HBO’s Bill Maher said recently that Christianity was to blame for the riots and violence that took place in January at the U.S. Capitol.
What are the details?
During Friday’s episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” the namesake host, now 65, said that a belief in Christianity is comparable to a belief in conspiracies like QAnon, and helped spur on the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
“As long as we’re going to go to the trouble of another impeachment trial,” he said, “we might as well be honest about what it’s really about: The events of Jan. 6 were a faith-based initiative.”
Maher said that Trump supporters who belong to a “Christian nationalist movement” are firm in their beliefs that God “literally sent [Trump] from heaven to save them,” and pointed to remarks made by Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who once said that God personally chose Trump for president of the United States of America
There’s a lot of talk now in liberal corners about how Republicans should tell their base who still believe the election was rigged that they need to grow up and move on and stop asking the rest of us to respect their mass delusion,” Maher continued. “And, of course, it is a mass delusion. But the inconvenient truth here is that, if you accord religious faith the kind of exalted respect we do here in America, you’ve already lost the argument that mass delusion is bad.”
The longtime political commentator then went on to make a direct comparison between Christianity and QAnon.
“It’s fun to laugh at QAnon, with the baby-eating lizard people and the pedophile pizza parlors,” he added, “but have you ever read the book of [Revelation]? That’s the Bible. That’s your holy book, Christians. And they’ve got seven-headed dragons and locusts that have the face of men and teeth of lions and other stuff you see after the guy in the park sells you bad mushrooms.”
He also explained that “magical religious thinking” — such as faith in Jesus’ resurrection — is not dissimilar to a “current mutation” of the QAnon “virus.”
“All the armies of the world will gather and Jesus will come down on a flying horse, shooting swords out of his mouth,” Maher added, “and have a thousand-year cosmic-boss battle with Satan, the Beast, and the antichrist. … It’s like 10 ‘Avenger’ movies plus 10 ‘Hobbit’ movies plus a night out with Johnny Depp.”
“Please, magical religious thinking is a virus and QAnon is just its current mutation,” he insisted. “That’s why megachurches play QAnon videos. It’s the same basic plot. ‘Q’ is the prophet and Trump is the messiah. There’s an apocalyptic event looming, ‘The Storm.’ There’s a titanic struggle of good versus evil, and if you want good to win, just keep those checks coming in.
“We need to stop pretending there’s no way we’ll understand why the Trump mob believes in him. It’s because they’re religious! They’ve already made space in their heads for s**t that doesn’t make sense,” Maher railed. “When you’re a QAnon fanatic, you’re also a fundamentalist Christian. They just go together like macaroni and cheese.”
It seems fair to point out that Maher just a few weeks ago defended Trump supporters and said that they shouldn’t be judged by the 5,000 people who rioted.
“Let’s not confuse 5,000 people with 74 million,” Maher said of the rioters versus Trump supporters at large. “Yes, even supporting the insurrection in spirit is, well, deplorable. But there’s a difference between holding illiberal beliefs and acting violently on them. At least that’s what they always told me about Islamic terrorism.”
He continued, “I keep wrestling on this show with the hard question of how do Americans, all of us, learn to share a country with a**holes you can’t stand. I preach, and still do, you can hate Trump, but not all the people who like him. And as counterintuitive as it may seem, you can like something run by a**holes without being one yourself.”