The pattern that I’ve noticed about Bill Maher is that he seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Every time he criticizes Christians or Muslims, he is criticized in return by the targeted parishioners and praised by the other group of parishioners, and he is almost always criticized by “liberals/progressives/etc” who take him to task for either his “literalism” or his “excuses for American empire”.
The praise heaped upon him by conservative cultural Christian blogs whenever he calls the Quran a “hate-filled holy book” or describes equating religious terrorism between Christians and Muslims “liberal bullshit”, and the praise heaped upon him from progressive blogs whenever he calls the Abrahamic God a “psychotic mass murderer” and Christians “hypocrites”, all come in spades.
I wonder if people will get that his critique of religion is primarily squared against Abrahamic religion in its entirety, ripping apart all of the sanctimonious rhetoric and ideologies espoused in Abrahamic religion regarding personal (and corporate) morality (not just the mythological stuff). Muslims criticize his critique based on the fact that one of his parents practiced Judaism (???? I mean, he was raised Catholic, he hates both Catholicism and Judaism), the Christians espouse everything from merely “praying for that sinner” to wishing torture on the guy.
I’m not an “admirer” of Maher – the “Gay Mafia” bit during the Brendan Eich-Mozilla-Prop 8 issue was rather ignorant and gave ammo to so-called “Persecuted Christians(TM)” – but he does attack Abrahamic religions in both their “conservative” and “liberal” manifestations. He criticizes the Jim Wallises and Tariq Ramadans, the Anjem Choudurys and John Hagees, and does not give one inch to their rationalizing bloviations about their Abrahamic religions.
And he doesn’t mind being called “hateful against” so-called “people of faith” (which is pretty much code for “Abrahamic religionists and their self-appointed leaders” anyway).
So when it comes to critiquing Abrahamic religions, the concept of “faith/belief”, and their often-unfortunate impact upon civil and cultural life in the world, I wish more people would have as similar of an equal-opportunity secularity as that espoused by people like Bill Maher.