By Dirty Dan
I finally got around to seeing Bill Maher’s surprisingly poignant documentary Religulous last night. Now, granted, it’s pretty one sided, in a sense that they don’t really choose the best responses from the individuals he interviews (at least, I really, REALLY hope they aren’t the best responses!!!). Based on the people he interviews, from the streets of middle America all the way to the Vatican, the film made me wonder how anyone could possibly take the Bible, the Koran, the Kabbalah or any other book that tries to dictate one’s moral actions seriously.
Throughout the film, Maher wanders the world debating anyone who’ll speak to him about the concepts and ideas of all the various world religions. He poses very simple questions such as “if God is all mighty, then why doesn’t he just rid the world of Satan?” Answer: he will.
He will? Wtf is that?!?!
Most of the people chicken out and run away (or look like they want to punch him) when they realize his intent of making a ‘documentary about religion’. I understand that it’s hard to mess with people and their faith, but some of these people are blatantly trying to cash in off of religion more than actually believe in it themselves. One of my more favorite moments was when he asked someone who claims to have received a message from God why God only communicates with one person at a time. Wouldn’t it be much more efficient for God to speak to all human beings at once? I mean, does God not have spam capabilities?
In the film, Maher is able to expose Organized Religion for what it is. After all, why is it only individuals who are at weak points in their lives (ie. in jail, recovering from assorted addictions, experienced loss of a loved one, etc) who claim to have faith and believe in God. Doesn’t that seem to be very convenient for those who profit off of the weak? In Religulous, Maher interviews one of those televangelists who preaches on tv to hundreds of thousands of people at once. He makes a point to mention all of the designer clothes, fancy jewels and snakeskin boots that the televangelist is wearing, and how they were bought with money from the collection plate. This man, who many people rely on for faith, tells Maher that his viewers expect him to look good.
I could, and should, write a blog of some sort on this film, and organized religion as a whole. But I’m pressed for time right now, and the key message I found most inspiring in Religulous was that anyone and everyone who is nonreligious, Atheist or Agnostic… we need to stand up and unite as one, and tell all of these people who would rather kill and destroy in the name of their God than share a world of peace to shut the fuck up and find a new hobby.