Bill Maher's 'View': Church Going Old Ladies 'Enablers' to Religious Violence

Bill Maher, host of HBO’s "Real Time," appeared on the April 16 edition of "The View" to voice his opposition to all religion. Maher asserted that "pretty much all religion" is bad and all religion is "childish destructive nonsense." Co-host, Joy Behar inquired "What about people who just like to go to church, you know, the old ladies in my neighborhood who used to go and light a candle?" Maher responded likewise.

"They are certainly better than people who fly planes into buildings, yes. But they are enablers for some thing that is worldwide and winds up killing more people, distracting us from more good works."

According to Maher’s logic, the Salvation Army, Father Joe’s Villages, and church going conservatives who donate more to charity than secular liberals, are all "distracted from more good works."

Maher continued to call faith a "distraction," "the greatest con in the world" that’s "selling an invisible product." Behar then opined that science does not explain how "it all started." Maher agreed but quipped that "there is no reason to make [an answer] up." Maher proceeded to call the instructing of intelligent design alongside evolution teaching "stupidity alongside knowledge." Barbara Walters jokingly expressed concern over whoever will have to read the incoming mail. The transcript is below.

JOY BEHAR: I read a quote of you, as it said religion is bad, drugs are good. Could you please elaborate?

HASSELBECK: Please

[laughter]

BILL MAHER: That's what I always say when people say why don't you run for office, which they say to me all the time which is crazy. And I say, well my campaign would start with religion is bad and drugs are good. Would you like to be the campaign manager for that political campaign?

BEHAR: It is all religion and all drugs or some religion and some drugs?

MAHER: Of course not. I would say all religion, yes.

BEHAR: All religion is bad.

MAHER: Pretty much all religion. I mean, there are varying degrees but it's all very, you know, childish destructive nonsense in my view.

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Gosh I so disagree with that.

MAHER: Of course you do.

HASSELBECK: Of course I do.

[laughter]

JOY BEHAR: What about people who just like to go to church, you know, the old ladies in my neighborhood who used to go and light a candle? It made them feel good, their husbands died, they felt better. What about that?

MAHER: They are certainly better than people who fly planes into buildings, yes. But they are enablers for some thing that is worldwide and winds up killing more people, distracting us from more good works--

HASSELBECK: So you think all faith is a distraction.

BEHAR: It’s never going to change.

MAHER: I think all faith is a distraction. I think it’s the greatest con in the world. They’re selling an invisible product. If some human tells you --

HASSELBECK: I'm buying it then, apparently.

MAHER: You are like millions are, but, but this kind-

WALTERS: There are books written on this side of it-

BEHAR: You don’t hear this side very often.

MAHER: Not in this country, but in Europe they’re over religion. It's this country is a very religious country. But if somebody tells you what happens when you die, and who God is, just remember, unless a god told you himself and if he did we'll call Belle View, that's another human being telling you what happens when you die. Why don't you say to that human being, how do you know? How do you know?

MAHER: Wait a minute.

WALTERS: Something like 87 percent of people in this country, because we did a whole program last year on heaven and how you get there believe in heaven and believe that they’re going to get there and if this gives them solace or faith...

BEHAR: But science has never really been able to answer the question how did it all start?

MAHER: Right, I agree.

BEHAR: Who is the first mover? So, religion gives an answer. Science can't give it either. Neither side gives an answer.

MAHER: But just because there is no answer is no reason to make one up, that's all I'm saying.

BEHAR: But the scientific doesn't have an answer and says there's nothing.

HASSELBECK: We've seen that merge with intelligent design, recently, don’t you agree? I think that’s kind of a viable option.

ROSIE O’DONNELL: Intelligent design, she’s saying.

HASSELBECK: Intelligent design. It’s kind of a merging of both of those, those thoughts.

BEHAR: It’s neither intelligent nor designing.

MAHER: It's creationism with a fancy name.

BEHAR: Yeah, I don’t believe in that.

MAHER: And Bush says we should teach them both, which is interesting theory that we teach stupidity alongside of knowledge. It’s like saying, well, we’re going to teach how babies are really born in the hospital and then we’re going to teach that the stork brings them.

WALTERS: Who is going to answer the mail that is coming to this show?