On my flight back from the Friday the 13th set visit in Austin, I read Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. I sort of felt like I was daring Jesus to crash my plane*, but the book gave me some comfort in reminding me that it’s absolutely bonkers to believe in God.

Bill Maher is treading much of the same territory as Dawkins in his new documentary, Religulous, although I doubt he’ll be quite so scientifically minded. The basic concepts will remain the same: belief in God is insane and irrational all by itself, and when paired with bizarre, sick religions like Christianity and Islam, it’s downright destructive. I do hope that Maher takes some time to do what Dawkins did, which is to dismantle every argument against athiesm methodically, including such old stupid chestnuts as ‘We wouldn’t have right and wrong without religion/God.’

The trailer for Religulous is out, and while there’s nothing that fully wows me, it’s just nice seeing someone in the mainstream actually attacking religion and doing it with wit and smarts. I’ve long said that our entire species is being held back by religion in a huge way, and once we move beyond irrational superstition and medieval belief structures we’ll be able to move forward to the next level of humanity. There’s nothing sadder than meeting people whose lives are based on anti-science, anti-rationality, and anti-sanity.

Maher is also working to fight the insanity of religion with a new website called Disbeliefnet.com, where religion (and religion in the news) is skewered with snark. Remember kids, blasphemy is a victimless crime.

Click here to watch the trailer at Apple.

By the way, before you send your angry emails about my thoughts on religion, take a second to ask yourself: why is this the subject we all have to be nice about? And would you be just as annoyed if I wrote a story making fun of Wiccans or Thor-worshippers or grown-ups who believed in fairies or Santa Claus? One of the great weapons in religion’s arsenal is the accepted societal rule that we just don’t question other people’s faiths. But in a world where religious extremists have attacked America, are trying to outlaw choice and homosexuality, and are in fact sitting in power in the White House, all gloves have to come off.

* cocksucker just delayed my connecting flight in Dallas for a couple of hours.