Religulous is a documentary in which Bill Maher goes around the world asking questions about religion to religious and political leaders as well as religious shop owners, theme park performers and members from several congregations from all different faiths and backgrounds.
Do I think the film is a fair representation of religious people? No. Do I believe they specifically targeted the "crazies"? Yes, but here's a question: If a religious man filmed a documentary where he went to atheists, agnostics, scientists, homosexuals, and abortion doctors and asked them questions about what they believe, he wouldn't be able to fill a 90 minute movie. They would simply be saying facts; truths that are parts of every day life, it would probably be rather boring. Plus, he would probably have a hard time finding people who are crazy about not being religious.
People very rarely preach "doubt" aggressively, and that's what it seems like Maher is doing in this documentary, but in every interview he does, if someone gets angry it's simply the result of Maher asking a question that "they don't like" (which translates to "they don't know the answer to"). I have all the respect in the world for people who have faith, but I will never understand people who rely on religion. The leaps of faith that most religions are based on are, literally, unbelievable. In the real world, in modern times, what people claim to be miracles are coincidences and anyone who claims to be speaking to God, is "hearing voices". Anything else is just magic and the same religious extremists who accept that Jesus Christ turned water into wine, walked on water and could cure the sick, then turn around and try to ban other books that tell stories of people using magic for good (Harry Potter, for example).
I thought about this a few years ago and I still believe: After we're all dead and gone, when aliens come to earth, if the first book they found was Lord of the Rings they will probably worship Gandalf the White for bringing King Aragorn back to the throne bringing about the third age of man. They'll tell the gospel according to Tolkein in which the brave Frodo Baggins tosses the Ring of Power into the fires of Mount Doom saving all life from the clutches of the evil Lord Sauron. See how silly that sounds?
The whole film leads up to religions' take on the "end times". Religious zealots believe that "the end is near" While that may be true, it's not going to be because God is raining fire down from the skies. It will be because we rained fire down from the skies, onto some other religion, strictly because of their beliefs.
Religulous isn't a particularly well made documentary. It's poorly edited and a little bit 'all over the place'. There are some obvious liberties taken to shock the audience. During what seems to be a live stage show of "The Passion of the Christ" the audience is shown cheering as Jesus is being stabbed. I can't imagine... well, maybe it did happen, who knows with these people. Those of you who agree with Maher should see it for the entertainment value. Those that don't see eye to eye with him? You should watch it, too... maybe you'll see how silly it seems and start to ask the same questions Maher does.
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