Bill Maher’s brilliant documentary…
Anyone with an hour and half to spare should watch comedian and talk-show host, Bill Maher’s brilliant documentary on religion. Taking in not only the bible belt in America but Europe and the Middle East, ‘Religulous’ is a tour of God lovers incorporated, it’s Bill versus the apologists in all its mind-boggling glory.
The editing is first-rate but let that not take away from Maher’s gift of comedic timing, he demonstrates it throughout the programme with aplomb. The awkward silences following a question or retort make for great television but whilst he does poke fun at those he interviews there is a degree of pushing at an open door. He speaks to devotees who believe absolutely in the immaculate conception and the resurrection and like those who benefit from their beliefs, the preachers they have an excuse for every unsavoury element Mahler quotes from the bible.
‘Religulous’ is as disturbing as it is entertaining. For whilst we can poke fun at people in ‘Jesus Saves’ t-shirts we must remember those fundamentalists of all faiths who hold real power. One cannot look to the ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq without casting a concerned eye over those in our own back yard. Those Western leaders who tell us that they are guided by God and ‘pray’ for the resolving of issues created absolutely by religious beliefs. Is an ayatollah anymore frightening then an American president who believes Jesus is coming back to earth and Armageddon is nigh? It’s a fair question.
But for those of you who want to see toe-curling questioning of Christians, Jews, Muslims and Mormons then this is as good as it gets. After one seller of Christian figurines tells us that he will be saved by Jesus and go to the promised land Maher asks why, if he knows it’s going to be so great he doesn’t kill himself. Of course he cannot do that because as a Christian he is undeserving and must do God’s work on earth as punishment. You could be forgiven for suggesting he should be punished for charging $1100 for a porcelain Mother Mary but there you have it.
Whilst ‘Religulous’ is a ‘poke-fun-at religion’ documentary you sense he could have been harder on it and those he interviewed if he so chose but therein lies the difference between the believer and the non-believer. Maher’s doctrine is ‘believe what you want but don’t tell me to believe it too’, a passage that many of faith would do well to abide by themselves.
‘Religulous’ the full documentary is available on YouTube.