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The Strange Case of Bill Maher and Dr. Hyde

July 30th, 2013 Posted by Susan's Musings 12 comments

In an age of copycat movies and TV shows, perhaps it is time
for Bill Maher to update Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic book, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Instead of
featuring a scientist performing chemical experiments so that his usual
intelligent, rational self sometimes morphs into an evil, malevolent being, in
his version of the book Maher could feature a prominent, respected surgeon who
upon entering into a church mutates into a foolish, addle headed cretin. He
might call his protagonist Ben Carson.

Oh, right. Without taking the trouble to classify this idea
as fiction, Bill Maher opted out of the difficult work of writing and instead
pontificated that plot. Speaking about Dr. Carson, he said, “He’s half
brilliant brain surgeon, half Tea Party dumbass. He doesn’t just operate on
conjoined twins, he is one.”

Leaving aside the politically incorrect slur of physically
handicapped conjoined twins—after all Maher knows that liberals are allowed to
be racist, sexist and bigoted—the premise is still astounding. In fact, this
strategy is becoming popular. Who wants to hear what Mario Rubio thinks about
the economy, immigration or health care? What matters is how old he thinks the
earth is. Did you hear someone mention an IRS scandal where government
officials interfered with a free election by targeting certain groups? Surely,
that is less important than knowing whether Republicans believe that homosexual
behavior is sinful.

What is going on here? Facts are pesky things for
progressives. They like to live in the world of untested ideas, not in reality.
Raising the minimum wage sounds good. You can bestow more money upon low-income
earners by the simple act of forcing employers to pay more. (For the purpose of
this argument, let’s leave cynicism aside by not suggesting that the purpose of
minimum wage legislation is to fool poor people into thinking that you want to
help them.)  As
long as you stay in the realm of talk and promises, it is wonderful.  If big, bad corporations like Wal-Mart stop
opening stores in poor areas or if companies trim their workforces and fewer
people are given opportunities to step into starter positions, that is
irrelevant. In the stratosphere, and in talking points, the idea sounds good.

Let’s posit that many conservatives think that the earth was
created by Martians who were bored by their daily routine. Let’s say that they
don’t think that, but instead it is a tenet of their religion. These same
conservatives understand that hoping that wind farms will help keep the
atmosphere healthy doesn’t make it so. They know that wishing that massive
health legislation would ensure better health care at lower prices doesn’t
correlate with the truth. They comprehend that
fantasizing that  poverty will disappear if you give money and
benefits to people, won’t actually happen.

If you believe in wind farms, gargantuan government and
Mickey Mouse economics, the last thing you want to do is discuss facts. You
would much rather poke fun at believing in rogue Martians, even though there is
not one practical consequence of such a belief. Now, I am not suggesting that Christian
religious beliefs are the equivalent of my Martian fantasy. If Bill Maher wants
to take a year off and spend the time at a theological school exploring
Christian doctrine, that would be an appropriate place to debate the age of the
earth. If he wants to spend a year learning about Jewish beliefs on Creation,
then there are appropriate places for this discussion to take place. What I am
saying is that the age of the earth is irrelevant to the things that actually matter
in American’s daily lives.  The topic is
brought up to mock religion and by extension to sideline religious people from
politics. Considering that the success and peace of the United States of
America was predicated on allowing individuals freedom of religious belief, I would
personally opt for a country of brilliant neurosurgeons who believe in Martians
over a country filled with arrogant talking mouths who believe in whatever fad
is in the air.

ProsperityPack_1110

12 comments

Jean says:

It’s ironic that Maher mocks religion, but it is by the moral constraints exercised by religious people that the man is still alive. In a purely secular society, he would have had a significant amount of physical damage done to him for much of his “humor” by the individual(s) who considered themselves “dissed.” Only in a society in there are standards for behavior and personal responsibility assumed for that behavior is a Bill Maher tolerated.

Rich Flink says:

Well said, Susan!

Thank you, Rich. You make a good point, Jean, although secularists assume that the benefits of civilization aren’t related at all to its religious tradition.

