No one has been more obscene, and more relentless, in attacking the pope, cardinals, bishops, and priests than Bill Maher; he does so every week on HBO. Twenty times this year alone Maher used his platform to attack Catholics.
After Maher’s obscene attack on March 22nd, the Catholic League went to work compiling an exhaustive list of Bill Maher’s anti-Catholic remarks dating back to 1998. It was unclear where HBO officials stood with respect to Maher’s remarks: either they agreed with what he had to say, or they were afraid of him.
Since HBO had not taken any action in response to Bill Maher’s bigotry, the Catholic League contacted the board of directors at Time Warner, the parent company of HBO. After the season finale of “Real Time” which aired November 22nd, the Catholic League sent every member of Time Warner’s board of directors a copy of 54 anti-Catholic statements made by Bill Maher on TV. The league called for the show to be canceled once and for all.
Additionally we wrote to the more than 400 active and retired bishops across the United States and urged them to contact Time Warner’s CEO. Many bishops responded and echoed our call for Maher to be taken off television.
What bothers us about Maher is his obsession with portraying all bishops and priests—including the pope—as sexual abusers. This is malicious and morally indefensible.
Included here are examples of Maher’s hate speech that he spewed in 2013. Our entire report, “Bill Maher’s History of Anti-Catholicism,” is available on our website under the “Special Reports.”
November 22, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], Maher and guest Dan Savage on priests and gay marriage: Maher commented on gay couples who adopt children, alleging that a Hawaiian bishop said these kids had a greater chance of committing suicide. Here is how Savage responded: “That’s total bulls***. He’s confusing children of gay parents with children who are raped by Catholic priests. Sorry, I am just done being lectured about children and their safety by Catholic-f***ing bishops, priests, cardinals.” Shortly thereafter, Savage again remarked about “kiddie-f***ing Catholic priests.”
November 19, 2013, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” [MSNBC], on religion: Maher was a guest on the show. While discussing the government shutdown that occurred in October and the threat of another shutdown, Maher said: “I never understood why people who hate government go into government, that’s why I’m not a priest.”
November 15, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], Maher attacks the Pope: In Maher’s rant, he took after the pope, Sarah Palin, and Palin’s daughter, Bristol.
The skit was a series of mock tweets featuring the pope and Palin:
• Pope: “Listening to you, I’m reconsidering my stance on birth control.”
• Palin: “Yeah. How’s that sex with teenage boys working out for you?”
• Pope: “I don’t know. How’d it work out for your daughter?”
November 8, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], Maher mocks Christianity: During a segment titled “Cheap of Faith” Maher discusses how Christians don’t want to help or feed the hungry because it goes against the Bible. He believes that Christians should admit they are selfish because their beliefs do not mirror the actual teachings of Jesus. Maher states that “there is always a good moral Christian reason to tell everyone you meet to f*** off and die.”
November 1, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], Maher brands Pope a child rapist: Maher showed a picture of a young boy who approached Pope Francis, and then sat on the pope’s chair. Pope Francis welcomed him, but Maher’s picture showed the pope’s hand on the child’s head and Maher said “No, Pope Francis, I thought you were different,” implying that the pope is a child rapist.
October 30, 2013, “Piers Morgan Live” [CNN], on religion: Maher was a guest on the show. While discussing the government shutdown, Maher says that “If you hate government, you shouldn’t do it. That’s why I’m not a priest.”
October 25, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], repeatedly insults and attacks Catholics, Christians and Pope Francis: Maher made reference to German Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst and claimed that Pope Francis “fired the [German] bishop of bling” because he was “getting the altar boys drunk on Cristal.”
Later on, Maher’s panel of guests consisted of Michael Moore, Al Sharpton, Valerie Plame and Richard Dawkins. According to Maher, liberals are “worried they’re going to be called racist if they criticize Muslims.”
Sharpton: “There were Christian klansmen that were Christians, KKK members who burned crosses.”
Plame: “Yeah, but now there are Christian Dominionists that are just as extreme.”
Maher: “This is not just the same. Look, I’m no f**king Catholic or Christian, but one is herpes [Christians] and one is cancer [Muslims].”
October 9, 2013, “The Arsenio Hall Show” [WPIX], on religion: Maher was a guest on the show. While discussing the government shutdown, Maher said “You should not be in government if you hate government. That is why I am not a priest.”
August 2, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], implies that Pope Francis and all clergy are homosexual: “… In other gay news, did you see the pope got drunk again and, ah, I love this pope, he just says what he thinks. He said gay Catholics shouldn’t be marginalized. He said, ‘Who am I to judge them?’ And I think it’s like anybody else, you know, when you get to know gay people, they don’t, you know, come off as gay, they come off as people. You stop being anti-gay. And who has more gay friends and co-workers than a pope?”
Later in the show Maher announced he would be taking a five week vacation and predicted what the headlines will be while he’s off. He displayed several mock headlines including a mockup of the headline, “Pope Francis Moves to Massachusetts Marries Longtime Companion.” Below the caption was a picture of Pope Francis and an elderly man.
July 19, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], on World Youth Day: “This is World Youth Day for the Catholic Church … I mean this is a big jamboree – look at that! This is where all the kids in the world get together with priests. What could go wrong?”
July 16, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” blog, on Pope Francis clearing Pope John Paul II for sainthood after a second miracle was confirmed: “I’m sorry, for those believers out there, aren’t these ‘miracle’ tales kind of a tell that this religion is completely full of s**t?”
