Like Sam Harris, Bill Maher is one of those people who inspires a lot of rancor among atheists because their view aren’t perfectly consonant with the thoughtful, secular “line”. Harris favors gun ownership and profiling for terrorists, while Maher was an anti-vaxer. (I’m not sure whether he still adheres to that position.) My view has always been that even if you disagree with someone about something, you should still promote their arguments that you consider good. Hitchens was in favor of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but how does that invalidate his arguments against religion? And do you know anyone who doesn’t have at least one opinion that seems bizarre?
Here’s a 6-minute video of Bill Maher’s September 11 (!) appearance on the Charlie Rose show in which he just steamrollers over Rose (who appears to be religious), over Rose’s claims that Islam is no worse than any other faith, and over Rose’s stupid assertion that ISIS isn’t really Islamic.
At 45 seconds in, you can see Rose tacitly admitting he’s a believer, saying that he “covers all the bases” (but hastens to add that he’s “a devotee of science, too”). Rose also agrees with Howard Dean’s claim that he (Dean) “is about as Islamic as ISIS”.
Here Maher shows that he can be absolutely serious and eloquent on the topic of religion. There’s none of the persiflage that people objected to in “Religulous.”
Rose, sadly, seems to be a pretty lame apologist for Islam. I have to say that I think less of him after his performance here. He, like other apologists, should look at the polls on Muslim beliefs throughout the world.
I’ll add here a cartoon from reader Pliny the in Between, taken from his/her website Pictoral Theology: