Bill Maher is a progressive atheist who rarely has anything positive to say about any religious group. During an interview with PBS’ Charlie Rose, however, Maher defended Christians by drawing a stark distinction between Christianity and Islam. On radio this morning, Glenn praised Maher’s willingness to shun political correctness and speak candidly on the issue.
During his national address last Wednesday, President Obama said there is no relation between Islam and the Islamic State. Rose seemingly agreed with the President’s assertion, but Maher took issue with that claim – and Rose’s view of Christianity.
“There are illiberal beliefs that are held by vast numbers of Muslim people,” Maher said.
“A vast number of Christians too,” Rose interjected.
“No, that’s not true. Not true. Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you leave the Christian religion you should be killed for it,” Maher said emphatically. “Vast numbers of Christians do not treat women as second-class citizens. Vast numbers of Christians do not believe if you draw a picture of Jesus Christ you should get killed for it.”
“Does ISIS do Khmer Rouge-like activities where they kill people indiscriminately who aren't just like them? Yes. And would most Muslim people in the world do that or condone that? No. But most Muslim people in the world do condone violence just for what you think,” he continued. “There's a Pew pole in Egypt done a few years ago. 82% I think it was said stoning was the appropriate punishment for adultery. Over 80% thought death was the appropriate punishment for leaving the Muslim religion.”
As Glenn explained, the Muslims Rose knows, or Glenn knows, or average Americans know likely condemn ISIS and other terrorist groups who commit heinous acts in the name of Islam. But few Americans understand how Muslims in other parts of the world feel about these things.
“Charlie Rose is saying, ‘I know Muslims.’ Yeah, so do I,” Glenn said. “[But] we don't know the vast majority of Muslims that are living in Egypt… We don't know the vast majority of Muslims who are attending these mosques with radicalized clerics all over the world. Those polls are accurate. It was one of the most stunning and right things I've ever heard Bill Maher say, and I thank him for it.”
Speaking so openly about his opinion of Islam and Christianity is certainly not going to curry him any favor with the left. For that reason, Stu found Maher’s remarks particularly important.
“Bill Maher, great, I'm glad he said it… Many others have said similar things,” Stu said. “Although… it's harder for him maybe to do that, so you should give him credit for that.”
While Glenn recognizes he and Maher fundamentally disagree on a lot of things, he would be interested in having a conversation with the guy.
“Yes, it makes funny television for Bill Maher to say crazy things. It makes good television for me to say crazy things. Good… At the end of our life, is that what we're doing? Because that's not what I want to do,” Glenn concluded. “I know exactly what I want to do… I know what my pivot point is. Bill, can you find your way to a pivot point? Can you find your way to saying, ‘You know what? There are good people that I don't agree with.’ Maybe we should start talking to each other because the really super bad guys are starting to come out.”