There has been much talk about the war on intellectualism in this country. This has been clearly accelerated by the current presidential election, specifically the choice of the anti-intellectual, Sarah Palin. And it is clear, albeit arguable, that the majority of your religious fundamentalist are not that bright. And this is where Bill Maher is focussing his attention.
Religulous is a documentary in which Bill Maher, the star of HBO’s weekly talk show, Real Time with Bill Maher, travels the world on the sole purpose of meeting with different religous leaders. Except for Amsterdam, where he was clearly visiting for the good, legal weed.
Anyone who watches Real Time, or previously watched Bill on his network show, which was cancelled due to inflammatory remarks concerning 9/11, knows Maher despises ignorance in this country. And Maher finds religous devotion to be one of the primary red flags of a moron. Maher views religion as a crutch for weak minds.
Throughout the 101 minutes of Religulous, Maher takes on advocates of just about every major religion. Along the way he also stops in for a talk with a U.S. Senator from Arkansas, a truckers church, a man who seemingly makes quite a lot of money calling himself the second coming, and many others who help illustrate Maher’s point.
Unlike most documentaries, the movie moves at a relatively fast pace, and is more often than not funny. Serious interviews are broken up with unique edits, sometimes breaking into movie sex scenes, including gay porn. But the real humor comes from Maher exposing many of these religious fanatics as people who don’t really know much about their religion, and certainly not enough to declare themselves above others.
It’s comical to watch a trucker try muddle his way through an argument against Maher on the existence of Jesus Christ by referencing the Shroud of Turin (of course the trucker doesn’t know what it’s called) and explaining that it was Mary’s blood, which demonstrates he doesn’t even know what it is.
Even more frightening is Bill Maher’s interview with Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor. During the interview Senator Pryor dances around whether or not he believes in evolution, and admits that he thinks it’s possible that the earth was created 5,000 years ago. When Maher informs Senator Pryor of his concern that there are people leading this country who believe this type of thing, Pryor discloses that there is no IQ test required to become a member of Senate. From my observations, this extends to Congress and the presidential administration as well.
Senator Mark Pryor should also be given a special award for using fictional words in an on camera interview with a known liberal. It just goes to show that people like Senator Pryor are not even smart enough to fake being smart.
It’s also a little scary to watch a trip to a new tip of learning experience where children will learn that people and dinosaurs walked the earth concurrently. To illustrate this point, the facility has animatronic robots of children playing side by side with Veliocoraptors. So evidently not only did we cohabitate, we didn’t have a problem with viscous man eating dinosaurs eating our defenseless children. As a matter of fact, the facility even shows a Triceratop with a saddle. It must have been great fun to ride dinosaurs!
We also get to meet Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda, who claims to be the second coming. Although it got a little unclear if he is claiming to be the second coming of Jesus or Satan. Either way, as Mahar pointed out, he is making good cash and working hard.
Jews, Mormons and Scientologists were also hit by Maher. They are all easy targets with their own wacky stories and hypocrisy. The only person who actually seem to remotely be able to withstand Bill Maher’s attacks was the actor who plays Jesus at the Holy Land Experience. When questioned about the contradictory notion of the Holy Trinity, fake Jesus used the analogy that water can be three things; steam, ice and water. This seem to have caught Maher off guard, and he admitted so.
This documentary will be pure gold for fans of Maher, and pure torture for the devoted religious followers. Many consider Maher to be smug, and that is hard to deny. But you also cannot deny that if you can’t defend your religious beliefs, than you certainly should not be trying to push them on others. Religion has become the most devisive thing on the planet, which is exactly what it shouldn’t be by it’s own definition. One could easily note that Buddhism, one of the biggest religions on the planet, was not blasted by Maher. That’s because you don’t hear about many Buddhist blowing anyone up, or demanding others join them. And when’s the last time you got a knock on your door from a monk in robes who wants to know if you have thought about god.
I don’t think Bill Maher hates religion, I think he hates religious people who use their religion to judge others. He hates the fact we can’t just laugh at the middle east when they say this is a holy war, because we have people here who feel the same way.
I for one agree that American’s too often cling to their religion. Somehow the United States has been distorted into a Christian nation, when in fact our greatest founding fathers truly loathed Christianity.
John Adams once said, “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.”
Ben Franklin said, “Lighthoues are more helpful than churches.”
And Thomas Jefferson wrote “Christianity neither is, nor ever was part of common law.” Jefferson even went on to re-write the bible, taking out all the supernatural parts and leaving what he believed to be just the teaching of Jesus.
These were the great minds behind the creation of our nation. How disappointed they would be to see how religion is no used to control and judge people in our great nation. The too might find the whole thing religulous.