Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Feeding a Need

Have you ever wondered how a person becomes what they are today?  What is it that made them into what we perceive them to be through their efforts to be recognized?

This question is particularly troublesome over certain political figures, like Barrack Obama (because his past is full of shadows), and Hollywood celebrities whose indiscretions and lifestyle choices delight the media in a never-ending barrage of exposure.  As tiresome and redundant as it can be to those of us who would prefer not to hear or read about their flaws, failings, or political stance, it does bring to light a possible reason why they continue on a path to destruction.

They have a need.  And it must be fed.

Take, for instance, people like Bill Maher. He enjoys celebrity status because, at some point in his life, he told a joke and someone laughed.  Without being the proverbial fly on the wall, we can only guess at what his childhood had been like, how he had been raised, what he had been taught, if anything, and the kind of family he had come out of.  But let us take a quick glimpse into what information is available to us.

Maher’s bio on the web states that he was raised by his Irish-Catholic father, a network news editor, and Jewish mother who was a radio announcer.  What is interesting, however, is that his mother kept her ethnicity from him until his early teens.  It was then that he began to identify himself as "half-Jewish".  At the age of thirteen, his father had a falling out with the Catholic Church over birth control, and the family stopped attending.  Both his mother’s revelation and his father’s disagreement with Catholicism obviously occurred simultaneously and, more than likely, catapulted him into the person he describes himself as, today.

In abbreviated form, Maher has a degree in History and English from Cornell University, began his career in stand-up comedy and acting, eventually graduating to political commentator on various cable networks, and considers himself to be a Libertarian.  However, his political alignment speaks differently than of his associations and the liberal-minded groups he helps chair.  I guess all those things matter when one is defining a man.  But the most telling is his stand on “religion”.  He hates it.  And because he hates “religion”, he has become an out-spoken critic against Christianity.

Maher describes himself as an “apathiest” which, simply put, means he is a “pragmatic atheist” who has no interest in God, and acts with apathy and disregard to belief or unbelief in Him.  Although he will vehemently debate and denigrate anyone for their belief in Christ, his apathetic agnosticism drives him to insist that the thousands of years of theological debate have proven nothing.  Because his pragmatic philosophy compels him to only see the wrong things "religion" has wrought upon the world through the lens of hatred, Maher has erected a wall of defense for his position and, in effect, turned completely from belief in God.

In an interview when asked if he believed there was a God, Maher stated, “I think there is...I'm not an atheist. There's a really big difference between an atheist and someone who just doesn't believe in religion. Religion to me is a bureaucracy between man and God that I don't need. But I'm not an atheist, no."

I would have to disagree with Maher’s assertion that he is not an atheist.  His definition may be different than my own but, like all atheists, he is a God hater, one who refuses to acknowledge Him as Divine, Sovereign, and Holy.  Maher’s problem is that he is equating all the false religions and true Christianity, of which he has no understanding, into one category; thus the confusion in his answer.  To further support my assertion that he is an atheist, Maher simply has no time for God and, since he finds belief in all that God proclaims to be a false and foolish belief, and rejects the notion there is a Creator with these attributes, the title sticks quite well to him.  However, as the old saying goes, there are no atheists in a fox hole.

Maher views the various religions of the world as the primary problem with society.  We can sympathize to a degree with his assessment.  Indeed, "religion" has been a huge factor in the woes of the world, and some of those who wore the banner of “Christianity” certainly failed to represent it in its true form; the Catholicism of his father being the worst example of a "bureaucracy between man and God".  His argument is weak and ineffective to those who know that "religion" bears no significance to  the truest form of Christianity, and Christians will be the first to declare that.

Factor in the brutality and oppressiveness of Islam, of which he is an out-spoken critic, and Maher uses his pulpit to ignorantly define and categorize all "religions" into one distasteful and unpalatable pot of smelly stew.  If all Maher had to guide him were the poorest examples, it is no wonder he completely turned away from any form of religion and continues to disparage Christianity in the most vile way possible.

Maher is defined by the world as a celebrity, a playboy who has never been married, a board member of PETA, an environmentalist, and a voice worth listening to by those who are like-minded.  He seems to greatly enjoy his elevated status, as is evident if one foolishly chooses to watch his television programs or interviews.  However, all of this is only a façade.  Like all those who remain a slave to the world and its temptations, he wears his sins and ignorance on his sleeve.  So much so, that the longer his notoriety continues, the more obvious they become to a discerning Christian.  Quite possibly, they are even overt to an unbeliever - that is, if the unbeliever has a conscience, or is able to think with reason.

Maher’s pragmatic position on “religion” compels him to disprove not only the false religions of the world, but also Christianity.  He is driven to feed the need to disqualify and destroy it.  And because he has self-assumed a position as a mouthpiece for the unbelieving world and has been given a platform by his willing audience, he will do whatever he deems necessary, including the vilest of speech and behavior, to accomplish this goal and maintain his status of someone worthy of listening to - that is, until the next celebrity purveyor of godlessness, who requires his or her own need to be fed, knocks him from his pedestal.

Bill Maher has a need that is ravenous and wants to be fed.  Because someone once laughed at a homely, perhaps often ignored, little boy’s joke, or gave ear to his misguided and misinformed diatribes, he grabbed hold of the attention he received, and probably desperately desired.  His ego and pride reared up and assumed control over reason and sound-thinking, placing him squarely in front of those whose recognition he wanted the most.

As he carried this new-found prize of ego and pride forward into his life, arrogance was added in an attempt to sweeten the viscous pot and the unpleasant aroma he emits.  The result is a puffed-up, sin-filled, sad and confused little man who has chosen to hate God.  And as long as he surrounds himself with those who feed his need, the life Maher has created for himself will continue to be empty, meaningless, and void of any hope.

Although Maher inserts himself in ways that are often hard to ignore or avoid, he is no different than any unsaved, unbelieving man.  He is just more offensive because of his status and his ability to denigrate Jesus Christ and His children through the use of the multimedia that consumes our world.  We are all affected by our own unhealthy needs that ignore or usurp the LORD and His position in our lives.  And if we are feeding that hungry beast, then we are no different than men like Bill Maher.

Maybe it is time to take stock of our own appetites.

(If you're wondering why I'm writing about Bill Maher, I woke this morning with his name rolling around in my head like a pea, and this is the result.  Short of saying it was Divinely inspired, I have no plausible reason or explanation why I would give him space here on the blog.  Maybe the LORD is asking us to pray for him.  Anything is possible...Karen) 

1 comment:

Mama Mimi (Dana) said...

You are so right when you say that people like Bill Maher wear their ignorance on their sleeves. Unfortunately, enough people believe his opinions have substance and listen. Yes, he is a sad, homely man who decided that his self worth would rely on denying God vehemently and full of filth on national tv. I pray God will show him where his real worth comes from and soon.