Bill Maher interviews some of religion’s oddest adherents. Muslims, Jews and Christians of many kinds pass before his jaundiced eye. Maher goes to a Creationist Museum in Kentucky, which shows that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time 5000 years ago. He talks to truckers at a Truckers’ Chapel. (Sign outside: “Jesus love you.”) He goes to a theme park called Holy Land in Florida. He speaks to a rabbi in league with Holocaust deniers. He talks to a Muslim musician who preaches hatred of Jews. Maher finds the unlikeliest of believers and, in a certain Vatican priest, he even finds an unlikely skeptic.
* * *
Bill Maher: This is it. I’m standing on the very spot where many Christians believe the world will come to an end. It’s called Megiddo. And it’s the place that the Book of Revelation says Jesus Christ will come down to to end the world and save the people who believe in him. Now when Revelations was written, only God had the capacity to end the world, but now man does too, because unfortunately, before man figured out how to be rational or peaceful, he figured out nuclear weapons and how to pollute on a catastrophic scale. And if it’s one thing I hate more than prophecy, it’s self-fulfilling prophecy.
Sometimes in your search for happiness, you ponder the meaning of your life. Who am I? How did I come to be? Death, and then what?
Bill Maher: I certainly honestly believe religion is detrimental to the progress of humanity. You know, it’s just selling an invisible product. It’s too easy. These questions about what happens when you die, they so freak people out that they will just make up any story and cling to it. You know, things that they know can’t be true, people who are otherwise so rational about everything else, and then they believe that on Sunday they’re drinking the blood of a 2,000-year-old God. I can’t… that’s a dissonance in my head. I can’t… I have to find out. I just have to find out. I have to try.
[“The Seeker” by The Who]
This is the Mount of Olives.
This is Jesus’s footprints.
We’re here freezing our ass off.
Is there anybody on the stage that does not believe in evolution?
Hurry hurry hurry.
I like my hat.
You look good too.
Welcome to Bible Country!
“Birthplace of the Virgin Mary”?
George W. Bush: I believe that God wants everybody to be free. That’s what I believe. And that’s part of my Foreign Policy.
Bill, watch out.
Boy, do I feel cheap.
[Britney Spears] I want to thank God for just blessing me so much.
[Michael Jackson] Music has been a blessing from God.
Thank you, Jesus!
You need a Holy Ghost enema right up your rear end!
The archives are there on the fifth floor where you see the curtains. Yeah, put that away now. Put that away.
Bill Maher: If you look at my stand-up from like the ’80s… that era… early ’90s, I talked about religion, but I’m not ever questioning God. I’m just making fun about things in the religion… circumcision.
Bill Maher: Circumcision, I mean, I would’ve loved to have been there for the first time people would hear about this, you know? We’re used to it now, you know. I’m sure when Moses came down with this idea there was one person going “Now, let me get this straight…”
Bill Maher: It was just a gentle poking fun at Him. It’s almost like I’m roasting Him.
Bill Maher: My mother is Jewish and my father is Catholic. That is the truth. I was raised Catholic formally, although I must say the Jewish mind comes out even in the Catholic system. I’ll give you an example. We used to go into confession and I would bring a lawyer in with me. You know. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I think you know Mr. Cohen.
Bill Maher: So let me get out some pictures. There’s me. We weren’t brought up Jewish. I didn’t even know we had that side, so it was very Catholic. We went to church every Sunday, but I wouldn’t take off the gun and really when I think back, it wasn’t relevant to my life. Superman was relevant and baseball. We had this family where one person was Jewish and the other three were Catholic. Now there it says “A Sunday noon, fall ’66,” so we must’ve just gotten back from church, ’cause I’m in a red suit and you’re choking the dog. And I guess we got home from church and took a picture with you. It never occurred to me to say, “Why didn’t you go to church?”
Mom… what church do we belong to?
Bill Maher: I don’t remember this ever coming up. Of course you didn’t go to church with us.
No, we never had a family discussion about it, never.
Bill Maher: We never had a family discussion about that.
Every family is dysfunctional.
Bill Maher: So you thought even this, which wasn’t your religion, was better than no religion.
Well, even this only told you good things… I thought.
Bill Maher: But it’s just so shamelessly invented as they go along.
We can say that now.
Bill Maher: Was anyone…
Bill Maher: When we quit the church, I was 13, and I was of course thrilled, but not for any ideological reason. I was just thrilled ’cause I hated church. It scared me. It was boring. I had to get up on Sunday. I was 13. I would’ve worshiped anything that could’ve allowed me to masturbate even more than I was masturbating or get a girl. That god I would have definitely worshipped.
Bill Maher: Why do you remember Dad stopped going to church?
We used birth control, and the church frowned on birth control. That was the biggest sin you could ever commit.
Bill Maher: Right, that would…
I think that was possibly… he never said it to me.
Bill Maher: And he never went back. None of us ever did. So now that we don’t believe, where did…
Nobody said we don’t believe. We don’t believe in Catholicism.
Bill Maher: Right, but what do we believe in now? Come on. You’re my mother, instruct me.
I don’t know the answer to that.
Bill Maher: That’s my answer.
We’ll take some back roads to see some interesting stuff out here.
Bill Maher: Take some back roads. We are heading toward Raleigh, right?
Oh, yeah, man, can’t you feel it?
Bill Maher: Do I stand up here? So as I was going here, I just jotted down a few questions that came to my mind. Are you ever bothered by many things that are in Christianity that are not in the Bible? Like original sin. Immaculate conception. The virgin birth is only in two of the Gospels… popes. Are you worried that these things came not from the founders, the people that wrote this book, but from… and this is indisputable… but from men, from human beings who came after? And when I say men, I mean people with penises.
If you wanna go back to scientific proof, I think it was determined the shroud or whatever that was went around a while back… I didn’t get involved.
Bill Maher: Shroud of Turin?
They took blood samples from it, and it was female blood with a male figure. Okay, the only possible way that could happen was that the Holy Ghost impregnated Mary because it would’ve been female blood because it would’ve been the only blood flowing through her.
It’s a faith thing.
Bill Maher: But why is faith good? Why is believing something without evidence good?
I don’t like the way this thing’s going. I don’t know what this documentary’s supposed to be, but I don’t like where you’re going. You start disputing my God, and you got a problem. I don’t know what you… I’m outta here. You do what you wanna do, but I’m outta here.
Bill Maher: I’m just asking questions.
Okay, no problem.
When I’ve seen what I’ve seen, I know there’s a God. You can’t change my mind. Nobody can change my mind. I walked for 30 years as a Satanist priest. From the time I grew up, I was in Satanism. For the last six years, that I was into Satanism, I was a Satanist priest, okay?
Bill Maher: Real Satanism?
Yes, real Satanism. Being addicted to drugs, and running prostitutes and the women and everything that goes with that. I walked around with rolls of money in my pocket. I gave all that up when I got saved.
Bill Maher: When the guy said, “Yeah, I used to do drugs. I used to have women,” and I’m thinking, “And your problem was?”
Right. Let me ask you this question: What if we’re right and you’re wrong? We gonna make it and you ain’t.
Bill Maher: If you’re being good just to save your ass just because, “Ooh, they might be right” and I just want to double down here and make sure that when I get up to the pearly gates, that St. Peter doesn’t say to me, ‘Sorry, asshole, you had the wrong religion. Enjoy Hell, buh-bye.”‘ That’s not a good reason, and you know that.
Come on, believe in Jesus. What do you have to lose?
Bill Maher: It’s like the lotto. “You can’t get saved if you don’t play.”
Bill Maher: Yeah, you could be right. I don’t think it’s very likely, but, yes, you could be right, because my big thing is I don’t know. That’s what I preach. I preach the gospel of I don’t know!
I mean that’s what I’m here promoting… doubt. That’s my product.
Bill Maher: The other guys are selling certainty. Not me. I’m on the corner with doubt.
Bill Maher: So, Dr. Collins, you are a brilliant brilliant scientist, the head of the Human Genome Project. Now here’s what’s so puzzling is that you are the one scientist… the one famous scientist anyway… who’s also religious. Explain that to me.
[93% of scientists in the Amarican National Academy of Sciences are atheist or agnostic.]
Dr. Francis Collins: I would argue that if you look at the evidence, the historical evidence of Christ’s existence is overwhelming.
Bill Maher: What evidence? I mean, I’ve never even heard anyone propose that there’s evidence.
There’s been proof that there’s a Jesus. That’s been proven.
Bill Maher: That hasn’t been proven.
How you figure that one?
When I read the New Testament, it reads to me as the record of eyewitnesses who put down what they saw.
Bill Maher: You know they weren’t eyewitnesses.
They were close to that.
Bill Maher: No.
Within a couple of decades of eyewitnesses.
Bill Maher: Okay. Would that stand up in a laboratory as absolute foolproof evidence that something happened?
You are setting up a standard for proof that I think would really be an almost impossible standard to meet.
Bill Maher: No gospel tells us what he was doing when he was a young man. You know, we see Jesus as an infant and then we kind of pick up the story when he’s 30. I think Jesus was probably an awkward teenager… big Jewfro, bad at sports.
Here I am!
Bill Maher: The records we have are all gospels. Gospels are not history. Gospel writers never met Jesus, neither did St. Paul. No one who wrote about Jesus ever met him.
How can you go back into the prophets and the prophets specifically specifies that certain things…
Bill Maher: Well, first of all, the New Testament came after the Old Testament. We agree to that? I agree to that, but that doesn’t mean anything. All it means is the people that wrote the New Testament read the Old Testament and then made the prophesies fit.
They can’t make it fit if something didn’t happen.
Bill Maher: Of course they can.
Trucker Chapel Congregant: Well, then you’re saying the Bible is Fishtishious…
Bill Maher: I am.
Bill Maher: I am.
Bill Maher: We do all know that those texts don’t match.
Yeah, sure. Would you expect them to?
Bill Maher: I’m surprised that things that are very important to the story like the virgin birth isn’t in all four of them.
Wouldn’t you really expect that kind of discordance when you’re thinking about the way in which these documents came into being?
