On Monday’s “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, host Jon Stewart and HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher discussed how atheists tend to be left out of the political process in America despite other minorities having gained acceptance in recent years.
Maher pointed to both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who earlier this week said her favorite book was the Bible, and President Barack Obama, who Maher insisted was an atheist hiding behind his “spirituality.”
Partial transcript as follows:
STEWART: Let me ask you a question — can you point to that? Are there things that you have advocated over the years that you feel like, you know what, that has had some effect? We have had some issue in the conversation?
MAHER: Absolutely. People used to ask me, would you ever run for office. That’s such a silly question. I could never. And if I did, my slogan would be: Drugs are good and religion is bad. You can’t probably run for office on that in this country, but I feel like the needle has moved on both those. I think people have come over to my way of thinking. Drugs are good and religion is bad. I’m going to stick with that.
STEWART: I don’t know about the religion thing. Do you think this country has moved — I still feel like this for a western country is probably the most religious?
MAHER: Oh, by far. Oh, of course. Yes, we’re, as is often the case in social issues, a step behind other countries. And certainly about that — Hillary Clinton just said her favorite book was the Bible.
STEWART: Wasn’t, that I thought was so…
MAHER: You couldn’t find something more violent like “Game of Thrones?” That’s so a beat behind. You know, that’s certainly not where the millennials are. Who are the millennials here? They’re not religious.
STEWART: That was merely an indication that she’s running for president. That was not — I don’t think in any reality that is her favorite book.
MAHER: Oh, of course not. Well, actually you know what, I don’t know about that. You know who is a liar about this is Obama. Obama’s always spouting spiritual bullshit, and I don’t believe it for a second. He’s a drop-dead atheist, absolutely.
STEWART: No, how many years did he spend in Rev. Wright’s church. He spent a long time in Chicago…
MAHER: He never went. He joined because it was politically necessary.
STEWART: Oh is that true? He didn’t go?
MAHER: Absolutely no.
STEWART: Not to the picnics?
MAHER: No, nothing. He joined because he wanted to move ahead in that political world, and, of course, you had to be part of the church.
STEWART: But don’t they say though that in this country, if you want to be elected – the one thing you can’t be, you can be gay, a woman, Jewish, you can be an atheist — you can’t be an atheist. I find that so bizarre.
MAHER: So bizarre and so wrong because it is the single biggest minority in this country.
STEWART: It is?
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