A documentary by Larry Charles. Rated PG. Opens Friday, October 3.

Before you ponder the solace that religion offers the afflicted, Bill Maher wants you to consider the amount of affliction that active worship of One True God has brought to the human race.

As known by anyone who has seen his cable shows or ABC's short-lived Politically Incorrect, this crusty libertarian brings more talk about religion to TV than almost anyone outside the 700 Club, reserving special ire for evangelical Christians (“our homegrown Taliban” he calls them) obsessed with our private sex lives.

Raised Catholic but with a Jewish mother, Maher still feels the pain of the nuns' rulers and fearlessly throws the hurt back at religious spokesmen here, whether questioning a Muslim imam about the sanctioning of violence or mocking the tenets of Mormonism and Scientology. He has a genial debate with an amusement-park Jesus who comes across as sharper than the evolution-denying Arkansas senator who explains that “There's no IQ test for getting into the Senate.”

This fast and funny doc was directed by Curb Your Enthusiasm's biblically bearded Larry Charles, who sometimes joins the caustic comic on-screen in travels to places like Jerusalem, Salt Lake City, and—most dangerous of all—Florida, to talk to people about their faith.

A visit to a pot-addled philosopher in Amsterdam doesn't yield much (except the opportunity to see Maher toke up), and he pretty much skips the Hindu and Buddhist faiths, except for some quick clips in the archival parade.

What really gets Maher's wrath flowing is the notion of fantasists who might want to speed up the “end times” with ungodly weapons; Sarah Palin isn't mentioned, but her lipstick is all over the red button that could bring a hellish rapture to the planet. And Bill doesn't believe that's such a hot idea.