Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Who's Worse?

Being completely objective, I think Maher wiped up O'Reilly. By the way, if I had my choice to watch either, it would be O'Reilly by far. I can't stomach Maher at all.

O'Reilly starts by taking a shot at Maher because no one watches his show. That was his best point and it goes down hill from there. And Maher's answer was perfect for O'Reilly---say nothing, show no emotion, just a blank look on your face, like he said nothing.

I saw this clip in an opinion column about a tweet that Maher made about Tim Tebow. However, the discussion is about peoples' ideas about solving the deficit. Maher, it seems, said that the American people were stupid. At about 1:10, it becomes a religious discussion, when Maher backs his claim that the American people are generally stupid because 60% of them believe the Noah's ark story.

O'Reilly is obviously out of his league here, because he says he knows no one that believes the Noah's ark story. That seems like a lie (or a spin, if you put it like O' Reilly would). And then he said he read that they found Noah's ark on a mountain in Turkey. OK, that sounded like he might want to defend the flood account. But he said it with a teasing smile on his face, like he didn't believe it himself. But Maher didn't answer that one, told him just to go down the hall at Fox news to find people who do believe in Noah's ark (Jesus believed it, of course).

Then Maher makes a good point at about 1:35---"that's in your Bible." Good one. If it is in the Bible, why doesn't O'Reilly believe that if he is a Christian? And then Maher, asked, "if you're a religious person and the Bible is written by God, why isn't -- why is stuff in the Bible untrue?" At 1:45, O'Reilly answers, "Well, because it's allegorical, Bill. I'm sure you know -- I'm sure you know it's allegorical, and these are parables. They're designed to -- to teach you a greater truth that apparently has eluded you. You know, it's not a literalist interpretation, the Bible."  Bill says the Bible is an allegory. And that part, the part about the Noah and the ark and the flood, is conveniently an allegory, despite the fact that Jesus said it wasn't one (Matthew 12:40).

Maher answers, "I thought it was the Word of God. I thought it was literal, and a lot of religious people do." And we believe it is literal too. And then he asks, "OK, what about the part in the Bible that says if you see your neighbor working on a Sunday, you should kill him? Is that a parable or is that literal?" There Maher becomes loony (well, loonier). No verse in the Bible prohibits working on Sunday. That shows the ignorance of Maher (who is half Jewish). But O'Reilly wouldn't have corrected that. No verse says that if you see your neighbor working on a Sabbath, you can kill him. None.

O'Reilly is right to ask for a passage that backs up what Maher says, because none does. O'Reilly though says 'what parable?' not 'what passage?' Maher correctly says that it is "a law." And Maher pulls out "Deuteronomy" at the 2:18 point. He wasn't referring to anything in Deuteronomy, but what is in Exodus 31:14-15 and 35:2, the latter of which says:

Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. 

The seventh day is Saturday, not Sunday, and someone doesn't kill his neighbor for doing it.

Maher continues with, "But if it's your perfect holy book written by God, why is there stuff in there that makes no sense or is immoral?"  No one can judge morality without starting with objective truth or even laws of logic, which one cannot without starting with God.  If everything is an accident, then nothing is either moral  or immoral.  No one can judge God or His Word to be immoral.  Maher feels like it is immoral, but he has no basis for saying anything is immoral, unless he borrows from a Christian world view, which would then say that Maher is actually the one who is immoral, not God or His Word.

O'Reilly has no answer for Maher on killing someone for working on Sunday, so he shucks the Old Testament completely, especially since it also justifies slavery, and says he's a believer of the New Testament.  That's a loser.  Maher rightfully asks, "But they're both written by God. Right?"  O'Reilly says Christians love the "half of the Bible that teaches you to love your neighbor as you love yourself."  To which, Maher answers, "But you can't disavow the Old Testament."  Which is what O'Reilly is doing.

The next part of their conversation goes like the following:

O'REILLY: I'm not disavowing anything. I'm telling you what I believe in, and what I believe in is love your neighbor as yourself and don't call him stupid because they don't agree with you politically.
MAHER: But if you're saying that some things in the Bible are true and other things aren't. It's not like the Constitution, Bill. It was written by God or inspired by God. So how come so much of it is either wacky or immoral?

Devastating to O'Reilly.  If both parts are written by God, you don't get to choose to believe just one part.  What Maher nor O'Reilly understand, because they're actually both stupid, ironically, is that the Old Testament law has a threefold division (nicely discussed in the recent book From the Finger of God: The Biblical and Theological Basis for the Threefold Division of the Law), consisting of moral, civil or judicial, and ceremonial law.  The Sabbath law was ceremonial.

A last give and take was of interest.

O'REILLY:  I've read the New Testament. There doesn't seem to be a lot of downside to being like Jesus. He seemed to be a pretty good guy to me, Bill.
MAHER:  He was a good guy.

Maher admits that it would be good to be like Jesus.  But how could Maher think it would be good to be like someone who said He was God and said that He agreed with the Old Testament law?   I don't think that Maher knew what he was saying.

So who is worse?  The one who won't believe the Bible because he can't take it literally?  Or, the one who doesn't believe the Bible, but he just allegorizes it instead?


d4v34x said...

They both shall fall into the ditch. Looks like a tie.

Anonymous said...

You surely know this, but O'Reilly is a Roman Catholic. He has been educated by the RCI. (Poor education! The institution that brought the dark ages, and just how dark is O'Reilly's understanding?) I think there is more hope for Maher because he at least understands Christian doctrine concerning the Bible being true and written by God.

I quit listening to O'Reilly year before last. I avoid Maher altogether.

Psalm 14 and 53: "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."

Joe V.

Unknown said...

Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it is to be put to death; those who do any work on that day must be cut off from their people. Its pretty simple to understand. Even though most of the world follows the international standard iso 8601 week where Sunday is the seventh day the US and Canada do not. So you are saying that you can't be moral without god?

Unknown said...

In Numbers 15 32-36 a man was stoned to death for picking up sticks in the forest on the Sabbath. So obviously its a law because "God"told Moses to do this. Its so crazy because now a days if you heard "God" talking to you they would have you committed,but back then you were "Gods"boy. Its just so crazy to me this whole belief in something that you can't prove,well thats faith for ya. The purposeful suspension of reason.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Tom,

With as much respect as I can give you, you don't know the Bible. If you did, you would know that Sabbath law was given to Israel. It had a particular purpose for an era, but it has been fulfilled now with the coming of Christ. That is taught very clearly in the New Testament. You are attempting to insult us into being atheists, but you'll have to get something right to persuade us and you have this wrong.

Even modern law is contextual. Laws apply to certain situations and people, which is why you have judges coming down on what they mean. Everyone can understand scripture, but it takes more than the superficial dealing that you have given it and by which you are judging people yourself.

As it relates to science, the more actual science I know, the easier it is to believe the Bible. Darwin saw a cell as a blob, but now we can see a cell in detail under a microscope and see irreducible complexity. All the parts had to be there at once for the whole thing to exist. That testifies to design. And that's just a cell. A cell. We now know about DNA. It's exponentially harder to believe what you do based upon science than what I believe.

What scripture says and it is true is that you like to be your own boss. You don't want someone else telling you what to do, so you reject His existence. It doesn't change anything for Him, but for you it's not going to work out well, because He did create us and He will also judge us. I understand your not liking that, but it is still true.