Bill Maher: But you’d think if you were one of Christ’s biographers, that would be sort of an important thing not to leave out. Oh, God, he was also born of a virgin.
Bill Maher: They don’t notice the virgin birth. You know, I think that is something if you were any sort of reporter you’d put into the story. What editor looks at the facts and goes, “Yeah, but take out the thing about the virgin birth. That’s not interesting.”
Bill Maher: I think being without faith is something that’s a luxury for people who were fortunate enough to have a fortunate life. You know, you go to prison and you hear a guy say, “You know what, buddy? I got nothing but Jesus in here.” I completely understand that. I think not having faith is a luxury sometimes. If you’re in a foxhole, you probably have a lot of faith, right?
Bill Maher: So I get that. But you guys aren’t dumb. You’re smart people. How can smart people… how can they believe in the talking snake, people living to 900 years old and the virgin birth? And you know, that’s my question. You guys have your own questions. Pray for me.
Father, in the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we ask right now, Lord, as we lift up Bill to You, Father, that You can answer his questions that we can’t answer. Father, we thank You right now for the opportunity that has come today, that we may voice our opinions and hear others. So we ask You, Lord, to touch and feel wisdom right now in the name of Jesus. And we thank You for it in Jesus’s name, amen.
Bill Maher: Thank you for being Christlike, and not just Christian. Okay. Hey, my wallet! No, I’m kidding.
Bill Maher: You see so many nice people trying to make it about something good and yet it turns into not just corrupt, but, like, fucking-little-kids corrupt and burning-people-alive cor… I mean, really evil shit.
I’d like to see 10,000 people give $10,000.
Write your biggest check and send it in.
We got people on welfare that’s got enough faith to make a $1,000 vow – and paying it!
I want to be in the green, Lord!
What I’m about to say is revelation.
I got it on DVD. And I have it on DVD. And you need to get this. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Bill Maher: Reverend. Is that what I call you?
No, just call me… doctor.
Bill Maher: Doctor?
Bill Maher: All right, Doc. First of all, I have to tell you, when I heard that you were in Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, I was like, “That’s my man.” And it’s funny, because that lyric can be interpreted religiously. “If you don’t know me by now.” Right? I mean, you must’ve thought of that.
The song did go platinum. Teddy Pendergrass, who led the song, he was ordained a minister when he was 10 years old.
Bill Maher: What do you think it says about religion and how serious it is if you can be a minister when you’re 10? But there is a comparison to be made between musical stars, rock stars and religious figures. They very often both dress in elaborate costumes…
Bill Maher: That get people’s attention.
People in a congregation must know that the outfit was financed by their donations, and it doesn’t seem to bother them.
I always dress well.
Bill Maher: I see! Are those gators?
Those are lizards.
Bill Maher: Lizards?
Bill Maher: What do they run?
They don’t run. They crawl.
Bill Maher: And I see you’ve got a lot of bling.
Jeremiah Cummings: I like gold. The people want you to look well.
Bill Maher: That’s what pimps say about their women.
I was told by one of the greatest pimps that ever lived… his name is called God… that if you know what you got, then you ain’t got much.
Jesus dressed very well.
Bill Maher: Oh, come on. Where is the Biblical evidence?
Wait a minute. When he was born, they brought him gold. They brought him gold. He was not poor.
Bill Maher: So my image of Jesus as a man who championed the poor and walked around in simple garb, that’s wrong?
It was linen. It was fine linen.
Bill Maher: Really?
Bill Maher: But Jesus constantly preaches against rich people.
The Bible does not speak against being rich.
Bill Maher: Jesus does. Very plainly.
Bill Maher: Jesus was very very against the rich.
He never preached against being poor. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for…
Bill Maher: No, he preached against being rich.
No no no, he said that it’s better for a rich man… than a rich man to enter…
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom.
Jeremiah Cummings: [a Christian reverend] Okay, but now, but now, things like houses and cars and clothes and money, they come as a result of my seeking God first.
Bill Maher: I don’t remember that in the New Testament specifically.
[a subtitle appears – “Because it’s not there.”]
Jeremiah Cummings: But it’s there.
[Subtitle – “No it’s not.”]
Jeremiah Cummings: I remember it.
Bill Maher: A passage about…
Jeremiah Cummings: I remember it.
[Subtitle – “I’m sure you do.”]
Bill Maher: The houses, the cars and the clothes, they’ll come.
Yeah, money comes, money happens, you know.
Bill Maher: Well, money happens for you because they’re giving it up to you. You’re not giving it up to them.
Let me set the record straight. I do not receive a salary from the church. I do not take a salary from the church.
Bill Maher: You take it right out of the pot.
No no no.
Bill Maher: It’s such a powerful position. I mean, you hold people’s greatest hopes and dreams in the palm of your hand, really. Certainly, some of the young women must get a crush on you.
Probably. I would too if I was out there. If I was a woman, I’d probably have a crush on me, too.
Bill Maher: That’s keepin’ it real.
Now I can advise other young men about women, because I’ve been there. I had a young man who was about to go crazy over a woman. He was about to kill himself, you know? I said, “That kind of passion, you should have for God.” I said, “Turn that to God and see what happens.”
Bill Maher: St. Paul, for example, whom I know you compare yourself to.
Bill Maher: But he famously only wore on his back the clothes that he owned. Should I assume that this is…
He was always on the run.
Bill Maher: This is your only $2,000 suit?
The gentleman who made this suit for me owns a clothing store.
Mr. Kane, you in the house?
The prices that I get my clothes for… you know, I’m blessed in that area.
Bill Maher: Yes, you are.
I’m more blessed than I’ve ever been all the days of my life. And the owner is a Muslim, which… I came out of Islam.
Bill Maher: I know, I think it’s very interesting that you’re a Christian now, you were a Muslim and when you get your clothes, you buy them like a Jew.
[Sodom and Gomorrah, Israel]
Bill Maher: That’s right… behind me and above me is the original Twin Cities, Sodom and Gomorrah. Apparently, it was a pretty wicked place. How wicked? Well let’s just say that what happened in Gomorrah, stayed in Gomorrah. That is until God got wind of it, so he sent two angels to investigate. Now, the angels went to the house of the one Godly man in town – Lot. And the townspeople tried to rape them. Now, Lot, not wanting his town to get the reputation as the kind of place that would rape angels, offered up to the mob his own daughters to rape. And he was the good guy in town. Which brings me to this question: If I ever had to swear an oath, why would I want to put my hand on the King James Bible? I think I could find more morality in the Rick James Bible.
God hates f*gs.
The Constitution does not grant to homosexuals the right to perform sodomy.
I’m a monk.
Bill Maher: A monk.
Bill Maher: What do you think about Homosexuality, the Bible’s against it?
Street Monk: No, the Bible’s not against it.
Bill Maher: The Bible’s not against Homosexuality?
Street Monk: If you are born Homosexual, you have to take that, be happy.
Bill Maher: But that’s what the Bible says?
Street Monk: What the Bible means to say.
Bill Maher: Oh, what the Bible MEANS to say! Now THAT’S a Good Book!
It preaches the rock-solid truth. You are fa*gots!
I don’t hate them. God hates them.
[Exchange Ministries, Winter Park, Florida]
Bill Maher: How are you? Nice to meet you. Okay. Okay. So of course, the reason why we’re here is because you’re… I guess we would say, ex-gay. So you used to be gay, then you married someone who used to be a lesbian and had three children, and I guess the jury’s out on them? Okay, and would you say it’s just like any other marriage of 14 years… you never have sex?
Oh, funny. Ha ha. Got that. I don’t classify myself as ex-gay, you know? I’m a heterosexual guy who dealt with some homosexuality.
Bill Maher: Okay, so the people who come here are people who are wanting to do what you did. They want to reform their life and lead a heterosexual life.
But I will be honest with you. The reality’s a lot of people come here and go right back into whatever they came from.
Bill Maher: Because they’re gay!
John Westcott: I believe that it’s Sin!
Bill Maher: Don’t you have it, no pun intended, ass-backwards?
Bill Maher: Meaning homosexuality is something that occurs in nature.
I was out bird watching, but I’d rather watch you.
Why don’t you come over and get some?
Bill Maher: Man is who wrote the Bible. Nature made gay people.
John Westcott: Nobody’s born gay. There’s no scientific or…
Bill Maher: Really? Have you ever met Little Richard?
John Westcott: We can look at Creation, what is the normal order? A man has a penis, a woman has a vagina, lets just be blunt! There’s no scientific data that proves that anyone is… there’s no gay gene.
Bill Maher: And you also discovered the gay gene?
Bill Maher: This is all coming from the Bible which you believe… – Right. – To be the word of God.
Bill Maher: All of the proscriptions against homosexuality come from the Old Testament. Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. And if it’s so important, why didn’t he ever bring it up?
We could pick lots of little things that he didn’t specifically talk about.
Bill Maher: But this is a big thing.
Let me stop this whole thing. You know, I’m not sure what your documentary is about, but if it’s to basically refute the word of God, then I’m not interested in doing your interview, okay?
Bill Maher: Well, l…
I think that obviously you don’t have the same relationship with Jesus Christ that I do.
Bill Maher: But what is your explanation for the millions and millions of people around the World who are leading homosexual lives, have no interest in people of the opposite sex, are they all faking to piss off Jesus?
John Westcott: They didn’t choose this, they didn’t desire it.
Bill Maher: Right, they were born gay.
John Westcott: No, they weren’t born that way. It’s because of the insecurity within theirselves.
Bill Maher: It takes a lot of security to walk out of the house with assless chaps.
They’re not happy, most of them.
Bill Maher: They’re called gay. They took the word. Some of them look positively thrilled.
No, they are people who are really not complete in who they are as men or women.
Bill Maher: That’s a pretty big judgment for a Christian.
It’s not a judgment.
Bill Maher: That’s not a judgment? That you are sitting here telling these people who you don’t even know that they’re incomplete because they’re not like you?
I mean, it’s not the people you suspect that are gay, that are gay.
Bill Maher: People like the Reverend Ted Haggard…
Moral purity is better than immorality.
