Christians are calling for a boycott of the anti-religion comedy "Religulous," which debuts this weekend on the big screen.
Or at least two self-proclaimed "Christian rockers" have in a YouTube video viewed more than 57,000 times in the past month it's been up.
The duo, who call themselves the "Rapture Right," say they have devoted their resources to getting comic Bill Maher's "Devil movie" banned and that their "ministry … is currently at a heightened stage 9 alert awareness."
And while there are some who may believe the call for boycott is real, those who have looked more closely at the group have discovered what many already have come to believe and what some already know.
The Rapture Right is just as anti-Christian and satirical as the movie it has "officially" boycotted.
"Are these guys real?" asked movie critic Colin Boyd who writes for the movie blog Get the Big Picture. "My first reaction was that it was a set up, because their positions are so bizarre, at least to the rational set."
Some believe the duo is associated with "Religulous," the self-described "documentary" that makes every effort to criticize and mock religion through interviews with mostly those on the religious fringe and through strategic editing to draw laughs more than thoughtful insight on religion.
The group's YouTube video appears on the Religulous-affiliated website, disbeliefnet.com, and (if anything) their arguments provide the non-religious with more reason to watch the film – which many religious Americans haven't even considered watching.
As Boyd pointed out, however, the duo has had YouTube postings dating as far back as March 2007 and a website that had been registered in February 2007.
Still, while the "Rapture Right" may not be associated with Bill Maher's movie, observers such as Boyd are pretty sure the two stand in a position not too far from comic Bill Maher, who intellectually gave up on organized religion as a young man and has since been highly critical of it, skewering it as a bunch of ancient superstitions that do more harm than good.
"There is the possibility, however remote, that The Rapture Right is a gag – some kind of performance art or something – that mocks Christianity through one of its most annoying characters: The Christian rocker," Boyd wrote. "And perhaps as part of that ongoing performance, they saw the opportunity to latch onto this film, which would clearly upset that character. That makes the most sense to me."
A closer look at their website would support – if not convince visitors of – Boyd's theory.
The website has a significant gap between the call for boycott and its prior entry (about six months) and similar gap between that and its first set of entries – nine of 11 of which were posted on the same date.
Some of the duo's claims include "proof that Jesus was and is white," the need for "a new Satan," and belief that "retardation, mongoloidation, and cretinism is a choice" and therefore sins – an obvious parody of the Christian belief that homosexuality is a choice and a sin.
Both also claim to be "born without Original Sin," were born as "Timothy Isaiah Christian" (or Timothy Is Christian, for short) and "Trevor Bernard Christian," and want the "Universe record" in the Guinness Book of World Records for reading the Bible 4,340 times "but have been told by Guinness this title does not exist … yet."
And if all that is not proof enough that the duo's work is satire, the "Christian" brothers also reportedly appeared on a show produced by the Rational Response Squad, an atheist activist group dedicated to "obliterating dogma."
Perhaps Bill Maher should have interviewed them for his "documentary."