Last night, now that I'm just watching Fox News, I caught an interview Billy O'Reilly did with Bill Maher. I'll be honest, up to that point I really had no opinion of Mr. Maher other than being marginally aware that his take on things tilts to the left. The original reason Maher was appearing on Mr. O'Reilly's "The Factor" was to discuss Maher's canceled appearance on Katie Couric's CBS evening newscast. Couric apparently has a weekly session where people of public note are encouraged to speak freely on a topic of their choice. Edgy stuff no doubt. Maher's choice was religion, and the CBS folks suddenly weren't for free speech with quite the same zeal they probably enjoyed whilst brainstorming the concept in a room full of marketing and demographics wunderkinds.
At anyrate, Mr. O'Reilly gave Mr. Maher thirty seconds to make his (predictable) point. At this juncture we'll momentarily pause as you imagine what Maher's (cue the Jeopardy Do-Do-Do-Tum-De-Dum music) well nuanced cutting edge theory on religion and the world might possibly be.
After listening to his thirty second diatribe, and believe me that was plenty of time, I felt as if I knew Bill Maher.......thirty plus years ago in college. He may have actually stolen his idea from me, although I probably filtched it from a college professor in order to later impress a date with the size of my very big open educated sophmoric mind. At anyrate (drum roll please!), here it is courtesy of Mr. William Maher's big intellect......Religion is the cause of all the death and destruction in the world. Religion is mental illness. Well Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Hitler must be breathing a collective sigh of relief in the seventh level of Hell.......godless systems ARE the way to go after all. Herr Marx, your "opiate of the masses" concept lives on in the risen Maher!
He adroitly dodged a pointed rhetorical question posed by O'Reilly about the sanity of Mother Teresa, and to his credit, acknowledged Rosie O'Donnell's assertion on "The View" that American Christians are as dangerous as Islamic jihadists is patently absurd.
Now if we could just do something about those pesky volcanos, germs, stray asteroids and the incessant dictatorial demands of time and gravity....hey, maybe Mother Nature, just like Mother Teresa, just needs some quality time with a good shrink.
What I found most interesting about Mr. Maher was the fanaticsm of his belief......which, dare I say, reeked of religious fervor and a condescending smarter-than-thou elitist mentality. A mentality that perhaps has more to do with the failings and horrific transgressions of any worldview, philosophy or religion than the actual precepts of any such system. A very human failing every religion cautions against.......pride and it's wicked cousin, arrogance.
Whoa, time to climb down off this rapidly elevating soap-box. I am reminded by the angels of my better nature that those without sin should cast the first stone......and as at least one of my readers will surely counsel me....the kettle should not be calling the frying pan black. So, Mr. Maher, forgive me, I'm off on this beautiful Saturday to do my penance....two rolls of quarters and a couple weeks worth of laundry.