He's got a new film out now--Religulous--that purports to be a documentary where he takes the part of an agnostic who just asks religious people questions, but based on the trailer, interviews and what I already knew about Bill Maher's thoughts on religion, I knew from the beginning this would just be a chance to show the worst religion has to offer without any indication that there could be some thinking, rational, moral and decent people of faith somewhere out there in the world.
I do have to admit that I haven't seen it yet. I live in St. Joseph, MO where nothing besides action movies ever shows up at our theatres. When I make the drive to KC, I'll make sure to catch it. So, since I can't honestly offer a critique of the film I haven't seen--here's a good one by Gareth Higgins at the God's Politics Blog. It's probably better than what I would write anyway.
I also have to admit my disappointment when I realized that Larry Charles was Maher's director and sidekick on this film. I find Charles--writer for Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm and other favorite shows of mine--to be truly a comic genius. To hear him join Maher in offering such ignorant and utterly one-sided generalizations of all people of faith was disheartening.
Don't get me wrong; I can take a joke. There is much that is done in the name of religion that deserves to be made fun of mercilessly. I also think, however, that there is much offered by all world religions that is worthy of respect, admiration and even awe. I can still laugh at the comedy Maher and Charles write, but I feel frustrated to be both a fan of both men and one person among many whom they despise.
Grace and Peace,