On the O'Reilly Factor, Maher defended his recent comments made on his television show, Real Time with Bill Maher, that assert the American people are “too stupid” to understand the issues. Standing by his comments, Maher cited the following statistics as an example of the “stupidity of the American people”: “Sixty percent of the American people believe the Noah's Ark story is literally true.”
He goes on to say, “If the Bible was written by God, why is stuff in the Bible untrue?”
O'Reilly responded that much of the Bible was in fact allegorical, a belief held by a variety of religious groups during the history of sacred scripture.
Attempting to stump O'Reilly, an unabashed Roman Catholic, Maher questioned the host on a Biblical verse which was in fact distorted by Maher. He asked, “What about the part in the Bible that says if you see your neighbor working on a Sunday, you should kill him?” Maher claimed the passage was found in Deuteronomy.
The passage in question, in fact, comes from Exodus and it reads, “Whosoever does any work in the Sabbath Day, he shall surely be put to death.” The context of the passage is God's role in punishing those who break the Commandment, “Keep holy the Sabbath day.”
O'Reilly contends that Christians practice what is preached in the New Testament, to which Maher sneered, “I love the way the Christians — they're both written by God. We're talking about the Old Testament. I know all Christians want to get behind the 'happy half' of the Bible. But you can't disavow the Old Testament.”
Maher asked, “If the Bible was written by God, how come so much of it was whacky or immoral?” O'Reilly responded, “You see it as whacky and immoral but others do not; it's that simple.”
Maher arrogantly asserted that Christians only believe what they do because they are told to believe those things, by either church leaders or their parents, or read it in one of the “holy books.”
Ultimately, O'Reilly reprimanded Maher for making a mockery of people of faith, stating, “Don't denigrate people of faith because your faith that there isn't a God is just a much a leap as those who believe.”
Calling faith the “purposeful suspension of critical thinking,” Maher mocked Christians who quote the Bible as truth.
Maher closed his interview by remarking, “There's a great quote by Thomas Jefferson that ridicule is the only appropriate way to handle such fantasy."
According to writer Marc Schenker in the Examiner, “If Maher accomplished anything in this interview, it was to show everyone that Micahel Savage is 100 percent right when he terms liberalism a mental disorder.”
Photo: Comedian and television host Bill Maher pauses onstage during a ceremony to award him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, Sept. 14, 2010: AP Images