Bill Maher to O’Donnell: Christians have it all wrong, lots of atheists love Christmas
Bill Maher stopped by Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC show “The Last Word” on Tuesday night to discuss the current civil war in the Republican Party and the further misadventures of half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R).
The two men began the segment by discussing Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford, whose struggles with substance abuse have escalated into a full-on political crisis for his administration. In a speech to the Toronto city council, Ford compared himself to President George H. W. Bush at the outset of the first Gulf War.
“You guys have just invaded Kuwait,” he told the assembled council members.
“That is so unfair to Kuwait,” Maher told O’Donnell. “Kuwait is so much smaller than Rob Ford. And why of all historical events did he pick that one?”
Maher confessed that the bumbling, combative mayor is growing on him.
“There is something refreshing about a politician for once pointing his finger back at his accusers and saying, ‘Really? You never did anything?'” he said.
O’Donnell agreed that the tone of some of Ford’s detractors has been a little over-the-top and self-righteous and said that some of the embattled mayor’s “moments of honesty” have been downright breathtaking.
And besides, he said, “It’s Toronto. What could go wrong?”
Maher just said he was excited to “finally” see someone from Canada who isn’t boring. Rob Ford and his brother Doug, he said, are the Kennedy brothers of Canada, if the Kennedy brothers had been “blackout drunks the size of porta-potties.”
The conversation moved on to Sarah Palin and her promotional tour for her new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas. Palin said that the “heart of Christmas” has to be protected from “some angry atheist with an attorney” who is against “traditional faith.”
Maher said that people like Palin have got atheists all wrong.
“We don’t care!” he said. Christians think atheists are “marching in the streets” to stop religion, which, he said, couldn’t be further from the truth. The great thing about being an atheist, he said, is that you don’t belong to any group. You’re not affiliated with any faith and on Sundays you’re free to worship the NFL Sunday Football package.
“I love Christmas,” Maher said. “I don’t even want to change the word.”
“I love it all, it’s a national holiday,” he continued. “It’s got nothing to do with religion. No one is trying to take that away.”
Christmas, he said, is all about traditions and happy memories of his family, as it is for many Americans.
But Palin and the other conservatives, he said, prefer to believe that they are being persecuted, which is ridiculous in a nation that is 80 percent Christian. There is no threat at all that Christmas is not going to happen this year.
Watch the video, which aired Tuesday, November 19, and is embedded below via MSNBC: