Whorled View

October 23, 2008

Religulous, the movie: Shifting the blame onto religion. Part 1

Bill Maher, is an HBO talk-show host (professes to be libertarian, although lately he’s just seemed anti-conservative above all else).  His new movie “Religulous”, aimed at making fun of all religion and all religious people and blaming all of society’s ills on religion, has been in the theaters for a couple weeks now.  It’s already made more money than Ben Stein’s “Expelled” has over the last 6 months.

blaming religion for societies ills obfuscates the real causes … As a result greed and selfishness goes unchecked and continues to flourish

This is becoming quite popular to blame religion for societies ills, and it’s been a favorite topic of Bill Maher, but it is at best a cheap shot, and at worst it obfuscates the real cause of societies ills: mankind’s greed and selfishness.  As a result of obfuscating efforts like this greed and selfishness goes unchecked and continues to flourish as the #1 cause of the atrocities of mankind.

Maher used to have a fairly interesting show called Politically Incorrect, an ironic title since he acted as a shill for republican-hating liberals, bashing anyone who’s views don’t agree with what the mainstream media considers “correct”.  Ironically, more and more it seems politically incorrect to go against his gay-rights, pro-marijuana, anti-religion, PETA-loving agenda.  Ironically, with respect to his hot button issues he’s about as politically correct as they come.

But ultimately he proved himself the pinnacle of politically incorrectness in 2002 when he said suicide terrorists who’d go down with a plane weren’t cowards, but that our soldiers were indeed cowards for shooting missiles from long distances.

It seems he’s gone from “Politically Incorrect” to just plain old “Incorrect” … the guests on his show lapped up his comments like they were accurate.

So he calls our soldiers cowards for valuing life, complements plane-crashing terrorists as being brave, and then claims all other religious people “have a neurological disorder.”  Honestly, I don’t know if that’s politically incorrect or just really stupid.  Financial supporters pulled their ads and he lost his show.

HBO came to his rescue with “Real Time, with Bill Maher”, same basic format, different name, and just all around less funny and more angry and biased.  He’s called a comedian, but when I watch he seems to have simply degenerated into an angry old man as Carlin did in his late years with a humorless and bitter sarcasm about anything championed by the conservative agenda.

[Maher] calls our soldiers cowards for valuing life, complements plane-crashing terrorists as being brave, and then claims all other religious people “have a neurological disorder.”

What’s more his ‘facts’ can’t be trusted.  He seriously distorts the facts to justify statements that just aren’t true.  It seems he’s gone from “Politically Incorrect” to just plain old “Incorrect”.  For proof you need go no further than where he claimed the Mormon church taught Blacks can only go to heaven as slaves.  Most ardent anti-Mormons wouldn’t even say that simply because it’s nowhere to be found in LDS theology.  This is just one small example of many misrepresentations he’s made from calling the Pope a Nazi to calling all Christians insane, but this one sticks out for me because I’m LDS.  Not surprisingly the guests on his show lapped up his comments like they were accurate, which everyone seems to foolishly do and undoubtedly will do in Religulosity.

Why does he get the gimmes and mulligans for the gaffes and misrepresentations he makes?  Where does he get his platform of legitimacy?  Doesn’t anyone remember when he said “But I’ve often said that if I had — I have two dogs — if I had two retarded children, I’d be a hero. And yet the dogs, which are pretty much the same thing. What? They’re sweet. They’re loving. They’re kind, but they don’t mentally advance at all…. Dogs are like retarded children.”  When a guest said her nephew was retarded and she didn’t think of him as a dog he said, “Maybe you should.”

“Dogs are like retarded children.” When a guest said her nephew was retarded and she didn’t think of him as a dog Maher said, “Maybe you should.”

Yet reputable guests continue arrive on his show thereby giving him some form of continued legitimacy.  At least it helps me identify which politicians and pundits are filled with blind ambition and seem more interested in getting public face-time than in doing what is right and responsible.

You’d think his guests and potential guests would clue in.  Craig Ferguson had Bill Maher on his show when Bill Maher said Michael Jackson wasn’t as bad as the media was making him out to be because he wasn’t beating his victims senseless, but that the kids were simply being “gently masturbated by a pop star”.  You’d think Craig would get a clue, but as you see in the above link … Craig was there on Bill’s show a couple years later when Bill was misrepresenting LDS beliefs while Michael Steel nodded his head like it was all true.

Bill Maher said Michael Jackson wasn’t as bad … that the kids were simply being “gently masturbated by a pop star”.

Get a clue, people!  There’s a pattern here of not just political incorrectness, but just plain old incorrectness on Maher’s part.  Pick up on it.

I really don’t like airing someone’s dirty laundry without a fair representation of the good that they do, but that is precisely what Maher has done with regard to religion in general, as well as with regard to religious figures.  In my next post I’ll address his actual attack on religion.

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