Last week it appears that Bill Maher made a joke about the Pope and the Catholic Church, trying to compare the Catholic’s sex scandals and child sexual abuse to the FLDS church issues down in Texas. He went in the joke and said that the Pope was a “Nazi”. Seems like the Catholic Defense League responded to this very aggressively, and Mr. Maher gave somewhat of an apology.
Honestly, I like Bill Maher, however; I don’t like how he beats into the ground how religion is evil, fairy tales, etc. Not so much because I am a follower of Christ, more so because he hides behind rationality, logic and reason, and uses very little rationality, logic or reason when he evaluates religion. So, since I already have a bone to pick with the guy, I watched the show where he made the comments and the next show before I decided to write about this issue.
Overall, I can see where he was trying to go in the joke (i.e. the Catholic church BLEW it on how it handled the sexual scandals that happened and if it had of been anybody else some serious jail sentences would have followed for those who committed the crimes and those who covered them up), however; what we have now instead of people seeing the validity of what he was trying to say is people focusing on the “Nazi” statement.
Thus, Bill Maher becomes a victim of what HE in fact always does with the topic of religion, that being “focusing on the trees and missing the forest”.
People are focusing on Mr. Maher’s uses of the word Nazi and conveniently missing the VALID point regarding how negligently (criminally, ethically, morally AND Spiritually negligent in my opinion) the Catholic Church as an institution handled these many sexual abuse and assault cases that it had over the last 20 years.
If Catholics are in fact Christians first, they need to forgive Bill, take the valid criticism of their Church and correct a few things internally and move on.
As for Mr. Maher, I have this to say, in fact, I’ll put it in letter form, and will send it to him once I find his email address or someone gets his email address for me:
Mr. Bill Maher:
I love your show. Just wanted to say that I think you are getting roasted a bit too much about you recent comments about the Pope. Admittedly, though I am a Christian, I am not Catholic, so maybe I might be more sensitive if I were; however, I believe that you trying to make a valid point and it is sad that some people will miss that point (some willfully) and focus on your “Nazi” part of the joke.
I have been meaning to write you anyway. I have heard your many statements about religion and religious people over the years, some of those statements I can agree with, some I can understand even if I don’t agree, and sometimes I have to stop watching your show for a few weeks because you go beyond commentary and into purposed offense to people who choose to accept the existence of a God (or gods as it were).
Mr. Maher, I think you are an intelligent man, but it is intellectually fraudulent to posit again and again that anyone who prescribes to any type of faith system that incorporates a deity is not a rational being, not only because such a statement is riducles at face value alone, but also such a statment implies that people who do not incorporate that belief are some how more “rational”? A cursory look at history shows that many crimes have been committed in the name of ideas and philosophies be they: religious ideas, secular ideas, fiscal ideas, political ideas, etc., many of these crimes committed by groups and individuals who claimed to be “rationalist” without any hint of religious overtones (i.e. Stalin).
My primary bone of contention with you is that you put the overwhelming burden on “religious ideas”. I’d be the first person to agree with you that religious ideas are often manipulated by people with POLITICAL AGENDAS to accomplish their goals, it happens here (i.e. the current administration) and elsewhere in the world. It has happened since our earliest empires in history. However; were you fail in your analysis is in not acknowledging that scientific ideas have been used to do the same damn thing (recently a noted noble laureate made statements that many will use to predicate hate ideology).
Look at things that were once “science”: Social Darwinism, Eugenics, etc, these all have been used as an excuse to do evil to people; however, as also with religion, undeniably science has also been used for great positive change as well. You fail to make that distinction when discussing faith; you also fail to make the distinction between "religion" the institutions and the faith and spirituality of the individual. You claim that Christians believe this, that or the other, when in fact there is a broad range of thought within the faith that you purposely ignore in assigning a specific thought or view that may apply to some to the complete spectrum of Christianity (or people of faith in general).
That is where you come off as no different than people who believe generalities about gays, or Blacks or Jews, etc. People who conveniently ignore any evidence to the contrary of the generality that they desire to forward. That is PREJUDICE.
I am a Christian, so you PREJUDGE that I lack rationality, you PREJUDGE that I believe every word in the Bible as “word for word” or that I use the Bible to tell me everything in life from how to tie my shoes to how often I pray. That is prejudice pure and simple. Anyway, I could go on, but I have learned in life that people either get your point or don't (hell, you argued with Cornell West, what chance do I have? lol).
Other than that, I just wanted to add, that I admire your courage to say what you feel is true, rather I agree with you or not.
Sincerely DJ Black Adam
I'm just saying...