It had to happen. I just had to go see Bill Maher’s movie, Religulous. And the chilling words from the closing scene “Grow up or die” is still echoing in my mind. It’s meant to sound dramatic and that it certainly does, but how true is it?
Overall, I have to admit that I quite enjoyed the film. It’s generally very funny, although this could be attributed to skillful editing for the most part. Maher may have intended the film to come across as a personal journey in disbelief, but it does become quite “preachy” in parts. I should know, because I also indulged in a similar form of extreme Atheism in the past. Did the film strike a chord with the audience? Well, the approximately five other people who were at the screening were apparently stunned into silence, because I could clearly hear only myself laughing out loud, throughout the film. No doubt, they were believers to some degree, if not outright religionists. I’m not sure what to make of their silence, but it could probably mean one of two things. Either they were genuinely shocked at what they saw and were silently contemplating the apparent mirror image of their own behaviour, or they were disgusted into silence which only means that their attitude to atheism will only harden.
Just prior to exclaiming that we must “grow up or die,” Maher made another blatantly extremist comment while standing at the infamous Megiddo site in Israel, “Religion must die so man can live.” Sounds rather clever, but I don’t believe this will go down all that well with the religious community either. Maher also exhorts all atheists to publicly take a stand against religiosity in a manner which can only be described as proselytizing. I’ve exposed this type of behaviour as rather unethical, previously on this blog. I’m now of the opinion that religion should be allowed to run its course, with only a mild form of dissonance from Atheists in the form of teaching and encouraging rational thinking. Better that it dies a natural death while mankind slowly grows up.