Bill Maher’s publicist told us we could interview the man behind “Religulous.” Our reporter, however, was only given two questions. Here’s the first:
Q One of the criticisms leveled against Religulous is that the people who were interviewed were ignorant or not eloquent about their feelings about religion. Francis Collins, a scientist working on the Human Genome Project, is a notable exception. What do you say to these critics?
A That was the criticism most often leveled at this film, and it is completely bogus. Francis Collins is brilliant. He is not the only intelligent person I talked to. The claim that the people we talked to people are mentally diminutive is ridiculous. We talked to typical people. He’s just a Christian, like so many other people. We talked to preachers, we talked to truckers, we talked to senators. These are the rank and file of religion. If you are defending religion, you are going to sound like an idiot. If you are defending religion, you will have to defend the holy books from which religion comes. You can’t separate religion from the Bible. If you believe in religion, you believe in the Bible. It says there is a talking snake, and a woman got turned into salt, and slavery is okay, and treating women like cattle is okay. Anyone who is defending religion, I don’t care if you are the most brilliant scientist in the world or a trucker in Raleigh, you are going to sound silly. Religion makes you sound like you have a small mind, no matter who you are.