Bill Maher: Who kept meeting homosexual prostitutes in a hotel room and having gay sex with speed.
Evangelicals have the best sex life of any other group.
Good Morning, Duane!
Bill Maher: But he wasn’t gay?
I already answered that. I don’t believe that anybody is gay.
Bill Maher: I don’t know, but honestly, if I just saw you in a bar or something, I would say… and don’t take this the wrong way… I would say, “Yeah, I think that guy is gay.” You’re good looking. You’re neat, you know. You don’t look like me.
Bill Maher: Meaning…
Bill Maher: All right, thank you.
Can I give you a hug?
Bill Maher: Yes!
I hug everybody, so can I give you a hug? Thanks.
Bill Maher: Thank you very much. Hey, you didn’t have a hard-on there, did you?
Nope, sorry. Can’t do that. That was good, though.
Bill Maher: When I was 17, my first girlfriend dumped me, and I was sad in a way I’d never been sad. You know, your first dumping is the worst. And at that point, you’re very vulnerable to any sort of connection with, you know… I didn’t get like Jesus-religious, but I did think a force out there was communicating to me through song lyrics or… numerology I was very interested in for a while.
You said you were groping for something at that time.
Bill Maher: You know, you make up an imaginary friend who loves you, is sympathetic to you and has a plan for you. It’s much more important. He didn’t have to love me, God, He just had to be working for me. You know, He’s like an agent.
Bill Maher: So you are an ex-Jew for Jesus.
That is correct.
Bill Maher: Now what made you to decide to be a follower of Christ? What brought Christ into your life?
Back in ’75, I went to Michigan State University.
Bill Maher: Yeah, it’s pricey.
Bill Maher: Boy, I wonder what Madonna without the child runs you.
Steve Burg: So getting back to my story, I could ask God to do things in the name of Jesus and they would happen. So I can’t even recall all the little miracles He did, but He proved to me that He was real and He was there.
Bill Maher: They were so miraculous and you can’t remember what they were?
Steve Burg: There were so many of them and they were little things.
Bill Maher: Give me an example.
Steve Burg: One example I can remember was I was at a party. There was a guy who was working with Jews for Jesus, and I asked him, “Can I get a drink of water?” And he says, “You know what? Here’s a glass, stick your hand out the window and pray for rain.” I didn’t like the attitude. I said okay, and I stuck my hand out the window and it started pouring rain. Pouring so bad that people couldn’t leave the party. To me, that’s a miracle. You don’t have to believe it, but I know between me and God…
Bill Maher: It is pretty lame.
Steve Burg: But you asked.
Bill Maher: I asked, but I’m just saying – that’s my reaction to your answer.
Steve Burg: But that’s just one of many things. I live a life of miracles.
Bill Maher: No, you live your life with the same sort of mundane coincidences that happen to everybody in the world. It’s not like, you know, if it rained frogs, I would say you had a point. But it rains, and it stops raining.
Steve Burg: Well, when was the last time you asked for rain and it starting raining within 10 seconds?
Bill Maher: I don’t know. I don’t ever ask for rain. But if I asked for it really bad and it started to rain, I wouldn’t think it was because I asked for it. I would think because it sometimes rains.
Steve Burg: God is not that busy where He can’t spend time listening to you when you really want to talk to Him, anytime.
Bill Maher: If Santa Claus can hit every house in the world in one night…
Steve Burg: No, I don’t believe in Santa Claus.
Bill Maher: Of course not. That’s ridiculous. That’s one man flying all around the world and dropping presents down a chimney. That’s ridiculous. One man hearing everybody murmur to him at the same time… that I get.
Bill Maher: And you know what else was very confusing to me I remember vividly was Santa Claus and Jesus.
Julie Maher: You were so mad at us.
Bill Maher: So mad at you, why? Oh, when…
Julie Maher: When you realized there was no Santa Claus.
Bill Maher: And then when I found out there was no Jesus… boy, was I pissed.
Bill Maher: You spoke before in certitude. You’re 100% sure that after you die, you’ll go to a better place.
I know I’ll be with God. I’ll be with Jesus.
Bill Maher: And that’s a better place.
Even if it was in a garbage can, which I know it won’t be, but even if it was, just the fact that I’m with Jesus, to me, is good.
Bill Maher: It’s a better place.
It’s a better place.
Bill Maher: Then why don’t you kill yourself?
Because God still has a mission for me here.
Bill Maher: Oh, I see.
Steve Burg: I’m thinking of Jonah, God sent Jonah on a mission.
Bill Maher: When did the part of the story come when Jonah lived in the whale?
Steve Burg: It was a great fish.
Bill Maher: It’s one of my favorite nonsense stories, Jonah living inside of the whale. And their answer unfailingly is “The Bible doesn’t say whale, It says big fish”. Oh, yeah, big fish, that makes… I’m sorry I was obsessing on that it was a whale, it’s a big fish. Of course you could live for three days in a big fish, a tuna, a tuna, they do it all the time in Japan, they have tuna spas. You go for three days, They pamper you, oils, you come out of that tuna feeling fantastic. You smell like pussy, but you feel fantastic.
Bill Maher: This man lived inside of a fish for three days?
Steve Burg: Miraculously, yes.
Bill Maher: Steve, Steve, Steve.
Steve Burg: You don’t believe in miracles, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Bill Maher: Of course not! I’m not 10! He didn’t lived in a fish, come on. Your bar on miracles is pretty low, I gotta tell you, bro.
Bill Maher: Two things that are completely incompatible are Christianity as Jesus taught it – and nationalism…
Bill Maher: And yet people always say God and country. Jesus would never… you know, people who are such good Christians… in one breath you’ll hear them say something like, “Well, you gotta take care of your own first. I know people overseas have trouble, but you gotta take”… that is not a message I can ever see the Jesus in the Bible, even when he was in a bad mood, would say.
I’m gonna vote Bible.
It’s time for God’s people to come out of the closets, out of the churches and change America!
Unless you and I do what God wants us to do, he’ll go to some other country.
God, forgive America!
I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.
We have, of course, “In God We Trust” on our money.
The Senate will come to order. The chaplain will lead the Senate in prayer.
Bill Maher: [to journalist Ray Suarez] How did this country become a Christian nation? I’ve read a lot of quotes from all the founding fathers. There are a lot of quotes that explicitly say we are not a Christian nation.
[several quotes are shown]
Ray Suarez: And Jefferson’s a particularly interesting case.
Bill Maher: Didn’t he write his own Bible which divorced the New Testament from what he considered the unnecessary magic, bells and whistles?
He took the Gospels, took out all of Jesus’s miracles and took out all of Jesus’s statements that claimed divinity, and put out a new book called “The Faith and Moral Teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.” We tend to lionize these guys and think of them all as the 12 Apostles plus the Founding Fathers, like they’re in the same club or something. When in fact, these men understood very well that there was a difference between being Christian and being American.
Bill Maher: Right.
In Jefferson’s age, fewer people went to church less often.
Do you think that there are a lot of people who feel the way you do, but are afraid to speak out?
Bill Maher: Absolutely. Are you kidding? Yes, I think it is the great untapped minority in this country. In the last survey, I think it was 16% of Americans who now say they are absolutely unaffiliated with any religion, don’t want to be in a religion, just don’t go near me with religion. 16% of the population is a huge minority. It’s bigger than Jews, blacks, homosexuals, NRA members, lots of people you could name who have lobbies that get everything they want or are at least are in the debate.
Mark Pryor: [Arkansas’ Democratic Senator] You want me to kinda angle like this or straight ahead?
Just as natural as possible to Bill.
Bill Maher: So you’ve described yourself as an Evangelical Christian. You did a campaign ad where you said the most important lessons in life are in this book right here, meaning the Bible. Everyone in politics likes to brag that they’re a person of faith. Why is faith good?
Mark Pryor: Faith has a way of softening people. For example, if you look at the teachings of Jesus, he’s very forgiving.
Bill Maher: He also said, “If a man doesn’t abide in me,” he is cast forth as a branch and withers, and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.”
Mark Pryor: Right. So? I do think, ’cause I’m a Christian, that Jesus is the way to be reconciled. And I do believe the actual literacy of that story. We’ll let God sort out all the details of that on Judgment Day.
Bill Maher: What about the 10 Commandments? I mean, so many politicians talk about the 10 Commandments. Are they really the 10 most important moral…
Mark Pryor: Are these the 10 suggestions? The 10 recommendations?
Bill Maher: But it’s not really a wise list of 10. You know, the first four are all about just worshipping God and basically that he’s a jealous God, and he doesn’t want you to have any other gods. The only two that are really laws are don’t steal and don’t kill. Why is this the wisest group of 10? It doesn’t include child abuse. It doesn’t include don’t torture. It doesn’t include a lot of things… rape… that I think if we were making a list today, we would probably include.
Mark Pryor: Society is so different today. Our society is so radically different…
Bill Maher: And that’s what I’m asking. We’re in a different culture. Can you think of anything else that we still cleave to from the Bronze Age?
Mark Pryor: Well… [speechless]
Mark Pryor: Well… Basically, murder is against the law in every country in the world.
Bill Maher: But wouldn’t we have come to that even without religion? Don’t you think people would have gotten together and said, “You know what? Let’s not slaughter each other and not take each other’s stuff.”
Mark Pryor: I don’t know.
Bill Maher: There’s been more killing in the name of “my God.”
Mark Pryor: So you think we indigously [made up word] or just by our DNA, we just somehow know that killing another person is wrong? I’m not sure that is the case.
Bill Maher: Really? We need God to decide not to kill each other?
Mark Pryor: Well, you can look back at more primitive cultures and they were constantly at war.
[subtitled “Modern Culture,” war footage is shown]
Bill Maher: We are now, among industrialized, modern nations, the most religious nation. A recent study found that among 32 countries, more people in this country doubted evolution than any other country on that list, except, I think, it was Turkey.
Mark Pryor: In the US, we have freedom of religion.
Bill Maher: I think most of the countries on that list do have freedom of religion.
Well, that’s interesting.
Bill Maher: Do you believe in evolution?
