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  1. #1 "The Mighty Maher Strikes Out." 
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    Mighty Maher Strikes Out

    Here's an extremely obvious test of how secular our entertainment culture has become: Bill Maher can make a film that strenuously aims to mock all religions. His ads on the Internet show three monkeys: one Jewish, the second a Muslim monkey, and the third, a monkey Pope. The reaction? Our cultural commissars yawn. National news and entertainment magazines howled at the supposed insensitivity of "The Passion of the Christ," but Bill Maher can't seem to locate an ounce of outrage in all the fashionable places.

    The film is called "Religulous" -- a lame merger of "religious" and "ridiculous." One reason it's not urgently mentioned is that while everyone knew "The Passion" was going to be an enormous box-office hit, Maher is hearing the sound of crickets in the fields of controversy, which may match cricket sounds at the box office.

    Frank Rich of the New York Times attacked Mel Gibson and "The Passion" with a feverish pitch, but he hasn't penned a word about Maher. Maher can mock Hasidic Jews as subhuman monkeys in his Internet ads, but Frank Rich is too busy chasing after Sarah Palin with his flamethrower. He has a problem with orthodox Christians, but certainly not with Hollywood atheists who think the Jews are as silly as any other faith community.

    The New Republic was another fount of scholarship and outrage against Gibson's cinematic vision of Christ's crucifixion, but they've offered no Maher critique.

    Time film critic Richard Corliss, who scoured "The Passion" as "The Goriest Story Ever Told," can only say of Maher: "Even the affronted Christians who gathered to oppose Bill Maher's docu-comedy 'Religulous' (one sign read MAKE PEACE NOT MAHER) looked more like a welcoming party -- what would an antireligion movie be without protesters?"

    Newsweek, which has passionately displayed an ongoing love affair with atheism, has failed to notice any controversy in the Maher film.

    Maher's pseudo-comic jeremiad can't even score a positive review in The Village Voice. That's in Greenwich Village. In the most bohemian corner of New York City. Their film critic J. Hoberman decries the movie in the headline as an "adolescent case against religion." Hoberman wants to like it, but scorns Maher: "Still, as a polemicist, he's hardly fair -- more than a few exchanges are recalibrated in the editing, and too many end with Maher flipping Pascal's Wager, rejoining a believer's 'What if you're wrong?' with an emphatic 'What if you're wrong?' Such one-sided encounters are more depressing than fun."

    But this hasn't stopped Maher from spreading his trademark drivel on every television set that will allow him. He hit all three major networks at different hours: ABC's "The View," CBS's "The Early Show," and NBC's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."

    On ABC, Maher was so doctrinaire that American historical figures from Lincoln to FDR were a cavalcade of morons for having the audacity to speak of God. When Elisabeth Hasselbeck raised these figures, he could only sneer: "of course, it's, it's a religious country, unlike every other civilized western democracy in the world, this country is still extremely religious because we're young and dumb."

    But then Maher grew ridiculous. He claimed he wasn't engaged in mockery, that in his faith-mocking film, "we don't judge. We don't point fingers. We're not making anybody feel bad." Maher's film ends with pictures of exploding nuclear bombs and a chorus of the Talking Heads song "Road to Nowhere." But Maher's not trying to make anyone feel bad about his religion.

    CBS touted him as bringing "the gospel of doubt." Maher announced, "I don't like the word atheist because to me it mirrors the certainty of religion. I preach the gospel of I don't know." Calling a religious country "young and dumb" would seem to have a heaping helping of certainty in it.

    On NBC, Maher made cuckoo noises to mock Sarah Palin and others who believe in a biblical account of creation, and declared, "I would love people to see it for no other reason than just to make a statement that we are not going to let the Sarah Palins of the world take over this country."

    http://townhall.com/Columnists/Brent..._out?page=full
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  2. #2  
    Maher is a major fruitloop. He's wagging his tail for PETA and he believes all kinds of insane things about disease, medicine, and chemistry that are factually false.

