Religulous (2008) ***1/2

Rated: R
Runtime: 1hr 41min
Director: Larry Charles
Stars: Bill Maher
Genre: Documentary
Language: English

Seeing the Funny Side of Faith

In a Nutshell


Straight as an Arrow

Sound Quality

Easy to Hear

Who's That?

Few Main Characters

Naughty Words


Naked people




It’s not everyone who can take a taboo subject like people’s religious beliefs and turn it into a comedy, but that’s what Bill Maher has done with “Religulous.”

Given his background as a political humorist, however, it should come as no surprise that what has been generally marketed as a documentary should emerge overall as a movie that produces more laughs than serious answers.

Maher travels the world to try to persuade followers and leaders to explain in interviews what it is that makes Christians, Jews, Muslims, Mormons and Scientologists so certain that their beliefs are true.

The results are often embarrassing for those being questioned, in the same way that “Borat” left its own trail of chagrin and discomfort. Given that Larry Charles directed both movies, that, too, should not come as a surprise.

What bothers Maher, he says in a conversation with Senator Mark Pryor, Democrat of Arkansas and a fervent evangelist, is that someone who looks forward to the end of the world and believes in a talking snake in a garden should be helping to run the country.

Pryor’s response is an awkward smile and, “You don’t have to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate.”

If God is all-powerful, Maher asks a Jesus impersonator at a Christian theme park in Florida, why “doesn’t he obliterate the Devil and therefore get rid of evil in the world?” Assured that “He will,” Maher wants to know, “What’s he waiting for?”

Overall, Maher is making the case that there should be room for doubt, not simply disbelief, citing a survey that he says puts religious skeptics at 16 percent of the U.S. population. His other point is that he sees religions as a collection of myths — a man living in a fish for three days is a particularly hard pill for him to swallow — that have poisoned people’s minds and led to wars and destruction.

Not everyone, of course, will agree with that view. Some will be outraged; others will see that challenges to blind faith can produce humor.

Brought up by a Jewish mother and a Roman Catholic father, he attended church every Sunday with his father and sister until the age of 13, which is also when he belatedly learned he was half-Jewish.

Maher’s technique is to ask people who profess an unwavering belief in God, and a strict adherence to only their religion, simple questions that produce either stumbling, bumbling answers, in a Palinesque-Couric kind of way, or bemused silence.

Or total nonsense.

The prize for sheer wackiness should go to José Luis de Jesús Miranda, a smiling Florida evangelist who firmly maintains that he is the second coming of Christ, and no, not because they share the same name.

Close behind would be the Rev. Jeremiah Cummings, formerly of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, who instructs his congregation to buy his DVDs as he stands before them decked out in a very expensive suit, shoes made from lizard skins and gold rings and bracelets.

Though clearly a man of means, he denies taking a salary from the church, prompting Maher to interject: “You take it right out of their pockets!”

Christianity does come in for most of Maher’s humorous exposure, but Judaism and the others are not left out.

An Israeli businessman, for instance, is seen working at coming up with devices that will skirt the laws that apply to the Sabbath, including using electricity.

Two gay Muslim activists are told, “That is a very rare job description,” adding, “You guys have big ones.”

A lifelong journalist, Terence Neilan started his career in his home country, England, and then moved to New York in 1970. After a couple of years as an editor at The New York Post, he moved to The New York Times, where he worked as an editor and Website reporter for 29 years, retiring in 2005.


Faith 19 said on January 29, 2009


Maher and Charles Movie is a piece of SHIT

Peter Kirkman said on May 8, 2009


Give us an email when you are free, Terry.

Anne said on December 3, 2012


I am assuming that Joe densot believe in God let alone religion, especially if he is quoting Bill Maher. So given that ,its hard to logically argue his points about religion because most religous people believe in God and thats what motivates their turning to religion where Gods laws are spelled out providing a moral compass and values to live by. Joe quotes Bill with religion replaces doubt with false unsubstantiated surety how can he or Joe tell someone else it is false. It is very real to me and even though I cant prove or convince it to Joe, well he cant prove that it isnt true. He refers to those who already have a moral compass and values as those who dont need religion. I guess anyone who needs or believes in a religion are backwoods idiots. It is the typical radical left wing view that anyone believing in God are intellilectially inferior, and therefore need religion. Joe should have commented on Obama as one of those without morals or values because last I checked he and Rev. Wright are real tight. Maybe one day we can have a President we can truly know is intelligent and has good values because he or she will be God free and religious free. By the way how do you think the non religious got their values? Religion and a belief in God and religion played a major role with our founding fathers and in the laws of this land, so the very things the nonreligious view as right and wrong have been influenced by religion.

tiffany uk sale said on April 30, 2013


This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

most popular Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack mediumvioletred said on September 2, 2014


I like this web web site extremely much, Its a truly good billet to read and obtain information .
most popular Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack mediumvioletred

Longchamp Sac Pliage Solde said on October 9, 2014


Can I copy some of this post, if a put a link back to your blog?
Longchamp Sac Pliage Solde

michael kukulka said on August 19, 2015


I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Outstanding blog and fantastic design.

Steve Vardaman said on September 16, 2015


Private virtual servers give your business freedom and flexibility. Do you have any experience in this field by any chance? I’m looking for an expert to help me setup my necessary files.

American Standard Online said on September 25, 2015



ocean canyon properties said on September 25, 2015


This is pretty much the exact information I was looking for! I really appreciate it. I did a quick Google search and came across this page, which was obviously helpful.

sunil ramlall said on October 28, 2015


I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this site. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own, personal blog now ;)

nrg heating and air conditioning said on November 2, 2015


Private virtual servers give your business freedom and flexibility. Do you have any experience in this field by any chance? I’m looking for an expert to help me setup my necessary files.

herb trotter said on November 6, 2015


Be sure to preserve your life force, chi. This practice is absolutely essential. Be sure to respect the power of words. Don’t engage in vulgar language or activity.

Ernestine Mcbath said on November 12, 2016


I don’t even know the way I finished up here, but I thought this publish was once good. I do not recognise who you are however certainly you’re going to a well-known blogger for those who are not already

Zachary Mcclave said on December 19, 2016


Nice weblog right here! Also your site rather a lot up fast! What host are you the use of? Can I am getting your associate link in your host? I want my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

Johnson Bartberger said on March 14, 2017


Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is really irritating. A good blog with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

Seniors, speak up! Let us know what you think.

Post a Comment