Religulous

Saturday night I went to see Religulous with the Metro-State Atheists.

And now for something completely different… I also met one of my blog readers, Janiece of Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men on Saturday. So… I suppose that it is now verified that I am in fact a teenager?

Ahem…

Religulous was loads of fun to watch. He started out standing on the place in Israel where fundamentalists believe the world will end and Jesus will return and then went all over the world going from meeting truckers in a “Truckers Chapel” and having one walk out on him because he was questioning his god to an anti-zionist Jew who had gone to Iran for a holocaust denial conference. He is unwelcome nearly everywhere he goes, making me very jealous when he gets kicked out of the Vatican for not achieving that feat when I went there.

It was hilarious. I don’t remember the last time I laughed that hard… with the exception of the times when I read stuff that Kent Hovind writes.

Bill Maher is a very humorous, but the major guffaws came when his interviewees said things particularly ignunt like “the blood on the Shroud of Turin was a woman’s blood and that could only have happened if Jesus had a woman as his mother but no father”.

Besides the comic relief Maher does make several very strong points like when he presses a televangelist about his fancy clothing, or when he points out to a converted Jew that praying for rain and getting rain wouldn’t be as miraculous as praying for toads to fall out of the sky and having toads fall out of the sky.

But, it does seem like Expelled in some ways. For example how a lot of the points being made in the film seem to be made by having interviewees say something particularly ignunt. Perhaps the point being made is that religious people are crazy but since it’s justified with religion we don’t believe them to be crazy, but it would still be hard to find out if these people just misspoke or actually mean what they’re saying (and I admit I’m inclined to believe the latter).

The other thing that sort of vaguely reminded me of Expelled was how the film kept cutting back to old Mormon or Christian films. At one point when Maher is talking to the televangelist, the televangelist tells him about a young man who was suffering from unrequited love and he told him “you oughta turn that passion to God and see where that takes you” and we’re giving a clip of a car bomb going off.

The intent, though, was humour. Not quite the same as the intent of Expelled when they cut to images of Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia.

The movie ends with quotes from the Bible and the Koran telling of the coming end of the world and Maher talks about how he doesn’t like prophecy, much less self-fulfilling prophecy. “Grow up or die” is his final message.

Either way, despite the similarities to Expelled which had struck me as odd, Maher’s film makes what I feel to be many valid points. At the very least it’s a good laugh and I recommend everybody go see it.

Seriously.

Go. Like… right now.

I have to study my organic chemistry now…

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10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by metrostateatheists on October 6, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Thanks for joining us. Its was lots of fun.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it.

    When it comes out here I will see it …

  3. Actually, the teenage suspicions came out the last time I pimped your blog. Your intellect made one of my readers feel inferior, so he made himself feel better by asserting you were really a 40 year old Ph.D, and not a smart teen.

    Poor Nathan.

  4. I went and saw it Saturday and have to agree completely with you.

    Especially hilarious was the interview with the senator when he realized what he had said.

  5. I hope Maher didn’t lie to get his interviews…

    and unless he did, it’s nothing like Expelled.

  6. Sounds like the atheist version of Expelled to me

  7. Posted by metrostateatheists on October 7, 2008 at 2:48 am

    “Sounds like the atheist version of Expelled”

    In expelled, people were quote mined and misrepresented. In Religulous, the people Maher interviewed actually are completely out of their minds. When you interview someone who thinks hes Jesus, you don’t really have to work hard to make him look silly.

  8. I hope Maher didn’t lie to get his interviews…

    and unless he did, it’s nothing like Expelled.

    Unfortunately, he did. He talked about it on an NPR interview here.

    I found that disappointing.

  9. Posted by Dread Polack on October 7, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Hmmm… I was passing on it until now, since the nearest theater showing it is kind of a trek, but I guess I’ll have to suck it up. Thanks for the review.

  10. […] it for yourself, and also check out more reviews and discussions here and here and here and […]

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