Skip to comments.Anti-religion fervor in 'Religulous' is over the top
Posted on 10/03/2008 1:28:38 PM PDT by nickcarraway
I had invited Cheryl Hall to the screening of Religulous to get a faith-based reaction to comedian Bill Maher's diatribe on the divine. Hall's credentials: longtime member of the United Methodist Women and faithful San Diego churchgoer whose husband teaches a weekly Bible study class.
Surely, she would be offended at roasting religion as if it were a Hollywood has-been.
But she laughed. Several times.
Her defense: I think God has a sense of humor. And then she added: If his point was to make religion look ridiculous, then he did a very good job.
It did not, however, make her lose her religion. Nor did it leave her feeling educated, which isn't exactly high praise for a documentary.
Maher's Religulous isn't really a documentary so much as it's propaganda. Funny at times. Mocking often. Certainly clever. But in the end, his fervor unravels into a fire-and-brimstone conversion message for the other team.
The plain fact is, religion must die for mankind to live, Maher says in a melodramatic finish that is as smarmy as any late-night cable TV evangelist.
Anyone familiar with Maher's take-no-prisoners style his stand-up work, the defunct Politically Incorrect TV show and currently HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher knows what to expect. It's comedy by cannibalism: He eats their lunch while the hapless victims struggle for a comeback.
Maher tells us in Religulous that he was a church dropout as a young teenager, drifting from doubt to dismissal. But there's a zeal in this movie that goes beyond his deadpan style. It's as if this film is his personal crusade to out religion as, in his words, detrimental to the progress of humanity.
With the help of Borat director Larry Charles, Maher seeks out the least among them, coming up mostly with caricatures of religion like the Bible theme park in Florida or the television preacher who wears lizard-skin shoes and gold bling. Then the comic lampoons, guts and serves his prey up for the world's snickers.
The people want you to look well, says the preacher in the pin-striped finery.
That's what pimps say about their women, says Maher.
The preacher tells of counseling a love-struck man to channel that passion toward religion. 'Turn that to God and see what happens,' he says he told the man.
Maher follows up with footage of a suicide bomber ramming another vehicle and blowing them both up in a fiery ball.
When the head of a ministry that tries to change homosexuals tells him that nobody is born gay, Maher retorts: Have you met Little Richard?
He pushes and pushes. How can anyone possibly believe the Bible? A talking snake? A man swallowed by a big fish? Complete bull----, he says.
Absent from Religulous are the charities, hospitals, soup kitchens and shelters spawned by faith. Absent, too, for the most part, are the best and the brightest of the standard bearers. They wouldn't suit his purposes.
In the final minutes of the film, when he launches into his sermon on the mound of dirt in Israel, the manipulation is blatant. Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking, he rants. It is a call to arms for anti-religion forces to come out of the closet and assert themselves.
Suddenly, whatever meaningful points he made from the divisions created by fundamentalism to the shocking violence of extremism are overtaken by the realization that Maher has an agenda beyond entertainment.
That's it, Maher tells us. Grow up or die.
God, apparently, doesn't have a lock on fanatics.
Is it anti-religion or anti-Christian?
I’ll not comment on what I believe must die.
Maher is pathetic.
...absent too is any ridicule directed at Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, etc...all of which remains popular with Hollywood mystic set.
So, if I stop believing, I'll be brilliant and wise and compassionate like Bill Maher? I know plenty of highly intelligent believers, and many ignorant unbelievers who think being atheist means they're smart.
Goebbels couldn't have said it better in The Eternal Jew. This is revolting propaganda against a basic human right to freedom of religion.
I believe the quote was, “Religion make people quit thinking” “In order for mankind to survive, religion must die”
“That’s it, Maher tells us. Grow up or die.
The calls for “death” are threatening. Atheist supremacists in this world have killed before. Just ask the Russians.
Maher is a very special kind of lowlife. The kind that is just so ridiculous, so stupid, and such a joke that you don’t even get mad that he does things like this. It would be like getting mad at a dog for crapping in the front yard.
My point is, did he blast Islam, or did he just pick on Christianity?
Adding Bill to my prayer list.
Oh, I’m sure it’s only anti-Christian.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Bill need not worry,
God would never force Bill into His presence if Bill chooses to be separated.... forever.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9
Sounds like a rehash of the old movie MARJOE.
Like "Cannibal Women in the Avacado Jungle of Death"?
Much of the Spirit of God left the United Methodist Church some time ago.