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Bill Maher hates your (fill in the blank) religion

Bill Maher and Larry Charles getting ready to get Religulous

In Bill Maher's new documentary, "Religulous," the film's protagonist--Maher himself--feels the same way about the film's subject matter at the beginning as at the end: In other words, he thinks religion is a big crock of spit. You know irreverence is the order of the day when Maher, reacting to a smooth-talking black preacher's boast that he got a great deal on his $2,000 suits, drolly observes, "I find it interesting that you're a Christian, you used to be a Muslim but you buy all your clothes like a Jew."

"Religulous" doesn't open until Oct. 3, but after seeing the movie I couldn't wait to grill Maher about how he managed to get so many deeply religious figures to actually talk to him, since it's obvious to anyone whose ever watched Maher's act (on "Politically Incorrect" or HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher" or in a comedy club) that he wasn't much of a believer. In many ways, the film is a comic bookend to Sam Harris' "The End of Faith," a humorless best seller that views religion as a bastion of superstition and moral hypocrisy. Although Maher embraces Harris' belief that religion is a destructive force that has brought great pain and suffering into the world--at one point he calls it a neurological disorder--Maher is always searching for the humor in every situation. A longtime acolyte of George Carlin, when Maher confronts a religious zealot or hustler, he prefers mocking over scolding.

Rolling his eyes, often full of derision, Maher gets in his licks with everyone, from a guy playing Jesus at a Holy Land theme park in Orlando to Muslims at a gay bar in Amsterdam to a rabbi who advocates the dissolution of Israel (he wears a card with the slogan "A Jew Not a Zionist"). As everything from "The Gong Show" to "Borat" has proved, real people and situations are often undeniably funnier than anything scripted by the best comic minds. In Holland, Maher is in the midst of questioning a somber Muslim cleric when he's interrupted by the cleric's cellphone, whose ring tone is Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir."

So how did Maher manage to get all these people to actually talk to him? Since "Religulous" was directed by Larry Charles, who also did "Borat," I suspected that subterfuge and trickery were involved. I was not far wrong. Here's how Maher pulled it off:

On how he got people to talk to him: "It was simple: We never, ever, used my name. We never told anybody it was me who was going to do the interviews. We even had a fake title for the film. We called it 'A Spiritual Journey.' It didn't work everywhere. We went to Salk Lake City, but no one would let us film there at all."

On the element of surprise: "Larry Charles' theory is--just keep going till they throw you out. I guess he learned that on 'Borat.' The crew would set up and at the last second, when the cameras were already rolling, I would show up. So either they'd be seen on camera leaving the interview and lose face or they'd have to talk to me. It was like--'And now here's ... Bill!' You could usually see the troubled looks on their faces. At the Holy Land theme park, the PR woman freaked out and finally told us to leave. She was definitely not a happy camper."

On his encounter with Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, who tells Maher he believes the biblical account that Earth was created 5,200 years ago: "He's not going to be happy with this movie. I suspect he's going to say that the editing is not favorable to him [laughs]. And he's not completely wrong about that. But we didn't make anything up. When I told him I was worried about people [with such literal interpretations of the Bible] running the country, he's the one who says, 'Well, you don't have to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate.' "

Tomorrow: Bill Maher tells us what he really thinks about religion.

photo of Bill Maher and Larry Charles by Alexandra Lambrinidis/Lionsgate

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I just saw the film tonight and I loved it. I am also a Christian. Meaning I am a follower of Christ, not a religious zealot.

I particularly liked when Bill was interviewing the guys at the Truckers Chapel. When they were done one of them blessed Bill. Bill responded that he appreciated how they were Christlike. It was obvious that he gets Jesus but he has a problem with religiosity. I feel similarly. The religiousness of Christians can be a real pain in the ass.

I also liked how Bill brought up how the right likes to co-op Christianity. As if only they can be the good guys.

How about the montage of violent rhetoric by Muslim leaders interspersed while he interviewed the Muslims? That was interesting.

Anyway, I thought the film was very thought provoking and can recommend it highly.

I just wanted to say I am an agnostic Catholic and I enjoyed this movie. The best religion has ever had to offer is what I like about religion. Mainly education, some sense of right and wrong, and just trying to be the best at what you do, knowing everything is connected somehow. Orphanages, schools and hospitals were good things that Roman Catholocism made standard. I have respect for that, and the fact that some people are trying to serve the greater good out there, and not everyone are assholes. Good night and may your god go with you.

Seen it, loved it.
&agree 100%.

Religious Congregations have Changed since the 1900. Most Congregations were Christian.

The Government was Christian. Opposition to Prayer in the Public Place was not active. Atheists had not come out of the Closet.

With Global Travel, Different Religious Humans, became Citizens. They want Equality for their Religion in Government.

With the High Tech Lifestyle of Greed and War, a Population Explosion, and Knowledge of Nuclear Weapons, Many Humans have changed their Perception of GOD, God and Jesus.

So which Man-Made God is going to get us out of this mess we are in?

The Lord God of Christians, Jews, and Islams? The Religious and Atheists Human Killers today? Any GOD, God, or Jesus of the Religious, or Atheists?

The Lord God, in our Human Image, said, Thou Shalt Not Kill, and Love your Brothers/Sisters of Life as Yourself.

Where are the Equal Male and Female Human Clones, that the Lord God Created in his Image? They Started Reproducing Heterosexual Body Birth Defective Killer Humans, in the Lord God's Image? Why?

Religious Humans Planetwide, Killing Each Other for their Religious Beliefs, or for Government? Why?

Until these questions are answered, Religious Congregations will keep breaking into new Denominations, and more Humans will become Atheists.

And Brothers/Sisters of GOD/LIFE, Religious or Atheist, will keep on Killing Each Other, and their Home Planet.

