Bill Maher

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Bill Maher : biography

January 20, 1956 –

Religion

Maher is highly critical of religion and views it as highly destructive. He is described as an agnostic, and refers to himself as one in his feature film Religulous.Holden, Stephen (September 30, 2008). , The New York Times As for labels, he has denied being an atheist, saying, "I’m not an atheist. There’s a really big difference between an atheist and someone who just doesn’t believe in religion. Religion to me is a bureaucracy between man and God that I don’t need. But I’m not an atheist, no."Thompson, Stephen (October 9, 2002). . The AV Club. Maher has also occasionally referred to himself as an "apatheist", saying "I don’t know what happens when you die, and I don’t care", adding, "there’s atheist and there’s agnostic, and I’m okay with us not splitting the difference on those; if you are just not a super-religious person, you are on my team".. CNN Belief Blogs. July 12, 2011 He has reiterated his stance in subsequent interviews, rejecting both the certitude of the existence, as well as the certitude of nonexistence of deities, concluding, "I’m saying that doubt is the only appropriate response for human beings.". The Sunday Times April 1, 2009 He is an advisory board member of author Sam Harris’s Project Reason, a foundation that promotes scientific knowledge and secular values within society.

Maher and director Larry Charles teamed up to make the movie Religulous, described by trade publication Variety as a documentary "that spoofs religious extremism across the world." It was released on October 3, 2008.Demara, Bruce. (September 10, 2007.) . The Toronto Star. Retrieved on October 9, 2007.Jaafar, Ali; Hayes, Dade (September 10, 2007.) . Variety. Retrieved on October 9, 2007.

Maher is critical towards organized religion as a whole, but believes that "all religions are not alike." Maher says there is something different about Islam, in that "there is no other religion that is asking for the death" of people who dare to criticize it.Schwarwtz, Ian (September 23, 2012). . RealClearPolitics.Berrin, Danielle (November 29, 2012). . The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. On October 29, 2010, during a Real Time segment, Maher commented on a news story that reported that the name Mohammed had become the most popular baby name in the United Kingdom. He asked, "Am I a racist to feel alarmed by that? Because I am. And it’s not because of the race, it’s because of the religion. I don’t have to apologize, do I, for not wanting the Western world to be taken over by Islam in 300 years? Sharia law is being institutionalized in England? Well, then I am right, I should be alarmed." He later defended his comments on CNN, saying, "And when I say Westerner, I mean someone who believes in the values that Western people believe in that a lot of the Muslim world does not. Like separation of church and state. Like equality of the sexes. Like respect for minorities, free elections, free speech, freedom to gather. These things are not just different from cultures that don’t have them. … It’s better. … I would like to keep those values here."

On Fox News in a televised debate with Bill O’Reilly, Maher said that "if Jesus was in charge of the country we’d probably have health care for everybody."

Maher received the 2009 Richard Dawkins Award from Atheist Alliance International.Timonen, Josh (September 28, 2009). . The Richard Dawkins Foundation.

Maher was ranked first by MormonVoices, a group associated with Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research, on its Top Ten Anti-Mormon Statements of 2011 list for saying "By any standard, Mormonism is more ridiculous than any other religion".

Health care

Maher has stated that the American Medical Association is a powerful lobbying group and one of the primary reasons why the United States had failed to enact health care reform.(2009-06-15). . Countdown With Keith Olbermann. Retrieved June 30, 2009.; MSNBC; June 15, 2009