Of Agendas and Biases
Maher spends the vast majority of his time on Christians and Christianity, and most of his criticisms are very focused on Christian beliefs and scriptures. In contrast, he seems weak and ineffective when he speaks with Jews and Muslims. For that matter, his level of challenging and mockery towards Judaism and Islam is far less than what he expends on Christianity.
And even then, a bias shows up. Among the Christian people, he talks to two Catholics: a retired American priest at the Vatican and a former member of the Vatican Observatory. All three mocked the more traditionalist forms of Christianity and agreed with Maher’s assessment of many Christians being idiots. I find it interesting that when Maher, who himself was raised Catholic, confronts Christians, they come off as idiots, while the Catholics come off as rational, good, sensible people. Nevertheless, Catholicism is firmly within the bounds of Christianity and therefore subject to the same types of criticisms and mockery Maher provides for other Christians.
His uneven approach is also somewhat telling. He lets the Jews and Muslims speak, without challenging their statements and beliefs as much as he did the Christians. With Christians, for example, he brought up all sorts of fanciful tales and doctrines, which he utterly failed to do with Jews and Muslims even though they have as many fanciful tales as the Christians. In fact, one Muslim went on about Muhammad’s flight to Heaven and Islam’s mandate that every letter of every story be believed…and Maher said nothing to challenge or mock him. Why is Maher so caustic against Christians but not so against Muslims or Jews?
He also paints Christians and Jews and Muslims as leading to world to Armageddon…while the basic fact is that it isn’t the Christians or Jews who’re blowing up buildings or busses. He does a good job portraying the dichotomy in thought and act amongst Muslims, who disavow terrorism but then want to be treated differently and tolerated even as they should be allowed to be intolerant. They claimed this terrorism is all political while the religion disavows it. In any case, lumping in Christians and Jews with extremist Islamists is hardly balanced or fair.
Oh, this was also quite a partisan movie. He discusses Bush and McCain but not one peep about Clinton, Gore, or Obama. Consider that in the last case, religion sprouted a movement that was rabidly anti-American and anti-white, which is just as harmful as some of what Maher opposes.
Anyone who claims Maher is even, balanced, or fair obviously has bought his agenda and biases, which are so clear to see. Rather than calling this an anti-religious movie, he should have called it anti-Christian. If Maher wants to be balanced, he should evaluate what he spends his time on. He should also evaluate why he’s so obsessed with what he’s obsessed, and why he favors whom he favors. Based on facts and being an accurate, fair, and balanced critique of religion is not what Religulous is.