I just took the kids to see Bill Maher’s “Religulous.” And I have to say, this is an excellent movie with a message that is exactly right for Americans to hear. His message is basically a lift from half of Sam Harris’s “The End of Faith.” Sam Harris’s book, being a bit dryer and more scholarly, doesn’t have the same appeal as Maher, who was once a stand-up comic.
Maher is half Jewish and half catholic. Interestingly, the only interview he walked out on was with a hardcore fundamentalist Jewish rabbi. But he skewers them all, from Christianity to Mormonism, to Islam. In the end, his message is extremely poignant. I recommend the movie (and the book) to all.
The book, for me, is a far more humbling experience. Sam Harris really makes a great case that I’ve been wrong in some of my criticisms of the Iraq War. Not all of them, mind you, but if conservatives would read Harris’s book, they would get a lot better arsenal to defend our presence in Iraq. However, most conservatives won’t be able to get to that part of the book before burning it as blasphemous. It’s kinda funny.
The book presents Islam as a very daunting threat to the West. For example, he shows that polls taken in the Middle East indicate that a vast majority of Muslims actually do believe that suicide bombings in the name of Islam are justified. So all this talk about how most Muslims are “moderate” must define a moderate Muslim as one who thinks suicide bombing is okay. People are led slowly and carefully down a primrose path to this type of irrational, preposterous and violent moral system when they adhere blindly to ridiculous beliefs. We cannot be victorious over that morality if we as a nation also embraces an irrational set of preposterous, blindly held beliefs.
The last line in the movie says it all. We need to grow up, or die.