Now playing in cinemas nationwide
Bill Maher has decided to take on religion, this time on the big screen. Directed by Larry Charles (of “Borat”), the movie takes us to places like Jerusalem, Rome, Amsterdam, Kentucky, and Florida where Maher questions religious fanatics on their devotion to the almighty “space god.”
Maher sticks to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam – and he also sticks to the crazies. It’s certainly a more light-hearted look at these religions’ extremists than say, “Jesus Camp.” I chuckled along with Maher at the Creation Museum in Kentucky where curators made a point to show visitors that Dinosaurs and humans in fact co-existed. Or when Maher hugged an ex-gay and asked him if he got a hard on. I agreed that an air-powered elevator for Jewish folks on the sabbath was a bit much considering that electricity did not exist when the holy book was written. And when Jesus (or the guy that played Jesus at Orlando’s ‘Holy Land Experience’) told Maher that because he does not recognize Jesus as his savior he has a hole in his heart that he will ultimately fill with drugs, sex, and alcohol, I concurred with Maher that that was an awful judgmental statement for an all forgiving God.
And while I love a good laugh at any evangelical’s expense, Maher overwhelmingly spoke to the extreme end of each religion’s spectrum. He spoke with only two or three moderates. Of course extreme anything is dangerous, but what’s wrong with people who keep their religion to themselves?
Well, Maher attempts to answer this in the last five minutes of the film. His conclusion being that observing Christians, Jews, or Muslims adds numbers to the overall population which gives extremist leaders justification to continue hating, fighting, and bombing all in the name of God. That’s a rather grand conclusion that ends up coming off almost as extreme as the religious figureheads he set out to shed doubt on.