Please relax Bill

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and those opinions should be respected.  But, I’ve got to say, and maybe it’s just me but I find it sadly if not pathetically ironic how people like Bill Maher can stand up in public and belittle Christians and hatefully berate them for trying to “force” their beliefs on others while he himself attempts to “force” his beliefs or lack thereof on anyone who will listen to his empty droning.

If Maher was as rational as he purports himself to be, he would recognize that for someone to argue “it’s wrong for a person to try and persuade others of their belief” is at that very moment violating his own argument. But it seems Maher allows his seething anger to overwhelm his self-acclaimed intellect. Which begs the question – why is this guy so enraged all the time? Sure – it’s a funny shtick when it is actually a shtick. But once Maher gets on the topic of religion, especially Christianity, the shtick seems to end as he verges on apoplexy. For someone who hates religion and deems it foolish, he spends a lot of time, energy and money making television shows and movies about it. Who then is the fool?

Perhaps his anger rests with the unavoidable fact that atheism limits itself to a surface reading of things and continues to lose the public debate on God. For surely if atheism was winning, such Maheric vitriol would be unnecessary. Instead the opposite is true. Even Michael Shermer, president of the Skeptics Society admits not only is God not dead as Nietzche proclaimed, but he has never been more alive.

For atheists like Maher, religion is a threat. The only way to deal with and neutralize its influence is by attempting to deconstruct its intellectual foundations. But again, not a lot of people are actually listening. Besides, if the world is simply the meaningless result of an ambiguous big bang and the random collision of coalescing matter then what Maher thinks is equally as meaningless.

Frankly, Maher’s own anger betrays his belief system. As Richard Dawkins often emphasizes, atheism just sees a meaningless world, devoid of purpose. The claim is nothing is responsible for everything. If true, how can one be so angry at anything or nothing? Anger assumes something or someone is responsible for something and a violation of that responsibility has occurred. Some standard has been breached. Yet, if everything comes from nothing, nothing is responsible for anything. There are no standards and there are no responsibilities. In short, Maher needs to relax because none of it matters anyway if all is indeed meaningless.

Fortunately for Bill Maher, historically speaking, atheism has always found its strength in being considered plausible in contexts where religious belief is considered too powerful. With the growing number of Americans believing in God perhaps Maher has some reason to hope in atheism’s future – which would then paradoxically place atheism’s potential success in the hands of believers? Wow, nothing more would send Bill on a caustic vulgar rampage than that realization.

3 Responses to “Please relax Bill”

  1. March 25, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Wise and thoughtful my friend. Love to see you go toe to toe, live.

  2. March 25, 2012 at 1:34 am

    This ongoing debate between atheism and religious belief is never going to be settled. It’s completely and utterly divisive, and neither side will ever convince the other side that they are right.

    I think a lot of your logic in the latter part of this post is rather circular and doesn’t seem to make much sense. If there is an argument there, it should be clearer.

    Anyway, I’m all for people believing in whatever they want to believe in (or not believe in). Belittling atheism beyond the outspoken is continuing the act of what you are condemning in the beginning of your post. Atheism is rational – it’s looking at the evidence and inferring what makes sense. Atheism is not dead, either – the number of atheists in the world is actually increasing.

    And, atheism has historically found its strength in areas where religious belief is nonsenical, not too powerful. Atheism finds strength in areas of reason and logic – areas where religion should steer clear from. I’m sure religion has its merits and its uses, but arguing with science and logic is not one of them.

    • 3 rkollbocker
      March 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      Good point. I agree the debate will never be settled – I disagree that it has to be utterly divisive. I’m happy to dialogue and differ on the issue without demeaning one another claiming one side is more rational than the other. Both positions require faith.

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
March 2012
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Thoughts gone by

"No problem can withstand the assault of substantial thinking." Voltaire



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