Mark Pryor: You know my… First, I don’t know. Clearly the scientific community’s a little divided on some of the specifics of that and I understand that.
Bill Maher: I don’t think they are.
No no… well…
Bill Maher: I think they pretty much agree.
I don’t know how it all happened. I’m certainly willing to accept the scientific premise.
Bill Maher: It couldn’t possibly have been Adam and Eve 5,000 years ago with a talking snake and a garden, could it?
Well, it could’ve possibly been that.
Bill Maher: Come on. See, this is my problem, I’m trying– I mean, you’re – you’re a Senator. You are one of the very few people who are really running this country. It worries me that people are running my country who think– who believe in a talking snake. Um…
Mark Pryor: [Arkansas’ Democratic Senator] You don’t have to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate, though.
[Bill is silent and unimpressed. The Senator’s face falls]
[Creation Museum, Petersburg, Kentucky]
Ken Ham: [Answers in Genesis U.S.A] As you first come into the Creation Museum, there’s going to be a sense of “This is something really big.” This is something awe-inspiring, something great here. We can answer the questions of the skeptics that attack the Bible’s history. We admit that we start from the Bible here to teach them how to think. Really, in a nutshell, we’re saying, the Bible’s true from Genesis to Revelation. We’re building the whole place for about $27 million. I have many people say to me, “As a Christian, can’t you believe in evolution?” I say, “Well, you got a problem. God made a man and a woman.” If you believe in evolution, the woman had to come from an ape woman.
All right, but you’re so damned ugly.
This is what we call the main hall here. Immediately, people see dinosaurs and people together, which is very different to the idea of the evolutionists who say dinosaurs died out 70 million ago or so, and so they didn’t live with humans. They see an animatronic dinosaur over here. Two animatronic baby T-Rexes and two animatronic children. It’s basically just to give people a wow factor as they come in here.
How to share your faith effectively and Biblically, to be able to reason with people, learn to circumnavigate or go around the person’s intellect.
Bill Maher: There’s plenty of people who would say, “Well, it’s just my faith.” But that’s not good enough for you. You say, “No.” We can basically reconcile the science “with what’s in Genesis.”
We’re an organization that… to put it in a nutshell… is telling people that the Bible’s history is true, its history beginning in Genesis.
Bill Maher: Scientists line up overwhelmingly on one side of this issue. It would have to be an enormous conspiracy going on between scientists of all different disciplines in all different countries to have such a consensus. That doesn’t move you?
No, not at all, because from a Biblical perspective, I understand why the majority would not agree with the truth. Man is a sinner. Man is rebelling against his creator.
Bill Maher: All these scientists are sinners?
Bill Maher: We have been talking to so many religious people and many of them believe the earth is 5,000 years old.
Father George Coyne, PhD: [Vatican Observatory] If you’re a scientist, you can’t accept that.
Bill Maher: Now you recently were the director of the Vatican Observatory. A Vatican astronomer. It’s one of those terms like “gay Republican”… you know, you just don’t expect it.
I’m not getting into that.
Bill Maher: No no no, I’m not asking you to.
It’s not that the church has the idea, you know, they’re gonna train us up so we can be the first ones out there to baptize those extraterrestrials before the Mormons get at ’em. The reason is simply historical facts. I mean, John Paul II, for instance, said evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense is no longer a mere hypothesis. I mean, he said that. It’s in writing.
Bill Maher: I still don’t understand why it’s important for there to have to have been a situation on earth where a man co-existed with dinosaurs. Only really in “The Flintstones”…
Is someone talking about me?
Bill Maher: And that Raquel Welch movie does man ever co-exist with dinosaurs. Why is that important for your salvation or your morality?
If you’re saying this part over here, it says God made land animals and man on the same day is not true, then ultimately, why should I believe this bit over here?
The Christian Scriptures were written between about 2,000 years before Christ to about 200 years after Christ. That’s it. Modern science came to be with Galileo up through Newton, up through Einstein. What we know as modern science, okay, is in that period. How in the world could there be any science in scripture? There cannot be. Just the two historical periods are separated by so much. The Scriptures are not teaching science. It’s very hard for me to accept, not just a literal interpretation of scripture, but a fundamentalist approach to religious belief. It’s kind of a plague. It presents itself as science and it’s not.
Ken Ham: God is an infinite God who is working in ways we don’t always understand.
Bill Maher: You don’t think that’s a cop-out?
Ken Ham: He is God. Are you God?
Bill Maher: No.
Bill Maher: We went to church every Sunday. My sister and I went to Catechism, which is Catholic, you know, like Hebrew school for papists. It was like war. It was vast stretches of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror.
Bill Maher: I’m in the Vatican.
Bill Maher: Buongiorno! I know what you’re thinking. I’m standing in front of a green screen at a studio in Burbank, California, and they digitized the Vatican in behind me. No, no, that’s really the Vatican. I ought to know. I just got thrown out of it. See, I wanted to interview the Pope, but I was willing to settle for a cardinal or a monsignor, or the flying nun – really anybody, but apparently I’ve been on the Catholic shit list for quite a while. But that’s their loss, ’cause now I’m gonna say what I *really* think, which is mainly [Points at the Vatican] Does that look like anything Jesus had in mind?
[to Father Reginald Foster, a Senior Vatican Priest]
Bill Maher: When you look at a building like that, a giant palace, does it seem at odds with the message of the founder?
Reginald Foster: Well, certainly.
Bill Maher: [giggles] Well, thank you.
Reginald Foster: I mean, that’s obvious.
Bill Maher: It really is obvious, isn’t it? But does it bother you?
Reginald Foster: [stammering] Well, I mean– well, yes it does. I wouldn’t– if I were the boss, I wouldn’t be living there. I mean Jesus would be probably out in some barracks here in a suburb of Rome, got it?
Bill Maher: Do you ever get so fed up you want to take the collar off and go… –
Reginald Foster: Well, I don’t wear a collar anyway.
Bill Maher: “That’s it, Captain.” Take my badge and my collar.”
Reginald Foster: I read about 10 books recently… the rationality of religion, and everyone’s saying it’s stupid.
Bill Maher: You know what’s gonna happen to them.
Reginald Foster: No, what’s gonna happen?
Bill Maher: They’re gonna be roasting in hell.
Come on, roasting. That’s the old Catholic thing.
Bill Maher: That’s what they taught me.
Yeah, I know, that hell business.
Bill Maher: Well, come on, the standard doctrine that I was taught as a kid…
Reginald Foster: Yeah, that’s all gone. That’s all finished.
Bill Maher: But that’s not fair.
Bill Maher: The date of Jesus’s birth really wasn’t established until 349 A.D.
Oh, yeah… because he might’ve been born on July 3rd. These are all nice stories, you know.
Bill Maher: And that doesn’t bother you, either?
That bothers me too. I mean, when everybody’s, “Ooh, we have to have midnight mass because Jesus was born on midnight on 25th of”… this is all nonsense.
Bill Maher: You’re a maverick, aren’t you?
I’m not a maverick.
Bill Maher: You’re Father Maverick. You do things your own way.
Bill Maher: When you add up all the saints and all the angels and archangels and super-duper angels… there’s God, the Father, God the Son, the Holy Ghost, Mother Mary… it does start to look like it’s not quite the monotheistic religion that it’s…
Oh, I understand. Like we have mini-gods.
Bill Maher: Yeah, well, it does seem like that, if people pray to a…
Well, yeah, but some people just don’t understand this. You probably are… you don’t follow things… but they had a survey here in Italy, you know, and they said, “In a crisis”, “what kind of saints do you pray to?” Got it? You know who’s the sixth on the list? Jesus Christ.
Bill Maher: The sixth?
He’s the sixth man that the Italians call upon when they have problems. Isn’t that neat?
Bill Maher: That’s very interesting.
Talk about Cafeteria Catholics. Pfft!
Bill Maher: So how do you convince people of what’s the true faith?
You don’t, forget it. You just have to live and die with their stupid ideas. I’m sorry. What are you gonna do?
You can go to a pitch meeting at a movie studio and go, “Okay, there’s a spaceman” who zaps a virgin and he gives birth to a son who’s also him, “who then goes on a suicide mission.” I wonder what people would say about that.
Bill Maher: Yeah, that is actually a great pitch. It has so many elements that they like, because they love suicide missions. They love violence, and Hollywood loves something it’s never seen before… a virgin.
[“The Holy land Experience”, Orlando, Florida]
We’re so glad to have you here. Just come and get blessed.
These are here to teach God’s word. We’re in a spiritual warfare.
We don’t push our beliefs on people, but we do make them available.
Have you ever had a Muslim person?
Yes, definitely. People from Gaza Strip come. We get many people who come here say, “We’ve come every year to Florida” and we’ve done the tourist things and all and we enjoy those. “We wish we had seen this first,” because their experience here was so meaningful.
Bill Maher: Do you think if… when you were a kid… they transposed the Bible stories with the fairy tales, you’d know the difference as an adult?
My name is Eve.
I’m Adam. This place is amazing.
Bill Maher: If they told you Jack and the Beanstalk was religion and that a man who lived in a whale was in a fairy-tale book… you think when you got to be an adult, you’d be defending the one instead of the other?
So you’re saying that the Bible’s a fairy tale?
God took my rib like this and began to whittle it like this and blow on it… and then…
Saved means believing in Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God.
Not for me, it don’t.
What about the Muslims?
Many Muslims are saved right now.
I don’t get it.
I pray in your lifetime you do.
Jesus came through a Jew. He was not the seed of man. He came through a Jewish woman, but no man had ever touched her. No flesh had ever touched her. He was the seed of God.
You want me to lean up against the tomb or something or you want casual or… okay. Did I give you my cell phone? Oh, I left my cell phone, right? Just want to make sure. Testing one two, check, testing. How you doing, Bill? God bless you.
Bill Maher: Hi.
Seen you around. Welcome to our world.
Bill Maher: I’ve seen you around. Now is this your tomb? Is this a real rock?
No, it’s just cement. They just kind of cemented it in there.
Bill Maher: So when you go out to dinner, people recognize you?
