Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voodoo Religion II

Consider the mainstream movie called Religulous released in theaters in October starring the popular comedian Bill Maher. The movie's title is a combination of the words "religion" and "ridiculous". I have seen commercials for this movie where Maher is just dripping with the attitude that every religious person is a kook and belongs in the funny farm. Folks are saying things like:
  • This movie will show religion for the opiate crutch that it is;
  • If people didn't take themselves and religion so seriously the world would be a much safer and calmer place to live;
  • Religion. It's funny in that incredibly scary kind of way;
  • Many people believe that a world without belief in god(s) would be a significantly better place.
Now having read Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell, I firmly and unabashedly believe, in agreement with Bell, that asking tough questions and questioning everything is not only a reasonable approach, but is the only sensible and responsible course of action. Just simply believing because our parent's believed or believing because this is the culture that we happen to be in, is not making religion personal. In this condition, your religion is wrapped more around your outside than your inside. However, movies like Maher's are not a debate, they are a one-sided attact directly from the enemy. This is not like Archie Bunker, the uber-bigot, whose attitudes showed just how ridiculous bigotry really was. The truth is that I have always thought that Bill Maher was a funny and quick-witted comedian and commentator. Over the years, I have taken pleasures in seeing him rip apart the self-righteous, phoney-baloney, self-important prigs that feel that they must speak for the stupid, unwashed masses. The further truth is that watching the trailers for Maher's movie indeed makes Christianity look like an over-the-top, wacky fish story that is just too bizarre and silly to be true. His words cause something sinister to stir within me, something that I would much rather not face. However, I must face it as my soul is at stake. Stay tuned.