______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

Bill Maher on Christianity & Osama bin Laden May 17, 2011

[The following is a transcript of a Bill Maher monolog.
I’m not necessarily a big fan, but I think he pretty much nails this one.
If you click on his picture, it should take you to a Facebook page with the video segment]

{Explicit Language Warning}

New rule: if you’re a Christian who supports killing your enemies and torture, you have to come up with a new name for yourself.

Last week, as I was explaining why I didn’t feel at all guilty about Osama’s targeted assassination, I made some jokes about Christian hypocrisy and since then strangers have been coming up to me and forcing me to have the same conversation.

So let me explain two things. One, I’m not Matthew McConaughey. He surfs a long board.

And two, capping thine enemy is not exactly what Jesus would do. It’s what Suge Knight would do.

For almost 2,000 years, Christians have been lawyering the Bible to try and figure out how “love thy neighbor” can mean “hate thy neighbor” and how “turn the other cheek” can mean “screw you I’m buying space lasers.”

Martin Luther King gets to call himself a Christian because he actually practiced loving his enemies.

And Ghandi was so fucking Christian he was Hindu.

But if you rejoice in revenge, torture and war – hey, that’s why they call it the weekend – you cannot say you’re a follower of the guy who explicitly said, “love your enemies” and “do good to those who hate you.” The next line isn’t “and if that doesn’t work, send a titanium fanged dog to rip his nuts off.”

Jesus lays on that hippie stuff pretty thick. He has lines like, “do not repay evil with evil,” and “do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you.” Really. It’s in that book you hold up when you scream at gay people.

And not to put too fine a point on it, but nonviolence was kind of Jesus’ trademark. Kind of his big thing. To not follow that part of it is like joining Greenpeace and hating whales.

There’s interpreting, and then there’s just ignoring.

It’s just ignoring if you’re for torture – as are more evangelical Christians than any other religion. You’re supposed to look at that figure of Christ on the cross and think, “how could a man suffer like that and forgive?” Not, “Romans are pussies, he still has his eyes.”

If you go to a baptism and hold the baby under until he starts talking, you’re missing the message.

Like, apparently, our president, who says he gets scripture on his Blackberry first thing every morning, but who said on 60 Minutes that anyone who would question that Bin Laden didn’t deserve an assassination should, “have their head examined.”

Hey Fox News! You missed a big headline; Obama thinks Jesus is nuts!

To which I say, “hallelujah,” because my favorite new government program is surprising violent religious zealots in the middle of the night and shooting them in the face. Sorry Head Start, you’re number 2 now.

But I can say that because I’m a non-Christian.

Just like most Christians.

Christians, I know, I’m sorry, I know you hate this and you want to square this circle, but you can’t.

I’m not even judging you, I’m just saying logically if you ignore every single thing Jesus commanded you to do, you’re not a Christian – you’re just auditing.

You’re not Christ’s followers, you’re just fans.

And if you believe the Earth was given to you to kick ass on while gloating, you’re not really a Christian – you’re a Texan.


4 Responses to “Bill Maher on Christianity & Osama bin Laden”

  1. Madeleine Says:

    Actually Maher exposes his inability to read scripture and presses a few popular stereotype buttons. That’s might be “nailing it” in terms of appealing to mass ignorance and scoring audience laughs but it is not nailing it in any sense of what he said being an accurate assessment of what the Bible teaches. He fails to make the key distinction between what we are to do and what the State is permitted to do.

    • lifewalkblog Says:

      Actually, he appears to read the teachings of Jesus just fine. He does push some buttons concerning stereotypes, but those stereotypes are often true. I know this from the decades I spent as a right-wing fundamentalist evangelical.
      As far as saying
      “He fails to make the key distinction between what we are to do and what the State is permitted to do,”
      that’s not at all where he is coming from. He’s not talking about what the “state,” as you say, did.
      He’s discussing the reactions of those who claim to follow Christ. I’d have to say, again, he pretty much nails it.

  2. […] TV show Real Time.  See for yourself in this You Tube clip or read the transcript of the segment here. Maher scathingly contended that this support contradicted Christ’s clear teaching; he said, […]

  3. Guti Says:

    Madeleine, he definitely nails it. Now, you can try and figure out how to circumvect the clearest, most explicit and unambiguous commandments of Christian legacy. By the way, he mentioned that attitude as well.

    Lifewalk, thans a lot for transcribing. English is not my first language, and I understand most of what Maher says, but without your help it would’ve been impossible for me to follow some specific sentences. I just wanted to let you know your work is valuable.

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