All the time, yeah. I think you get a little bit of that, too.
Bill Maher: But they don’t think I’m the Lord. You must really be… Why do you think people come here? ‘Cause Disneyland’s too smutty?
I personally haven’t been to the Holy Land, so this was an awesome experience for me when I walked on the property. -I was like, “Wow, this is cool.”
Bill Maher: Let me ask you questions about your business…
Bill Maher: Or really the Jesus business. God is super powerful. He can do anything.
Bill Maher: Why doesn’t he just obliterate the devil and therefore get rid of evil in the world?
Bill Maher: He will? What’s he waiting for?
Bill Maher: But why play it out like that? Why doesn’t He just end evil and obliterate the Devil?
Man at The Holy Land Experience: He will.
Bill Maher: When? What’s He waiting for?
Man at The Holy Land Experience: End times.
Bill Maher: Why not now?
Why make it a game?
Well, it’s not necessarily a game. A day is like a thousand years in God’s eyes, it says in the Bible. If you wanna look at it… just like two days ago, Christ died. But I know that he is so far beyond any of our ways, that he can work the worst situation for his good.
Bill Maher: What was the Holocaust? Why was that good?
You know, God had a plan for that.
Bill Maher: Maybe it’s to cause… I wonder if you would have thought that if you were one of the people being pushed into an oven.
Well, you know what? It’s like trying to explain to an ant how a TV works. That’s… God’s ways are so much higher than ours. There’s no way you can understand that.
We need to stop the interview for just a moment, please.
Bill Maher: Nice to see you.
Senior manager of public relations. Hi, Les, I’ll be right with you.
Nobody told me he was going to be here… and that’s something I would have needed to know. Because of what he is and because of the types of show that he does.
I’m not afraid of the piranha women.
When he came, he said, “I come not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.” You boil all those Levitical laws down to two things: No other God is before me, Bill, and love the Lord with all your heart.
Bill Maher: But, Jesus, having no other gods before you, that’s not moral. There’s nothing moral about that. It’s just something a jealous god would do.
It does say that our God is a jealous god.
Bill Maher: But your God is jealous? That seems so unGodlike that God would have such a petty human emotion. I know people who have gotten over jealousy, let alone God.
There’s two sides to the coin. He’s a just God and he’s also a merciful God.
Bill Maher: No, he spends the first five books of the Bible wiping out people.
That’s what he chose to do. His ways are higher than ours, Bill.
Bill Maher: Maybe our thinking should be higher.
Man at The Holy Land Experience: That’s a good point. God has got this God-sized hole in your life. You can fit that with any position… drugs, sex, whatever you want… it is not gonna fill it.
Bill Maher: Can I try?
You can try all you want. You’re gonna end up hurting yourself, damaging yourself and burning yourself up.
Bill Maher: I thought Christ was about not judging people.
Bill Maher: Isn’t that a judgment there? You don’t know me and you’re telling me I need to fill a hole in my heart with drugs and sex.
No, I’m not talking about you. I’m saying anyone in general.
Bill Maher: See, if I was God, I would create people without the hole to begin with.
Have you ever had a little voice in the back of your mind say something?
Bill Maher: We’ve all had that.
That’s called the Holy Spirit.
Bill Maher: That’s not God. That’s you.
That’s called the Holy Spirit.
Bill Maher: Oh… the Holy Spirit.
Feel this wind right now?
Bill Maher: Yeah.
Okay, where is it? You don’t know, right?
Bill Maher: Yeah, it’s called wind.
Okay, that’s like the Holy Spirit.
Bill Maher: It’s a monotheistic religion, but there’s three of them.
Just like water can be ice, steam and water.
Bill Maher: I see.
It’s different forms, different shapes for the different purposes.
Bill Maher: The analogy that Jesus at the amusement park said yesterday was brilliant, about the Trinity is like water. It can be steam. It can be ice. It can be liquid. Wow, that is… boy, that stopped me in my tracks for a second, you know? That’s just a brilliant analogy. When you think about it for two minutes, it’s still complete bullshit. There this space God and he’s himself and he sent himself on a suicide mission. He’s a God, but he has a kid. He’s a single parent. It’s just silly, but when you put it in the water analogy, I can see that, you know, those ladies there, when they heard that the first time, they were like, done. Sold. Oh, you had me at ice cube.
Bill Maher: Moving on. Does it ever bother you that the story of a man who was born of a virgin was resurrected? Your bio was something that was going around the Mediterranean for at least 1,000 years. We’ve got Krishna who was in India 1,000 years before Christ. Krishna was a carpenter, born of a virgin, baptized in a river.
Are you saying that was written in history? That was written down in history, is that what you’re saying?
Bill Maher: Absolutely, there’s the Persian god Mithra, 600 years before Christ. Born December 25th, performed miracles, resurrected on the third day, known as the Lamb, the Way, the Truth, the Light, the Savior, Messiah.
All I know is that I don’t go by that hearsay. I go by the word of God. I know that’s why I believe.
Well, I believe it because it’s truth.
Bill Maher: Believe it, yes. But there’s a difference between truth and what you believe.
In the Bible it tells us that all things are possible with God, okay?
Bill Maher: Study the religions of the Mediterranean region for a thousand years before. Many of the gods were born on December 25th.
No, it’s not.
Bill Maher: It’s not a new one.
It’s funny you should bring that up because of course in “Star Wars: Episode l… The Phantom Menace,” Anakin is born to a virgin. People see that and say, “Wait a second.” Where have we heard that before?” That’s not original.
Bill Maher: But the Jesus story wasn’t original.
Man at The Holy Land Experience: How so?
[An explanation appears in subtitles as The Bangles “Walk Like an Egyptian” plays] “Written in 1280 BC, The Book of the Dead describes a God, Horus… Horus is the son of the god Osiris… born to a virgin mother. He was baptized in a river by Anup the Baptizer… who was later beheaded. Like Jesus, Horus was tempted while alone in the desert… Healed the sick… The blind… Cast out demons… And walked on water… He raised Asar from the dead. ‘Asar’ translates to ‘Lazarus’. Oh yeah, he also had 12 disciples. Yes, Horus was crucified first… And after 3 days, two women announced… Horus, the savior of humanity… had been resurrected.
Let me ask you a question. Let’s say, if you take the side – that this is all made up…
Bill Maher: I do.
Man at The Holy Land Experience: What if you’re wrong?
Bill Maher: Ha! What if YOU’RE wrong?
# Down the Via Dolorosa #
# In Jerusalem that day #
# The soldiers tried #
# To clear the narrow street #
# But the crowd pressed in to see #
# The man condemned to die #
# On Calvary #
# Down the Via Dolorosa #
# Called the Way of Suffering #
# Like a lamb came the Messiah #
# Christ the King #
# And he chose to walk that road #
# Out of his love #
# For you #
# And me. #
Was Jesus a sinner? One master. One word. I am your master. Who do we put away in the asylums?
Bill Maher: Xenu brought us here 75 million years ago, stacked us around volcanoes and blew them up with an H-bomb. We are older than the universe. You have to rid yourself of the implants from the extraterrestrial dictators! Get an E-Meter. Yes, get an E-Meter! An E-meter? Audit yourself. How do you people expect to get to the next level? I’m not making the rules. Aw…
Bill Maher: You know, Scientologists…
[sound of audience laughing]
Bill Maher: And right, you’re like, “Oh, yeah, that’s some crazy shit. Okay.” Jesus with the virgin birth and the dove and the snake who talked in the garden, that’s cool. But the Scientologists, they’re the crazy ones.
That’s not true.
That… that… I don’t have any idea of what you’re talking about.
Bill Maher: But it has something to do with making sure that we’re born with a defect, so that the souls of ours are infected with aliens…
Bill Maher: Because the cure? Scientology. They’re all crazy. Yes, the religions do get even crazier. They have to to keep up. They keep raising the bar. After you’ve done the virgin birth, you know, where do you go?
Bill Maher: We’re not getting the top?
We got the top.
Bill Maher: Oh, okay. That’s the Mormon Temple behind me. To be a Mormon is to believe some really crazy stuff, crazy even by the standards of the big religions. When you’re the new kid on the block… Thank you. That was helpful. You’re the new kid on the block and all the good crazy has already been picked over, so you kind of have to up the ante. Oh. God damn it. Not while I’m in the middle of it. Well, we do have it. Boy, a lot of people came – out of the woodwork.
Yeah. So did you guys get anybody from the church to talk to? Well, if you count getting thrown off the property – “talked to.”
That’s probably better.
We’d like you to “Meet the Mormons.”
Tal Bachman: [an ex-Mormon] In the founding scriptures, you open the doctrine covenant, you read the autobiography of Joseph Smith. He quotes Jesus Christ as telling him that every other creed on Earth is, quote, an abomination. That’s not a very ecumenical statement.
You’re talking about things that, I think, at some level you sense just do not make sense. I’m glad you said that because I read some of the tenets of Mormonism, like “God lives on a planet near the star of Kalob.”
God the Father who’s a physical man with a body of flesh and bone is probably about 6′ tall, lives on a place called Kolob, had sexual relations with Mary… remember he’s a man.
Bill Maher: “Jesus Christ was conceived by God the father having actual sex with Mary.”
Mary said, “If this is what God wants”, I’ll be glad to do His will.”
Bill Maher: “Dark skin is a curse from God,” but if you’re sufficiently righteous, a dark-skinned person “can become light-skinned.”
Bill Maher: [a tenet of Mormonism] Dark skin is a curse from God,
[photos of Michael Jackson’s transformation pop up at the bottom of the screen]
Bill Maher: but if you’re sufficiently righteous, a dark-skin person can become light-skin.
According to the Book of Mormon, after his resurrection, Jesus came to the Americas to preach to the Indians. “That American Indians are actually a lost tribe of Israel.” They’re lost Jews.
Bill Maher: And also the idea that Christianity is American, I think, is an amazing entitlement to a people who are always trying to meld God and country.
Bill Gardiner: The Garden of Eden was in Missouri, according to Mormonism. The new Jerusalem will be there.
