Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


Home · Articles · News · Features · Bill Maher gets Religulous
. . . .

Bill Maher gets Religulous

Rick Coates - July 28th, 2008
As in 2006 when Traverse City Film Festival attendees got a first peek at Borat (before it was released nationally) they will get a first look the new Larry Charles film Religulous at this year’s festival.
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.

‘I’D 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. “I’m at the point right now where I’d love to challenge this guy in a ring... preferably Madison Square Garden. I’m a lot older than he is, but let me tell you something, I’d 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 didn’t believe in God. What I have said is that I don’t 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 doesn’t 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
Opera House.
 
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