Pope Francis implores us not to insult other people’s religions, and Bill Maher responds by saying, “He’s dead to me now. Oh yeah, F*** the Pope.”
Maher can say what he wants about Bill Donohue—he went off on him big time—but to resort to obscene language condemning the pope is a new low, even for Maher.
Maher is showing signs that he is deeply disturbed: It is not normal for anyone to lash out at the Holy Father for simply asking us to show respect for others. It is also not normal that such vile commentary be treated as if it had comedic value.
The media blackout of this ugly episode is telling. Not a single mainstream media outlet mentioned Maher’s vicious attack, and even the reaction from second and third tier sources was mostly mute.
In 1992, Sinead O’Connor went on “Saturday Night Live” and ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II, saying, “fight the real enemy.” Her antic occasioned a serious outburst of criticism. What Maher did during a recent episode was far worse, but it triggered no response. When outrageous behavior is greeted with indifference, we are going down the wrong road. History bears Donohue out.
We sent this news release to officials at HBO, as well as to those who work at its parent company, Time Warner. Why they would want to be associated with a man like Maher anymore defies rational explanation.