Lecturing to the Nonreligious

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Religulous - Movie PosterRELIGULOUS (rhymes with “ridiculous is a very funny and thought-provoking documentary about the major religions of the world (with a passing nod to Scientology, even) and how fundamentalists and religious extremists can be seen as, well, ridiculous.

Comedian and satirist Bill Maher narrates the film and conducts interviews all over the planet, talking to leaders and followers of religions in a humorous and thought-provoking attempt to convince the audience that the religions and their followers are, well, ridiculous to believe in such claptrap.

As Maher says right at the beginning, “If there’s one thing I hate more than prophecy, it’s self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Maher himself knows more than a little bit about religion, as he tells us, because his mother was Jewish, his father was Catholic, and his family went to Catholic church every Sunday until Maher was 13, and then they just stopped.

We see Maher talking with his mother and his sister, too, and when he asks his mother about this, he asks her why his father just suddenly quit the church, and she answers, “I don’t know. We never discussed it.”

Maher also questions why believing in something without any evidence is “good” and then answers his own question with “It’s like the lotto. You can’t be saved if you don’t believe.”

And, of course, many people actually believe that. However, Maher also tells us that 16% of Americans say that they belong to no church and are therefore nonreligious.

The graphics are quite good, and many of the interviews are accompanied by film clips from old biblical movies as commentary to what is being said or claimed to be “true.”

We learn that in Italy, which is a very religious country, in a time of crisis, Jesus ranks only sixth as being called upon for comfort by the people. Maher then gets thrown out of the Vatican there.

He also gets thrown off the property in Salt Lake City when his film crew draws attention to what he is doing. If the religious believers don’t watch out, they could be accused of not having a sense of humor.

Although quite humorous, the film ends on a rather serious note as Maher covers religious predictions for the end of the world.

RELIGULOUS (rhymes with “ridiculous is not preaching to the choir so much as lecturing to the nonreligious.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”