Guess what: religion is bad, and Christianity the worst of all! Who would have thought it?
Well, lots of people, actually, as openly anti-Christian literature has become a big trend in publishing in the past couple of years and has been a staple of fashionable clever minds for the past three hundred years. The idea is that Christians are becoming too powerful in these United States, and thus must be stopped. Stopped, I tell you, by any means necessary!
But hey, who reads books nowadays, especially boring ones full of the same tired anti-theistic arguments made for centuries by self-styled independent thinkers and refuted repeatedly by Christian authors?
So the great philosopher Bill Maher, who hosts a very important talk show on pay cable TV in which all the most important issues of all time are discussed and The Truth conveyed with brilliance and candor, decided the best way to bring this discussion to the benighted, deluded masses was to create a brilliant documentary refuting the foul dogmas of Christianity and other monotheistic superstitions.
Not having any such arguments in his arsenal, however, Maher decided to hire the director of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan to film him interviewing the least articulate and knowledgeable Christians, Jews, and Muslims he could find, take the least persuasive clips from each, and put them together into the film Religulous.
Get it? Religion is ridiculous—how frightfully clever!
Maher, as Reuters notes, actually seems to be unaware that the aforementioned books slamming religion have been flooding the bookstores (and promptly destroyed or sent to the remainder bins when nobody buys them) and that the entire elite media hate and mock Christianity at every turn, and consequently has deluded himself into the hilarious paranoid fantasy that he is doing something heroic and awe-inspringly courageous:
"Just to question why is faith good, I think is a question never contemplated by most people" in the United States, Maher told Reuters at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the documentary debuted this week.
He and Charles said their goals are modest—make people laugh first and generate discussion second—and Maher added the movie culminates his 15 years of poking fun at religion in talk shows "Politically Incorrect" and "Real Time."
Using the same techniques as in Borat (but without the engagingly daft personality created by Sacha Baron Cohen), Charles and Maher make sure to prove their point that all people who really believe in God are dangerous idiots:
Scenes are edited to generally leave people looking foolish. But the more revealing moments seem to require little embellishment, such as conversations that show two Vatican priests to be among the most moderate voices in the film.
As an added bonus, the film also proves the superiority of Maher’s elitist, coercive politics:
Particularly grating to the pair is the mixing of religion and politics in the United States. "You can’t get elected in America without having a religious affiliation. And it wasn’t always that way," says Charles. . . .
"I think if we can create some sort of debate before the election it may actually help defeat McCain and Palin," Charles said in a separate Toronto news conference. "Tens of millions of us don’t think a lot about religion either way."
Yes, we shall surely all watch and think and discuss earnestly, and undoubtedly will be transported to a realm of pure reason and be fully persuaded by this spectacular instance of the fallacies of affirming the consequent, proof by assertion, argumentum ad nauseum, proof by example, and numerous others (see note below). Yes, indeed!
Thank you, Bill Maher, for the enlightenment, and may . . . Gaia bless you for your sharing of wisdom and your loving kindness for all of humanity!
Note: as just one example of the fallacies of Religulous and all similarly themed blasts and bravos against religious claims, here’s how the fallacy of affirming the consequent works in the film: "If God doesn’t exist, theists are wrong. Theists are wrong. Therefore, God does not exist."