I know there has been criticisms made against Bill Maher for his documentary film, Religulous, that is in theaters now. I have always liked Maher and his biting and intelligent comedy, so I had to find out what the fuss was all about.
My partner and I went to watch a matinee at the Embarcadero Cinema at the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco. It was Fleet Week in the City and the Blue Angels were flying overhead so not many people were watching movies. It was nice.
The film immediately captures your attention and takes you on a journey with Maher, as a man of doubt and also a seeker of truth. He roams through both America and the world to the headquarters of world religions; and to the homes and workplaces of converts. He also speaks to smaller religious groups getting a full spectrum of what is out there. He asks questions and provokes some interesting reactions occasionally in his earnestness to understand.
What you see in frame after frame, is a litany of insanity, as the theology and practices of religion, under the the protective guise of faith, are shown to have done more to create disharmony and contribute to violence in the world. Maher talks about the fundamentalist element in Christianity, Islam, etc. who promote in their beliefs the ” End Times” where mankind’s destruction is certain before divine intervention comes. He also gets the people who espouse these beliefs to say it on film.
These radical elements, coupled with man’s ability to literally destroy himself, are driving a self-fullfilling prophecy that is misguided and dangerous. There is also this “cult of America” tying God to America’s destiny which tends to give a carte blanche attitude towards dealing with other nations. This shows up in our public policy and culture which has frankly come back to bite us.
Maher does not pull back in his statements. I especialy agree with his take on the interference of organized religion in government. We have allowed a dangerous trend to emerge in America over the past 20-30 years where the lines between Church and State have been blurred.
Maher has basically made the clarion call through his film. It may not be global warming, but the threat he speaks of is far more insidious and subtle. See the film. You will leave the theatre thinking about the movie and the ideas it presents for a quite a while long after the film credits have stopped rolling.