Bill Maher: Branson, I hope. I’ve also heard that the Mormon Church baptizes dead people.
You can be baptized for about 50 people, 100 people that’ve died. And so you just get dunked about 50 to 100 times. That’s baptism for the dead.
Bill Maher: Caffeine is evil. That magic underwear can protect you. And that you need a secret password to get into heaven.
Everyone must stand at the final judgment before Joseph Smith, Jesus and Elohim.
This isn’t an easy religion.
Bill Maher: Why do you think it is that so few people do what you have done and leave the church?
The moment you acknowledge to yourself that Joseph Smith did not tell the truth about his experiences and his achievements, you just committed social suicide.
Family and friends…
Family and friends.
Will… you’re off the deep end.
Bill Maher: Dr. Andrew Newberg, nice to meet you. I’ve finally met someone who’s studied… neurotheology. This is getting very close to something I always say, which is that religion is a neurological disorder. What does the brain look like when it’s hopped up on God?
We see a lot of different colors, which help us to… tell us what the activity is in the brain and what we have found is that there are some very specific changes when people are actually meditating or praying or even speaking in tongues, which was our last study. In the name of Jesus, you’ve been made whole by the power of God.
Speaking in tongues? – We studied people speaking in tongues. They’re just babbling, though, right? They’re not really speaking in a language they don’t know.
It’s not an actual language, but what’s…
Bill Maher: Just bullshit, Doc, come on.
Isn’t that something? I love you.
Bill Maher: So you would agree that even if a billion people believe something, it can still be ridiculous?
Andrew Newberg: Absolutely.
Bill Maher: But the Jews, I mean, they’re… excuse me, Jewish friends… but they’re as cuckoo as anybody, especially the really Orthodox ones.
Bill Maher: You are one of the few Jewish people in the world who does not believe in the state of Israel. You do not think the state of Israel should exist.
Bill Maher: Okay.
God gave us the land of Israel. On Mount Sinai where we made this bond with God, He said, “I’m giving you the land, but I’m stipulating…” very clearly stipulating… you must be on a certain level of holiness.” You will see it clearly that we were sent out of the land.
Bill Maher: So basically you’re saying that the Jewish people have not been holy enough to deserve the land of Israel.
God understands what is good for us, what is bad for us…
Bill Maher: First of all…
…what will bring us safety or not. Let me just finish. God told us, though, if you will go against God… God manipulates the world…
Bill Maher: Okay, l…
Wait a second. Let me finish this. God said if you’re going to try to make the state, you will be unsuccessful. You are looking through… you’re trying to look at this world through a keyhole.
Bill Maher: I’m looking through the key…
Let me finish. God is compassionate. Everything is directly from God, we believe.
Bill Maher: But it seems to me…
I’ll now explain what you’re asking. The concept of saying that we’ve suffered enough anti-Semitism…
Bill Maher: Never again. So you don’t say “Never again.” You say “Again.”
Yeah. Let us understand that the Jewish people were living in exile for 2,000 years under God’s protection and we were living in Western civilization…
Bill Maher: Germany, Poland. Not anymore…
Let me finish. We were living amongst all nations throughout the years.
Bill Maher: ‘Cause they’re all dead. How many people died in the Holocaust?
You’re jumping. Let’s jump to the Holocaust.
Bill Maher: I thought the issue was Jewish safety. I thought the issue was how many Jews are dying.
So let’s talk about Jewish safety.
Bill Maher: Okay, I’m sure there was a few…
A couple million Jews died, that’s okay, that’s the wording you use?
Bill Maher: You’re the one who went to Iran in December 2006 for the President of that Country’s Holocaust Denial Conference.
Yisroel Dovid Weiss: Whoa, whoa don’t just throw words!
[Photo-montage of Rabbi Weiss attending the conference]
Bill Maher: Why does Ahmadinejad say that he wants Israel to be wiped from the face of the…
When did he say that?
Bill Maher: He did.
He never said that.
Bill Maher: What did he say? What was the exact quote?
He said it should disappear.
Bill Maher: What, is he David Copperfield?
Bill Maher: Never again, Rabbi, never again.
Wait. One more second.
Bill Maher: No, I’m out.
We have Conservatives. We have Reforms. We have the Orthodox. You are an observing Jew.
It says it right there in the fourth commandment: Honor the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
Friday night to Saturday night, you don’t do anything.
Yeah, the rabbis over the centuries have created these prohibitions as a way to try to protect the day of rest. You can’t use electricity. You can’t drive.
Bill Maher: Let’s talk a little about keeping the Sabbath holy. I’ve always wondered if it came about because God rested on the Sabbath and that’s why man has to.
That’s right, and that was the creation of the seventh day, that there should be rest. There are 39 types of specific actions that cannot be done on the Sabbath. One of them is lighting a fire. Planting. Another one is plowing. Another one is tying a knot, untying a knot. One is building, and one is destroying so as to build.
Bill Maher: So much more kosher is to develop these gadgets – that figure out a way around it.
Bill Maher: It does seem that you are, to a degree, trying to outsmart God.
If the lawmaker never makes a mistake, and still there’s a loophole there, why is that loophole there? To be used in a situation of need.
Bill Maher: But how did this get updated for a 4,000-year-old rule? It seems there’s an awful lot that has to do with electricity.
Rabbi Halperin’s work here is translating it into something more modern.
Bill Maher: Let’s look at some of the gadgets you have. I’m particularly interested in the phone. Is there not a cell phone?
It’s not a cell phone.
Bill Maher: Okay, wow. I have to say, that looks modern.
Each number is trying to dial itself all the time.
When I take the stick and I put it into the hole…
I’m inhibiting that which is inhibiting the number from dialing itself.
Bill Maher: Let me ask about this. It’s obviously a wheelchair. May I?
Bill Maher: Oh, wow. And this is not the new model, I’m guessing.
This is the experimental prototype.
Bill Maher: I see.
Bill Maher: This runs on air pressure, right?
Correct. Basically, we’ve got 150 atmospheres of pressure here. We’ve got the turning it on, turning it off here.
Bill Maher: So air is okay. Air good. Fire bad.
We’ve taken an old bicycle… I forgot what it’s called.
Okay. Air goes in, air goes out.
Bill Maher: If I was a person in that wheelchair, I might say to myself, “Why am I going to these lengths to please God, who’s taken away my legs to begin with?”
That would be fascinating. It’s an elevator.
Bill Maher: Oh, it’s a Shabbatavator. Let me guess, you can’t push a button…
Bill Maher: On the Sabbath.
The issues behind the scenes that people don’t see are the real problems.
Bill Maher: An even bigger problem might be how do you get someone to put this in their building if they’re not completely nuts?
Well, actually, that really doesn’t make a difference.
Bill Maher: Hmm.
How we define what is crazy or not crazy about religions is ultimately up to how we define crazy. If you define mental illness as anyone who hears a voice talking to them, then anyone who has heard the voice of God is crazy.
She talks about a prophecy that these children needed to die. The dispatcher asked “Why did you do this?” “I was told to.” “Who told you?” “God.”
There is nothing He may not ask of thee?
Bill Maher: But in layman’s terms, Jesus was nuts. Moses…”Stay here, I’m going up and getting the 10 Commandments right from God.” You know, ’cause one thing I’ve also…
We didn’t have brain-scan technology back then, so it’s a hard to tell.
Bill Maher: I know, but if a guy says he went up on a mountain and he talked to God, and He talked to him through a burning bush, that guy’s a cuckoo.
Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda: All those pastors who refer to me as the anti-Christ, false prophet, it’s because they’re miserable. Anyone who doesn’t believe in me is miserable.
Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda: My mike is on?
Bill Maher: Okay, who are you Biblically?
Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda: I am Jesus Christ man, the second coming of Christ, I am. The Old Testament speaks about me clearly and the New Testament also.
Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda: I am Jesus Christ man. The second coming. The Old Testament talk about me clearly. And the New Testament also.
Bill Maher: About you personally?
Bill Maher: Not just because you have… you share the name Jesus?
No, not because of that.
Bill Maher: You also share the name Miranda. Maybe you’re Carmen Miranda. Maybe the second coming of her? You should have fruit on your head, instead of fruit in your head.
Okay. Fuck you. How’s that?
Bill Maher: Why do you think God chose you?
Jesus of Nazareth had a wife so after they killed him, his seed kept going, maybe through France, Spain, and then from Spain, came to Puerto Rico. The bloodline come from Abraham, Abraham to David, David to Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus of Nazareth, me.
Bill Maher: Okay, I though a second coming was the reincarnation of the Christ himself, not a descendant of.
No, he’s a descendant.
Bill Maher: Descendant? Oh… but you don’t believe in hell?
Bill Maher: Or the Devil?
Bill Maher: Or even sin, right?
No, there’s not a sin any longer.
Bill Maher: What you teach is that Jesus died for our sins and so there’s not really any sinning anymore.
No more sin.
Bill Maher: This is like a diet doctor saying, “Eat anything you want.”
Bill Maher: “You don’t lose weight, but it’s easy to stick to.”
That’s what I believe, Bill.
Bill Maher: Oh, I know you do.
And I have many people who believe in this.
Bill Maher: And yet, you have a little… you have a little twinkle in your eye when say it.
No, I believe in that. I believe.
Bill Maher: How do we know? Because lots of people would like this job. How do you get this job as the second coming? It’s not on Craigslist.
Bill Maher: I’m guessing. Maybe it is.
See, two angels…
Bill Maher: Two guys named Angel, Spanish guys.
You know what I’m talking about, you fucking cockroach!
Bill Maher: Oh, actual angels.
Two angels came to me…
Bill Maher: Okay.
…and they told me “The Lord of Lords and King of Kings is coming to anoint you for the ministry tonight.”
Bill Maher: What form did the angels come in? How tall?
Little tall and strong. Whatever they told me, I obey. I don’t wanna mess with them.
Bill Maher: But I’m just saying, it seems that if God wanted to communicate something to the world… He’s all powerful… He would just talk to the whole world. It always seems He picks out a prophet in private and tells them, “Okay, you’re the prophet.”
