Bill Maher has Issues
Category: Religion and Philosophy
STARRY STARRY NIGHT
Walking Leika last night I looked up and saw stars. Somehow. I stood there for a while looking up into the sky until I saw more and then I could see the faint points of light. I took out my iPhone and opened theStarMap application. I found a few constellations. Joy.
So you know what this means, don’t you? I’ve got to go somewhere where you can see the sky at night.
I will be surprised if the bank doesn’t put a hold on my card again. Every once in a while you just get that urge, though. You know. “I need some new clothes.”
And of course I had to buy that iced tea brewer. You may wonder why anyone would need to spend $20 on a contraption that does what you can do for …well … free. My answer is that the, uh, well. No one needs it. Ever. At all. Another contraption to sit on the counter and eventually break. But you know what? It is neat. I was looking for a simple iced tea pitcher that has the separate filter compartment, but this was the only one they had.
I put some family sized Lipton tea bags and lemon quarters (squeezed) first in the brewing compartment. It’s perfect. And the tea dispenses directly into the pitcher (and spills some and stains the cheap counter top). So from no iced tea to 3 quarts of perfect iced tea in 15 minutes. Now that’s a gadget.
But here’s the important thing. I went to Wal-Mart twice today. I do not like Wal-Mart. But thank you to all of the little foreign children who slaved their precious little fingers off so that I could buy a bunch of golf shirts (moisturewicking) for $11.
Oh wait. Popcorn’s ready.
Do you think that Bill Maher was abused or something when he was young? He’s so angry and has such vitriol toward religion. All religion. A quote from a review of his documentary, “Religulous”:
The strange thing to me is that he is on a crusade to destroy religion. And, fine, his focus is to denounce any and all supernatural events in the Bible. That’s a fair approach, right? To disqualify literal, dogmatic interpretations of events not consistent with the laws of physics.
But he’s a zealot. He’s doing exactly what he claims to hate. Either you’re with me or against me. There’s no middle ground. It’s exactly like the Christians who say that you either believe in Darwinism/evolution — and then they define Darwinism in their own terms — or you’re a raging Atheist. Then they quote the Bible to say that you have to pick one extreme of the given argument or God won’t like you.
That’s the same thing that Bill Maher is doing. He’s zealously anti-zealot and he borders on the irrational.
He said in one interview I read that the world would be paradise if it weren’t for religion. You know how some people say that religion is the cause of all these problems. Obviously, I can’t deny that people are using religion to justify all kinds of crazy s—. And Christianity in America is too often a form of religous Nationalism. The whole extremist Muslim terrorism thing or the “honor killings” of young women. All of this is deplorable.
But religion is just the scapegoat.
I mean, say there were no concept of religion and there are two tribes that live in an arid climate. One tribe herds sheep and cattle and the other is agricultural. The crop growers want to irrigate their fields. The herders want to feed their cattle. It’s a season of drought.
What do you think will happen?
Does theft, rape, or murder require a structured belief system? No way.
The world runs on oil. One region has a LOT of it. Others don’t but each of the other nations needs more and more. What do you see happening?
Religion has been used — MIS-used — to manipulate people, yes, but every war that I know of has been over land/resources. People group and bond due to proximity, language, culture, relation, ties to land. We form tribes, prides, bands, gaggles. And each struggles to survive. Each seeks the land of prime resources.
When conflict erupts and atrocities occur do we say, “Obviously, the formation of groups of people banding together in a hierarchical society has lead to these horrible things, therefore we must destroy this notion of government.”
Oh. I guess some people do say that. Is that what Anarchists believe? Libertarians believe in minimal governance, don’t they? I’ll have to wikipedia that.
Anyway, I’m tired and have to get myself to bed at a reasonable time tonight. But the last thing I want to say is that tradition and religion are oft intertwined but they aren’t the same thing. Female genital mutilation is a cultural custom, for example. Religous in some but based on what doctrine, I have no idea. Brutalization of women occurs in, it seems, every culture. It is not a religous doctrine. It is primitive tradition.
My mistrust and cynicism is directed toward institutions and organizations. They bring out the best and then they bring out the worst in people. And absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Anyway, I’m done. Hopefully, you get my point. All of these religious institutions need to be held accountable. They need to be held in check and they need to keep away from political influence. Let’s pass on the theocracy, please. But scapegoating religion itself as the cause of all the world’s and history’s ills is cynical, inaccurate and irrational. It doesn’t address the source of conflicts or pathos.
It’s easy, though. And these days it’s profitable, too. Expect more of the same, I guess.
And that concludes tonight’s episode, America. Join us next time for more hurried ramblings. Plenty more where that came from.