Bill Maher . . . My Hero

So, Daniel and I went to see the movie Religulous Friday evening. If you watch The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, or Real Time with Bill Maher, you have no doubt seen the trailers and commercials.

If not, here's one for your viewing pleasure:

Good stuff. Seriously good stuff.

Okay, first of all, this film is playing at ONE, yes ONE, theater in the entire city of Nashville and the surrounding areas. Welcome to the Bible Belt. Secondly, I don't care if you find Bill Maher's humor funny or not, he raises some interesting and intelligent arguments about organized religion in this documentary.

He makes it very clear throughout the film that he does not hold atheist views. He is not out to disprove the existence of a higher being. What he's saying is, 'hey, I DON'T KNOW. I am not so arrogant as to be absolutely certain that I know the nature of god'. What he does point out over and over again is how religious practices and beliefs have been the root cause of so much destruction in our world. He exposes the ridiculous, the arbitrary, the illogical, the contradictory.

True enough, he manages to find some real crazies to interview, and even though he purposely seeks out the more fanatical believers, some of the "normal" people he talks to are so familiar in their arrogance and stupidity, that it's scary.

The interviews, discussions, and monologues of the film take place all over the world, from the Vatican and Jerusalem, to the Creation Museum in Kentucky and the Holy Land amusement park in Orlando Florida. He's not afraid to call people out on their beliefs. And while he's not belligerent about it at all, he doesn't back down or simply accept the bullshit rhetoric that people offer him. If you're thinking this is a 'Pick On Christians' film - it isn't. Trust me, he is not selective in his criticisms.

Does his tone reek with condescension at times? Well yeah, duh. It's Bill Maher after all. But he genuinely attempts to engage religious believers in constructive, intelligent dialogue.

Despite such a serious and thought-provoking topic, the film is hi-larious. While there are plenty of frightening and sobering undertones to the message, there is also plenty of witty satire and comical film montages to keep the audience entertained. I love Bill Maher's irreverent sense of humor combined with thoughtful, probing questions.

Ultimately, he humbly suggests that religious organizations and religious believers practice genuine humility and tolerance before the 'end of days' prophesies become self fulfilling prophesies as we continue to destroy our world in the name of god.

It's a great film and you should go see it. Now.


Alison said...

Did you read Jesusland?

cathryn said...

No I haven't had a chance yet...it's in my pile of "To Read"

Ekios said...

-start scratching on a notepad-

Bill ... Maher ... re-li-gu-lous ...

- cercling religulous -

- stick the note on the red wall as an "important thing to keep looking for"

Thank you so much for sharing this info, especially for me, who is religion'o'phobic ... ( but still believing too in something higher than us )

I have in my DVD pile (about 30 to watch, never enough time, ouiiiin :( ) the movie Zeitgeist wich is the same as you watched, but in a serious, like "forensic" way. I just watch a few part and It was stomaching !

See you, and thx again !


Baconeater said...

Atheist views? And atheist simply says no to the question "Do you believe in God?"
Most atheists including myself are not out to disprove God, as we know it is impossible to disprove a negative.
If there is an atheist view, Maher shares it. There is no evidence for God, just like there is no evidence for Leprechauns, so there is really no point or need to add either into the overall equation of the scheme of things.

cathryn said...

Thanks for the clarification Baconeater. I always thought atheists were not open to the idea of the existence of a higher being.

From Wikipedia:
"During Maher's appearance on Larry King Live on August 11, 2005, he said he was an agnostic who nevertheless is still quite open to the idea that God exists."

"Most recently, Maher has declared himself an apatheist instead of an agnostic on Scarborough Country on April 24, 2007."

Agnostic, atheist, apatheist...gee whiz...lots o' labels.

boty said...

I MUST SEE THIS MOVIE! The preview looks hilarious!

I won't bore anyone with my views on organized religion or higher power...but I will say:

Live a compassionate and empathetic life, keep a sensitive heart and do your best to protect those (all living things) unable to do so themselves from the cruel intentions of others, never hate anyone because of whom they love (be it a god/gods, a person, etc, etc)...Not only does this cover your ass either way, but you'll end up a better person than most will ever even aspire to be.

cathryn said...

Ekios - Zeitgeist sounds interesting...I'll have to see if I can find it.

Boty - you will love this movie :)

mom said...

i don't think there is anything wrong with organized religion, just like any other organized group. it's when ignorance and stupidity, and self importance, and superiority and hatred, and fanatics grow from it that it causes problems. old fashioned, yes, but the good old "golden rule" pretty much says it all for me. i think i might like this movie too.

Ekios said...

Here, free watching on the movie website himself :)


And for the record, i'm a believer in something higher than us. But nothing which cannot be one day reach by humanity itself.

Just watch in Switzerland, they are recreating the first moments of the universe. So one day will probably create one too, and then ... eheh, will be some kind of god for the living being who will grow up in there ;)

For dog and cat, we are god ;)

PS : sorry, on that one i don't know why but I feel really poor with my English.