[ExI] What's wrong with Maher's Religulous?

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 9 21:30:16 UTC 2009

I have not yet seen Religulous (I definitely plan to...) but some
critics have said Maher definitely "stacked the deck" in editing to
generally only show religious people in his film who were not
articulate and came across badly/comically.  The focus was on humor
and "sticking it to the religious believer," rather than having an
even moderately intelligent/enlightened (which could still be funny)


On 4/9/09, Fred C. Moulton <moulton at moulton.com> wrote:
> On Thu, 2009-04-09 at 13:52 -0500, Max More wrote:
>> I had been wondering whether to rent Religulous, having read some
>> things that made me doubt it would be worthwhile. This review
>> confirmed those doubts:
>> http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/earticle/6447/
>> Any comments from those who have watched it?
> I saw the movie in a theater.  There are parts of the movie that are
> very funny and some that are not.  Some of the funniest parts are not
> when Bill Maher is making a joke but rather when Bill Maher lets people
> just be themselves.  The scene in the office of the member of the US
> Congress is very funny and that scene alone was worth the price of
> admission to the theater.
> My recommendation is rent the movie and enjoy the funny parts; ignore
> the other parts.  Just adjust expectations according; it is not a great
> movie, it is just an occasionally funny movie.  By the way the movie
> "Letting Go of God" by Julia Sweeney is much, much funnier and much more
> insightful.  Bill Maher is doing one thing and Julia Sweeney is doing a
> different thing.  I enjoyed the Julia Sweeney movie more.
> As for the review by Brendan O'Neill.  I was rather disappointed.  It is
> not much of a review rather it is an article in which the O'Neill goes
> on about what he terms "new Atheists" and there are a few remarks thrown
> in about the movie.  And the remarks about the movie seems to have
> missed the point.  O'Neill seems to be at best only vaguely aware of
> what Bill Maher was trying to do.  O'Neill goes on about the "new
> Atheists" (usually considered as Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens and
> sometimes Stenger) yet only quotes Hitchens.  And O'Neill goes on about
> how the humancentricity of religion and claims that this is what
> Dawkins, Dennett et al really hate about religion.  Well to put it
> bluntly O'Neill does not know what he is talking about when it comes to
> religion.  As for "new Atheists" one wonders if he has ever read Dawkins
> or Harris since he clearly does not understand them.
> My suggestion: Skip the review and see "Letting Go of God" and if that
> is not available see "Religulous".  Just have the correct expectations.
> Fred
>> Max
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