Religious and Atheist Humans have the Planet Covered with Pollution and Nuclear Bombs, for a War to End All Wars.

Religious and Atheist Humans have a Polluted Eco System. When Totally Destroyed will not Support Life, as Humans have Known it for 6000 years.

So What Difference does it make, if a Person is a Religious Person or an Atheist, their Killing Lifestyle will have the Same Earth Death Result, God or No God.

Second Class Citizens, have been the History of the USA. One Nation with Liberty and Justice for All. Only, it ended up being for the White Christian Male.

The Constitution was for Human Equality, with Freedom from a State Religion. Citizens could Practice any Religion they Choose.

But, the Christian Religion and its Holidays were used in Government. All other religions were Second Class.

God was put on our money, and 'under God' was added to the Pledge of Allegiance to the Government. How about Equality in Government for Atheist Citizens?

Did the Constitution say that White Females and Black Males and Females were not Equal Citizens? Why did it take an Amendment to make them Equal?

Red, Yellow, or Brown Skin also were not Equal to White, but there was No Amendment that made them Equal Citizens, but were treated as Second Class.

All these Phases for Equal Freedom, were done by White Men Amendments.

Now that we have Free Women and Blacks in Government, Do we need an Amendment for Gays to be Equal Citizens also?

The Christian Trinity God, Created All Humans Equal, Male and Female Created He them. What Color Skin were they? White? Was God really a He Human in Three Persons? Or a Spirit 'Being'?

Or, the Unknown Force that Created the Atom and Electro-Magnetic Force, that makes All Life as we Know it, Visible and Invisible? Including the Human Caretaker Clone Species.

Our High Tech Equal Human Male and Female Ancestors, did Create/Colonize the Species on Planet Earth; they were not the Creator GOD of the Universes.

Will there ever be Peace and Equality on Planet Earth, before Unequal Citizens Blow Up Earth, with our Nuclear Bombs on land and sea?

Bill Tammeus:
"it seems to me that the important question about any such theological exploration (about apocalypse) is what, if anything, it has to do with the way we live here and now. If it makes no difference to that, you're wasting your time even thinking about it."

It seems No One 'Literally' accepts the Religious Apocalypse/End Times of Life on Earth, is for our Times.

Humans, with Free Will, have set up Planet Killing, and are Destroying our Ozone Canopy. Humans have Nuclear Bombs on Land and Sea. For Love of God?

Most Religious Humans think GOD/God will destroy our Earth Home in a Planetary Fire, like 'He' did with Water, in the Planetary Noah Flood, 'literally' caused by the High Tech Noah/Atlantis Society.

Is GOD/God an Evil Killer?

Why would GOD that made the Atom and Electro-Magnetic LIFE, Visible and Invisible, want to Kill Anything?

Why would Astronaut 'God' in our Human Image, that Colonized our Earth, from null and void, to Livable in 5000 Earth years, want to Destroy it?

Astronaut 'God', He/She Human Clones, Reproduced Male and Female Human Clones, in their Human 'Image', to be the Caretakers of All Life on Earth, and it's Eco System.

What do Religious Humans, in the here and now that Love God, have Anything to do with Polluting GODs Eco System, and Covering our Home with Nuclear Bombs on land and sea, that our Ancestors Colonized?

Are Religious Humans too busy, building Religious pagan temples, to their Human High Tech Fathers/Mothers Gods of Life on their Home Planet, to notice what is Happening to GODs Temple Earth?

Who will 'Literally' Destroy our Dying Earth Home, and the Life on it? GOD, God, Satan, or Killer Born Humans?

The movie begins and ends with the theme of "self fulfilling prophecy," warning us that the stupid monkeys are going to blow us all up!!! That's the reason and purpose for the movie and its final conclusion, and I agree. Unfortunately, the turtles of religion will all just pull their head in their shells and never see it. I am not religious but I am also not atheistic. Unfortunately Bill doesn't concede any middle ground between religionists or theists and atheists. Oh, and he forgot to mention that all the religions are condoning behaviors which result in overpopulation which is the other half of the problem of the way they are ushering in our doom. While he doesn't speak to those other major religions of Buddhist and Hindu he speaks to the three that are at the root of the movie's theme, that a religiously inspired cataclysm has been forordained and is being ushered in by the prophets of doom.

A+, just saw it, seriously.. its A+.


This week's promise: God will fight for you
Have you had a "Jericho" experience?
"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 NLT"
"Taking Jericho"
"As long as God leads the battle, we can march in confidence, knowing that we've already won. God gave Jericho to Israel on the seventh day, just as he said he would. So,…what wall does he have you marching around?"

Do we have a Killing God or a Peace God? Why is the Bible so full of God leading his chosen people in War, and into Captivity?

No wonder most Religious Humans Kill, instead of being Peacemakers like Jesus. Are Monks and Nuns nonviolent like Jesus taught.

There were monks and nuns in Religions, before Christianity.

Why any Humans accept that their God guides them into War, is the big puzzle. Christians teach Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Does Religious Freedom Christians have Armies?

Can Humans have it both Ways, a Loving/Killing God on both sides?
Do Christians Serve God, by Killing for their Government?

How many Governments have Christians that Kill Each Other in War? Is Only One Side the Winner for God?

I am very frustrated as to What I was taught as a Child, to Love Jesus, and what I experienced during WW2, as fighting for God and Country.

In the USA the favorite phrase was, "Praise God and Pass the Ammunition" How much Love of God is that?

But the more Christian Blogs affirm, that God will fight for us, the less I can accept our Killing of Each Other, for God and Country.

Is being Patriotic, more Important than being a Loving Child, of God and our Brothers/Sisters of Life?

Excellent, excellent film!! Everyone in the world should open their eyes and watch this!! HAHAHAHAAA I loved it!

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