Talk show host Bill Maher created a bit of a stir recently with his blunt comments about Islam during his six minutes as a guest on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” In the wake of the terrorism in Paris, Maher earned a fair amount of praise from conservatives and caused nervous twitching amongst many liberals. Apparently, liberals did not remember to tell Maher that terrorists could some day come to America and vote.
Maher’s comments were played on radio talk shows and were widely circulated on the Internet, but once the cheering- from those who understand Arabic Islam- died down, a second look is in order.
The newsy part of the interview came when Maher referred to America as, well, to keep it civil, a “wimpy” nation. Maher does not excel at civility. His career is notable for its incivility in the name of freedom. This, in fact, is a strong reason not to jump on Maher’s “the reality of Islam” bandwagon.
Maher neither accepts nor understands the concept that a society is bound together by civility, hence we call it a “civilization.” The breakdown of civility leads to a coarse society that must in turn be governed by additional laws so that order can be preserved.
In fact, during his interview with Kimmel, Maher made his incivility clear for all to understand. All religions are “stupid and dangerous,” he stated. “And we should insult them (religions) and we should be able to insult whatever we want. This is what free speech is like.”
When most liberals talk about freedom, they do not bring up the responsibilities needed to perpetuate a free society. They like the “freedom” part but are not particularly high on the discipline required to show respect for others- respect that obviates the need to legislate every imaginable situation in which a person can find oneself.
“Should” a person insult religion? Of course not. President Thomas Jefferson was not what we would consider a Christian. He believed in God, but he was a true Deist. The Jefferson Bible famously was absent of miracles and references to Christ’s deity. However, as president, he believed that it was important for the president to be seen attending church. He understood the positive impact of Christianity upon the nation. In short, he understood the cohesive role that Christianity fulfilled in the fledgling nation.
Does someone have the freedom to publicly ridicule religion? Of course. But in moral times, such an uncouth person would in turn be ridiculed and shunned. If that rude individual happened to host a television show, that show would be shunned. The controversial person would be the one who was ridiculed, not the person who followed the religion.
Maher also revealed another layer of modern liberalism that is often overlooked. “We should be able to insult whatever we want.” Those are the words of a petulant child, wanting to act out on any occasion, in any setting. One can imagine a six-year old stomping her feet, crying those words out, complete with tears. But then again, my six-year old niece has been taught better than that. Modern liberals have not been.
Modern liberalism is the religion of petulant children. They want to act outside the bounds of reasonable behavior because, they ask, “who are you to define the boundaries? Who are you to determine what is right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable?” The correct answer is: we are members of this civilization, that’s who we are. We are owners of this freedom, and we understand how our Western culture grew to bring more freedom than slavery, peace than war. Western Civilization has not been perfect, but it has proved superior to any civilization that preceded it. Look it up.
Like most atheists, Maher hates God. He is not simply opposed to Islam because it is a warrior religion that commands its followers to kill non-believers, although that factor is duly noted by Maher. Rather, he is opposed to all faith. Observations lead us to believe that there are very few true atheists in the world. The observer can note the ferocity, the intensity of the hatred of religion, which Maher possesses. They possess a hatred of God, often due to the lifestyles they lead, which self-proclaimed atheists know to be against God’s ways.
It is not possible to know Maher’s heart--to know why he hates God--unless he tells us. That he hates God, however, is clear from the venom he spews.
The warrior religion that is Islam is an entirely different subject, but the fact that Maher understands this aspect of Islam does not put him on “our side.” He is anything but that. His beliefs lead him in a direction that believers of liberty cannot follow, and believers in civility refuse to follow.
Brian W. Peterson has been a columnist for a mid-size California newspaper, is a veteran of political campaigns, and was a member of the publicly elected Republican Central Committee of Los Angeles County. His psychological thriller Dead Dreams and sci-fi adventure Children of the Sun are currently available through Amazon.com. You can follow Brian on Twitter @cybrpete.
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