First Offensive Features New York Times and USA Today Ads, DVD "Guerilla Giveaways"
LOS ANGELES, CA (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Beyond Belief Media has formally declared war on Christmas, the December 25 holiday in which Christians celebrate the birth of the mythical figure Jesus Christ, the company announced today.
"Christian conservatives complain nonstop about the 'War on Christmas,' but there really isn't any such war," said Beyond Belief Media president Brian Flemming, a former fundamentalist Christian who is now an atheist activist. "So we have decided to wage one, to demonstrate what it would look like if Jesus' birthday were truly attacked."
*(Photo Caption: Cover of DVD "The God Who Wasn't There.")
As its opening salvo, Beyond Belief Media has purchased advertisements this week in the New York Times, USA Today and the New Yorker magazine. The company's 300-member volunteer "street team" is also descending on Christmas-themed public events with random "guerilla giveaways" of Beyond Belief's acclaimed DVD "THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE."
"No Christmas pageant or Nativity display is safe from our troops," said Flemming. "Wherever the mythical figure Jesus is celebrated as if he were real, we will be there with an information barrage. We will undercut the idea that there is any point at all to celebrating the 'birth' of a character in a fairy tale."
THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE is a taboo-shattering documentary that Newsweek says "irreverently lays out the case that Jesus Christ never existed." The film includes interviews with some of the top religion experts in the world. Directed by Flemming, the movie is also highly critical of the modern Christian right. The movie has been praised by critics but condemned by pro-theocracy groups such as James Dobson's Focus on the Family.
"Obviously our 'War on Christmas' is a bit tongue-in-cheek," said Flemming. "But the Christian myth does dominate U.S. culture, and there's no time better than Christmas to take a fresh look at that myth and see it for what it is."
The ads may be viewed at http://www.thegodmovie.com. The New Yorker magazine ad appears in the Dec. 12 issue, going on sale today. The New York Times ad appears on Dec. 6, the USA Today ad on Dec. 9. The "guerilla giveaway" raids begin today and continue through Christmas.
ABOUT BRIAN FLEMMING
Brian Flemming's fictional work has been called "a parallel universe" by the BBC, "jaggedly imaginative" by the New York Times, and "immensely satisfying" by USA Today. The Fox News Channel dubbed him "a young Oliver Stone." He wrote and directed the independent feature Nothing So Strange, which won the New York Times Claiborne Pell Award for Original Vision. A playwright as well as a filmmaker, Flemming is the co-author of the hit play Bat Boy: The Musical, which played eight months in New York in 2001 (Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical). John Landis (Blues Brothers) will direct the film version of Bat Boy, expected in 2007. Flemming's previous nonfiction work has aired on Bravo, the Independent Film Channel, ABC.com and Beliefnet.com.
ABOUT THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE
"Provocative -- to put it mildly," said the Los Angeles Times about THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE. Since its world premiere in May 2005, the film has had theatrical exposure in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and dozens of other cities. The film won the 2005 Best Documentary prize at the Grassroots Cinema Festival.
Partial cast list:
* Sam Harris won the 2005 PEN Award for his uncompromising book The End of Faith, which argues that religious faith poses great dangers to the human race.
* Robert M. Price is Professor of Biblical Criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute and a fellow of the Jesus Seminar.
* Richard Dawkins, possibly the world's most famous atheist, is an evolutionary biologist and author of several best-selling books.
* Alan Dundes was Professor of Folklore and Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.
ABOUT BEYOND BELIEF MEDIA
The mission of Beyond Belief Media is to provoke conversation about the dangers of religious belief.
More information: www.thegodmovie.com