You must have heard by now that Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” claims that people who hold religious views are unenlightened. Here’s just some of what he said:

We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that. I think that religion stops people from thinking. I think it justifies crazies. I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder.[1]

This is a frequent claim by ignorant people who rarely are aware of the historical record. Just as a reminder, it was the Enlightenment in France that spawned some very horrible things. The dechristianization of the Republic led to a secularized state religion based on reason rather than revelation. The leaders of the Paris Commune demanded that the former metropolitan church of Notre-Dame be consecrated as a temple to the cult of Reason, Bill Maher’s answer to all that is unholy. On November 10, 1793, a civic festival was held in the new temple with its facade bearing the words “To Philosophy.” In Paris, the goddess Reason “was personified by an actress, Demoiselle Candeille, carried shoulder-high into the cathedral by men dressed in Roman costumes.”[2] Tens of thousands of people were beheaded in France at the height of the Enlightenment in the name of reason and reason’s view of virtue.

We shouldn’t forget that Communism considered religion to be a mental disorder. The history of Communism, the logical extension of the Enlightenment, is a record of meaninglessness[3] and genocide[4] on a massive scale, as D. James Kennedy shows in his book What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?:

Mao killed about 72 million human beings from 1948 to 1976. When we add the 40 million Stalin is responsible for, we come to a number of 112 million. Throw in Hitler’s 15 million (not counting the devastating war he started!), and we come to about 127 million. Add other killings by other atheistic and totalitarian states—as a result of their atheistic ideology—you come up with a number of more than 130 million.[5]

Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s “estimates reach as high as sixty million” deaths just during Josef Stalin’s reign of terror.[6] Isn’t life grand without religion?

Martin Bormann, one of Adolf Hitler’s stooges, wrote that “National Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable.”[7] See if the following doesn’t sound a lot like Bill Maher’s idea of a perfect world:

The Christian Churches build upon the ignorance of men and strive to keep large portions of the people in ignorance because only in this way can the Christian Churches maintain their power. On the other hand, National Socialism [Nazism] is based on scientific foundations. Christianity’s immutable principles, which were laid down almost two thousand years ago, have increasingly stiffened into life-alien dogmas. National Socialism [Nazism], however, if it wants to fulfill its task further, must always guide itself according to the newest data of scientific searches.[8]

Bill Maher couldn’t have said it any better. He needs to go back to doing movies like his 1989 Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death where he might have some extra time to do some reading about the implications of his muddled worldview. There’s something prophetic about this B movie. If there was ever a cannibalistic worldview, it’s the one advocated by Maher.


[2] Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? (1976) in The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview, 5 vols. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1984), 5:122. [3] John W. Whitehead, Grasping for the Wind: The Search for Meaning in the 20th Century (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001).
[4] Mark Kramer, ed., The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), 4. [5] D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1994), 236. [6] Lloyd Billingsley, The Generation that Knew Not Josef: A Critique of Marxism and the Religious Left (Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1985), 38. “Historian Robert Conquest, in The Harvest of Sorrow, his definitive account of Stalin’s reign of rural terror, estimated that 14.4 million people, half of them children, perished.” (Lewis Lord, “A reign of rural terror, a world away,” U.S. News & World Report (June 30/July 7, 2003), 4. [7] Quoted in William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960), 240. [8] Martin Bormann, “National Socialist and Christian Concepts Incompatible” in George L. Moss, Nazi Culture (New York Grosset & Dunlap, 1968), 244.