On his HBO show "Real Time with Bill Maher" Friday night, the host pointed out that although many were quick to call Republican Minnesota representative Michele Bachmann a "loon" while at the same time describing conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as "serious," the two were actually the "exact same idiot." But not because of their extreme conservative views. Bill Maher took exception to the high-ranking elected and appointed officials' inability to see beyond their admitted religiosity when dealing with real world problems.
Mediaite reported Oct. 11 that Maher went after Bachmann and Scalia for not only their open espousal of their religious beliefs but the psychological nature of those beliefs and how they might impact important decisions. Bachmann recently said that the world is going through the "end times" prophesied in the Bible. Scalia gave an interview wherein he spoke about Satan as a tangible entity. Such pronouncements, Maher contended, should automatically exclude people from holding public office, especially positions where they make decisions for the rest of the nation.
“If you believe we’re living in the end times, like Michele Bachmann does," Maher joked, "we get to take away the car keys.”
Maher was incredulous over the Scalia article in New York magazine, noting that he kept waiting for a "I'm just f***ing with you!" line. In the interview, Justice Scalia referenced Satan as an actual being.
People like Scalia and Bachmann become problematic when they become part of the government, he said. With their religious beliefs clouding their reasoning abilities, making decisions about important political issues was like "smelling a gas leak and calling an exorcist." In this regard, such people cannot be trusted as part of the government.
Bill Maher explained: “You see the world divided into teams of good and evil and suspect the wily one may be on the side of THEM, and when you start seeing compromising with your opponents as a compromise with evil, well, there’s the tea party.”
Of course, the last line was a barb tossed at extreme conservatives like Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sen. Ted Cruz, vocal drivers and proponents of the current government shutdown that Democrats and liberals contend is nothing short of holding the government hostage in order to defund the Affordable Health Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare).
Still, Maher is no stranger to calling out Christianity and the overly religious. In his 2008 movie, "Religulous" (a portmanteau of "religion" and "ridiculous"), Maher poked fun at organized religion and its basic tenets, pointing out the similarities of major religions and their myth structures, irreverently casting religious beliefs as just so much superstitious nonsense.
On the other side of the argument, though, people like Michele Bachmann and Justice Antonin Scalia aren't alone when it comes to believing in things biblical. According to a December poll taken by the Public Religion Research Institute, four out of ten Americans believe that the world is experiencing the "end times," a biblically prophesied period of time heralding the second coming of the Christian messiah, Jesus Christ, and the ultimate battle between good and evil forces that end the world as it is currently known.