Bill Maher is an Idiot but Idiots can be Right Every now and Then

Many Christians will not like this Bill Maher rant, but my sense is they will not like it because it hits too close to home. They will also not like it because they don’t like hearing the truth when it comes from someone as idiotic as Maher—someone who understands religion about as well as Charlie Sheen understands moderation. Well, they should look past that and consider if there’s not some truth here.

We should not want to be like Maher, but he notes that we too often are just like him. I have often thought that, while perhaps pacifism is not entirely and always correct in some contexts and situations, it may be the vast majority of the time. And Evangelicals are simply too eager to support violence and violent means as long as it is done by Americans.

And I know Christians will try and parse this by noting the difference between an individual person loving their enemy and a state/government acting on behalf of millions of people loving their enemies. Look, I understand there are deep and well-thought out arguments on both sides of the pacifism and “Just War” disagreements and the disagreements over what it means to “love your enemies.” But one would think that Christians on every side would consider torture, at the very least, unwise and would certainly not gloat over the death of anyone—even an enemy.

Because when we do, we sound and think like Bill Maher. And he’s an idiot. He is funny though.

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2 Responses to Bill Maher is an Idiot but Idiots can be Right Every now and Then

  1. frthomas says:

    I agree with your estimation.

    I remember being asked by one of the members of a congregation where I served as a pastor, “Do you think that the President of the United States can successfully execute his duties and still profess to be a committed Christian without needing to immediately repent for many of the decision he makes?” I wanted to say yes, but I have to admit, I was stopped short. It was one of the most thought provoking questions I think I have even been asked. The question still nags at me.

    I can contextualize and theologize until I am blue in the face, but the question remains. What IS the most effective way for a Christian to deal with hate and violence? Not the state, the Christian. I can’t get off on a tangent in my answer. I need to keep the answer in terms of a Christian disciple. The desert fathers and many of the great elders of the Eastern Orthodox Church have said, in essence, love is the only way. Not only that, but a specific kind of love. The kind exemplified by Christ Jesus and many of those who were martyred in His name over the centuries.

    Bill Maher is, I believe, hitting very close to home. He is on target even though he is way over his head in terms of his obvious misappropriation of the Bible – he quotes only Jesus for example instead of the epistles or the Old Testament. His representation of Jesus’ commandment to love as were his comments about homosexuality and other hot button topics were sadly predictable and out of context. After all, why not just throw in comments about everything. But, then, he is, by his own description, not a Christian.

    But, one must expect such misappropriation of texts within Church’s book by those who are not part of the covenant community.

    I who address Jesus as Lord, stand repentant under the uncomfortable accuracy of Maher’s exhortation from outside the covenant community.

    Fr. Thomas

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  2. Darrell says:

    Tom,

    Thank you for those insights. And yes, I certainly agree that Maher, when quoting the Bible, has no idea what he is talking about. He is taking easy shots here. Fine. But the other aspect to this is that perception is greater than reality. And I do think he is picking up on a perception that we too often lend ourselves to. We helped create it. Rather than getting upset with Maher, I wonder if we shouldn’t be more upset with ourselves.

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