Monday, April 03, 2006

Bill Maher Actually Right for a Change

Bill Maher is the most inconsistent personality on TV. One day he is sounding off for personal liberties (good), and the next he is advocating for the anti-vaccination cult (bad). But one must call a spade a spade, and this time he definitely got it right. Says Billy:

Does George Bush remember that he put his hand on the Bible to uphold the Constitution and not the other way around? [applause] [cheers]

Yes! Yes! To every politician out there, keep this in mind - you put your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold The Constitution. You did not put your hand on The Constitution and swear to uphold the fucking Bible!

This stands as my retort to any elected official who trots out a book supposedly written 2,000 years ago by desert nomads to defend any position they might hold relative to abortion, same sex marriage, stem cell research, etc. - The Bible is a meaningless defense when it pertains to United States law. Thanks for playing, try door #2.

(via Snopes)


Anonymous said...

Mr. Maher is completely wrong, of course. Private bills that apply to only one person are really quite common. My father, a doctor, actually seriously considered getting one passed to get some extra medical coverage for one of his patients who needed some special equipment. It isn't even all that hard to get one; just ask your House rep's office. That is sort of what it is there for. The problem with Schiavo wasn't that it was for only one person, it was that it over-extended the power of the federal government.

MichaelBains said...

Anon's is, unfortunately, kinda correct. That one of the bigger problems I have with Congress historically. The Federal Government is not supposed to have that kind of scope in their Legislating. It's constitutionally authorized for interstate and international relevance, right? States are supposedly the one's to handle this type of thing. And if their laws violate the USConstitution, then they've got to fix them.

It is nice to see Maher gettin' the point right anyhow. And that's an awesome retort to theocratic Pols and their pushers.

One Nation, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.

Rockstar Ryan said...

Yes, it's happened many times; apparently I've taken that quote out of context. Bill was talking about the Terri Schiavo case.

I said he's wrong most of the time, but the "swear on the Bible to uphold The Constitution and not the other way around was my main point.

In my effort to not take the guy out of context, I suppose I did. I have edited the article to show this. Thanks for reading and noticing all!!

Ranson said...

Of course, that line isn't Maher's. I came up in a Congressional hearing a month or so ago. Ah, here we go.
From Bert Bigelow, at

"On Wednesday, March 1st, 2006, in Annapolis
at a hearing on the proposed Constitutional
Amendment to prohibit gay marriage, Jamie
Raskin, professor of law at AU, was requested
to testify.

At the end of his testimony, Republican Senator
Nancy Jacobs said: 'Mr. Raskin, my Bible says
marriage is only between a man and a woman.
What do you have to say about that?'

Raskin replied: 'Senator, when you took your
oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible
and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did
not place your hand on the Constitution and
swear to uphold the Bible.'

The room erupted into applause."

Rockstar Ryan said...

Well, the idea has been around for awhile. But the Raskin thing has been blown out of proportion. Here's the real dialouge:

As I read Biblical principles, marriage was intended, ordained and started by God — that is my belief," [Jacobs] said. "For me, this is an issue solely based on religious principals [sic]."

Raskin shot back that the Bible was also used to uphold now-outlawed statutes banning interracial marriage, and that the constitution should instead be lawmakers' guiding principle.

"People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution; they don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible," he said.

Some in the room applauded, which led committee chairman Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a Democrat from Montgomery County, to call for order. "This isn't a football game," he said.

Semantics, maybe, but that was from the Mar. 2006 Baltimore Sun; Maher's quote is from Apr. 2005.

Of course, the earliest known time the phrase/idea came about was a 1997 USA Today article on Jesse Jackson Jr.

Since we rip on Maher a lot, I thought I'd give him the benefit of the doubt for once.

Ranson said...

Good enough, I was wrong.

I haven't listened to Maher in half a decade. Once he decided that he was important, he went insane.

Orac said...

"I haven't listened to Maher in half a decade. Once he decided that he was important, he went insane."

Indeed. His pro-PETA, anti-vaccination, and pro-altie ramblings have made it so that I cannot take anything he says seriously. The man has become a buffoon. Like a buffoon, he is sometimes quite amusing, but I do not put much stock in anything he says.

Rockstar Ryan said...

Once he decided that he was important, he went insane.

LOL! Agreed!r