Bill Maher: “You go tell the rest of the world.” So we just sort of have to take it on faith. We just sort of have to believe you.
Right, yeah, it’s true.
Abraham. Noah. Lord, what shall I do?
Moses, climb the mount alone.
Once again, the Lord had spoken to Joseph Smith as he had to Adam, Abraham, Moses, Paul and others.
I am the first Christian.
Bill Maher: And the rest are really kind of Jewish, you’re saying, because they’re following a Jew.
That’s it. In fact, they put on the plates… they say “My boss is a Jewish carpenter.”
Bill Maher: How ridiculous is that? A Jewish carpenter!
Bill Maher: Come on, Jews hire carpenters. They don’t… you know, people say “I found my calling in life.” And it’s a good calling. It’s a nice living. People adore you. Everywhere you go, they treat you like Christ, like you’re the Messiah.
Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda: You know, if I discover that I was Satan in person, I would do a good job, too.
Bill Maher: As Satan?
Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda: Because I would be faithful to my calling.
Bill Maher: It’s how you do your work, isn’t it? You know, at the end of the day, whether you’re the messiah or you’re Satan, it’s loving what you do and giving it a hundred percent.
Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda: I give hundred percent.
Bill Maher: I wasn’t born skeptical. I was still making deals with “God” when I was 40. I remember I quit smoking. There was some shitty problem I had in my life, and I made a deal with God, “Okay, if you make this problem go away,” I will quit smoking, and I won’t go back on it “’cause I’d know I’d be going back on a deal with God.” And you know, I gotta say, I’m kind of glad I had “God” in my life.
[Amsterdam, The Netherlands]
Bill Maher: You are the head of the First Universal Church of Cantheism…
Bill Maher: Which is really built around this substance here.
Bill Maher: No? Okay, I got that wrong. But it’s built around smoking this. I mean, it has no dogma, right? You’re not preaching to anybody. You’re not saying you’ll save their souls, no rituals.
Bill Maher: How does this differ from just getting wasted? I mean that in the best possible way, but…
I understand the concept of God, a feeling of one with everything else.
Bill Maher: Do you feel that every time you smoke pot?
Bill Maher: Phew! I thought it was just me. So why do you think it’s this family of drugs that’s so good for opening our minds as opposed to ludes, PCP, or smashing up your mother’s diet pills and smoking ’em in a pipe?
I don’t know. I don’t know.
Bill Maher: So I did want to get your thoughts about what’s going on in this city. This is your city. There’s a lot of controversy with… maybe the Dutch are so tolerant that they’re now tolerating intolerance. There’s a lot of tension with the Muslim community.
It’s all religious fundamentalists. They already killed Theo Van Gogh, who was a known television maker.
Bill Maher: So, we are standing on the spot, this is the spot where Theo Van Gogh was assassinated?
Fatima Elatik: This is exactly the spot.
Bill Maher: He was a Dutch filmmaker. He made a 10-minute film. It was deeply offensive to Muslims.
[Excerpt from Theo Van Gogh’s film “Submission] Oh, Allah, you say that men are the protectors and maintainers of women because you have given the one more strength than the other. I feel at least once a week, the strength of my husband’s fist on my face.
Bill Maher: Lots of people think that free speech goes right up to this point and then when you’re talking about religion, when you’re talking about the Prophet, all bets are off.
Fatima Elatik: It goes both ways, freedom of speech.
Bill Maher: It goes both ways, but the people who actually… usually do the killing for it wind up on the Muslim side. Do you think that says something about the different cultures?
Fatima Elatik: I don’t want to have the image of the Muslims, you know, if they don’t like something you say, they kill you, because it’s not.
[Cut to angry “Dutch Cartoonist” Protests. Caption: “50 people were killed as a result of these protests”]
It was a noisy crowd outside the Danish embassy in London as speakers condemned the cartoons portraying the Prophet Mohammed.
Bill Maher: I wish I could get your music in America, but considering how controversial it’s been here in England…
Propa-Gandhi: Initially, when I did the record, a lot of people supported it, but then, in the current times that we’re in, people got really scared. It just shows the stupidity of society, which refuses to discuss, debate things in an intelligent way. And I don’t except that. I just put my middle finger up.
Bill Maher: One of your big gripes… and it’s a valid one… you keep saying that… in fact, let me read your quote. You said “anyone worried about what I’m saying should get involved in the debate, you are allowed to dissent. That is a right.” But is that a right in Islam? To dissent.
Propa-Gandhi: Of course it is. Why do you think there are so many schools of thought?
Bill Maher: Well, it wasn’t a right for Salman Rushdie.
The demonstrators set off from Hyde Park, bringing much of central London to a standstill. Their hatred focused on Salman Rushdie and his book.
The mullahs pressed home their message in thousands of mosques… Salman Rushdie must be killed.
Propa-Gandhi: See, Salman Rushdie was there to provoke, insult, and he did it intentionally, right?
Bill Maher: But should you die for that?
Propa-Gandhi: No no, well, I mean, like, that was… you know, it’s easy for you to say things are kind of in black and white. They’re more complex than that. There’s emotions and passions and philosophy involved and all that stuff.
Bill Maher: You know, all you gotta say is it’s wrong for someone to have to suffer a death threat for writing a book.
Well, hang on.
Bill Maher: But apparently, it’s more complicated than that.
Well, it is because… but I mean, Western…
Bill Maher: We’ll never see eye to eye there, but you want that protection for yourself.
No, I think these debates are a lot… I’m willing to discuss ’em in terms of facts and not fictions.
Bill Maher: When you disagree with me, it’s a fiction.
Bill Maher: You have the truth – and I have the fiction.
No, I don’t have the truth.
Bill Maher: But you don’t see that there’s a fundamental hypocrisy of you asking for the right to dissent and somebody else getting a death threat?
Propa-Gandhi: No no, ’cause my dissent is to stop the madness.
Bill Maher: I’m here with Geert Wilders here in The Hague, which of course is home to the World Court, but also to the Dutch Parliament. You are taking a kind of hard line here in the Netherlands.
Islam is, according to me, a violent religion. The Koran is a violent book and Mohammed was a violent prophet.
Bill Maher: Do you think Islam wants to take over the world?
They don’t even make…
Bill Maher: Right right.
A secret about it. We are infidels. I mean, we should either become Islamic or we should be killed. This is what they say. This is what they are proud of.
Bill Maher: Okay, we’re here at Habibi Ana. Did I say that right?
Bill Maher: You guys, really… I mean, gay Muslim activists, that is a very rare job description. You guys have balls. How big is the gay community… the gay Muslim community here in Amsterdam? Or is this it? I mean, I’m guessing, Thursday isn’t… isn’t gay night here. I hope you guys find each other attractive, ’cause otherwise… you don’t feel afraid?
Here in Holland I’m not, but when I came from my country, I was very afraid. There was an article of law: Punish the gay for one year just because he’s gay.
Bill Maher: Just being gay can get you a year.
Just being gay.
Bill Maher: Same as Alabama. What I learned is that they’re not really… they’re not specific against homosexuality. They’re not specific against, in other words, the desire of a man for a man. What they are against is specific behavior, like anal sex. They don’t say homosexuality, heterosexuality. They just don’t want you doing it in the naughty place, which I guess, if you put that out of the picture in homosexuality, what do you have left? Just the blowjob.
Bill Maher: What do you think when people say it affects your memory, especially your short-term memory?
Bill Maher: And what do you think when people say that it affects your memory, your short-term memory?
Bill Maher: I like my hat.
It’s good. You look good, too.
Bill Maher: I think I do. I think I might adopt this look.
Bill Maher: Is there a reason why you have a black hat and I have a white hat?
We have any color you like. So I bought this. I like it myself because I like the color.
Bill Maher: There is a lot of tension in the last five years or so. Is Islam a threat to Dutch values? Islam is preaching, above all, peace. Peace, peace and peace.
The name Islam means peace.
Bill Maher: And yet it is involved in a lot of war and violence.
Yeah, it’s just all politics.
Bill Maher: Nothing to do with religion?
Bill Maher: No?
Bill Maher: Seems to be a lot of passages that say the infidel is not the equal of the believer. The infidel will die in hell. Don’t feel bad about hating the infidel.
Bill Maher: No? Boy, I’ve got bad information.
Yes, you have. I think so.
No no no no no.
No no no no.
No no no no.
Bill Maher: No. I’m wrong about everything.
Fatima Elatik: The way I perceive things in the Koran, it’s not about killing infidels or homosexuals…
Bill Maher: But you have read it there.
Fatima Elatik: Of course I’ve read the Koran!
Bill Maher: And you’ve read those passages. What did you think when you read them?
Fatima Elatik: I explain them within the time they emerged.
Bill Maher: But that’s not how people read Holy Books. They don’t go “Well that was good for then”. People read Holy Books and say “This is the Word of God, it’s forever!” That’s how most people do it.
Bill Maher: I just don’t buy it that these guys are in this state of denial. I think they’re just in a state of denial to an outsider. They will not admit anything is wrong with their culture to an outsider.
Bill Maher: Muslims were imperialists in the century after Mohammed’s death. They conquered most of the known world in one century.
Yeah, it is possible. You call it conquer. I think they were trying to spread Islam. Well, they were, but they weren’t doing it by singing “Kumbaya.”
Excuse me. Sorry.
Bill Maher: Oh, that 21st century’s always busting in.
I’m going to shut it off.
Bill Maher: I love it that he’s got “Kashmir” as his ringtone.
Okay, I shut it off. Sorry, I was… Yeah…
Bill Maher: Politics, okay.
Bill, you are not so smart.
Bill Maher: Do you think it’s possible that when we’re on something like marijuana or mushrooms and we believe we’re having a really spiritual experience that we’re just high?
Bill Maher: Oh, look out your head’s on fire! Boy, talk about the light bulb going off, that was your whole head.
I don’t like candles behind me.
Bill Maher: No. Oh, look, I found another joint.
Can we get closer? That is one hell of a wall.
[This was the site of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. It is the holiest site in Judaism. But Muslims built the Dome of the Rock right on top of it… Today, Jewish aren’t allowed on to the Temple Mount]
Bill Maher: This is the Dome of the Rock?
