Bill Maher has been proudly and militantly anti-religion for years. Everyone — including the people who are stunned by his latest commentary — acknowledges this.
But the reaction to the closing segment of last Friday’s episode of “Real Time” has suggested that his most recent comments were extreme even for Maher. They were not.
The target of the comedian’s wrath was the blockbuster epic “Noah,” which centers around a biblical tale that’s routinely drawn Maher’s mockery.
He rolled his eyes at polls showing that a majority of Americans believe the story of Noah’s Ark and said the Genesis flood narrative is “immoral.”
“It’s about a psychotic, mass murderer who gets away with it and his name is God,” Maher said. “Genesis says God was so angry with himself for screwing up when he made mankind so flawed that he sent the flood to kill everyone — everyone. Men, women, children, babies. What kind of tyrant punishes everyone just to get back at the few he’s mad at? I mean, besides Chris Christie.”
“Hey God, you know you’re kind of a dick when you’re in a movie with Russell Crowe and you’re the one with anger issues,” Maher added, punctuating a zinger that has been met with gasps.
“This May Be Bill Maher’s Most Intense Rant Against Religions – All Of Them – Yet,” read the headline over at the Huffington Post.
Michelle Malkin’s acolytes at Twitchy asked, “Can Bill Maher get more absurd?”
Kevin Sorbo of “Hercules” fame said the rant was evidence that Maher is lonely, and the evangelist Bryan Fischer claimed that God is only sparing Maher “after a tirade like that” because He is “merciful.”
God might be used to it, too. Maher has never shied away from attacking the God depicted in the Old Testament.
Here’s Maher in January, telling The Atlantic that he isn’t worried about eternal damnation:
Of all the reasons to be religious, that is the one of the dumber ones. What if I’m wrong? If it is the God of the Old Testament, I am so fucked already, and you and everybody else. A more psychopathic character you will not ever find in fiction. Just the idea that people worshipped the God of this Bible is insane. There is no more psychopathic mass murderer than God, so good luck with worrying that you picked the wrong religion, you’re going to suffer for it.
He used the same language last summer on his program, calling the God in the Old Testament a “psychotic mass murderer.”
At the time, the conservative website Newsbusters called it “[p]ossibly the most disgusting” thing Maher had ever said — presumably until last weekend, when Newsbusters ran a nearly identical headline.