journey into the world of secular nerds. What are secular nerds you ask? Let’s explore these two words in detail, shall we?

sec·u·lar
[sek-yuh-ler] adjective
1. of or pertaining to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as
religious, spiritual, or sacred; temporal: secularinterests.
2. not pertaining to or connected with religion ( opposed to sacred): secular music.
3. (of education, a school, etc.) concerned with non religious subjects.
4. (of members of the clergy) not belonging to a religious order;not bound
by monastic vows ( opposed to regular).
5. occurring or celebrated once in an age or century: the secular games of Rome.

nerd
[nurd] noun Slang .
1. a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person.
2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd.

Our first word “secular”, is very important to many people. It is the pursuit of a world not connected with religion. We live in a society that’s focused on many different agendas. The pushing of a religious agenda is one huge conglomerate of many sub agendas, meaning there are many different religions, and many different interpretations of their religious dogma.  The forcing of these many different religious beliefs in our world has caused not only wars, but skewed day to day habits that infringe on many peoples way of life.

You might be wondering where I’m going with my take on this. It’s simple; get religion out of politics, government, and public places. Don’t get me wrong when I say that though. I consider myself a secular humanist. I believe people are free to believe whatever they wish to believe, but I don’t want your beliefs interfering with my day to day life, or that of humanity as a whole.  One very bright, shining, and painful example of what I mean, is marriage equality. The term used a lot against marriage equality, is “the sanctity of marriage must be upheld. It is a union of one man, and one woman”.

Let’s look at the word “sanctity” before you claim that religion has nothing to do with marriage equality.

sanc·ti·ty
[sangk-ti-tee] noun, plural sanc·ti·ties.

1. holiness, saintliness, or godliness.
2. sacred or hallowed character: the inviolable sanctity of the temple.
3. a sacred thing.

Let’s talk about “the sanctity of marriage” for a moment. Marriages between one man and one woman happen everyday. They also divorce everyday. What happened to the sacred oath they have taken? Till death do you part, right? People divorce all the time, yet there is no war against divorce lawyers. The war is against what peoples beliefs are. In a secular government, you would have none of this. We would already have marriage equality. We, however, do not live in a secular world, we do not have a secular government, and we have the religious agendas to thank for this.

The above, is what you can expect on the secular side of this website. It won’t always be “militant”, but it sure will be blunt, and straight to the point. I am a nerd which embraces many of the “nerdy” genres. Let’s look at them in a fancy bullet list!

My nerd expertise:

  • Computer Programming (Website design, application, databases)
  • Network Administration
  • Table-top Role-Playing (Dungeons and Dragons, White Wolf’s World of Darkness, etc)
  • Collectible Card Games (Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, etc)
  • MMO’s (World of Warcraft, Star Wars, etc)
  • Computer Strategy Games (Starcraft, Command and Conquer, etc)
  • Social Network Marketing
  • Live Action Role-Play (Vampire: The Masquerade, Dagorhir, etc)
  • Star Trek AND Star Wars fanatic

When it comes to any of these topics, I become an elitist monster. I’m very passionate about these topics, but I also enjoy a good clean friendly debate. Why, you may ask, did I list my hobbies and skills? Because those are the topics I will discuss, along with a secular twist (but not always).

So here’s to a very exciting journey together!

– The Secular Nerd

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