every now and then, it’s a good practice to point the finger at myself and my fellow christians. the truth is that we often believe we’ve monopolized, well, the truth. but to quote rob bell, truth is everywhere, under every nook and cranny. and i think he’s onto something.
if we’re willing to see and experience god in every person and in every context, we open ourselves to engaging a larger conversation with a larger group of people—muslims, jews, wiccans and even those who believe in nothing bigger than us.
so it is with our favorite atheist (or, actually, “apatheist“, as he describes himself), comedian and political talk show host bill maher. anyone who has ever watched real time with bill maher, the ill-fated politically incorrect or, particularly, his 2008 documentary religulous has a pretty good idea of what maher thinks about both christians and christianity. long story short, he believes religious people have a neurological disorder. no, really.
but then there’s this.
on this past friday night’s show, maher closed—as he does each week—with new rules. his final rule is basically his closing monologue and receives a little extra attention. this week’s was about the killing of osama bin laden (which he favors, to be clear). each new rule has a witty subtitle and this rule’s was thy will be gun, accompanied by a picture of osama bin laden with a target on his face. oh, this was gonna be fun.
what came next was one of the most simple and straight forward descriptions of what it means to be a christian. and what does maher suggest it means: to actually do what jesus said (i know, crazy, right?). in other words, he rightfully chides christians who celebrate the death of bin laden. how can, maher asks, someone who says they follow the man who said, love your enemies, celebrate in the death of their enemy?
it’s such a great, great clip that reminds us that we christians don’t singularly own the truth. bill maher knows what jesus had to say. he knows what it means to be a christian. he most certainly doesn’t live it out, but he knows what it looks like. and, in the aftermath of christians being so vocal and unyielding in their celebration of a man’s death, he’s right to take us to task.
i’m including the clip below, but here’s some of the one-line highlights:
capping thine enemy is not exactly what jesus would do. it’s what suge knight would do.
martin luther king gets to call himself a christian, because he actually practiced loving his enemies. and gandhi was so f**king christian he was hindu.
[jesus] has lines like, “do not repay evil with evil”. really, it’s in that book you hold up when you scream at gay people.
nonviolence was kinda jesus’ big thing. to not follow that part is like joining greenpeace and hating whales.
hey fox news, you missed your big headline: “obama thinks jesus is nuts!”
if you ignore every single thing jesus said to do, you’re not a christian, you’re just auditing. you’re not christ’s followers, you’re just fans.
alright, there’s a lot of good stuff here so check out the clip.