Bill Maher Exposes the Intolerance of the “Tolerant”

Bill Maher talks on television show

It seems that some people are so busy being tolerant, that they’re making the world safer for the intolerant.

Case in point: TV host and political commentator Bill Maher, who is apparently not tolerant enough for his fellow liberals. Last month, protesters tried to prevent his giving the commencement speech at University of California, Berkeley, because he has criticized Islam for being violent and trying to suppress free speech.

Says Maher, “…since they were protesting me for once saying that Islam is ‘the only religion that acts like the mafia (and will) kill you if you say the wrong thing or draw the wrong picture,’ and then two jihadists gunned down 12 people in Paris for saying the wrong thing and drawing the wrong picture, you have to tell me, where do I go to protest you?” he stated. [quoted at, Maher: Liberals Hate Bullying, But They’re Not Opposed to Using It]

People opposing Maher wish to show tolerance for all religions and customs. Evidently, they feel that there’s no discernable difference between an attitude which promotes separation of church and state and one which promotes obliteration of anyone who disagrees. Maybe these Berkeley protesters, who claim to uphold “tolerance,” really sympathize with the people Maher is criticizing because they too wish to suppress and squelch anyone who disagrees with them. What happens when someone disagrees with them? Many of these anti-Maher protesters support gay marriage. But Islam openly executes people who are gay. How do they reconcile support for gay marriage, in the United States, with the promotion of tolerance for cultures and governments who will literally have their heads?

Tolerance is a contradiction in terms when you apply it to the intolerant. In fact, it’s a folly to make tolerance a virtue. Tolerance for its own sake is meaningless. To proclaim that you tolerate anything and everything is to in essence say, “I have no standards.” If you have no standards, why should anyone listen to you? In fact, with no objective or rational standards or principles of any kind, how are you to make it through the day, much less through life?

Maher also responded to Bill Donohue, the head of the Catholic League in the U.S. “…“last week Mr. Donohue wrote that it was too bad that Charlie Hebdo’s publisher ‘didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death,’ which is like saying the rape victim didn’t understand that her clothes were too provocative.”

Precisely, Mr. Maher. The Catholic Church, itself a promoter of indiscriminate tolerance — which did not work out too well when attempting to evade and cover up the molestation of young children by priests– now wants to get on the politically correct, “Hey, look at me, I’m tolerant” bandwagon.

Many of the same people rushing to defend the sensitivities of those who blow up and behead their victims are strident, self-conscious opponents of bullying in schools. How do they make such a big to-do about bullying in schools while minimizing the actions of a religious movement centered on bullying and destruction of others who disagree with them? How does a twelve-year-old verbal bully on a school playground compare to a movement of bullies hellbent on the destruction of that school playground’s entire civilization?

Maher calls them on their incoherent contradiction: “I thought we hated bullying now. When it happens in high school these days, people go nuts. When I was a kid, adults just shrugged and went, ‘eh, kids are a**holes, what are you going to do?’ Yeah, liberals hate bullying all right, but they’re not opposed to using it. When they casually throw out words like ‘bigot’ and ‘racist,’ it does cow people into avoiding this debate. And if you’re doing that, you don’t get to wear the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ button, the button you should wear says, ‘Je Suis Part of the Problem.’ And that goes for everybody.”

Maher blasted anti-hate speech laws in Europe and declared that “opinions shouldn’t be illegal. Everyone can always come up with a reason why the thing that bugs you should get a waiver. But free speech only works if there are no waivers…including for religion.”

In response to some of Maher’s criticisms, some liberals insist that they don’t support terrorism and just because they defend Islam is not proof that they do. But if you support these ridiculous and pernicious “hate speech” laws, which legally consider criticism of Islam “hate speech” and therefore illegal, then you are supporting terrorists … whether you think you are, or not. If you really wish to prove yourself a “liberal,” then do it the old-fashioned (and accurate) way: Favor equal free speech for everyone, so long as there’s no violence and so long as it’s done on one’s own property with one’s own dime.

It’s clear that the high priests of tolerance — the kind of “liberals” who now cross Bill Maher off their politically correct list — are not concerned about tolerance. They’re concerned about something else. I call it social and moral exhibitionism. “Exhibitionism’ is a psychiatric term that applies to people who wish to expose themselves sexually, or act out sexually, in front of other people; in a sexual context, they want an audience.

The loud-mouthed proponents of “fighting bullying in schools” who then turn around and minimize or excuse the actions of violent religious fundamentalists are really engaged in the social equivalent of exhibitionism. Quite possibly, they like to think of themselves as virtuous, and the conventional definition of virtue, dominant in our Judeo-Christian society is, “turn the other cheek, love everyone, even your enemies.” This is their way of showing others and/or themselves how tolerant and therefore virtuous they are, by that particular standard of virtue. “Look at me. I can call anyone who criticizes militant Islam a bigot. I’m so sensitive and enlightened even I can hardly stand it.”

All they accomplish is making the world safer for the kind of people who will ultimately be their own destroyers, once the consistently intolerant finally get around to them.

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