James says:

Thank you, Rabbi, for making the very apt and essential connection between tools and books, and for assuring us that performing a trade is a holy spiritual task.
The glib talkers you describe hear the Rabbi gently remind us that God gave us two ears and one mouth to indicate that we should listen much more than we talk. But Mr. Maher’s deadly syndrome has much deeper roots. He subscribes unquestioningly to the New Religion of Progressivism, the new and cosmeticized devil’s familiar of Communism. Progressives hold unshakable faith in Government, which after the glorious revolution, will ascend the place of God and rule us all in its dispensations of benign wisdom. The glorious end justifies whatever despicable means the Progressives must employ.
As you have demonstrated, its adherents will slander, libel, defame, and undermine the public persona and reputation of any opponent. Progressives systematically brand non-subscribers as idiots, cretins, or products of retrograde evolution. And when a tired old inconvenient fact rears its ugly head, the progressive on the mike shifts the subject, begs the question or sinks viciously to the level of calling his debater ugly names.
In college my friend and I attended conservative meetings and went to church together. I caught up with him some 35 years later to find him like Mr. Maher, waving high the Progressive banner and dismissing conservative talk-show hosts wholesale for their “hate speech.” He wrote to me that he had no further use for Christianity and Judaism, for “old-fashioned tribal religions.” What happened to him in the meantime? He went to graduate school in journalism, where his values were rendered tabula rasa and reprogrammed. The quest for praise and worldly approval completed his awful transformation.

Carol B says:

Here! Here! I couldn’t have said this better myself. Your comments are right on target and you say them with panache! Excellent column this week, I never want to miss them!
Shalom,
Carol

James, that’s a frightening story about your friend. I appreciate your writing in, Carol.

Terry S says:

Mario Rubio = Marco Rubio?

Terry – I’m not sure what this means.

Peter B. says:

Hi Susan:
I think Terry is referring to your spelling of Marco Rubio’s first name (you have it as Mario). What a difference one jot and one tittle can make – it can change a man from Hispanic to Italian descent! (Ha!Ha!)

How funny! Thanks for clearing that up, Peter. Neither my husband or I caught that mistake. I did grow up in ‘Little Italy’ in NY, so I guess I was reverting to my roots.

Peter B. says:

Hello Susan:
Busy week (again). Just getting to your musing this morning (and its-a-gooder!).
This attack on Dr. Carson is an indication of how the Left is poised to pounce on what they perceive as their best opportunity to eliminate their opposition moving forward.
They are watching intensly for the next conservative to have his “Todd Akin” moment.
Maher’s was a salvo that aims to take advantage of a tremendous weakness in our conservative culture today. That weakness is the decades long development of Biblical illiteracy. There’s no telling WHAT someone may believe to be the truth. As you rightly point out, that “truth” is likely to be less of a deeply held belief and more of a tenet of their religion. As our wonderful Rabbi (and your husband) has recently taught us, the word “religion” is not in the original biblical Hebrew language. There is a lot of foolishness being passed of as wisdom and as the unquestionable doctrine of many a religious organization. In my life, I’ve experienced several of these kind of organzations firsthand. The only way I knew for sure it was time to “move on” was to have continously developed an iron-clad heartfelt understanding of God’s Holy Scripture. That takes a lot of work – but work can be a joy when it’s a labor of love.
The Hebrew Torah, part of what Christians refer to as the “Old Testament”, also referred to in the Christian scriptures as the “First Covenant” (which I prefer), was originally written in – wait for it – Hebrew! Surprise to many Christians! You can’t get much of an understanding of the origins of the world or humanity anywhere other than from the Hebrew Torah (aka the first five books of the “Old Testament”). Surprise number two to many Christians – the English translation of the Hebrew Torah barely scatches the surface of the depth and richness of the wisdom that God has encoded in His Hebrew scriptures.
Although I’m not suggesting that Mr. Carson’s was one, we’re bound to have more Todd Akin moments in the coming months and years. And the Left will use their Alinskyesque tactic of ridicule in an attempt to destroy an opponent’s credibility and thereby their political viability. The Left knows also that the deployment of this tactic provides a second equally necessary outcome. They are reinforcing the herd mentality of their leftist lemmings. The one thing that the Leftist-Socialist fears the most is ostracism from the herd – the rejection of ridicule.
You and I are not so intimidated because we know that God is not mocked. So neither will we be.
God bless you and yours richly!

Jean says:

Mr. Maher continues to remain in a fantasy land of his own “smarts” and “satire”. Most liberals hide their considered opinions behind the language of a fourteen-year-old(with my apologies to 20% of them).
What he wants is the attention that comes along with his outlandish, disrespectful, comments concerning someone he disagrees with.
More and more we are losing the right to disagree with the worlds view. If all it takes is to be laughed at to shut us up, we are in trouble.
Susan keep up the good work!

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