Check out Greg Boyd’s thoughtful take on Bill Maher’s new film Religulous. Here’s a snippet:
Maher could have given his documentary a little more credibility had he nuanced his slam on religion a little and at least tipped his hat in the direction of fairness. Along the same lines, Maher seems to equate “faith” and “religion.” If a person believes in God, Jesus, life after death or (it seems) anything beyond the physical world, they fall under his category of “religious” and are therefore ridiculous (= “religulous”). It’s at this point that I’m afraid Maher comes close to making himself look ridiculous, for he seems to be completely unaware of how much faith permeates his own life as well as this documentary.
I suspect Maher can’t see that he exercises faith simply because he’s so convinced his beliefs are true. He thinks he’s simply “being rational” in believing the Gospels are myth and that the Jesus story is a variation of the Horus myth. But, quite frankly, this simply demonstrates his naiveté. Maher’s myopia is, in principle, no different from the myopia of Christian or Muslim fundamentalists who are so certain their views are true that they lack the capacity to see how intelligent and sincere people could honestly disagree with them.
I haven’t seen the film yet so I haven’t been able to comment, but I am generally familiar with Maher’s critique of all things faith-based. Like I’ve written in previous posts, I’m a big fan of Maher and regularly watch his show on HBO, but I find his efforts in discrediting all things religious to be completely devoid of any nuance and thoughtfulness. If he did make an effort to be a bit less one-sided, he may be taken more seriously but, in the end, he probably wouldn’t be as funny.