Comedy has many approaches and subjects: leaders, governments, things we don't understand. In the vein of the latter, I suppose it is understandable to pick on religions. In any event, freedom of speech allows it. What is generally not condoned, however, is continuous and repeated sweeping insults to those with a differing point of view. The worst forms of prejudice and racism are bred out of this type of one-sided banter. Blacks in this country were never given the chance to defend themselves against claims of being less intelligent than whites during the time of slavery. Jews and non-Aryans were never given a chance to defend their humanity during the Holocaust, Muslims were never given a chance to defend themselves during the Crusades and on and on.
Whenever a group of people is slanderously described repeatedly with no consideration of a contrary view intolerance flourishes, and the seedbed of human rights violations is laid. We should be more careful. Our country still feels the effects of slavery, the Holocaust is an unmentionable tragedy, and even the most fervent Christian regrets the Crusades. How is it then, that in this country we still hear this sort of rhetoric from seemingly intelligent men? Why is it that yet another group is being subjected to one-sided slander? Is it because comedians and some members of the more serious media are only willing to pick on people who generally don’t defend themselves?
This time the group is Christians, and one of the more recent incidents of this malevolent behavior came from Bill Maher. He’s been known to go on rants, but he made another one recently. I’m certainly not advocating that Mr. Maher be stripped of his first amendment rights, but I'd prefer he show some humanity and attack the belief system rather than the adherents. I can appreciate an equal opportunity comedian, but when the focus is monomaniacally focused, it breeds the sort of prejudice that divides people and sanctions prejudice. I hope these are not things that Bill Maher desires and that he simply didn’t realize the historical similarities, but that is the danger.
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