    It doesn't matter how amusing an entertainer may be, once they cross that line from performer to pundit they have to be held accountable for what they say. He is factually wrong over and over when he discusses scientific and technical issues. If he blows it so consistently on issues that have demonstrable "right" answers, why would anyone care what his opinion is on much more complex questions?
    Last edited by Gingersnap; 10-03-2008 at 02:43 PM.
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  3. #3  
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    I don't understand the tone of outrage in the article. For example, right off the bat...

    Here's an extremely obvious test of how secular our entertainment culture has become: Bill Maher can make a film that strenuously aims to mock all religions.
    Well, yeah. Would anyone like to live in a society wherein "mock[ing] all religions" is banned; Saudia has a non-stop from NYC to Riyadh, but the problem is you can't get a drink for the next 14 hours (and for a long time after as well).

    But this hasn't stopped Maher from spreading his trademark drivel on every television set that will allow him. He hit all three major networks at different hours: ABC's "The View," CBS's "The Early Show," and NBC's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."
    Is the implication here that since the film has had poor pre-reviews that Maher should just say, "Oh well, that failed?" They guy made a movie, he's a well-known and bankable TV satirist/comedian, and he's hawking his movie. Oh the horror! :eek:

    I would suggest that if anyone thinks they will not like the film or find it offensive not go see it.
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  4. #4  
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    I'm with CW. I'm glad we live in a country where people are free to make fun of ideas that others hold sacred. I don't want to live somewhere were things are otherwise.

    I'll probably go see the movie at some point, but the next time I'm in Orlando, I also want to visit the Holy Land Experience.

    The review implies that he denigrated orthodox jews in his ads-he used the three monkeys "Hear no evil, See No evil, speak no evil" thing and gave one a star of David, one a cross and one a crescent and star. It was not a racist implication, but a play on something everyone over 10 understands.
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  5. #5  
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    I agree with author Sam Harris and his goal of promoting conversational intolerance of religious/dogmatic belief.

    To that end, I like the fact that movies like this are getting made and well-received in some circles, or at least not all together poorly received... but I don't trust Maher to actually put forth a good case for atheism/non-religiousness.. he just really isnt great at building a case and arguing for anything. He is a nutcase... quite the anti-thesis of rationality.. his beliefs are more religious than not.
    Last edited by wilbur; 10-03-2008 at 02:44 PM.
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  6. #6  
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    I believe we all are aware of our right of choice in viewing a movie. Anti, vs pro religious movies create much different press-noise. I think that was the only real point.
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Zeus's Avatar
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    Our second President, John Adams stated: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

    Why would Adams declare that our Constitution is made only for a moral people and a religious people?
    (clip)

    "A principle in not like a rule. The rule asks nothing more of you than that you obey; a principle requires you to do your own thinking. A rule gives you credit only for being a creature; a principle gives you stature"

    (from FavoriteQuotations from the Collection of Thomas S. Monson).
    The 21st century. The age of Smart phones and Stupid people.

    It is said that branches draw their life from the vine. Each is separate yet all are one as they share one life giving stem . The Bible tells us we are called to a similar union in life, our lives with the life of God. We are incorporated into him; made sharers in his life. Apart from this union we can do nothing.
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
    Our second President, John Adams stated: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

    Why would Adams declare that our Constitution is made only for a moral people and a religious people?
    (clip)

    "A principle in not like a rule. The rule asks nothing more of you than that you obey; a principle requires you to do your own thinking. A rule gives you credit only for being a creature; a principle gives you stature"

    (from FavoriteQuotations from the Collection of Thomas S. Monson).
    Be careful with that constitutional religious stuff or you will rile up our the liberal heathens !
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Zeus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megimoo View Post
    Be careful with that constitutional religious stuff or you will rile up our the liberal heathens !

    On Morality and Religion: ""[V]irtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government . . . Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And, . . . whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on the minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles."
    Excerpt from George Washington's Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
    The 21st century. The age of Smart phones and Stupid people.

    It is said that branches draw their life from the vine. Each is separate yet all are one as they share one life giving stem . The Bible tells us we are called to a similar union in life, our lives with the life of God. We are incorporated into him; made sharers in his life. Apart from this union we can do nothing.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
    [I][B]

    Excerpt from George Washington's Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
    The founders weren't omniscient. And on this subject Washington is clearly wrong. Religion is not necessary for morality or democracy.
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