Maher 'Apologizes' to Pope by Suggesting He Should Be In Jail

Bill Maher on Friday night's "Real Time" made something crystal clear that conservatives have known for decades: Liberal means never having to say you're sorry.

Update at end of post includes response from the Catholic League.

Having on last Friday's program (as reported by my colleague Matthew Balan) "stated that the Pope 'used to be a Nazi,'" Maher was supposed to apologize for his transgression.

Well, if the nonsense he uttered last evening is what liberals call an apology, it should act as a grander indictment as to what's wrong with the extreme-left in our nation (video embedded upper-right courtesy our friend Ms Underestimated):

Last week, I got into some trouble with the Catholic League, not the first time...Not my biggest fans...because I said in our little essay ending the show, I said, "The Pope," and I looked at it again, I looked at the words carefully, "used to be a Nazi." Okay, now first of all, it was a joke, okay? We were in a comedic context. I said, "He used to be a Nazi, and he wears funny hats, and ladies, he's single." So, right away, we're in the context of a joke, okay, and "used to." Okay, but, you know, you got me. The Pope was not a Nazi. When he was a teenager, he was in the Hitler Youth, which meant that he said the oath directly to Hitler and not to the Nazis, which is sorta worse!

Nice apology so far, wouldn't you agree? First, the typical liberal line, "It's a joke," which is what we've seen the past few years any time anybody on the left makes a senseless, insensitive statement.

Yet, even better, in his so-called apology, Maher actually suggested that a child in Nazi Germany saying an oath to Hitler is WORSE than BEING a Nazi. But it gets worse:

But, but wait a second, the thing that argues for their side of this is that, you know what, he was coerced into that. He was a teenager. I wouldn't blame any teen, he was a fourteen-year-old kid in Nazi Germany, of course he's going to do what they tell him to do. So, on that score, you know what my Catholic friends, I will never make the Pope is a Nazi joke again, because you're technically right, okay, and also because it distracts from the main point.

Wait for it!

And the main point I was making was that if the Pope instead of a religious figure was the CEO of a chain of nationwide daycare centers, who had thousands of employees who had been caught molesting children and then covering it up, he would have been in jail.

Nice "apology," Bill!

As a post facto aside, I must say that if Maher is going to invite the fabulous Dutch writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the show, maybe he ought to give her more time to speak. Instead, the panel discussion of this installment was dominated by absurdities from Harvard's Cornel West, inanities from Markos Moulitsas, and the normal invective from Maher.

Sadly, Ali was given about as much face-time as Carlton the Doorman.

*****Update: the Catholic League has responded to Maher's statements:

On his HBO show last night, Bill Maher apologized for accusing the pope of being a Nazi; he acknowledged that the Catholic League was right when we said that Joseph Ratzinger was forced to join a German youth organization (from which he fled at the first instance). Maher then said that if a CEO were in charge of an institution that housed molesters, he would be fired.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented as follows:

“We accept Maher’s apology for accusing the pope of being a Nazi. Too bad he didn’t stop there. For him to suggest that Pope Benedict XVI was in charge of policing molesters, and failed in doing so, is patently absurd.

“As Pope John Paul II’s right-hand man, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s principal job was to make sure that theologians were faithfully presenting the teachings of the Catholic Church. He was, to some extent, the Church’s Academic Dean, someone who was charged with enforcing academic standards. He was not the Church’s Dean of Students, i.e., he was not discharged with enforcing codes of conduct. Indeed, it wasn’t until after the scandal hit the newspapers in 2002 that he was put in charge of dealing with predatory priests, and by all accounts did so effectively.

“Maher has to understand that no one person, including the pope, could possibly be held accountable for the behavior of its employees in a global institution. There are priests from Boston to Bosnia, and it is simply preposterous for any one person to know exactly what is going on everywhere at any given time. Maher would have been better advised to focus on those bishops who proved to be enablers—it is the bishop’s job to know what is going on in his diocese, not the pope’s.

“The larger issue remains. It would be great if Maher gave up his Catholic-bashing obsession once and for all.”
HBO Real Time Video Pope Benedict XVI
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