Monday, August 25, 2008


I was flipping through the channels last night. I seldom watch Larry King and there are parts of Bill Mahers politics that I don't like, but there they were, shilling for Mahers new movie which is coming out in October and they quickly caught my ear with this...

The movie is called Religulous as in ridiculous. It has the same producer at Borat and distributed by Lionsgate. The release date is October third

"It is not a documentary, but an unscripted, uproarious comedy. Maher says to Larry...

In making this comedy. I am trying to arouse the 16% who I would call Rationalist, America would call them atheist or agnostics. It sounds like it is a small minority, but 16% is bigger than blacks or Jews or homosexuals or NRA members, Teachers Unions, hispanics, If those people stood up and made themselves heard - but they never do..."

Well, that was pretty exciting. I never thought of the number rationalists in this country as high as 16% and I never thought of them as a movement but we know that it is a viable cohort simply because of the recent book sales of a group referred to as the New Atheists: Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation, Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, and A C Grayling, Skepticism and the Possibility of Knowledge, journalists Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, and Polly Toynbee, and novelists Martin Amis and Ian McEwan. 16% is something over 51 million people.

The film was shot in many places, the Mormon Church, the Vatican, the Wailing Wall, inside the Mosque at the Dome of the Rock, The Holy Land theme park in Orlando, FL

Larry asks, "What should religion play in our politial life?" "None".

"Religion in America is not about doing the right thing or the ethical thing, it is mainly about salvation. It's mainly about getting your butt saved when you die..."

They discussed Rick Warren and Saddleback Church event where the big question was

"Is there evil and what should we do about it

Obama gives a nuanced answer. We should be aware of evil, but we should be humble about evil. It's easy to sit back in America and say we are the good people, that's common knowledge, evil is always over there, never here. Obama was saying we have a lot of evil right here. Look at the prison system, look at the justice system, look at how we treat immigrants, we torture people now in Anerica, rampant sexual harrassement of women in the military, there is a lot of evil that we are doing.

This type of thinking was labeled by the neoconservatives as moral equivalence the very day after 9/11. How well I remember that day because this was a new term for me. The neoconservatives were out in force that day with their well rehearsed scripts haranguing against this type of thinking, because the moment Americans step outside themselves, put themselves in the shoes of the "other" and view America from the eyes of the rest of the world, the neocon project starts to unravel.

McCain is asked, What do we do about evil.. Two words, Defeat it, and we can defeat evil by the end of my first term. It goes over great in this audience. When they think of evil they think of something very tangible, the devil. they believe in this comic book figure called the devil, who is going to poke your ass in hell if you are bad, and there is heaven where there is air conditioning.

I used to reed Rick Warren in my stage act, it's hilarious. The idea that another person on earth can tell you with such specificity what happens when you die, just blows my mind. That somebody on earth, another person can say, "Oh yea, What happens when you die You will meet Jesus, he's wearing a white robe, then you go in this room and you eat eggs". Are you kidding, What are you talking about, you are person just like me, you are clueless, you have no idea what happens. Of course, Rick believes it. He knows exactly what happens when you die. That is my ultimate message, Unless a god told you personally what happens when you die, it all came from another person who has no more mental powers than you have, and you don't know, so why don't you just man up and say I don't know.

At sometime, Man is going to have to shed this skin if he is going to move forward. I have an intellectual problem with all this, but on another level it is just the ultimate hustle. I ask the Jesus in Orlando's Holy Land, Why cant God just defeat the devil and get rid of evil? It's the same reason the comic book character cant get rid of his nemesis, because then there is no story. If god gets rid of the devil and he could, he's all powerful, well then there is no fear, there's no reason to come to church, to pass the plate, we are all out of a job,

Film Clip Senator Mark Pryor (AR)

Do you believe in evolution? Adam and Eve, five thousand years ago, with a talking snake in the garden.

Senator Pryor talks from both sides of his mouth, but mostly from the right side.

You are a senator it worries me that people are running my country who believe in a talking snake.

About the Presidential campaign

In America it's about racism, only 30% of white Americans have a positive view of Obama

McCain is another Bush in the sense that we are getting a very detached, anti intellectual president. There is a big vacuum when you have a president like that, and so the vice president steps into that vacuum as we saw with Dick Cheney. That could happen with McCain. When you have McCain you get the worse of Ronald Reagan and George W Bush. Old, forgetful, dotering, anti intellectual and into that breach who knows who might step.

It sounds like it is going to be a great movie. You can listen to the King/Maher conversation here A controversial movie such as this, released one month before the election, at pretty much the precise moment when Freedom Watch will have raised the "Obama the Antichrist" meme to a fevered pitch is liable to catch the attention of a lot of people.

You can listen to the King/Maher conversation here
Check out the trailer here .
Wikipedia here . here .
Huffpost review here .

1 comment:

A Very Public Sociologist said...

That does look quite jolly. Us over the pond will have to keep an eye out for it too :)