I couldn’t find the Bill Maher - Rolling Stone interview online - from the most recent Fortieth Anniversary addition, so I thought I would type out some quotes that may be of interest.
Bill Maher - by Mark Binelli
Where do you see the War on Terror going in the nest five years? Is it going to get worse?
We haven’t been attacked again because they’re reloading. They need to husband their resources, and they are theatrical. They knocked down the World Trade Center and hit the Pentagon - it takes a lot to top that. And they’re patient. The blood feud that’s going on now in Iraq dates back to 632 A.D. So, please - 2001 was a blink of an eye.
..The difference between today and 2003, when we invaded Iraq, is that back then it was a relatively small number of young Muslim men. Now, thanks to this clash of civilizations we’ve created, the threat could come from anywhere…
What would it take to reverse it?
Getting out of Iraq would be number one. Look, you’re talking to someone who thinks religion is crazy and makes people do crazy things. But there is still the human instinct to survive. By invading Iraq, we made it a much closer race between the human instinct for survival and “I’m going to strap on a bomb and kill these motherfuckers who invaded.”
Speaking of religion, do you see people getting more or less rational in the coming years?
Both. People are finally catching on that religion is childish and dangerous. One out of five college-age people are now atheist or agnostic. About as many college-age people are atheist or agnostic as are Republicans. Europe is over religion - they’re religious in name only. So the older, wiser continent, they’ve moved beyond that. But of course, much of the world has not. That’s probably why we could not achieve peace in Iraq - it’s just not how they think. Freedom is not nearly as important to them as the freedom they perceive they’ll achieve after they die in paradise.
What about religion in this country? Is it becoming less of a political force?
I really feel like there’s a movement building. This is the issue of the day, and people are beginning to understand that religion is the problem. Now, when the president shows up at a disaster site and says he’s going to pray, it means nothing. He might as well show up and say, “I’m going to hope. I’m on it - I’m going to wish it were so.” It’s meaningless at best. It’s difficult to steer the ship of state toward some sort of safe harbor when at least half the people in this country essentially think we should do that by splitting open a chicken and reading its entrails. I’m suggesting we use a compass.