Posts tagged ‘Holy Land Experience’

Religulous PosterSo I saw Bill Maher’s documentary on religion aptly named Religulous, and my initial reactions were…well, let’s use the word confused for now. Just to give you a little background, Bill Maher is a doubter, a skeptic. He wants to know what drives faith, what allows rational people to believe in irrational things like voices in the sky, talking snakes, etc. He then enbarks on a journey to get to know people who espouse religion. As a fellow skeptic, I could get behind this.

Let me first say that I like Bill Maher. I used to watch his show Politically Incorrect on Comedy Central and ABC, and now watch his show on HBO called Real Time. I don’t always agree with him, but I laud him for bringing myriad questions for open and honest debate. You don’t see that very often anymore. Anyway, back to Religulous: I was all set to watch this movie. I expected mixed in with a few nutjobs from the Holy Land Experience and evangelicals, there would be some serious moments with religious thinkers like Vatican scholars, Hindu gurus, Jewish priests. Perhaps the Dalai Lama would make an appearance. But there weren’t and that’s what I thought the downfall of this film was. It purported to be a quasi-serious film, an open and honest attempt to understand faith. Instead it was all nutjobs. It was an open and honest mockery of faith.

And in the end, he takes the whole movie off the deep end by linking religion to the end of the world. Were I too look at this film with a critical eye, I would tear it apart. But it behooves me and everyone else to keep in mind that this is Bill Maher. Do I expect him to make a movie about religion and not mock it? No. If you toss aside the “serious documentary” veneer that this movie purports, you get what basically amounts to a Borat. But that’s okay. Because the film entertains. And ultimately that’s the point.

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