Movie Review: Religulous

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So, we were sitting around having some Indian food the other night and a friendly conversation came up about religion. Sure, it’s not one of the best topics to talk about over Saag Panneer, but what the heck. Before you knew it, people got offended and emotions ran hotter then a serving of Chicken Shawarma. People got mad..like “I’m going to throw this big hunk of rice pudding in your face” kind of mad. If there is one thing we learned from the whole experience it’s this: If you question a person’s religious faith…expect some anger…and a very large dinner tab.

Bill Maher takes us on his own spiritual journey during Religulous. The best thing about his view on religion is that he doesn’t really care how sensitive you are about it. If you ever doubted what Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism or the Islamic faith were all about…you’ve come to the right place. Mr. Maher doesn’t just stick a fork in everyone’s holy belief system…he puts it on a skewer, sets it on fire, slaps it around a little, kicks it to the curb, and throws it in the river…and laughs about it the whole way through.

Don’t get us wrong though, there are some great points made in this documentary about religious beliefs. Directed by Borat mastermind, Larry Charles, Religulous has done some serious homework. From organizing interviews with some of the top theologians, scientists, and crazy nut jobs…to doing some intense historical research. We use the word organize loosely, because it turns out that most of the interviewees had no idea Bill Maher was involved in the movie until he showed up. But, that is Larry Charles’ M.O. and he does it well.

There are some great moments in this little gem of a film. One of the most startling revelations is the reminder of ancient Egyptian literature that was allegedly written hundreds of years before the bible. That’s the main scope of the film. Is all religion fictional? Is there really historical fact to back all of this up? Those questions alone would raise a high fever all the way from the bible belt to your atheist friend down the street…but this goes even further. Mr. Maher really takes it up a notch and questions everyone who is willing to listen.

He has some valid points and it’s very hard to ignore the facts that he lays down on the table. But, religion is more about faith in the unknown. It’s the “not knowing” that makes it compelling, sustainable and viable. Bill doesn’t really care about any of that. He thinks that’s utter nonsense. He just wants to tell us that there is no way it could have happened the way our spiritual leaders taught us. It’s pretty much one big belief system banana cream pie in the face. But, if nothing else, it’s very entertaining.

If you’re in the mood to forget about any guilt and confession for a couple of hours…check this baby out. Religulous will certainly question things you’ve come to know as truth and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Comments

  1. randall October 28, 2008

    One of 2008’s best for sure.

    One of 2008’s best for sure. Funny with insight. We caught it two weeks ago.. and want to see it again.

    “come to know as truth”.. don’t think so.. more like things you know as “faith”

  2. Josh Mishell October 28, 2008

    I think that if I liked Bill

    I think that if I liked Bill Maher more, it would have been a better movie. He just comes off as a total dick the whole time. I was entertained, but the movie more or less reinforced my own views: 1. Religion is outdated, and 2. Bill Maher is a douche.

  3. randall October 28, 2008

    Yes… but his douchiness is

    Yes… but his douchiness is what makes that movie funny. It’s certainly a case of his way or the highway.. and creative editing certainly helped his claims when it came time for expressions and reactions.

    I like Maher. He says it like it is.. And he usually can call bullshit and back it up with fact and/or science. Ohh.. but I forgot.. science is new to the scene and can’t be trusted.

    Hats off to Bill for having the balls to make this movie.

  4. Evangelical Aethiest October 28, 2008

    Religion is the biggest scam

    Religion is the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the Worlds public.

  5. Stuart Confer

    Stuart Confer October 29, 2008

    I just want to visit that

    I just want to visit that creationism museum with the triceratops wearing a saddle. I would take a lot of pictures and laugh and laugh and laugh….

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