King of the Fauxgressives

So, just about a year ago, I wrote this piece about Bill Maher's upcoming film "Religulous," which I still maintain sounds less like a cross between religion and ridiculous than Caligula and ridiculous—a perfect name for a Bill Maher project, but I digress.

I said at the time that (total fucking misogybag rape-joking asshole) Maher is not an atheist, but an agnostic anti-religionist, that I will never understand the compulsion to evangelize a lack of belief (separate altogether from speaking against legislated religion, of which I am in support), and that the movie sounded like complete shit.

Well, here's a "leaked" clip of the film—in which, as Tracey (who gets the hat tip) notes, Maher magnanimously "take[s] a break from oppressing women in the U.S. long enough to try (poorly) to make a point about how women are oppressed in other parts of the world"—and it's precisely as dire as I expected:

[Transcript below.]

I mean, wow. What an awesome crusader against the tyranny of religion. Who knew that freedom of oppression was down the same road as fag and bitch jokes?


Maher: Woo! Boy, it's good to get outta the cold and into a burka store, huh?

Woman with Maher Whose Name I Don't Know: Yeah.

Maher: The fashion industry, the Islamic fashion industry—you feel that's been hobbled at all by the fact that homosexuality is a sin punishable by death?

[Store owner gives Maher blank stare. Maher and female companion laugh uncomfortably.]

Maher: I mean, the designers, you know.

M. Hasan, Store Owner: Quran is the only book where women are given equal rights.

Maher: Women are equal in Islam?

[Store owner gives Maher blank stare.]

Maher: Okay. We in the West have seen so many pictures of clothing that's a lot more severe than that; I used to call them the beekeeper suits.

Hasan: In Iraq, people are wearing, even some men are wearing these just to cover themselves—


Maher: But if I can admit that, even in the Western culture, our—Judaism, Christianity—horribly keep women down, it's almost like religion was created as a way to keep women in their place. [Turns to female companion and snaps.] Now go get me a coffee. No, I'm kidding!

[Laughter and touching her shoulder. She turns away while he looks into the camera and grins.]

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