Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Faith Groups Call on Time Warner to Fire Bill Maher Over 'Gratuitous' Remarks |

Faith Groups Call on Time Warner to Fire Bill Maher Over 'Gratuitous' Remarks | "Some groups, such as the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, are putting pressure on Time Warner, the parent company of HBO, to now fire Maher, much like NBC did with the shock jock Don Imus over racist remarks.

'We are writing to the 14 members who sit on the board of directors of Time Warner,” expressed Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, “asking each of them whether Maher's gratuitous and highly offensive attack on Jesus Christ merits the same punishment afforded Imus for his racist remark.”

In Maher’s recent commentary on religion, the talk show host first began by making negative references to Falwell and to his strong Christian activism within American politics over his lifetime.

“Death isn’t always sad,” he said, smirking. “This week the Rev. Jerry Falwell died and millions of Americans asked ‘Why?’ ‘Why God? Why didn’t You take Pat Robertson with him?’

“Now,” he added later, “I know that you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead but I think we can make an exception because speaking ill of the dead was kind of Jerry Falwell’s hobby.”

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faithful catholic said...

Did you check the dateline on this story? It's old, yet it's not an old story. Well, the sad part is that it's the same old story. That's Bill Maher for you.

Sal said...

Did you miss last week, when he called the Pope a child-abusing Nazi?
What FC said: same old, same old.

Barbara C. said...

Bill Maher is not the only comedienne who makes jokes at the Catholic Church's expense. Are we going to take them all down for over-simplifying and misrepresenting things to get a laugh? The sad thing is that when someone like Candy says anti-Catholic things she's not even trying to get a laugh and she honestly believes that she is not misrepresenting anything.

Of the things to be worried about on a channel like HBO, it seems like the violence, sex, and nudity would be of much bigger concern than the silly remarks of a comedienne. Plus, it was obvious that those remarks were from his opening monologue (you know those things Jay Leno and David Letterman have, too).

And while I thought Imus's remarks were unnecessary, I didn't think he should be fired for saying them. And he really wasn't fired as punishment for saying them; he was fired because the advertisers started pulling out of his show because they were scared he would lose listeners over what he said. HBO doesn't make money from commercials; they make money from subscriptions and dvd sales. In fact, Bill Maher often brings up that he loves HBO because he can do or say anything.

So the faith groups would have to be prepared to boycott each and every thing produced by Time Warner that is not on HBO in order to make their point. It's all about the money. After the Janet Jackson incident, the networks were scared about being fined by the FCC, not about morals.

I agree that no one likes to hear disparaging remarks about a group that they belong to, whether it be religious, ethnic, or racial. However, people don't watch Bill Maher for religious instruction. They watch Bill Maher to get a laugh and dig into political issues.

It seems like the Catholic League is making a weak attempt to equate racist rhetoric with anti-religious , specifically anti-Catholic, rhetoric. That's just my opinion.

Elena said...

It seems like the Catholic League is making a weak attempt to equate racist rhetoric with anti-religious , specifically anti-Catholic, rhetoric. That's just my opinion.

They are and they should. I have said several times on this blog that if Candy made the same types of remarks against blacks, or the Jews, or the handicapped, she would lose support. But has Kelly has pointed out, anti-Catholicism is the acceptable form of bigotry.

Barbara C. said...

It would be one thing if Bill Maher only picked on Catholics, but he cracks jokes about everyone, including blacks, Jews, the handicapped, and Protestants. I'm not saying that makes him a great person, but for the Catholic League to use him to make THE example of anti-Catholic bigotry is a real stretch and kind of comes across as silly and as an ineffective waste of time for the reasons I mentioned above.

And I think why discrimination against Catholics is seen as more acceptable is that there is not as much history of physical violence between Christians in this country as there has been towards other races, sexual orientations, and non-Christian religions. The KKK may not like Catholics, but Catholics have always been the last on the list of people for them to string up.

Most of the serious anti-Catholic stuff really comes from inter-Christian squabbling. What's the difference theologically between a Catholic and a Southern Baptist to a Hindu, Muslim, or Buddhist? Secular humanists, atheists, agnostics, etc. may make anti-Catholic comments but they also make anti-comments about every other religious belief. The only difference is that because the Catholic church is so much more organized, consistent in belief in practice, and has clearer leaders than Protestantism it is easier to generalize it, over-simplify it, and quip about it.

I think the more prominent form of bigotry is against people who heed and practice religious beliefs in general rather than any specific religion or denomination. (Even the taboo against antisemitism is less about religion and more about ethnicity.) To let your religion define your life rather than treating it like an accessory to your life brings more ire in general than to which religion one adheres.

And as you can imagine, from my recent comments, Kelly and I have had some interesting discussions in the 13 years we've known each other. ;-)

Elena said...

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one Barb. I think ANY form of bigotry deserves to be pointed out and stopped. I think it's a huge logical fallacy to think that because Maher et al pick on everyone it's okay to let his anti-Catholic remarks slide.

Further, I applaud Bill Donahue for having the kanhunas to speak up time and time again.

Tracy said...

I agree with you Elena!

kritterc said...

Amen Elena!!