Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Bill Maher, Intellectual

Bill Maher on MSNBC earlier this week (according to today’s Washington Post):

"We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that. I think that religion stops people from thinking. I think it justifies crazies. . . I think religion is a neurological disorder."

Sign that man up for Mensa. Give him a talk show. Make him the Democratic Party nominee in 2008.

Discussions - 13 Comments

Maher would be right if he were talking about Islam, but as he MEANS Christianity, he’s completely wrong. I think the good folks here at No Left Turns will back me up that it’s factually true that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and was resurrected. Christ is Lord - fact!

R3ligion stops people from thinking you say. Why didn’t the host ask him " and exactly then what is your excuse?"

Oh yeah it was MSNBC so the host agreed 100% with the ignorant and biased statement.

Maher is so kookie! He says "religion" but really means Christianity. Where is he on the "religion of peace?" For all the obvious bads in organized religion there is a noteworthy good. A MORAL compass! Without one great minds like Maher’s come up with things like communism. And if religion keeps people from thinking, Maher must have been speaking in tounges when he was developing his relationship with that big black girl who beat him up and sued him.

Maher’s show, "Politically Incorrect," should have been called "Politically Correct."

Maher? Is he still around? I guess this is his one last chance to remain in the spotlight.

I preferred this comment from Maher:

"I’m not one of those who claims that Iraq is another Vietnam — with Vietnam, Bush had an exit strategy."

How true. Applies to Cheney as well.

Mark: I don’t like your comment about Islam. If you are talking about Islamic extermists, that is one thing. (We can put Christian extermists in the same boat). But it is not fair to say that all Muslims are crazy. That is essentially what you wrote when you affirmed Maher’s quote when it comes to Muslims. You wrote, " Maher would be right if he were talking about Islam...."

Maher obviously hasn’t studied evolution. Humanists believe religion is a product of evolution that is no longer needed for societal development; so it cannot be a disorder. He should have said religious people were "evolutionarily retarded". People like Hitler could agree with that.


Looks like Maher is wearing two hats: he’s playing village atheist AND village idiot.

That’s funny how George Maddox just signed his comment "G". I’ll make a note of that; from now on, "G" = the one and only George Maddox.

While I don’t think religion is a neurological disease, I do think some appeals to religion can prevent thinking... I also believe that certain religious outlooks especially animismistic ones are diametrically opposed to scientific thinking, and affect the way people explain the world around them. In fact I believe this fact explains at least partially the poverty of Africa.

I can read Naybolt’s comment as expression of a literal belief or sarcasm. Naybolt’s belief should be the belief of anyone who calls themselves christian, since most americans call themselves christian, believe in God, Angels, ext...I believe that Bill Maher’s comment is in fact politically incorrect. A politically correct statement is one that a general audience would not find objectionable. Ironically Maher’s comment and Naybolt’s comment are probably politically incorrect since they aren’t bland, but somewhat bold. In fact my comment targeting animism is probably more politically incorrect in discriminating against a particular religious perspective/world view. In fact talking about religion at all is probably politically incorrect unless you have the appropriate audience. Hence the possible sarcasm in Naybolts post, implying that agreement disagreement with the comment was simply contingent on the audiences world view.

Supposing Hitler agreed with the "humanists" that religion was an unecessary by-product of the evolution of society akin to the appendix of the human body, this does not prevent it from being true. In point of fact religion is a powerfull force that shapes the developement of society. This being true, it should be perfectly reasonable to inquire for example if Islam isn’t a force restraining the evolution of democracy in the Middle East, or the effects of animism in Africa, or Hinduism in India.

If you can be clear about what standards and principles are best Universally, for example Natural Rights, then you can find which religions are at odds with such standards or principles in which areas. Given any ideal "constitution" you can and perhaps must reach a judgment concerning the extent to which various religions impair the working of its details.

It is even possible that the United States is less enlightened because of religion...that it could reach an ideal easier if it were not for the grasp that religion has upon it. The general attacks upon political correctness follow a similar line of reasoning, if it were not for the power of this aspect of the american character, people would be more frank and say and do more interesting things, and not fear reprisal for putting foward ideas. On the other hand as I believe that we are one of the most enlightened nations in the world, it is possible that neither the power of christianity nor that of political correctness could be lost without giving up something in return. Until there is a better bench mark than America, it will be difficult to measure that which is unseen. For example, Bill Maher I believe was linking the mentality of an abortion clinic bomber with an Wahabbi suicide bomber, some who oppose abortion are secretly sympathetic of the abortion clinic bomber, or the mental relation of the anti-gay marriage people to the person who dragged the gay guy...They may not ever do it but they were thinking it... since some sensitive people might assume this, of others... Does the Iraqi who dislikes the U.S. presence feel sympathy towards the suicide bomber?(maybe, maybe not). Because we are oftentimes able to put the worst construction on other peoples utterances, political correctness exists to prevent conversation that would enflame people who have an opinion on an issue in the first place(within the confines of the work place, ext..) It is not necessary to try to defend religion on this blog, but just for those who are wondering it would be impossible to immagine a similar american people without it. If Bill Maher wants to see the abortion clinic bombers, what goes unseen in his vision might be the churches that sent large amounts of money to Tsunami victims. The charity of the american people is probably due to religious influence. Also without christianity I believe we would lose a belief in rehabilitation, or convertion, the worst in society would then have nothing but Hobbesian reasons to turn their lives around. It is also possible that wage labor is impossible without christianity, if the working poor did not believe in a heaven, a communist style revolution might be more possible. If there is no heaven and no hell, if this life is all there ever will be why accept living from paycheck to paycheck? As america looses its religion a welfare state may become more necessary...I think it all depends on what aspects you assume it would lose, what you mean by religion.

Well said. I think it speaks well to the post when there are no more of the arguementative postings after your last, Mr. Lewis.

As a person who watches Bill Maher on his HBO show (pchuck, he is still around, to your dismay, I’m sure) , and used to watch his network TV show (before being cancelled for saying some socially and politically inflamatory things) I think I can agree with a number of the things stated in these follow-up posts. Maher’s quote may seem like he hates Christianity specifically, but he does not. Maher doesn’t like any religion as it is developed in his mind. He does believe in conversations about politics and the path that it is on. Are we any less likely to become angry with Bill O’Reilly when he says something inflamatory? Sadly, yes. Maher is a commentator--he offers his own opinion and is lucky to be paid by a company to do so. One is not required to believe what he says. (Lord knows I don’t , because then I’d be a loon!) Maher does, however, present an important point--well fielded by John Lewis. I fear for the direction some are going with their love of the "right". Do we think that creating conversation (not spitting matches) is worse than developing a hatred for someone or someone’s views? Isn’t that what we just "liberated" and "democratized" Iraq for?

Animism part of the poverty problem in Africa? Hindusim a part of the problem in India? Are u serious or seriously dsitrubed. That is what Bill Maher means when ppl like you say such obviously retarded things as if the judeo-christian worldview is scientific, good god! Your obiviously still looking at thrid world nations from the superior white colonial view of their just savages with a savage religion and culture that is the root of thier problem not what we did to them and CONTINUE to do them plz open a book.

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