London Film Festival preview: Religulous

Fundamentalist atheism is as old as religion, and possibly time. Back in a less liberal era, the 16th century, the playwright Christopher Marlowe got into trouble for trashing religion as a translator of the classical author Ovid (“God is a name, no substance, feared in vain“), as well as in his own stuff (“I count religion but a childish toy“).

US comedian Bill Maher shares a lot of Marlowe’s sentiments; he believes “faith means making a virtue out of not thinking.” Religulous is the result of taking that idea to some very religious people and basically bashing them over the head with it.

This comic documentary really ends up being a case of preaching to the converted.  Maher makes his position very clear at the start – he’s just as unkeen as Richard Dawkins is on religion. So he goes around the world speaking to people who are big on faith and questions them and mocks them, either directly or through the editing. Which is fine. They do come out with some ridiculous stuff. There’s nothing like seeing a two-tonne truck driver tell Maher not to “start disputin’ ma god…,” as he exits the Truckers’ Chapel in, yes, a truck in the carpark of a service station somewhere in the scary middle of America. Y’know, the places that are supposed to like Sarah Palin.

More over on Netribution

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I like the comma in American headlines, I think England needs it.

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