9 thoughts on “Bill Maher: Not Christ-followers, Just Fans – Christianity and Violence”

  1. Unfortunately, I suspect many Christians will simply wave off Maher’s commentary on the basis that he’s an atheist and therefore can’t possibly understand what he’s talking about.

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  2. I suspect that most of my mob wouldn’t get it, be offended to the eyeballs and think violent thoughts.
    For me, I have to take it to heart because in so many way he is right, and yet in so many ways he is also wrong. If he is wrong it is partly our PR that has has taken him to those conclusions.

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  3. Jarred, I’m sure that will happen in some cases. It’s sad to think that there are plenty of Christians who are less honest than their detractors. I read somewhere (I think it was Dallas Willard in one of his books, possibly, “The Divine Conspiracy”?) that contempt was a root cause of all kinds ill-will, leading to violence of various natures.
    Brian, I’d be interested to hear more about what aspects of Bill Maher’s comments you think are wrong…
    I’m not sure I agree with him that most Christians are NOT Christian, but I do experience a lot of Christians who think and act “un-Christ-like” on a lot of important issues.

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  4. Lucy, I very much agree with your last comment. I find myself sympathising with those Atheists who complain that contemporary church disowning of historically unChrstlike Christians can be an easy copout. I think we have to acknowledge that genuinely faithful disciples can sometimes do genuinely immoral things. The important point that is sometime lost however, is that this does not delegitimize their faith. On the contrary, hypocracy is only abominable where faithfulness is something to aspire to. So, contra Maher, I have to say that I believe many violence glorifying church folk are genuine Christians, I just don’t think they understand the practical implications of their own faith well enough.

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  5. I find myself sympathising with those Atheists who complain that contemporary church disowning of historically unChrstlike Christians can be an easy copout.
    I find myself of two minds on this. On the one hand, I agree it’s way too easy for Christians to hand-wave a lot of bad things by playing the “No True Scotsman/Christian” card. On the other hand, I agree with Christians that when some Christians do Bad Things, there are other factors motivating them rather than an inherent problem with Christians — and I know a lot of atheists that would like to ignore that and insist that every bad thing is a sign of an Inherent Problem with Religion (not even Christianity, but All Religion, as if Religion is a monolithic entity.)
    On the contrary, hypocracy is only abominable where faithfulness is something to aspire to.
    I may be misunderstanding you, but if I’m not, I disagree. My biggest problem with hypocrisy is that hypocrites usually end up bludgeoning people like me with their “standards” while blithely ignoring or rationalizing away those same “standards” as they apply to their own lives. Ultimately, I don’t care whether they’re faithful to those “standards” or not. I just don’t want them being used as a weapon to demoralize, dehumanize, vilify, and/or demonize me or anyone else. The fact that they do this is the problem. The fact that they do this while ignore their own “standards” for themselves adds insult to injury.

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  6. Jarred, I think you may be misunderstanding me. What I mean is, if religion in general and Christianity in particular are as monumentally and irredeemably evil as New Atheists like Dawkins contest, then surely it would follow that religious hypocrisy is preferable to religious faithfulness? After all, if religion is all bad, ANY movement away from religion, even an inconsistent move away, is good right?
    Of course, most Atheists would scoff at such an argument, and rightly so. They are well within their rights to criticize religious hypocrisy when it arises and to not let hypocrits off the hook easy. Yet they fail to realize how distain for religious hypocrisy undermines the argument that religion is all bad. For it intrinsically suggests that the standards we aspire to are good, or at least preferable to hypocritical behaviour.
    To give a practical example, I have never heard an irreligious person complain about Christ’s teaching the we should ‘remove the log from our own eye first, before trying to remove the speck from our neighbours eye.’ What they complain about is that we don’t practice it enough. But this very charge validates that the religious teaching of Christ has some value … and exposes the rhetoric about religion (without qualification) being poisonous as hyperbole.

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