Sunday, October 5, 2008

Religulous: Review of a Review

I have not seen Bill Maher's new documentary Religulous, so you may be wondering why I'm writing this. Well, wonder away; I'll see the movie in my own good time and write what I want in the meantime.

Ann Rodgers has seen it and has some comments. She writes that Maher "uses a more fundamentalist reading of scripture than most fundamentalists do". Maybe, but that just means that most Christians don't take their religion all that seriously. Even in the United States, which remains more overtly religious than other Western nations, most people are only half-heartedly following the precepts, prohibitions and program of their respective faith. The secular culture has rubbed off on them and they love it more than their invisible god.

It's "Revelation" not "Revelations," and the vast majority of the world's Christians do not share the doomsday interpretation of it that Maher most fears. The vast majority of those who do have no desire to hasten the apocalypse she writes. I must admit I have always been puzzled by those who insist on calling it "Revelations" (the proper name for it in Catholicism is the Apocalypse) but maybe it does make a kind of sense as the John who wrote it seemed to have more than one. I agree with Jefferson that it is merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherencies of our own nightly dreams. At least on first reading anyway.

But it is irrelevant that the "vast majority" of Christians don't believe the end times ravings of the lunatic rapture crowd. It only takes a dedicated few to make a difference (the Islamic fanatics prove that point). On hastening the apocalypse just take a look at John Hagee. Anything that will bring Jesus back is welcome, and these loons have pull with high elected officials in Washington and influence US foreign policy in negative ways. So Ann Rodgers needs a little more study time with Dispensationalism and its followers.

Part 2

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