I’ve been thinking a bit about the movie Religulous since I saw it last night and I wanted to post my thoughts on it in case anyone comes out of it confused. Religulous is not designed to be a religious conversion movie. If you expect to drag your Christian friends to a showing and have the scales fall from their eyes, you will be sorely disappointed. Make no mistake about it, Religulous was not designed to make Christians uncomfortable, it was designed to make Atheists uncomfortable.

Round and round the Atheist blogs, the message is the same. Maher is smug, smarmy and wholly incompentent. He doesn’t have a competent grasp of the key arguments of atheism, he isn’t a particularly good debater. In fact, his arguments are riddled with fallacies and flaws. In short, he’s not good enough to be an atheist.

But the simple question the movie asks is why do we need brilliant, educated, calm, charming people to spearhead atheism? Why do we set the bar so high? Why do we seek out ever increasingly sophisticated arguments and argue with so much patience and cede so much respect to the religious? Why can’t it be just some schmuck going “A talking snake? Really?”

Because when Atheists stop ceding religious beliefs the respect they give to no other form of belief, that’s what it boils down to. What the movie was trying to say was that it’s you who are the problem. You, the ones that say such an ignorant smarmy bastard isn’t allowed to be the face of atheism. That the atheist agenda has to be run like a high priesthood managed by a slick PR team.

Maher showed the world what the other face of atheism could be. To stop arguing religion on their terms and to start arguing it on ours. To stop battling their strongest arguments as if that had any hope of converting them but to resort to simple ridicule because such beliefs are not even worth thinking of a smart argument against. When the other side is bringing to the table big fishes and bushes and talking snakes, do you really need to bone up on the intricacies of carbon dating in order to defeat them?

Personally, I disliked the movie. I thought the Michael Moore style editing was odious and Maher, like most non-religious people, seriously underestimates the profound impact of a genuine religious experience. But that doesn’t stop me from appreciating what they were trying to do. Religulous was designed to be uncomfortable to atheists because it’s completely non-threatening to religious people.

Responses

  1. Sofacough81 says:

    October 18th, 2010 at 11:31 pm (#)

    Wow. You’re an idiot.

  2. Lilmorath says:

    June 29th, 2011 at 3:48 am (#)

    I think  most religious people take this movie too serious. religion is a hot topic subject and bill is a comidian. he makes light of most things. As  athiests it is hard to come out of the closest and say we don’t believe in god because so many people do believe. Its like to admit you don’t believe in god is to say you are evil because you don’t have the devine hand of god to help you chose right from wrong. People find it offensive if you say you don’t believe and they try to convert you because I guess if if even one person doesn’t believe in their god its so evil and wrong. society is used to people going door to door to promote religion but what if I went door to door saying there is no such thing. I’m pretty sure I would get a bad reaction from most people and probably the cops called on me. I’m glad bill made this movie i dont feel so alone in thinking its complete bull shit that we came from two people adam and eve. there is far more evidence supporting evolution. the people that wrote the bible wrote it at a time when they didn’t even realize the earth revolved around the sun and when science absolutly proved it wrong that the earth was not the center of the universe the church had to change the bible or read it different. I believe in science not fairytales. if I believe in god I might as well write another wish list to santa!!! get over it life without religion is not scary its practicle.

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