Bill Maher was on Larry King Live last night. Of course, religion was a topic of discussion.
Some of the transcript:
KING: Mitt Romney — can a Mormon be elected?
MAHER: Well, I don’t think so, actually, because Americans take their faith very seriously, which is so silly and ironic, because one set of preposterous, ridiculous religious beliefs makes no more sense than the next. But, of course, since most people don’t subscribe to the Mormon faith, they are a little suspicious of a guy who believes in something called celestial marriage, which means that if you’re very good to your wife while you are married here on Earth, when you die, you and your wife get to rule over an entire planet, Larry.
You know, somebody once gave me a little certificate that says, you know, they can name a star after you.
MAHER: But in the Mormon religion, they actually give you the planet, not just a certificate, but the actual planet.
Maher also discussed his upcoming documentary tentatively titled The Absurdity of Religion (though I do like the title Religulous…):
KING: Not bad. OK. Tell us about the upcoming documentary on religion. Does it have a title, because you once said religion is stupid. That’s not the title, is it? MAHER: No, no, I was kidding. I think the title is requesting to be “Religulous.”
MAHER: That’s ridiculous.
KING: “Borat” guy director.
MAHER: That’s right. Larry Charles, the brilliant Larry Charles who directed “Borat,” he’s the director.
KING: What’s the concept? When does it come out?
MAHER: It should come out at Easter. I would like it out as soon as the time people are celebrating the space man’s flying up to heaven.
MAHER: Oh yes. Absolutely. Lion’s Gate is releasing it. I think it’s going to unleash a great torrent of energy in support of this proposition.
KING: This is the atheist view of religion.
MAHER: Well, yes. It’s certainly the doubter’s view. How much of an atheist a person is, even I, who I’m not a believer, say, look I can’t know. My main proposition is I don’t know, and, therefore, if some other human being tells me or anybody else what happens when you die, my answer to them I don’t know what happens when you die so how do you know? The answer is you don’t know, so to purport to present yourself as someone who can tell in such great detail, and the detail is amazing, isn’t it, about what happens when you die you?
We have to get away from a system of faith. Mitt Romney always says we need a person of faith in the White House. They all would say the same thing who are running for president. No, we need a person of doubt in the White House. Stop with the faith and start with the doubt.
KING: Where do you — give me what I will see. Do you talk to religious leaders?MAHER: Oh, we talk to everybody. We went everywhere. We went to every place where there’s religion. We went to Vatican City and we went to Jerusalem and we went to Salt Lake City and, you know, I think I’ve insulted everybody, you know. It’s across the board, and we got amazing access. I mean, we were …
MAHER: We were at the dome — we were standing right next to the rock, the Dome of the Rock where Mohammed flew up to heaven. We were — we were in that mosque, places they never filmed before. The Wailing Wall you’re not allowed to have cameras, inside the Vatican. We just found out that even though the sign says you’re not allowed to enter here there’s so many tourists with cameras and such and nowadays when you make a documentary like this it’s kind of guerrilla shooting. You don’t need a big crew. You just pretend you’re tourists and you’re shooting and then can you make a movie.
KING: Is this like Michael Moore in a sense?
MAHER: I would never compare myself to Michael more because, first of all, he’s a genius. He does what he does incredibly well, but I think …
KING: This isn’t that type?
MAHER: This is — You know, I hope that people laugh — we’ve shown 10 minutes. That’s all we have so far. We’re still cutting it together. But the 10 minutes that we’ve shown I’ve seen it shown to audiences twice. They laugh so hard because the topic of religion is just so inherently funny. I mean, politicians are funny because they promise things that they can never deliver on, and the gap between what they promise and what they deliver is great fodder for humor, as people from Mark Twain up into our own day have demonstrated but what religious people have promised, your own planet, come on, that’s a little beyond Social Security.
Father Jonathan Morris had a response to Bill. I’m not sure where he received the information that Maher says certain things in his movie, but there’s no doubt many Christians believe the very things Morris claims they don’t. And in the process, Morris is just providing more fodder to Maher.
If Christianity really taught that God took out a pen, wrote a book for us, called it the Bible and dropped it from the clouds, I too would doubt. But Mr. Maher, Christianity doesn’t teach that. As history shows, human beings wrote the Bible and, according to Christian belief, their writing was divinely inspired.
So God didn’t write it. God just told other people to write it. Using His words.
If Maher wants to address the absurdities of religion, let him. And if there are Christians out there who would like to point out that the “crazy” beliefs aren’t representative of true Christianity, let them do it, too. I would imagine the latter group has much more of an uphill battle.
(Thanks to Infidel Joe for the link!)
[tags]atheist, atheism, Bill Maher, Larry King Live, Mitt Romney, Mormon, The Absurdity of Religion, Religulous, Larry Charles, Borat, Easter, Jesus, Lion’s Gate, Michael Moore, Father Jonathan Morris, Bible[/tags]