WorldNetDaily: Bill Maher: Christians have neurological disorderThis is my favorite fun read for the day. My comments in italics.Bill Maher: Christians have neurological disorderSays parents ‘drill’ religion into kids’ heads using biblical ‘fairy tales’Posted: February 18, 20051:00 a.m. EasternÂ© 2005 WorldNetDaily.comBill MaherTelevision personality Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” says Christians and others who are religious suffer from a neurological disorder that “stops people from thinking.”Following this Maher pulled out a copy of Al Plantinga’s latest work in epistemology. “Look at this,” he said. “I was reading this last night and Reformed Epistemology is simply a joke!”Appearing as a guest on MSNBC’s “Scarborough Country” this week, Maher told host Joe Scarborough:”We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that. I think that religion stops people from thinking. I think it justifies crazies. I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder. If you look at it logically, it’s something that was drilled into your head when you were a small child. It certainly was drilled into mine at that age. And you really can’t be responsible when you are a kid for what adults put into your head.”Maher somehow “escaped” his childhood “indoctrination.” Why didn’t I? It could be that my Dad and Mom taught me to think. They let me read Isaac Asimov and then we discussed it. We were taught critical thinking skills which meant we did not get to “rebel” against everything our parents believed. We had to think about whether they were right. In my head the uncomfortable question would come (unbidden!), “You wish they were wrong. But what is the truth?” Some folk get trapped in being the mirror image of their parents, which they confuse with thinking, because they conflate teen rebellion with thinking.The former host of “Politically Incorrect” said the lack of enlightenment of so many Americans means the nation actually has more in common with its enemies than one might think.Arguments that rely on “guilt by association” are an example of Maher’s critical thinking skills. Said Maher: “When you look at beliefs in such things as, do you go to heaven, is there a devil, we have more in common with Turkey and Iran and Syria than we do with European nations and Canada and nations that, yes, I would consider more enlightened than us.”It is good to know that Turkey, Iran, and Syria are bad places because they are religious. I thought it might be because Turkey embraced an insane secularism that tried to stamp out their religious culture and only recently got rid ot it. I guess I did not know the dictators of Syria (Baathist) were religious extremists. Must of missed it.Iran? Iran proves that religious people can be wrong. But wait! That is just like secular theories! Some religion are false! Some versions of religion are also harmful! However, perhaps other religious beliefs are true. One form of Islam might be harmful and another helpful to a culture. Or Islam might be false and Christianity true. Or in reverse! Such distinctions require critical thinking skills. . .Maher’s comments on Europe are equally amusing. I guess the Christian heritage of Europe has vanished. All those beautiful objects of art and culture in Europe were created by secularists in Maher’s mind. Notre Dame? Secular. The lady referred to? Madonna. You know the one who sings. Newton, who wrote more on the Bible than science, must have actually been a secularist! Bach? Just acted religious to avoid being burned as a witch.Maher must be hoping that we too can stop having babies, stop developing as a culture, and embrace the secularist European culture of death. Hurrah!Maher explained that he was not singling out evangelicals, but was targeting all “religious” people.In a related story, sure to comfort African-Americans, a leading Klansman noted he was willing to stereotype Jews and other minorities as well.“I think the vote in Missouri [rejecting same-sex marriage] and a lot of other states is because people are religious,” Maher said. “They don’t have to be evangelical, but they’re religious. They believe in religion, which as â€“ I think it was Jesse Ventura who had that quote about religion is a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers.”Atheism was developed to avoid fear of gods. Check out the Epicureans for more information. So?Religion is a comfort to many people, some of whom are weak minded. That is a strength of religion, not a weakness. It also appeals to strong minded people. “Strength in numbers” used to be called voting.The television host told Scarborough he was convinced evangelicals’ influence will wane.Said Maher: “When people say to me, ‘You hate America,’ I don’t hate America. I love America. I am just embarrassed that it has been taken over by people like evangelicals, by people who do not believe in science and rationality. It is the 21st century. And I will tell you, my friend. The future does not belong to the evangelicals. The future does not belong to religion.”Later, Maher noted this same prediction had been made by secularists since the nineteenth century. “We are just another day closer to a secular America,” he said, “I live by faith in the decline of religion. It is not happening, but I know it will. Clarence Darrow tells me so.” Later in the interview, Maher returned to the childhood-religion theme, comparing fairy tales to Bible stories:”When you were a kid and they were telling you whatever you believe in religion, do you think if they had switched the fairy tales that they read to you in bed with the Bible, you would know the difference?”Do you think if it was the fairy tale about a man who lived inside of a whale and it was religion that Jack built a beanstalk today, you would know the difference? Why do you believe in one fairy tale and not the other? Just because adults told you it was true and they scared you into believing it, at pain of death, at pain of burning in hell.”The host could have noted that stories invented by secularists, like some science fiction, sound a good bit like secularism. Since Christians invented the genre of fairy tales it has a strong relationship to Christian truth in terms of themes.News flash for Maher: fairy tales, in their modern forms, are not as old as the New Testament. They may be similar because one is based on the other! Maher might also note the great truths within fairy tales that give them cultural staying power. He has confused historically false with useless. . . in which case there is nothing to learn from Tolstoy or Dickens books.As C.S. Lewis (another person without critical thinking skills) noted Christianity is the myth that turns out to also be historically true. It inspires other myths and some great music. Maher can blame us for fairy tales and Handel, if he will take responsibilityDan Barker’s music.
Essay / Culture