Religulous (2008) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Bill Maher's take on the current state of world religion.

  • Bill Maher interviews some of religion's oddest adherents. Muslims, Jews and Christians of many kinds pass before his jaundiced eye. Maher goes to a Creationist Museum in Kentucky, which shows that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time 5000 years ago. He talks to truckers at a Truckers' Chapel. (Sign outside: "Jesus love you.") He goes to a theme park called Holy Land in Florida. He speaks to a rabbi in league with Holocaust deniers. He talks to a Muslim musician who preaches hatred of Jews. Maher finds the unlikeliest of believers and, in a certain Vatican priest, he even finds an unlikely skeptic.

  • Comedian and commentator Bill Maher, who grew up Catholic of a Catholic father and Jewish mother, believes that organized religion is a detriment to the progress of society. He also believes that many tenets of the various religions worldwide will end up being self-fulfilling prophecies because man can now achieve them. He has trouble understanding the long held tenets that, if described today in any other western context, would be deemed crazy, such as the story of Jonah and the big fish, or a virgin birth. Maher has discussions with leaders and followers of various religions, both in the mainstream and on the fringe, to try and understand why their beliefs are so strong, while both sides try to convince the other to see things from the other side. Specifically with United States based Christianity, he has discussions with those associated on what seem to be the inherent incompatible beliefs of Americans, such as between religion and science, nationalism, and consumerism, as well as the incongruence between the purported plain life of Jesus against the wealthy opulence of modern day Christian monuments and most Christian leaders. Although focused primarily on Christianity, he looks at Judaism, Islam and what may be considered more fringe religions such as Mormonism and Scientology, not only in and of themselves, but also their tolerance, or what is more often their intolerance for views other than their own, including that of other religions.

  • With quotes from major figureheads like Thomas Jefferson, George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden, Bill Maher, with a Jewish-Catholic background, sets out to prove that having faith and seeking directions from God is basically ridiculous and may be due to a neurotic disorder. Interviewing Christians, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, scientists, gays, and atheists, he cites that the number of non-believers is increasing in North America. He attempts to prove his point by citing inconsistencies in the Bible, the controversial birth of Lord Jesus, the inability of religious heads to account for His absence for over 18 years, as well as the absence of any concrete evidence that disproves the theory of evolution.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • 'Religulous' is a 2008 American documentary film directed by Larry Charles and starring political comedian Bill Maher. According to Maher, the title of the film is a portmanteau derived from the words "religion" and "ridiculous," implying the satirical nature of the documentary that is meant to mock the concept of religion and the problems it brings about.

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