T. R. Jones in the Chicago Reader offers his views on the Religulous written by Bill Maher and directed by Larry Charles:
Maher’s first film project, Religulous, is a major disappointment because here, unlike on Real Time, he aims for laughs instead of insight—and aims low. The movie opens with Maher in Israel, perched on a hill in what was once the ancient city of Megiddo, which the Book of Revelation prophecies will be the site of Armageddon. As he points out, people are now more capable of destroying the world—through nuclear technology, pollution, and global warming—than they are of understanding it. “If there’s one thing I hate more than prophecy,” he concludes, “it’s self-fulfilling prophecy.” To him, faith is a neurological disease that has to be cured before the human race destroys the planet, and anyone who defends faith is an “enabler” and a “fellow traveler.” As he concludes at the end of the movie, “Faith means making a virtue of not thinking.”
But as Maher and director Larry Charles tour the world, surveying the influence of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, they bypass serious religious scholars and historians—the sort of thinkers who might have moved the discussion into uncharted territory—in favor of fundamentalist goofballs who can be ridiculed with ease. Their first stop is the Truckers Chapel in Raleigh, North Carolina—a trailer at the side of a highway rest stop—where Maher quizzes a half dozen truckers on the more fanciful extrabiblical aspects of Christianity. One volunteers the theory that, because DNA testing on the Shroud of Turin has supposedly revealed the presence of female blood, Jesus must have been born of a virgin.
Actually, no such DNA results exist. All we know is that the bloodstains are human blood. Had DNA revealed female blood, a more disturbing conclusion might have surfaced. Chicago Reader | Movie Review: Fishes and Loaves in a Barrel