2008 film by Larry Charles

Religulous is a 2008 documentary film starring political comedian Bill Maher who travels to numerous religious destinations, such as Jerusalem, the Vatican, and Salt Lake City, interviewing believers from a variety of backgrounds and groups, including Jews for Jesus, Christians, Muslims, polygamists, Satanists, and Hasidic Jews.

Directed by Larry Charles. Written by Bill Maher.
Do you smell something burning? (taglines)

Bill Maher

  • What happens in Gomorrah, stays in Gomorrah.
  • Gay Muslim activists. That is a very rare job description. You guys have big ones.
  • You know, Scientologists [sound of audience laughing]. And right, you're like, "Oh, yeah, that's some crazy shit. Okay." Jesus with the virgin birth and the dove and the snake who talked in the garden, that's cool. But the Scientologists, they're the crazy ones.
  • There's more than one mosque in the world that used to be a church and before that was a temple. Because it's a lot easier to just change the sign on the top and say "under new management" than it is to change the whole building. I worked a lot of comedy clubs in the eighties that still had the disco ball on the ceiling. And in the nineties they became strip clubs. And now they're a Starbucks.
  • Do you think it's possible that when we're on something like marijuana or mushrooms and we believe we're having a really spiritual experience that we're just high?
  • Scientists line up overwhelmingly on one side of this issue. It would have to be an enormous conspiracy going on between scientists of all different disciplines, in all different countries, to have such a consensus.
  • It seems that if God wanted to communicate something to the world - he's all powerful - he would just talk to the whole world. It always seems he picks out a prophet in private and tells them, "Ok, you're the prophet. Now you go tell the rest of the world", so we just have to take it on faith.
  • The irony of religion is that because of its power to divert man to destructive courses, the world could actually come to an end. The plain fact is, religion must die for mankind to live. The hour is getting very late to be able to indulge having in key decisions made by religious people, by irrationalists, by those who would steer the ship of state not by a compass, but by the equivalent of reading the entrails of a chicken. George Bush prayed a lot about Iraq, but he didn't learn a lot about it.
Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking. It's nothing to brag about. And those who preach faith, and enable and elevate it are intellectual slaveholders, keeping mankind in a bondage to fantasy and nonsense that has spawned and justified so much lunacy and destruction. Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don't have all the answers to think that they do. Most people would think it's wonderful when someone says, "I'm willing, Lord! I'll do whatever you want me to do!" Except that since there are no gods actually talking to us, that void is filled in by people with their own corruptions and limitations and agendas. And anyone who tells you they know, they just know what happens when you die, I promise you, you don't. How can I be so sure? Because I don't know, and you do not possess mental powers that I do not.
The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is not the arrogant certitude that is the hallmark of religion, but doubt. Doubt is humble, and that's what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting shit dead wrong. This is why rational people, anti-religionists, must end their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves. And those who consider themselves only moderately religious really need to look in the mirror and realize that the solace and comfort that religion brings you actually comes at a terrible price.
If you belonged to a political party or a social club that was tied to as much bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, violence, and sheer ignorance as religion is, you'd resign in protest. To do otherwise is to be an enabler, a mafia wife, for the true devils of extremism that draw their legitimacy from the billions of their fellow travelers.
If the world does come to an end here, or wherever, or if it limps into the future, decimated by the effects of religion-inspired nuclear terrorism, let's remember what the real problem was. We learned how to precipitate mass death before we got past the neurological disorder of wishing for it. That's it. Grow up or die.



Father George Coyne, PhD: It's not that the church has the idea that they're gonna train us up in order to go out and baptize those extraterrestrials, before the Mormons get at 'em. The reason is simply historical facts. John Paul II, for instance, said that evolution, in the Neo-Darwinian sense, is no longer a mere hypothesis. I mean, he said that, it's in writing.

Dr. Andrew Newberg, MD: How we define what is crazy or not crazy about religions is ultimately up to how we define "crazy". If you define mental illness as anyone who hears a voice talking to them, then anyone who has heard the voice of God is crazy.

Father George Coyne, PhD: The Scriptures are not teaching science. It's very hard for me to accept, not just a literal interpretation of Scripture, but a fundamentalist approach to religious belief. It's kind of a plague. It presents itself as science and it's not.

Televangelist: I want to be in the green, Lord!



Bill Maher: You are one of the very few people who are actually running this country. It worries me that people are running my country who think-, who believe in a talking snake.
Sen. Mark Pryor: You don't have to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate, though. [chuckles]

Bill Maher: Why do you think it is that so few people do what you have done and leave the [Mormon] church?
Tal Bachman, Ex-Mormon: The moment you acknowledge to yourself that Joseph Smith did not tell the truth about his experiences and his achievements, you just committed social suicide.
Bill Gardiner, Ex-Mormon: Family and friends.

Geert Wilders, Dutch Parliament Member: Islam is, according to me, a violent religion. The Qu'ran is a violent book and Muhammad was a violent prophet.
Bill Maher: Do you think Islam wants to take over the world?
Geert Wilders: They don't even make a secret about it. We are infidels. We should either become Islamic or we should be killed. That is what they say. That is what they are proud of.

Bill Maher: The Bible is not against homosexuality?
Franciscan friar: If you are born homosexual you ought to stay there, you have to, to be happy.
Bill Maher: But that's what the Bible says?
Franciscan friar: What the Bible means to say, yeah.


  • Do you smell something burning?
  • Heaven help us.
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