…make it Religulous!
In a string of frank, often hilarious but always well-considered conversations with various Christians, Maher incisively asks them what skeptics always ponder about religion in general and Christianity in particular. To John Westcott of Exchange Ministries, which tries to “convert” gay men, Maher asks, given that Jesus never once talked about homosexuality, why is it such an issue for New Testament Christians? To churchgoers in Raleigh, N.C., he notes there’s no firm proof that Jesus Christ ever actually lived. Perhaps most profoundly, he asks Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), a devout evangelical, “Why is faith good?”
To the film’s credit, Maher never engages in Michael Moore-style gotcha tactics, but rather asks questions that raise more questions, in the form of a Socratic dialogue. To believers expecting a blind hatchet job, this will prove both thought-provoking and a bit disarming; skeptics may be surprised (as Maher is) by the occasionally smart replies to his queries.
While he examines the Big Three religions of the West at length (Eastern faiths get a pass in “Religulous”), Maher even gets in some choice stabs at Mormonism (whose tenets may astound those not in the know) and Scientology.
Ending minutes, though, will catch auds up short: Suddenly, the laughs die down, and as in his closing monologues on “Real Time,” Maher turns deadly serious with a final statement that will stir raging arguments in theater lobbies.
Actually, make it The Dark Knight. Make this number two.
update (from kevvyd): Here’s the trailer: