Bill Maher Takes On Fellow Atheist[s] (Plus: NewsBusters Catches Magazine Mantage)

This week’s Real Time round table was a little less political than usual. Bill Maher had John Avlon, S.E. Cupp and Newark mayor Cory Booker on the show to talk about a variety of topics, but somehow Elena Kagan’s nomination of the Supreme Court became a much more metaphysical topics as Maher challenged Cupp, who is openly atheist, to call all people of faith “delusional,” which she refused. Surprisingly, it was Mayor Booker who took the aggressive stance against Maher, who he called “dogmatic,” “intolerant,” and “arrogant.”

For More (watch the entire exchange):

For good convo on the Topic, see Hot Air:

Atheist vs. Atheist from Papa Giorgio on Vimeo

The Bible does not teach the horrible practices that some have committed in its name. It is true that it’s possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the details it produces evil because the individual people [Christians] are actually living in rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it [religion] can produce evil, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism (non-religious practices) actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We’re talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God. For example: the Inquisitions, Crusades, Salem Witch Trials killed about anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 persons combined (World Book Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Americana), and the church is liable for the unjustified murder of about (taking the high number here) 300,000-women over about a 300 year period. A blight on Christianity? Certainly. Something wrong? Dismally wrong. A tragedy? Of course. Millions and millions of people killed? No. The numbers are tragic, but pale in comparison to the statistics of what non-religious criminals have committed); the Chinese regime of Mao Tse Tung, 60 million [+] dead (1945-1965), Stalin and Khrushchev, 66 million dead (USSR 1917-1959), Khmer Rouge (Cambodia 1975-1979) and Pol Pot, one-third of the populations dead, etc, etc. The difference here is that these non-God movements are merely living out their worldview, the struggle for power, survival of the fittest and all that, no evolutionary/naturalistic natural law is being violated in other words (as non-theists reduce everything to natural law — materialism). However, and this is key, when people have misused the Christian religion for personal gain, they are in direct violation to what Christ taught, as well as in violation of Natural Law.

(A condensing of Gregory Koukl’s, “The Real Murderers: Atheism or Christianity?”)

From NewsBusters:

On HBO’s Real Time Friday, Bill Maher fought with conservative atheist S.E. Cupp and claimed the news magazines weren’t hostile to religion, but were overflowing with religion coverage. His exaggerations were wild, more than just for comic effect:   

Are you kidding? Jesus or Mary is on the cover of Newsweek or Time like every other week. If Jesus had an office on Sunset Boulevard, and you walked down the corridor, he’d have his magazine covers on every wall. We did a mockup! There! This is the last few years.

If Maher or his underlings at HBO were really careful about facts about “the last few years,” they’d know how far off this is: use the cover search on Time’s website for “Jesus” and see how many Jesus covers since the 1900s ended: I count four. That’s hardly “every other week.”

There’s “The Opus Dei Code” (April 24, 2006, not included on Maher’s screen, since it might seem less than devout, slinging Da Vinci Code myths), “Secrets of the Nativity” (December 13, 2004), “Why Did Jesus Have to Die?” (April 12, 2004), and “What Jesus Saw” (April 16, 2001).

This is where Maher’s claim about the gazillion Jesus covers “in the last few years” really lies. Maher’s graphic included “Jesus at 2000” (December 6, 1999), “The Shroud of Turin” (April 20, 1998), “Jesus Online” (December 16, 1996), and “The Search for Jesus” (April 8, 1996). For most viewers, “the last few years” and “14 years” are not in the same ball park.

The same championing-old-as-new pattern holds for other covers on Maher’s montage: “Who Was Moses? December 14, 1998. “Is The Bible Fact or Fiction?” December 18, 1995. “The Bible and the Apocalypse.” July 1, 2002. Does Heaven Exist? March 24, 1997….

….PS: There were only four Newsweek covers in the montage, and “What Would Mary Do?” is a nasty piece of anti-Catholicism from a few weeks ago…

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