Now that’s just ‘Religious’

Ted Hamilton

As a libertarian you might think I would like Bill Maher, but sadly, your perception is a bit wrong.

Even though I share a couple of his political views, that is where it comes to a complete stop.

I remember the first time I tuned into his HBO show, “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Ashton Kutcher was one of the guests, making comments about George Bush’s failed policies.

Let me tell you, it was insightful to have Ashton himself on the show – when I think good public policy, I think of the actor whose claim to fame is being the village idiot on “That 70’s Show.” I would be amazed if Ashton has never choked on a pretzel or three in his time.

From that time on, I held some disdain for Maher and tried to keep him at an arm’s length from comparisons to my political philosophy. When people ask if I like him, I just roll my eyes and dryly reply, “No, not particularly.”

One of the major problems I have with Maher is his skeptical view on religion. Case in point is his propaganda documentary, “Religulous,” where Maher tries to paint every religion with a color of absurdity and extremism. In the movie what Maher accomplishes best is his ability to look like a pretentious douche bag and act like religious people are far beneath him.

The truly ridiculous thing about Maher – and others who believe religion is a “neurological disorder” – is he almost acts like people should not have the freedom to have faith in any higher power.

Whether he likes it, our country was founded very much on the freedom of religion. George Washington once said, “Whilst just government protects all in their religious rites, true religion affords government its surest support.”

Washington realized religion should not be forced upon the population by the government but that some religious morals would help government operate more efficiently.

Likewise, our founding fathers realized it is criminal to force religion on the populace. Maher has every right to dislike religion and be a pretentious ass while doing it, however, that does not make him right.

Some atheists act like there would be no war without religion, which is the most ridiculous idea of all. Nations and governments will kill each other regardless of what flag of faith one flies under.

Over the past 100 years, the United States has gone to war for many reasons, but the reason was not religion – often times it was under the guise of liberation. It seems that “civilized” governments around the world have decided the best way to save another country’s tortured citizens from their dictator’s cruelty is usually by blowing them to kingdom come.

Is it really so hard to not push our beliefs on one another? I do not care if someone worships Jesus, Allah, Buddha or themselves as long as they recognize the fact that others have the right to harbor different beliefs than their own.

There is no reason the religious and unreligious cannot live together – even if it is not acceptance but toleration.

It all comes down to letting people believe and disbelieve how they want to.

Contact senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater Ted Hamilton at [email protected].