A member of the Traverse City Film Festival Board of Directors, Charles will also sit on All Star Comedy Panel session Saturday morning at the Opera House.
Religulous is a documentary directed by Charles and produced by Bill Maher, who also serves as the talent in front of the camera. The film will be released worldwide in October. The title of the film is derived from a combination of the words religion and ridiculous and Charles and Maher travel the world exposing what the feel are some ridiculous belief systems.
I really do believe that religion is ridiculous. It is really a bureaucracy -- a lot like government -- full of false promises, said Maher. I think religion is destructive to mankind.
His position on religion has been documented over the years on such programs as Real Time With Bill Maher. Several religious leaders, including the head of the American Catholic League have come out with strong words, even fighting words, against Bill Maher.
ID FLOOR HIM
Bill Maher, constantly is going after not just religion in general, he really has it out against Christians, said Bill Donahue of the Catholic League during a Fox News interview. Im at the point right now where Id love to challenge this guy in a ring... preferably Madison Square Garden. Im a lot older than he is, but let me tell you something, Id floor him.
Maher chuckles and ponders Is that really what Jesus would want him to do?
While he has been labeled a religious bigot by many, Maher sees himself simply asking questions and pointing out what he sees fairy tales converted into belief systems.
I never said that I didnt believe in God. What I have said is that I dont believe in religion, said Maher. In the past we have been so sure of things. At one time people were positive the world was flat. What we have tried with this film is to show some of the extreme belief systems people have and how they have harmful effects on society.
Maher and Charles traveled the globe visiting major religious communities including The Vatican, Salt Lake City and Jerusalem interviewing people of faith along the way.
A majority doesnt make something right. At the start of the war with Iraq a majority favored it; now a majority does not. At one time we thought slavery was right, said Maher. There are about 20% of Americans that I call rationalist when it comes to this whole concept of religion. What I am hoping this film does is start the dialogue that allows this silent minority the opportunity to feel comfortable talking about how they feel about religion.
While Maher will not make it Traverse City, Larry Charles will introduce Religulous and discuss the making of the film at each of the screenings. Charles will also appear on Saturday August 2 at the Panel Session at the