Religulous Is Ridiculous

In his new documentary Religulous, Maher endeavors to explore what he views as the irrationalities of religion and faith with a comedic twist. Maher travels the world, interviewing believers from major faith traditions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Mormonism, stopping everywhere from the Vatican to the Dome of the Rock to a roadside chapel in North Carolina. While attempting to present his views in a humorous way, his main point is simple: religion is inherently irrational and dangerous, and it “must die for mankind to live.

Jesus…Maher thinks he knows so much more about the target of his opprobrium than he actually does. He makes his first mistake in the first line of the movie by referring to the “Book of Revelations” — it’s not plural — and it just snowballs from there.

Within a few minutes Maher is denying not just the divinity of Jesus Christ but his actual historical existence, a question disputed by almost no credible scholar. You can argue that it is difficult to believe in Jesus’s existence considering that primary records for his existence are recorded by only a precious few devoted disciples who recorded his allegorical teachings in detail as well as the social unrest they inspired. Then again, if that’s the standard – you probably don’t believe Socrates either.

Still, Maher isn’t exactly on solid ground in questioning what he sees as the more fantastical elements of Christianity. Maher asserts that there are a slew of uncanny similarities between Mithraism and the worship of the Egyptian god Horus, on one hand, and Christianity, on the other, and that these beliefs, which predate Christianity, were bastardized to make up the foundations of the new religion. Here too he falls flat on his face; at best there are some commonalities (present among nearly all religions), and most of the specific similarities asserted in the film, e.g., that Jesus, Mithras, and Horus were all the product of virgin births, come from dubious sources.

The example of the virgin birth is particularly telling because Maher makes much hay of the fact that only two of the four Gospels mention the circumstances of Jesus’s birth. That others would omit this important fact is somehow proof that they were making it up. Well, Mithras was born out of rock (and the earliest known account of his origins seems to postdate the writing of the Gospels), and Horus was conceived by his mother Isis with a golden penis which may make her not quite a virgin? For the Gospel writers to ignore the virgin birth is no more strange than for a comedian to ignore the existence of the penis and all of the potential for hilarity it presents. Unfortunately, Maher ignores it because it doesn’t make his case. And again, we’re just getting started dissecting the facts in Maher’s documentary.

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8 replies
  1. GregE!
    GregE! says:

    Um, clearly whoever wrote this didn’t watch the movie (hilarious, with equal opportunity skewering! no religion got off easy..)

    And nothing you wrote can refute the main point, which is that all religions are grounded heavily in myth and things that are patently ridiculous and can not be proven by the faithful…

    Hey, and just like with those Harry Potter books you love to hate on so much, none of the “supernatural” events (virgin birth… hahahahaha, best excuse ever!), flood covering the entire earth, women being made from a man’s rib (???) can be proven! Ever. It’s all made up. Prove it happened, I dare you.

    Granted, the Bible is valuable as a historical document, and clearly a lot of what it contains is based in or on historical figures and occurrences, but it was written by man, and has evolved considerably since its inception…

  2. letty
    letty says:

    anyone remember Jerry McGuire’s “you had me at hello”?

    well Christianity lost me at “god told abraham to sacrifice his son” and it pretty much just goes downhill from there. I mean REALLY????? you can try to “explain” it to me all day, but there is only one way to interpretate that and it is this…..the god of the old testament is petty and insecure like a teenage girl. HE is like a 3 year old constantly throwing a tantrum, but HIS tantrums cause death and destruction. otherwise, rational thinking people, go apeshit when you try to point out the fact that if anyone did that today, they would be in prison for attempted murder, child endangerment, something…………..anyway. Mahrer hits it on the head everytime! the three major religions have suspicious similiarites with myths thousands of years before their time and they all seem to take pride in their own ignorance and judgement. it seems everyone wants to be “be part of something” and that is what religion does, it is a soft, warm, sweet-smelling security blanket that protects them from their most basic fear……death.

    remember what george kastanza said……”if YOU believe it, it is not a lie”. and that is why OJ thinks he is innocent and muslims think there are 32 virgins waiting on them in heaven!!!!!

  3. Benny
    Benny says:

    If you would really take the time to live by the bible and really ask God, Jesus Christ, to help you understand then you willl know that there is a God, and that he love you, so much that he came into human form and died for you and me.

  4. Wes B
    Wes B says:

    You can’t dispute anything in Religulous, if you know the Bible and what it says, even compared to the Priests in the movie are more honest about the nonsense in the bible.

    The absolute simple fact of the matter is, The Bible is all just faith in something that cannot be proven once, twice and a zillion times over.

    I understand christians getting all pissy over it.
    But like he said, he’s just asking questions.

  5. Dr.Bruce
    Dr.Bruce says:

    The movie does far more than just ask questions; it ridicules the Christian faith. As for the Bible, since I have a terminal degree in biblical studies, I know more than the average person and perhaps more than the average priest.

    The idea that “nothing” in the Bible can be proven is nonsense. Archeology is making new finds on a regular basis that confirm major sections of the Bible.

    It helps to get your “facts” from reliable sources and not from fringe movies tying to make money.

  6. Josh
    Josh says:

    if bill maher was trying to make money im sure hed make a movie about a fish lost at sea or some other crap disney throws at us instead of a sour subject like religion as atopic especially the way people get when u comment on the stupidity of some religions

  7. GDM
    GDM says:

    See what is funny to me people are mad that he attack Christianity. Well is that not, the largest religion in this nation? The truly funny issue is that 95% of people who believe in religion have no clue about the history of their religion. Faith is something you sale the masses, but the ignorance that comes with it has started many wars and killed many people. Faith is the blind leading the blind. If you read the King James, Eve was the first woman made correct? WRONG!! Check your history. There were 7 chapters that were excluded from the final version of the King James, because it made the book sound even dumber. Learn the history of the religion you praise before shoveling that crap down other’s throats. In school you were taught to research and check your source yet when it comes to religion people feel it is okay not to know. The book leaves anyone who reads it with a million questions, but you never even try to find the answer. The answers are in the missing chapters. The only bible in the world that has them all in it is the Ethiopian Christianity Bible. Learn your history period. Religion is ridiculous and those who follow blindly sound ridiculous.

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