Many people accuse me of only criticizing Christians, Republicans, or anyone with conservative family values. Anyone who reads this blog regularly, knows this is not true. I am an equal opportunity offender. Case in point, here’s a post slamming an atheist and giving praise to a Southern Christian Republican senator.
A lot has been said recently about Bill Maher and his being given the Richard Dawkins award at the AAI conference. Since my site was down, I didn’t get a chance to throw in my own two cents. Many others have done a great job covering it, so I will be brief.
First off, I believe Richard Dawkins handled the situation perfectly. He defused the entire situation by very clearly stating that he didn’t agree with everything Bill Maher believed, and specifically Maher’s view on medicine. This was the best thing Dawkins could have done. It took the air out of the protester’s sails.
Secondly, the engraving on the beautiful award given to Maher was simply entitled, “The 2009 Richard Dawkins Award.” I could be wrong, but I believe this may have symbolized a name change for the award. It should also be pointed out that Richard Dawkins himself had nothing to do with the decision to give Maher the award. The award is given by AAI and simply bears Dawkins’ name.
A blog at the New York Times sums up Maher’s position pretty well:
Mr. Maher recently told his Twitter followers that people who get flu shots are “idiots.” On his Friday HBO show “Real Time With Bill Maher,” he explained his opposition to the flu vaccine during an interview with Bill Frist, a heart surgeon who was a Republican senator from Tennessee.
Mr. Maher questioned letting someone stick “a disease into your arm,” wrongly implying that the flu shot contains a live virus. The flu shot is a killed vaccine. (Only the nasal mist vaccine contains a weakened live virus.)
He said he did not believe that healthy people were vulnerable to dying from the new H1N1 virus. This contradicts statements from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that young, healthy people from ages 5 to 24 appear particularly vulnerable to this flu. About a third of the 76 children who have died of H1N1 since April have had no underlying health problems.
Mr. Maher also discouraged pregnant women from getting vaccinated. Studies show pregnant women are among the most vulnerable to serious complications from H1N1.
In case you missed it, here is the video clip of Sen. Frist’s appearance on last week’s Real Time with Bill Maher:
This goes to show you that we don’t only have to worry about fools like Jenny McCarthy. Atheists can be idiots too. And it is also about time we quit allowing people to condemn “Western medicine.” I’m sure that we have a lot to learn from “Eastern medicine,” but anything of value will stand up to the scientific method.