I watched the trailer some time ago. I am not terribly impressed but I got the sense that I would be uptight if facts concerned me, since they apparently don’t trouble Maher very much. Read the NYTimes review. A few snippets below.
Kevin Scanlon for The New York Times
Cameras Roll, and Faith Hasn’t a Prayer
THE director Larry Charles was talking recently about Hollywood and taboos. His new movie, “Religulous,” which stars the HBO host Bill Maher, is a sometimes funny, sometimes cheap attack on organized religion.
Mr. Charles and Mr. Maher carry their evangelism to a broad swath of targets: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, Scientology, even Cantheism, a pot-centric belief system that is often overlooked in theological debate. Buddhism and Hinduism get a pass; interviews with Muslims are intercut with footage of warring jihadis. At the end of the movie Mr. Maher calls on “anti-religionists” to “come out of the closet and assert themselves” in the face of religious extremism. “Grow up or die,” he says.
Mr. Maher said he intended the movie as a call to action, not to convince religious people to join his camp but to stir the nonreligious to unite.
“This is a very religious country,” he said, ignoring for the moment that he was in Canada, where the movie played at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month. “I would at least like them” — meaning the 16 percent of Americans who in a recent poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life described themselves as “unaffiliated” with any religion — “to stand up and say we’re not the crazy ones. Don’t we deserve at least that? There’s 535 members of Congress. How many of them would say they’re atheist or agnostic? I believe that would be zero. Pete Stark, maybe, the congressman from California, started talking about how he may not be a believer. What other minority of 16 percent has zero representation in Congress?”
I am relieved to know that Maher and Charles are not crazy. So I guess that just leaves you and me. And the Buddhists and the Hindus because they got a pass.
One more note. As the Times author corrects Maher’s stats he notes:
And even among disbelievers, 21 percent of atheists and 55 percent of agnostics said they believed in God.
Go figure indeed. How can one be an atheist and believe in God? Whose crazy here?