“Religulous,” a documentary starring controversial funnyman Bill Maher and directed by Larry Charles of “Borat” fame, is one glorious middle finger to religion and everyone who professes to take part in it.

This film is not very nice at all, but it is shocking and refreshing in its no holds barred cynicism and vitriol towards religious beliefs. Bill Maher is an asshole, but in his wake, the audience fell apart in laughter. The way Maher spins circles is cunning, exhilarating and frustrating. It’s frustrating because none of his subjects (an “ex-homosexual,” tourists at a Bible-themed amusement park, a man who thinks he is a Jesus incarnate, a chapel full of truckers, a U.S. Senator, etc.) can clearly justify anything they say without looking utterly ridiculous.

While this film is completely condescending to faith and the faithful, Bill Maher and crew do not claim to be anything but biased in their struggle to make people rethink their beliefs. Although the words coming out of Maher’s mouth are offensive and funny, the film’s editors also deserve some credit. The secret weapon of this film is the juxtaposition of real life reactions with appearances of witty text and with stock footage of old biblical films.

There is a surprising celebrity cameo that had the audience in hysterics, and the use of Gustavo Santolalla’s “Brokeback Mountain” score during Bill Maher’s conversation with an “ex-homosexual” Christian man was hilariously adorable, if a bit awkward. The film may initially seem like an inconsequential series of scenes, but Larry Charles and Bill Maher subtly wriggle their way down the rabbit hole. They go from religious leaders and people of authority to the everyday individuals who have followed these irrational religious ideas.

“Religulous” presents people who would appear to be intelligent and adjusted if not for their fervent beliefs. This contrast of intelligence and blind faith leads to frightening conclusions.

In one scene, for example, a preacher tells a young man, “Imagine what you could do for God if you used the energy devoted to getting girls.” The film then cuts to a suicide bombing. Terrifying indeed.

I came out of this movie reenergized and excited. Gauging the amount of cheering, this screening I went to may have been preaching to the choir, but one or two people did walk out. However, I think part of the film’s power (besides being funny) is its rallying cry that religion has only been detrimental to society and is keeping us from truly being free.

The film does showcase extremely fanatic people, but these zealots also happen to hold powerful positions in society. These people know the falsity of the religious beliefs they perpetuate, and purposely use it to keep the rest of society down. Let’s do something about this, “Religulous” says.