Friday, October 14, 2005

I fast, therefore I am...a moron

In keeping with some of my more masochistic tendencies — and mostly because I’m such a political dork — a guilty pleasure of mine is watching ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ on HBO. I absolutely despise Bill Maher and most of the people he brings on the show, but I watch it anyway. ‘Know thy enemy,’ I suppose.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, the modus operandi of the show is along these lines:

Bill comes out, does a little monologue, makes fun of Bush and conservatives. Then he usually does a via satellite interview, usually with a flaming liberal, and they both proceed to make fun of Bush and conservatives, much to the delight of the studio audience. On the off chance that the interview is with a conservative, the audience usually boos anything the conservative says, and wildly cheer with Bill Maher makes fun of the conservative, Bush, and other conservatives.

Then there’s the panel discussion, which consists of three people — usually two flaming liberals and a moderate-to-weak conservative. The most conservative person I’ve seen on the panel thus far is either (one of my favorite) author(s) P.J. O’Rourke, or maybe Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele. Sometimes they don’t even pretend and just invite 3 liberals on.

But I can handle all of that. I can handle the majority of the show being dedicated to making fun of Bush. It’s been happening for almost 5 years now. He’s a dumbass, a bumbling idiot, evil, a warmonger, yata yata yata… Ok. I get it. It’s been done.

I can handle conservatives being made fun of as well, as it’s been happening for even longer than Bush has been in office. We hate poor people, black people, women, ‘ferners,’ gays, but we love money and guns. Fine. Whatever.

There’s one thing on the show, however, that still makes me yell and throw stuff at the T.V. And that’s Bill Maher’s disdain for religion, or more specifically, what he sees as religious people. There’s an undertone, or perhaps an overtone ($10 to anyone who can explain the difference to me) on this show that people who believe in God are inherently stupid.

To be fair, religion isn’t the most logical thought process on the planet. I read a quote the other day that said ‘Christianity isn’t simply the religion that makes the most sense, it’s the only religion that makes any sense at all.’ I laughed for a few seconds at the sheer audacity of the claim, but the more I thought about it, the more it pissed me off.

The only religion that makes sense? Oh, ok. So, a supreme, omnipotent being impregnated a virgin human, who then gave birth to a male child. Said child then proceeds to perform miracles throughout his life such as healing people of blindness and paralysis, and even bring people back to life. He didn’t eat or drink for more than a month, and was eventually executed as a sacrifice for the wrongdoings of all mankind, only to come back to life 3 days later and hang around for a while before ascending to Heaven. What’s not to make sense?

And don’t even get me started on the celebrations of his birth and death…

Not to say that people who believe such are stupid, but you’d be hard-pressed to justify it as logical. But whoever said everything people did had to be logical? Firemen run into burning buildings — that’s pretty frigging illogical, but is it stupid?

This snobbery toward people of faith is a major problem among the left, and has added to the polarization in the country. Those who do not believe in evolution are looked down upon as ignorant rednecks that ignore science. But the fact of the matter is, evolution does not provide any more answers than creationism. Sure, evolution and natural selection can account for some aspects of adaptation and species survival, but there are several variables that it cannot answer, such as when life began, how there are so many vastly different forms, and how everything is so complex yet works together.

Religious people are also seen as too 'stupid' so as to not support things like abortion, gay marriage or sex and violence in media. There's this air that if you don't support those things you're not 'modern' enough. Well, if 'modernity' means abortion on demand, the abandonment of marriage and the constant bombardment of vulgarity, I better start building my time machine now.

Granted, there are people that use religion to do things like strap explosives to children, make themselves rich and molest their followers, but there are also people that use religion to help the poor, care for children and give sick people hope and comfort.

Bottom line, belief in God or some other higher power is not readily provable. Nor is it, however, disprovable. There is every bit as much proof that God exists that there is that he/she/it doesn't. There are just too many things in this universe that cannot be proven or explained by science. Admitting that there might be something else at work is not stupid. And being condescending to such people only serves to further polarize us.

You don't call me stupid for not eating pork and fasting occasionally and I won't call you stupid for believing that the government can solve problems or that communism 'sounds good on paper.'


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