Bill Maher’s new movie, “Religulous,” opens October 3. He lampoons Catholicism, Judaism and Islam, though we know that he has a special contempt for our religion.  Here’s a sample of his thinking.

November 10, 1999, on “Politically Incorrect”: “The synagogue—and I’m not Jewish, but I was raised Catholic—was never as corrupt as the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church, which is people, not God running it, OK, hugely corrupt, did horrible things through history, maybe…because they were that powerful.”

“Priests are supposed to be celibate. They’re not having sex with women…. Just with the boys.”

March 20, 2000, on “Politically Incorrect,” discussing the Annunciation: Maher commented that the Archangel Gabriel didn’t tell Mary that she was pregnant with Jesus, rather he showed her that his “horn had turned pink.”

July 11, 2000, on “Politically Incorrect,” discussing celibate priests: “Be fruitful and multiply. What’s more weird than being celibate? There’s nothing more perverted than that.”

August 9, 2000, on “Politically Incorrect,” discussing sex abuse: “Look, it’s just a fact of life. Priests, a lot of times, molest boys, OK? They are celibate and it’s a magnet for homosexual pedophiles.”

October 27, 2000, on “Politically Incorrect,” discussing Halloween: “Christianity is grafted on paganism… And it’s all about a man in the sky who’s going to send you in a burning lake of fire if you screw up…. What is scarier than drinking the man’s blood every Sunday? That’s not a spooky ritual? Here kids, drink his blood and eat his body. Like that’s not pagan? What can be more pagan than that?”

May 7, 2002, on “Politically Incorrect”: “You’re right. In African countries, they [priests] rape nuns.”

May 8, 2002, on “Politically Incorrect”: “I have hated the Church way before anyone else.”

May 24, 2002, on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” discussing being raised Catholic: “Well, I wasn’t raised Jewish. My mother is Jewish. But I never even knew I was half-Jewish until I was a teenager. I was just so frightened about the Catholics and everything that was going on there in the church—and I was never, you know, molested or anything. And I’m a little insulted. I guess they never found me attractive.”

June 20, 2002, on “Politically Incorrect”: “Pope John Paul canonized [Padre Pio] and the reason it sticks in my craw is because it just seems like they needed a saint badly, because they had a lot of bad P.R. with the whole, you know, we’re having sex with the kids thing.”

May 7, 2003, in his one-man show, “Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home”: “What’s the reason for this insanity? [He had been discussing Islam.] One word: religion. The Catholics got away with f***ing kids.” When the audience gave a mixed reaction, he said, “Oh come on! Get the rod out of your a**!” He then impersonated a priest saying to an altar boy, “Put some more lotion on Father,” and said, “Holy lubricant, Father!”

“Don’t regulate drugs: regulate religion. I was raised Catholic and I was not molested. I’m a little insulted. Apparently, I wasn’t attractive enough.”

“The problem is they drill it into your head when you are very young. Well, when you are four years old you believe in Santa Claus too. Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, the Virgin Birth, sure! When you’re a priest everyday spewing this bull**** about the apple and the snake, etc., you can see him just saying, ‘Ah f*** it, just blow me kid!’”

“Come on, it’s so gay, the Church! With the robes and the smoke and the kneeling in front of the priest with your mouth open [doing an imitation], eating God.”

February 15, 2005, on MSNBC’s “Scarborough Country”: “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. If you look at it logically, it’s something that was drilled into your head when you were a small child. It certainly was drilled into mine at that age. And you really can’t be responsible when you are a kid for what adults put into your head…. When you look at beliefs in such things as, do you go to heaven, is there a devil, we have more in common with Turkey and Iran and Syria than we do with European nations and Canada and nations that, yes, I would consider more enlightened than us.”

April 8, 2005, on “Real Time”: “People waited in line for 24 hours to see the pope’s [John Paul II’s] body and when they got to see the pope they smelled worse than he did.”

“For those who could not make the funeral, the Vatican has asked that in lieu of flowers, just stop touching your d***.”

“American Catholics say we love the pope, he should be a saint but he is kind of full of s*** on everything we believe.”

