Monday, April 20, 2009

Bill Maher

Yes, he's snarky, and more than a little arrogant. He can be abrasive, if you don't agree with him, and his sense of humor leans toward the cynical (which, while out of place for this blog, isn't a bad thing.) But in a world of conservative pundits not afraid to say whatever it is they want, with very little regard for the consequences, we need more positive, fearless influences from the right.

Bill demonstrated his fearlessness with "Religulous", one of the docs we watched at our Sunday night movie night. I won't get into any specifics regarding the film, but I will recommend that everyone see it. It's a brilliant piece of documentary work presented, I think, very fairly. It's a starting point for a debate this country and the rest of the world needs to tackle one day. Whether you're religious, spiritual, a semi-believer or have no religious affiliation, you should rent the film. It raises questions that any thinking person should at least be able to answer adequately in their own hearts.

I wouldn't be surprised if Bill now has a fatwa on his head. This permission slip from Islamic leaders to the Muslim devout to kill an individual is the retribution Salman Rushdie incurred after publishing his "Satanic Verses". The questions Bill publicly raises about Islam in the film are just the sort of thing "infidels" are murdered over. Which is why I say Bill is a courageous guy for releasing the movie. The fact that such fatwas exist illuminate the necessity of the work Bill is doing.

Go see Religulous. And watch it all the way through. The ending is especially potent. Don't let fear or close-mindedness cause you to stop somewhere in the middle. It's worth the ride, even if it's uncomfortable.

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