I just bought this movie by Bill Maher and watched it, and boy am I glad I did. What a riot! This documentary doesn't just question one religion, or even just major religions, but all religions. He even puts the screws to a person whose essential religion is smoking pot all day. In the deleted seens he talks with the railians(sp?) and Ickes (believe in reptilians taking over the planet). He makes some extremely good points in the movie.
I think the biggest concept in the movie is that there is no such thing as moderate religion. As long as religion exists, there will be extremists. Is the cost too high? After all, if there is a god, is this something he wants and is willing to live with? Not likely in my book. Rarely, even in moderate religious circles, do people follow Jesus teaching any way. In Islam, the problem is the people who DO follow the teachings of Mohammad. In Catholicism, they accept that one man is infallible.
The point being made is that the amount of people who use religion to do good is a small minority compared to the people who simply do nothing with it other than let it influence them in areas of science and public policy, or even use religion in a harmful way. Is it worth it to have religion around when by enlarge is does either no good or is harmful? I of course say no. This isn't to say that believing in god is the same. Anyone can simply believe what they believe. But I worry, personally, that the people in high places making decisions often put more faith in the unseen than in empirical evidence. It worries me that a president can get elected on his faith alone. And that we can have a president that believe honestly that god is telling him to go to war.
These things exist because of religion, not out side of them and surely on the fringe. The fringe has become the here and now. And its about time skeptics stop being quiet. The extremists aren't. And why should we be quiet? Why is religion in a special class all its own? Why can't any religion be questioned and even challenged?