Sunday, November 16, 2008

DISCUSS: Religulous...

Okay, I really don't know how to review this in a solid cinematic manner. It's the newest documentary from Bill Maher, and instead of giving a long winded review about the film (and it's brilliant by the way), I would like to get everyone's thoughts on the controversial subject matter, religion. Here's the plot synopsis...

Bill Maher interviews some of religion's oddest adherents. Muslims, Jews and Christians of many kinds pass before his jaundiced eye. Maher goes to a Creationist Museum in Kentucky, which shows that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time 5000 years ago. He talks to truckers at a Truckers' Chapel. (Sign outside: "Jesus love you.") He goes to a theme park called Holy Land in Florida. He speaks to a rabbi in league with Holocaust deniers. He talks to a Muslim musician who preaches hatred of Jews. Maher finds the unlikeliest of believers and, in a certain Vatican priest, he even finds an unlikely skeptic.

First, before I get everyone's thoughts, let me give the overview of Mr. Maher's thoughts...

-Religion is holding us as a society back
-We are unable to grow with it in place
-Christianity in particular is simply rehashing of other, older religions
-All religions have similar prophet tales
-Science CAN'T be part of scripture
-We must either grow up, or die, as religion will cause the end of the world, not by a God's hand, but by our own

And you know what, I agree with him 100%. I personally believe that religion is the most negative thing that has been a part of our society, and with it in place, we will not be able to move forward as a species. Even our forefathers thought it was not a good thing to have, as Thomas Jefferson for example, took all of the miracles and "fairy tale" aspects of the bible, and simply used the morals as a book to live by. Also, Ben Franklin said that lighthouses were more useful than churches, and I again, must agree. I am an existentinalist with a great interest in religion and it's effects on society.

Now, those are controversial stances, but I would just like to get everyone else's views on religion and why or why you don't believe it. I don't believe for many a reasons, many of which are discussed in this really amazing and must see film. It's easily in my top 10, and if I really knew how to properly judge it, it may be my favorite film of the year. It was certainly one of the most fun experiences I've had at the theatres all year. Far better than director Larry Charles last outing, the mediocre Borat film...

So, what do you guys think? Is this a film that would interest you? I'm going to leave the discussion open to you all, because really don't know how to facilitate a discussion on such a hot button topic, so I will let you all take it where you want it to go...


Go see something good!


  1. I really wanted to see this when it came out in theatres. I was a Catholic as a freshman starting college,and it only took me a couple of months of Western Civilization class to help me realize the error of my ways. Religion is a hodge-podge of beliefs taken from other religions. Many of the common terms for things are closely related to astrology; i.e., Lucifer. Lucifer is a term used for the devil today, but back when traveling wasn't as convenient, Lucifer was referred to a star in the sky for direction.. Before college, I never took the time to see the other side of things. It was always "believe what your parents tell you". It wasn't until I was on my own that I saw the other side of things such as living for myself or spending my time doing things of importance rather than at church. I don't mean to bash on anyone's beliefs, but when has anyone looked at the other side of the equation, or for that matter--looked at religion objectively? I mean, what if there is nothing? The way I see things is that religion is a poor excuse to place your blame and thank your profits. People hate God when things go wrong, and thank him when things go right. Has it ever occurred to anyone that maybe things happen by chance and not some divine intervention?

  2. I was an atheist until my 40's when I looked closely into near death experiences. Now I believe the evidence is stronger for god than against god.
    Watching the show I got annoyed with Bill Maher's constant interruptions and ridicule. Lots of those people were good people trying to do right. Bill Maher wasn't trying to understand them; he was trying to make his own point. He does have lots of good points. I just don't like his style in this movie.


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