This is the Dome of the Rock. According to Islam, this is the place where Mohammed the Prophet stood before he fly to meet God in the heavens.
Bill Maher: On a horse?
After he… no, no, the horse was out of… he had the horse where the Wailing Wall… the Western Wall.
Bill Maher: He went to heaven on the horse?
Bill Maher: Why is it holy for the Jews?
Dr. Muhhamed Hourani: Because the rock was part of their temple. I just want you to go down to the rock to take a look. For one minute, just to take a look from inside. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Please. The direction of prayer, because every time you put yourself when you start your prayer you have to know exactly how to face the Kabaa in Mecca.
Bill Maher: A rock? The Kabaa?
Dr. Muhhamed Hourani: No. No. No.
Bill Maher: Isn’t that…
Dr. Muhhamed Hourani: No, no, no. A black stone.
Bill Maher: Stone, rock I think they’re the same.
Dr. Muhhamed Hourani: We don’t know the history of this stone.
Bill Maher: Why is this Holy?
Dr. Muhhamed Hourani: The Muslims believe that this stone came from Paradise.
Bill Maher: Paradise… Could the stone itself have been what we now know to be a Meteor?
Dr. Muhhamed Hourani: It’s black. And in the area there’s no black stones.
Bill Maher: But does it make a difference that we now understand what a Meteor is?
Dr. Muhhamed Hourani: This is the Stone of God!
Bill Maher: Yes, right. OK.
Bill Maher: This is the Mount of Olives. A lot of Orthodox Jews want to be buried here because they believe when the Messiah comes he will raise them from the dead and march them through that Golden Gate and on to the Temple Mount. Which is why the Muslims have walled up the gate, the better to keep out the Jewish Messiah and his kosher zombies from getting in. Although you’d think if you had the power to raise the dead, you’d have the power to jump a fence.
I can be inside because I am a Muslim.
Bill Maher: I thought I would not be allowed to walk in a mosque. I thought only someone of your faith was allowed to do that.
No, in Islam we are enough tolerant to accept the fact that non-Muslims are able to be inside to take a look, to have a short stroll, or to ask questions.
I don’t find this Jew funny…
This is what I expected.
Bill Maher: Why is he angry? They’re angry that you’re talking to me?
I know comedy… He’s never made me laugh and his show sucks.
Bill Maher: Women in your culture seem not to be as equal to the man as they are in our culture.
You see… we have woman here.
Bill Maher: Yes.
They have a special corner.
Bill Maher: I talked to a Muslim scholar today. And he said that Mohammed had a meeting here.
Mohammed never set his foot on that Temple Mount, not even one foot. Never ever. He was never in the land of Israel, that’s a historical fact.
Bill Maher: I think even I understand that. Why can’t the people of the different faiths get along? All three religions consider the same site to be holy. Is it not because it was conquered many times?
It was conquered first by King David, and then later by the armies coming out of the Arabian Desert.
It changed hands during the crusades.
We had the Romans. We had the Byzantines. We had the Persians.
Bill Maher: There’s more than one mosque in the world that used to be a church and before that was a temple. Because it’s a lot easier to just change the sign on the top and say “under new management” than it is to change the whole building. I worked a lot of comedy clubs in the ’80s that still had the disco ball on the ceiling. And in the ’90s, they became strip clubs and now they’re a Starbucks. I’ve come today to the village of Cerne Abbas in Southern England to show you something completely different. It’s in the shape of a giant man with a sizeable erection. Well, sizeable for England. Some people think that this means that there is a giant actually buried under that hill. Others think it has something to do with crop circles or ancient space visitors or Druids, but nobody really knows. And that’s what I find fascinating about this, is that it doesn’t really mean anything. The locals have been maintaining it for centuries, and they don’t really know why. They just do it because they’ve always done it, and isn’t that religion for you? Sometimes you kneel, sometimes you fast and sometimes you go up on the hill and you cut the grass around the giant space penis.
Bill Maher: Do you believe, as so many Christians do nowadays, that the world will end?
I think we are in the end times. There are many many signs.
The world as we know it will come to an end.
And beyond that, there will be the glorious second coming of Jesus Christ.
Bill Maher: It seems peaceful, but this is where a lot of people believe the world will end.
Bill Maher: A lot of people in this country believe in end times. There will be this great reckoning, the Rapture. Do you believe that?
Bill Maher: If you believe that the world is going to come to an end and perhaps any day now – does it not drain one’s motivation to improve life on earth while we’re here?
Bill Maher: The plain fact is religion must die for mankind to live. The hour is getting very late to be able to indulge in having key decisions made by religious people – by irrationalists – by those who would steer the ship of state, not by a compass, but by the equivalent of reading the entrails of a chicken. George Bush prayed a lot about Iraq, but he didn’t learn a lot about it.
I don’t know that much about politics, I’ll vote for President Bush because of his faith.
Bill Maher: Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking. It’s nothing to brag about. And those who preach faith and enable and elevate it are our intellectual slaveholders, keeping mankind in a bondage to fantasy and nonsense that has spawned and justified so much lunacy and destruction. Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don’t have all the answers to think that they do. Most people would think it’s wonderful when someone says, “I’m willing, Lord. I’ll do whatever You want me to do.” Except that since there are no gods actually talking to us, that void is filled in by people with their own corruptions, limitations and agendas.
It’s going to happen, and I’m not saying necessarily nuclear… The Lord didn’t say nuclear… but I do believe it’ll be something like that.
Bill Maher: And anyone who tells you they know… they just know what happens when you die, I promise you, you don’t. How can I be so sure? Because I don’t know, and you do not possess mental powers that I do not. The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is not the arrogant certitude that is the hallmark of religion, but doubt. Doubt is humble, and that’s what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting shit dead wrong.
Jesus is coming back to rescue the Jews, because he is the only one that can.
The believer goes in the paradise. Unbeliever, they will go to the hell.
The Jews are the only reason that I am a Christian. I love them.
Bill Maher: But you’re not gonna take them to heaven with you, are you?
I’m gonna go in the Rapture, and I’m gonna come back on a white horse.
Bill Maher: So do you think Jesus at some point will end this Earth? Maybe sometime in your lifetime?
Steve Burg: One always hopes! This is a sign, and that is a sign.
Bill Maher: If a nuclear bomb went off, and it seemed like that was exactly what it had said, balls of fire or something, you wouldn’t look on that as necessarily a bad thing.
I know I’ll be with God.
Bill Maher: This is why rational people, anti-religionists, must end their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves. And those who consider themselves only moderately religious really need to look in the mirror and realize that the solace and comfort that religion brings you actually comes at a terrible price.
It says in the last days there’ll be wars, rumors of wars.
The Bible prophesies from the Book of Revelation… they’re going to be fulfilled!
Can this be accomplished without violence?
Islam ruling the world, global jihad.
Bill Maher: Who will win out?
That’s for God to decide on Judgment Day.
Bill Maher: If you belonged to a political party or a social club that was tied to as much bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, violence and sheer ignorance as religion is, you’d resign in protest. To do otherwise is to be an enabler, a Mafia wife, with the true devils of extremism that draw their legitimacy from the billions of their fellow travelers. If the world does come to an end here or wherever, or if it limps into the future, decimated by the effects of a religion-inspired nuclear terrorism, let’s remember what the real problem was: That we learned how to precipitate mass death before we got past the neurological disorder of wishing for it. That’s it. Grow up or die.
We are in a conflict between good and evil.
[“Road To Nowhere” by The Talking Heads]
[after the closing credits]
Bill Maher: See you in heaven?
Julie Maher: [shrugs] Who knows?
Bill Maher: [laughs] Exactly.
[In loving memory of Julie Maher, 1919-2007]
* * *
“The Seeker” by The Who
Title screen. Montage of what’s coming up in the film. Opening credits. Bush making a fool of himself, etc.
Sung by the truckers at the chapel.
“Rat-It-Ta-Tat” by Rob Bryton
Montage showing ministers asking for money. Ezra center where Rev. Jeremiah Cummings practices.
“If You Don’t Know Me by Now” by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
Clip showing the group performing live on TV. Bill talks about the lyrics.
“Travelin Band” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Bill compares the fancy dress of religious leaders and rock stars. Montage.
“The Birds and the Bees” by Jewel Akens
Montage showing religious views on homosexuality. Bill meets a monk in a train station in Amsterdam.
“The Wings” by Gustavo Santaolalla (from Brokeback Mountain)
Bill laughs with ex-gay pastor John Westcott (instrumental).
“Christ For President” by Billy Bragg and Wilco
Montage showing the influence of religion on the US and in politics.
“Star Spangled Banner”
Quotes from the founding fathers about religion (instrumental).
“I Ain’t Superstitious” by The Jeff Beck Group
Montage showing beliefs in the Bronze Age.
“Wooly Bully” by Sam The Sham & The Pharohs
“Jesusland” by Ben Folds
The Holy Land Experience, Orlando, Florida.
“Jesus Is Just Alright” by The Doobie Brothers
Dancers at The Holy Land Experience. Bill meets Jesus.
“Walk Like An Egyptian” by The Bangles
Egyptian Book of the Dead and Horus comparison to Jesus.
“Via Dolorosa” by Sandi Patty
Some woman sings as Jesus is crucified in a re-enactment at The Holy Land Experience.
“Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley
Bill at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London talking about Scientology.
“Bound For The Promised Land” by Rob Bryton
Salt Lake City, Utah. Mormon Church.
“Party In My Pants” by Apollo
Magic Mormon underwear.
“Highway 61 Revisited” by Bob Dylan
Montage. Shots involving the death of children.
“I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany
God talks to Moses. In the middle of the interview with José Luis de Jesús Miranda.
“Cookbook DIY” by Fun ‘Da’ Mental
Music video of Propa-Gandhi.
“Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin
Mohamed Junas Gaffar’s mobile phone ringtone when talking to Bill Maher.
“Fourth Degree” by Epic Choral
Bill’s final monologue.
“Road To Nowhere” by The Talking Heads