Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Religulous: A Four-Sentence Movie Review

My favorite types of people tend to be those who are intellectually curious, who realize that they might not know much about a particular subject and thus try to learn more about it (as Sarah Vowell said in a recent interview, "Why wouldn't you want to be as smart as you can?"), so I was pretty envious of Bill Maher getting himself a director and film crew and touring the world in an attempt to understand various religions and the people who put such credence in them.

As funny as this movie was when Maher either got an unexpectedly candid response from one of his interview subjects or brought light to some of the more, shall we say, extreme belief systems that have been created in the name of worship, it also seems disingenuous of him to say "I don't know" and use it as the fundamental premise of his opposition to what he sees as the blind allegiance of organized religion, but then acting like the smartest guy in the room when he's talking to someone about their faith.

Have you ever had an argument or discussion with someone whose views you knew just weren't going to change, who can barely even bother to acknowledge the other side, no matter what was said?

Ultimately, that's what prevented me from absolutely loving Religulous, despite my sharing many of Maher's views on the divisiveness that organized religion has caused in our culture and society at-large, a yearning to understand those differences, and an envy of those who can lean upon their faith to make some sense of the world they live in.