April 13, 2007, on “Real Time”: The comedian showed a picture of guitarist Keith Richards in his “New Rules” segment and said, “New rules, snorting your father isn’t crazy” (this was a reference to Richards’ hoax about snorting the ashes of his dead father). Maher then showed a picture of a Catholic priest giving Communion, saying, “Eating your father, that’s crazy.”

May 22, 2007,  on “Real Time,” urging gays to start their own religion: “And it’s easy to start a religion! Watch, I’ll do it for you: I had a vision last night! A vision! The Blessed Virgin Mary came to me—I don’t know how she got past the guards—and she told me it’s high time to take the high ground from the Seventh Day Adventists and give it to the 24-hour party people. And what happens in the confessional stays in the confessional. Gay men, don’t say you’re life partners, say you’re a nunnery of two. ‘We weren’t having sex, officer, I was performing a very private Mass, here in my car. I was letting my rod and staff comfort him. Take this and eat of it, [our emphasis] for this is my roommate Barry. And for all those who believe there is a special place for you in Kevin.’”

January 7, 2008, on “The Late Show with Conan O’Brien”: “You can’t be a rational person six days of the week and put on a suit and make rational decisions and go to work and, on one day of the week, go to a building and think you’re drinking the blood of a 2,000-year-old space god. That doesn’t make you a person of faith…. That makes you a schizophrenic.”

January 28, 2008, on “Real Time,” on the Virgin Birth: “But I think it is much more likely that there could be space ships from outer space, than what a lot of things people believe. People still believe, you know—excuse me I know I may inject religion into every show but UFO’s are a lot more likely than a space god flew down bodily and, you know, who was the Son of God and, you know, had sex with a Palestinian woman.”

February 4, 2008, on “Larry King Live”: “They accuse me of being a Catholic bigot. First of all, I don’t have it out especially for the Catholics. I think all religions are coo-coo. OK? It’s not just the Catholics. I’m not a bigot. Just because I wish for the demise of an organization that I think is entirely destructive to the human race, that doesn’t make me a bigot. I also wish for the demise of Hamas and the KKK. Not that on every score the Catholic Church is the same as those two organizations. I’m not a bigot because I root for their downfall.”

April 11, 2008, on “Real Time”: “And, finally, New Rule: Whenever you combine a secretive compound, religion and weirdos in pioneer outfits, there’s going to be some child-f***ing going on. [laughter] [applause] [cheers] In fact, whenever a cult leader sets himself up as ‘God’s infallible wing man’ here on earth, lock away the kids.

“Which is why I’d like to tip off law enforcement to an even larger child-abusing religious cult. Its leader also has a compound. And this guy not only operates outside the bounds of the law, but he used to be a Nazi and he wears funny hats. [photo of the Pope shown] [mixture of laughter, shock, scattered applause]

“That’s right. The Pope is coming to America this week, and, ladies, he’s single! [laughter] Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘Bill, you can’t be saying that the Catholic Church is no better than this creepy Texas cult! For one thing, altar boys can’t even get pregnant.’ [mixture of laughter and other reactions]

“But, really, what tripped up the ‘little cult on the prairie’—[laughter]—was that they only abused hundreds of kids, not thousands all over the world. Cults get raided. Religions get parades. How does the Catholic Church get away with all of their buggery? VOLUME, VOLUME, VOLUME! [laughter] [applause]

“If you have a few hundred followers and you let some of them molest children, they call you a cult leader. If you have a billion, they call you ‘Pope.’

“It’s like if you can’t pay your mortgage, you’re a deadbeat, but if you can’t pay a million mortgages, you’re Bear Stearns, and we bail you out. [laughter] [applause] [cheers] And that’s who the Catholic Church is, the Bear Stearns of organized pedophilia. [laughter] Too big to fail.

“When the—when the current Pope was in his previous Vatican job as John Paul’s Dick Cheney—[laughter]—he wrote a letter instructing every Catholic bishop to keep the sex abuse of minors secret until the statute of limitations ran out. And that’s the Church’s attitude: ‘We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it.’ [applause]

“Which is fine. Far be it from me to criticize religion. [laughter] But, just remember one thing: if the Pope was, instead of a religious figure, merely the CEO of a nationwide chain of daycare centers where thousands of employees had been caught molesting kids and then covering it up, he’d be arrested faster than you can say, ‘Who wants to touch Mister Wiggle?’”

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