“Real Time” host Bill Maher closed his show Friday night by suggesting those who criticize the conspiracy theory QAnon and also either hold or respect religious values don’t have a leg to stand on.
Maher, an outspoken atheist, began his monologue by explaining what the upcoming impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is “really about.”
He claimed the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was a “faith-based initiative” and that Trumpism was a “Christian-Nationalist movement that believes Trump was literally sent from Heaven to save them.”
“There’s a lot of talk in liberal corners about how Republicans should tell their base who still believe that the election was rigged, that they need to grow up and move on and stop asking the rest of us to respect their mass delusion,” Maher told his audience. “And, of course, it is a mass delusion, but the inconvenient truth here is, if you accord religious faith the kind of exhaled respect we do here in America, you’ve already lost the argument that mass delusion is bad.”
“It’s fun to laugh at QAnon with the baby-eating lizard people and the pedophile pizza parlors, but have you ever read the Book of Revelations?” Maher asked. “That’s the Bible. That’s your holy book, Christians. And they’ve got seven-headed dragons and locusts that have the face of men and teeth of lions and other stuff you see after the guy in the park sells you bad mushrooms.”
Bill Maher, host of “Real Time” on HBO.
The HBO star then juxtaposed the so-called “Jewish Space Laser” conspiracy that was pushed by freshman U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., to the story of Megiddo, Israel, where he said that, according to the Book of Revelations, the “end of the world” will take place.
“All the armies of the world will gather and Jesus will come down on a flying horse, shooting swords out of his mouth,” Maher said, “and have a thousand-year cosmic-boss battle with Satan, the Beast, and the antichrist.”
“It’s like 10 ‘Avenger’ movies plus 10 ‘Hobbit’ movies plus a night out with Johnny Depp,” Maher quipped.
“Please, magical religious thinking is a virus and QAnon is just its current mutation. That’s why megachurches play QAnon videos. It’s the same basic plot. ‘Q’ is the prophet and Trump is the messiah. There’s an apocalyptic event looming, ‘The Storm.’ There’s a titanic struggle of good versus evil, and if you want good to win, just keep those checks coming in.”
“We need to stop pretending there’s no way we’ll understand why the Trump mob believes in him. It’s because they’re religious! They’ve already made space in their heads for s— that doesn’t make sense. When you’re a QAnon fanatic, you’re also a fundamentalist Christian. They just go together like macaroni and cheese. … It’s not a coincidence that every senator who objected to certifying the electoral vote Arizona is an evangelical Christian.”
Maher then singled out Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who defended his objection to the electoral vote by citing a poll that showed “39 percent” of Americans believe the election was “rigged” and that “You may not agree with that assessment. But it is nonetheless a reality for nearly half the country.”
“In other words, we have no proof the election was stolen and you may have verifiable evidence that it wasn’t but that doesn’t matter. It only matters that we believe it,” Maher said. “And that’s when you’re at religion, that you have to respect something just because people believe it.”