Bill Maher was in his frequent “down with religion” state of mind during Friday’s “Real Time” on HBO, landing a one-two blow to both the Catholic church and his favorite former president to razz, Donald Trump.
It being St. Patrick’s Day and all, Maher’s “New Rules” began with a shout to Ireland, which quickly turned into a political comparison of the country’s division over religion to the current state in the Republican party.
“[Ireland] went through a period where political hatred born of religion turned into something called ‘the troubles,’ which meant the hatred got so bad it could not be contained by the usual means of disagreement. So people lived with bombings and sniping and urban warfare, which Tucker Carlson calls sightseeing,” Maher said, cutting to images of Trump supporters storming the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“Politics has become our religion,” he continued. “We used to pray for the nation. Now each side prays the other side doesn’t destroy the nation. On one side, the ‘church of woke’ wants to cleanse us of our past. And on the other, the cult of Trump wants to resurrect it.”
Maher pointed out that Trump is often depicted as some kind of religious warrior, an image which he enforces with his choice of language.
“Now he’s talking like an end-times religious nut,” the comedian said. “He speaks about an epic battle against sinister forces and says, ‘I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.’ Oh, Jesus. Thanks, Batman!” Maher added, rolling his eyes.
And what began as a compliment to Pope Francis for starting a conversation about ending celibacy for priests, pivoted to a putdown of the Catholic Church which he leads.
“Many are so excited that they already have an app now where you can meet priests. It’s called Grindr,” Maher said, referencing the popular dating app targeting the LGBTQ community.
“But good for Francis,” he continued. “We’re pointing out that the church only demanded celibacy from priests beginning in the 11th century. And when they did, it was so that instead of leaving their money to their own children after they passed, priests would give it to the church — who ironically, after all these centuries, wound up giving it to children,” inferring the church’s history of charges it continues to face of sexual misconduct against boys.
You can watch the entire “New Rules” segment in the video at the top, which also includes a(nother) takedown of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who he calls the “National leprechaun.”