June 14, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], on Pope Francis and the alleged “gay lobby” in the Vatican: Maher implied that Pope Francis is homosexual when he said the following: “The other big story, Pope Francis…This week he said there is a gay network inside the Vatican…They go by the code names cardinals and priests…Hey, Padre, I hate to tell you, there’s also a gay network here, it’s called BRAVO. And this fall they’re presenting the real homosexuals of Vatican City. ‘Whatever, Monsignor, I didn’t come here to make friends’ (gay affectation)….and he has vowed to find out where all this gayness was coming from. And then he gathered up his long white dress, he turned on his bright red heels and he flounced right out of the steam room.”
May 31, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], on Pope Francis, the Church, and priests: The following occurred between host Bill Maher and Paul Rudnick, author of the anti-Christian play, “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told”:
Maher: “I want to ask you and everybody else about something that happened this week that was important to me because I am an atheist…You know when somebody says something obvious, ‘Oh, is the pope Catholic?’ I think he might not be. I think the Pope might be an atheist. There I said it. Like I think Obama is, because, he said this week, Pope Frank said, ‘The Lord has redeemed all of us, not just Catholics, even the atheists.’ And I was like, I am going to book my flight to heaven right now.”
“And then of course, it’s funny, because, you know, it’s just like politics. The hierarchy at the Vatican was like, ‘What the f**k did this guy just…?’ You could almost see them preparing the poison. You know, it’s like, luckily we’ve got a spare pope. This guy, ixnay on the… You know, one of the key things in this religion and most religions is, ‘Oh, monopoly, only through us.’ Even hippie Jesus said that. ‘Only through me.’ So this guy’s saying everybody gets into heaven. So then they had to walk it back…and the Vatican said – I don’t, do you have it?”
Rudnick: “I have it. The Vatican spokesman quickly intervened Father Thomas Rosica said quote, ‘People who truly know the Catholic Church cannot be saved if they refuse to enter or remain in her.'”
Maher: “Remain in her?” [sexual innuendo]
Rudnick: “Yeah, presumably without using a condom. You wonder if they ever vet any of their statements.”
Maher: “It made me think that, you know, I remember when I was making ‘Religulous,’ and we talked to a lot of priests. And we found out that a lot of priests really aren’t believers. They do it because, no, some of them do it for the sex. That’s true, but some of them, I mean, no, there’s a lot of good ones, and they do it because it’s a way to help people and they know they can’t tell the masses that it’s all a crock. But they themselves don’t believe it. I think Pope Frank – what’s his real name?…his Argentinian name…it sounds like a very expensive pair of shoes. He’s a sophisticated guy from that era, and I think he’s, I’m telling you, I think the Pope’s an atheist.”
May 10, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], on priests: The following exchange occurred between host Bill Maher and actor Zachary Quinto:
Maher: “They have to get right with the idea that more people who are rapists and violent go into the military. I mean, that’s sort of understandable. It’s a violent organization. Their job is violence…”
Quinto: “Maybe they should have a roundtable with the Catholic Church and try to come to some understanding of how to navigate this.”
Maher: “Well, you know, it’s funny you say that, but I think the reason why more rapists go into the military is the same reason why predators go into the Catholic Church: it’s a place they know they can get away with it.”
Quinto: “And that hierarchical structure prevents them from really being accountable to anybody.”
Maher: “Right, and they’re protected.”
May 3, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: During the opening monologue, host Bill Maher referred to the pontifical summer residence at Castel Gandolfo as “Club Ped,” implying that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is a pedophile.
April 2, 2013, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” [ABC], on teachings of the Catholic Church: Maher was a guest on the show and he called the Bible “a bunch of Bronze Age malarkey.” He stated that Catholic tradition “was not from Jesus or the Bible,” claiming that “most of this stuff” was “made up hundreds of years later by clowns in the Church.” When Kimmel asked Maher whether the Trinity was in the Bible, Maher responded: “No! Neither is Confession. They just pulled this out of their ass in the 12th century.” Referring to Limbo, Maher said “they just shamelessly invent it as they go along.”
March 22, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], on Pope Francis: After labeling the pope a “virgin bachelor,” Maher opined, “What other business could you be in where your company gets caught running a child sex ring since forever and you still keep your customers?”
March 15, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: After displaying pictures of notable persons holding signs mocking themselves, Maher showed a picture of the pope emeritus holding a sign saying, “Not actually sick…I just hated that f***ing job.”
February 15, 2013, “Real Time with Bill Maher” [HBO], on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI: “Now…as you all know, this week, Pope Benedict told Vatican Radio—you know, Vatican Radio, playing the hits from the 8th century, 9th century and today—Benedict told them he was going to resign because the Church needs a fresh, young face, somewhere other than a priest’s lap.”
“It’s okay to let go. No one can fault you for losing faith in an organization that won’t even allow women as priests, because, the reasoning goes, Jesus didn’t have any female apostles. Yeah, you remember the Last Supper: a total sausage party.”
“The fact is that any enterprise that excludes women almost always descends into sexual deviancy. At least at my bathhouse.”
“Show me any culture that’s traditionally hostile to women, and I will show you a culture that is screwed up. Like the Taliban. Like our military with its enormous rape problem. And like the Catholic Church.”
February 11, 2013, “Conan” [TBS], smearing priests: Maher was a guest on the show. “We found early this year or last year in the Republican primaries when the Republicans made contraception an issue, 98% of Catholics use birth control and the only ones who don’t are the priests. They would if altar boys could get pregnant.”