It’s the classic tool of the provocateur: when all else fails, make fun of religion.
That seems to be Bill Maher’s strategy anyway. On April 6’s episode of Real Time With Bill Maher, the comedian nestled an offensive joke in between his vulgar jokes about male genitalia and a somewhat out of place rant about how much teachers are getting paid. The HBO entertainer is an outspoken atheist, but he rarely targets any religion but Christianity.
In his “New Rules” segment, with the image of Christ on the cross imposed next to him, Maher cracked, “New rule: forget getting into heaven. Jesus has to tell us how to get those abs. Whoo.”
As the audience cackled, he continued, “Talk about crossfit. I say talk about crossfit.” The headline underneath the image said, “Bod Almighty.” The camera then turned to a chuckling Louie Anderson, who was sitting next to Maher.
In a previous episode of Real Time, Maher blamed the existence of psychopaths on Christianity. He said:
“It's always great to use logic on psychopathic murderers because it's so effective, but I hate to be the skunk at the garden party, but that's why religion is dangerous because it's completely f***ing made-up so that anybody -- so that anybody can put anything they want on it, including horrific s***.”
And while Maher has decided to rock the liberal media boat by siding with Fox News host Laura Ingraham in the battle between her and Parkland survivor David Hogg, he has his own reasons for doing so. He also wants to be able to say whatever hateful anti-religious sludge on his show without getting backlash for it.
Not that HBO would mind. In 2009, in an episode of the channel’s series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David showed a scene where his character urinated on the image of Christ.