I’m not all that big a fan of Bill Maher, but when he’s right, he’s right:
I don’t say in the movie that I’m an atheist. I don’t like that term, because I think it mirrors the certitude of religion. I say I don’t know. And if you don’t know—and you don’t—just man up and say you don’t know. Don’t turn to silly stories and ancient myths. That should be good enough for people. When these myths were created, when the Bible was written, man didn’t know what an atom or a germ was, or where the sun went at night, or why the women got pregnant. [Laughs.] They needed stories to answer the questions. But it’s the 21st century now, and there’s a tape on YouTube of Sarah Palin with a witch doctor! Someone who’s telling her he’s curing her of witches! It’s our country, for crying out loud. People should be ashamed, appalled, and embarrassed.
I think it was Julia Sweeney who said with dismay, “People don’t like to think about why they do what they do, or why they believe what they believe.”
And evidently they don’t want anybody else thinking about it, either.