People that watch HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" are infinitely aware that the host is not only an atheist, but is also an antitheist, meaning that he hates religion.
No finer example of Maher's disdain for theism and Judeo-Christian principles occurred on Friday's installment of "Real Time" when he actually declared, "At least half of the [Ten] Commandments are stupid!"
This came moments after Maher proudly stated, "If I had a child, the last book I would ever give to teach morality would be the Bible, especially the Old Testament." This led one of his guests to say that Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain should be stoned for committing adultery.
I kid you not.
BILL MAHER, HOST: As a book of morality, it would be about last on my list. If I had a child, the last book I would ever give to teach morality would be the Bible, especially the Old Testament.
DAN SAVAGE, COLUMNIST: People only pretend to read the Bible. Their eyes glaze over, and they remember a couple of passages that they ignore when they feel like ignoring, like "Turn the other cheek." And, then they, when they don't like somebody, they go flipping through this massive book, full of ancient desert prejudices, looking for something to justify it. Just like they justified slavery using the Bible, because there are passages in the Bible that justify slavery, including passages that justify selling your daughters into sex slavery. Right there, that's Biblical, those are Biblical family values. And so, we have this selective sort of reading problem with the Bible. If we're going to enforce it all, stone the gay people, but, you know, stoning the adulterers first starting with Newt Gingrich, and Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain...by the time it's my turn, they'll be out of rocks.
Of course, Savage didn't mention former President Bill Clinton in the list. I wonder why.
Later, the Wall Street Journal's John Fund tried to bring some sanity into the discussion:
Of course there's a lot of stuff in the Bible that's contradictory. But who's going to argue that the Ten Commandments are a pretty good way to lead your life, and that if more people did do that, it would be a better place?
Well, John, Maher's going to argue that:
And at least half of the Commandments are stupid...If you were going to make a list of like the ten things you absolutely can't do, wouldn't you put on there rape, incest, bestiality, slavery? But, instead, they have things like "Don't swear," you know, "Don't build statues to other Gods," obviously the ideas of primitive man living in primitive times, and this is what you look up to.
Yet, maybe the best moment in this debate was when country singer Trace Adkins explained why he's religious:
TRACE ADKINS, COUNTRY SINGER: There's two reasons why I go with the God thing, because, number one...
MAHER: (Laughing, grabs Adkins' arm).
ADKINS: (To Maher) Shut up!
MAHER: You go with the God thing?
FUND: Listen to him.
MAHER: I know, I always listen to him.
ADKINS: Number one, just in case!
MAHER: (Laughing) Now that's honest, right.
ADKINS: And number two, my momma may be watching. Just as D.L. [Hughley, other panelist] was saying, too, because his momma's watching. (To Maher) Is your momma watching?
MAHER: She passed away.
ADKINS: See, she's watching, you better shut up!