Friday, October 17, 2008


I just saw Bill Mahr's movie, Religulous. I thought it was great, but probably not worth running out to the theater to see. I went just to show support for him, but there's nothing "big screen" worthy.

It's exactly what you would expect from Mahr. A few clips from his comedy routine, a few more biographical clips about HIM, and mostly him going around the country and into Europe (including Israel) to challenge religious people. Mostly, he just asks the obvious questions... do you really believe in a litteral Adam and Eve, do you believe in the "End Times", do you believe in the virgin birth, do you believe God hates gay people, is the Rock in Mecca a meteorite, is Islam a religion of peace, etc. Some people get mad at him, some kick him and his crew off their property, some try to answer his questions. Some do a better job at answering his questions than others.

There was nothing really revelational about this. No new questions, no new answers, no surprises.

Interestingly enough, two of the most rational people were Catholic priests. Both had a very modern and liberal interpretation of the scripture. One was head of The Vatican Observatory. (Yes, the Vatican has an observatory) He stated clearly that the Catholic Church agrees with the scientific evidence that the world is round, that it is billions of years old, and that life evolved from common ancestors. He says that the mission of the observatory is to find verifiable truth... not to find the Aliens and baptise them before the Methodists get their hands on them.

The other priest was a representative of The Vatican who agreed wholeheartedly that The Vatican itself (the building) is pompous, and obviously antithetical to the teachings of Christ. He agreed that Adam and Eve stories, Heaven and Hell stories, and worship of saints are stupid ideas. He even said that there was a pole in Italy where they asked people who they pray to when they need help or guidance, and of all the saints and angels and the like, Jesus Christ was SIXTH on the list.

Also, the guy who plays Jesus in the Florida Theme Park was actually very well schooled in bible theology and was able to come up with somewhat reasonable answers to all of Bill's questions. Bill sort of admitted that to the camear while driving away in the car... but still said that his answers were bullshit. I think that was a cheap shot on Bill's part, getting in the last word without Jesus dude there to answer the challenge.

Soooo... see it if you like Bill Mahr and find his humor entertaining. But you probably want to wait for cable. Or don't see it, you won't be any more or less enlightened.

And finally SPOILER ALERT !!! Don't read any further if you don't want to know the funniest part of the movie....

So Bill goes to Amsterdam to speak to a guy who's religion is Canibas worship. The guy actually says he does not worship Canibas, but uses it to have a religious expirience. The whole interview takes place in a groovy looking den with low lights, comfy pillows, and lots of candles. During the interview they light up and get toasty high (not a surprise, Mahr is open about his pot smoking). You can totally tell that they are both toasty. So Bill does challenge the guy about the religious conotations to getting high. Then all of the sudden Bill screams "Look out, you're head's on fire". For a split second you think he's messing with the guy, but really, this stoned dude leaned back to far and his hair had caught on fire from the candles.

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