Bill Maher is not a fan of religion. Except, of course, as a source of laughs. In his new film “Religulous,” he hits the road to discuss religion with a U.S. senator, several famous evangelists, truckers who hold services in the back of a semi and an actor who plays Jesus Christ at a religious theme park. Read more about it below and see the trailer.

Bill Maher’s audience is quite familiar with his arguments against faith, a recurring topic in his comedy. But in his new feature film “Religulous�? which opens October 3rd, he thinks religion is a big crock of spit.

In his movie, he plays the antagonist (of course!). Rolling his eyes, often full of derision, Maher gets in his licks with everyone, from a guy playing Jesus at a Holy Land theme park in Orlando to Muslims at a gay bar in Amsterdam to a rabbi who advocates the dissolution of Israel (he wears a card with the slogan “A Jew Not a Zionist”).

So how did Maher manage to get all these people to actually talk to him? “Religulous” was directed by Larry Charles, who also did “Borat,” and specializes in creating scenarios in which unsuspecting people become the butt of ridicule. I suspected that subterfuge and trickery were involved and many lawsuits will follow.

Here’s how Maher pulled it off:

“Making this movie was nothing but guile, Maher said. In that sense it was a dirty trick. Otherwise nobody would have talked to me.

The working fake title was ‘A Spiritual Journey.’ We didn’t tell anybody, especially in America, that I was in the movie.

Larry and the crew would arrange interviews, set up the lights and camera, warm up the subject with a pre-interview. Once it was all lit and they were ready, I’d come in.

It was simple: We never, ever, used my name. We never told anybody it was me who was going to do the interviews. It didn’t work everywhere. We went to Salk Lake City, but no one would let us film there at all.”

Maher makes no secret of his hatred for religion: “I have hated the Church way before anyone else,” Maher said in 2002. Some audience members at early screenings of “Religulous�? have protested that the film focuses on irrational believers. He defended himself this way:

“If you’re religious, it means you believe in some crazy stuff. And at that point you don’t look reasonable. People think we sought out crazy people and ignored this mythical rational religious person.

Alright. It’s simple.

Bill Maher has made “Religulous,” a “mockumentary” whose title is a combination of the words “religious” and “ridiculous.” It’s easy for hollywood liberals to mock people of faith, turning them into caricatures on the screen. However it’s risky business to do something like this in an election year since religious people vote in high numbers and know that Bill Maher is a unabashed liberal howling moonbat.

“Religulous” opens this Friday, October 3rd.

Updated. This was originally posted on 8/19/08.


TRAILER For ‘Religulous’ Documentary – Featuring Bill MaherVideo