Friday, October 10, 2008
Religulous: Dude, You're Really Not That Smart
So, I saw Religulous last night. I dig Bill Maher. Always have. Still do, even though I sometimes don't agree with him. Let me first say that I'm a "Christian" (note the quotations), and I already knew what type of movie this was going to be. Again, I watch Bill Maher whenever I can (since I ain't got HBO) and am familiar with his feelings about religion. Basically, the movie was about how religion essentially has destroyed the world because people only use it to promote their own selfish, destructive, evil agendas.
Now, there, I agree 100 percent. I can't even list all of the atrocities that have been committed under the guise of being religious or adhering to some bogus, make-believe religious standards. The European Slave Trade in the name of Christianity is the first that comes to mind.
But beyond that, Bill ranted and raved about how the stories of the bible sound like fairy tales, calling on instances like Adam and Eve in the garden being tempted by the snake (the devil), Jonas in the whale (or "big fish"), Jesus' virgin birth to exemplify his point. He did the same with Muslims and touched a little on Mormonism and Scientology.
The few people that were scattered in theater I was at clapped and hooted at what they believed to be clever sarcasm from Bill about his overwhelming doubt and disbelief in such "bullshit." I think a lot of the people will leave the theater believing that they are somehow more intelligent, aware and analytical than the average believer because they have the wherewithal to question faith. *Note, I said "faith" not "religion." There is a critical difference between faith and religion. Faith is more about your spiritual walk with the Father, religion is simply a bunch of acts put together to make you feel like you're really doing something important. It's much more selfish and vain.
My thing is, not having faith or having extreme doubts about the legitimacy of any particular religion doesn't make you smarter. It does not make you any more intelligent than the average bear, it doesn't even make you different. In fact, it makes you very, very average.
Since the beginning of time, man has doubted God, defied God and tried to humanize God. Here in America, we've westernized God and Jesus. "Jesus doesn't care about ( insert random thing) He's too busy..." We say that because here in America, we're too busy to do simple things like care about societal ills or whatever else. But God ain't human, and that's precisely the point. We've also adapted to visualizing a white Jesus and applying European characteristics, tendencies and ideologies to Him, which is, well tragic, especially when you consider the extended behavior of Europeans.
I can only speak from a Christian perspective, but I can't tell you how many folks I know who claim to be Christians and never read the bible. How on earth can you really serve a God that you know nothing about? Or better yet, how can you love a God that you don't really even know?? um, no wonder you spend your time wallowing in doubt.
I think people look at religion, or Christianity in particular as something mystifying and all super deep, when really it's simple. The same way you don't just love your boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse just because your mama or daddy told you to, or because you heard they did something nice for you, you can't really love God just because you heard it was the thing to do. You love your girl or your man because you know them. You know their ways. They make you feel loved. They bring out your better qualities.
Even worse than the non-readers are the folks who take something another man (their preacher) says at face value, without question. Uh, last time I checked, that was in direct disobedience to what the bible says. You think I'm gonna listen to Eddie Long or Creflo Dollar or anyone else for that matter without double checking to see if they're feeding me self-congratulating lies? (Which too many of these prosperity preachers are, but that's another topic) Dude, seriously. We got to get a collective clue.
Anyways, after the film was over, I was mostly just left feeling the same way I feel whenever I leave the Velvet Room or some snooty industry event that I've chosen to wear my Adidas' to-- Like everyone around me believes themselves to be super cool, but really they're just dumb.
The bottom line is: I just don't think it's that intelligent to question the legitmacy of God and religion-- heck, everyone does. If you've never done so, you're lying to me and yourself. It should be natural. The real question is, what was your conclusion? Faith in what is unseen, but what you know is right? Or following the crowd and lingering in your very average doubt?