Friday, May 25, 2007

Bill Maher sneaks into the Creation Museum

Transcript of today's show:

Left-wing political satirist Bill Maher may be the first celebrity to visit the Creation Museum, the 27 million dollar crowning achievement of evangelical Ken Ham opening this Memorial Day. Maher, who says Christians suffer from a neurological disorder that “stops people from thinking,” covertly snuck in the back door of the museum as part of a video crew filming under the fake moniker First Word Productions. Ken Ham and museum staff were not amused. [source: World Net Daily]

Sound Off: Science & Faith. Our point/counterpoint regulars Shelley (the voice of science) and Peter (the voice of faith), comment on the story.

The Voice of Science: Shelley Greene, Ph.D., comments:
Ken Ham was so not amused, he later called the visit from Maher part of "an elaborate media deception."
Here is some elaboration on the Ham-Maher meeting from World Net Daily:

Nothing could have prepared Ham and the Creation Museum team for its surprise reconnaissance mission by Maher – known for his biting criticism of fundamentalist Christianity.

"When someone like a vehement anti-Christian Bill Maher goes to elaborate lengths to get into AiG, it tells me how threatening our museum must be to their worldview," said Ham. "But it was a good wake-up call for us, and our security crew is already taking measures – ahead of the museum's opening on May 28 – to prevent a reoccurrence."

While there is no word from Maher and HBO as to how the shoot will be used, Ham said he did answer the comedian-commentator's questions.

"Bill Maher did interview me; though respectful in one sense, most of his questions were just mocking attacks on God's Word," he said.

Albeit a prank befitting a rowdy schoolboy, you have to hand it to Bill Maher for trying to lighten things up a bit. Evangelical self-righteousness, after all, can be so redundant and boring. And, actually, scary. Evangelicals and fundamentalists have begun to take themselves way too seriously. They're becoming a social hazard! And the problem with this is: if you aren't willing to laugh at yourself, you're probably not willing to look at yourself – or your sacred cows -- with an objective and critical eye. You just go on pretending that you possess The Truth. You go on unquestioningly believing, "We have been saved and are blessed knowers of The Truth. It is our sacred duty to open the eyes and minds of all non-knowers, to show them the light of The Truth."

To followers of a religious (or political) group, a leader's self-righteousness is a measure of his greatness, and of course, his rightness (look how effectively George W. Bush has snowed everyone). And this is how organized insanity tends to propagate: seeding itself in the rich soil of blind faith, where, as Bill Maher might say, the neurologically challenged lead the neurologically challenged.

The Voice of Faith: Peter Williamson, M.Div., comments:
Few could argue that Mr. Maher's cunning and deceit were a bold display of arrogance, insolence, and utter disrespect. Attacks of this kind demonstrate a vulnerability, however, on the part of the perpetrator. Does the Truth so frighten Mr. Maher
, a self-described atheist, that he must attempt to squash it underfoot with an underhanded and cynical affront of humor? Mr. Maher, be courageous! Be a man! Please, use the front door next time.