Bill Maher calls himself an atheist for the first time I'm aware of...

Sapient's picture

Today is the day, on the Don Imus show Bill Maher referred to himself as an atheist very explicitly for the first time that I am aware of.  

Here is his page on Celebrity Atheists with the update:


November 1, 2009 on Imus, Bill Maher finally accepts that the term atheism describes him best when relating to Richard Dawkins and his atheism lacking absolute certainty:

"Neither me nor my girl believe in God or marriage, so there's not gonna be a big church wedding... I always say I don't know. Even Richard Dawkins a man whose name has become synonymous with atheism says he puts a scale of 1 to 7, 1 being absolute certain there is a god and 7 being absolutely certain there isn't, and he says even he's a 6.9. Because no one knows for sure what's out there. He says yes there could be a god and there could be a spaghetti monster out there, but it doesn't look like it. To me it was always great fodder for comedy. There isn't a week that goes by that there isn't something hysterically funny if it's not tragic, having to do with religion. My recent favorite example was at the Michael Jackson Memorial Stevie Wonder said 'we needed Michael but God needed him more.' And I thought really God needs people, God needs singers, God is up there saying 'Jesus, nothing on, get that Michael Jackson up here.'

Imus then asks if Hitchens is a 7. Bill Maher responds "he may be, I think we're just talking semantics at some point, we are all atheists (referring to Dawkins, Hitchens, and himself), which means we don't believe in a deity, we don't believe in a magic spaceman, and we think people that do, have a neurological disorder and they need help."

And on religion in general he said "When I hear from people that religion doesn't hurt anything, I say really? Well besides wars, the crusades, the inquisitions, 9-11, ethnic cleansing, the suppression of women, the suppression of homosexuals, fatwas, honor killings, suicide bombings, arranged marriages to minors, human sacrifice, burning witches, and systematic sex with children, I have a few little quibbles. And I forgot blowing up girl schools in Afghanistan."



- Brian Sapient

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edejardin's picture

The question is, how long

The question is, how long will it now take him to admit that he's a Democrat?

ProzacDeathWish's picture

edejardin wrote:The question

edejardin wrote:
The question is, how long will it now take him to admit that he's a Democrat?

   I agree.  He says he's a Libertarian but if he is, he must be to the far, far left of that label.

"The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."
Ayn Rand

Sapient's picture

 I think the bigger

 I think the bigger question is, what audience will he need to be in front of in the future for him to lose the atheist label again.  

- Brian Sapient

Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Answers in Gene Simmons's picture

So Billy is an atheist. Was

So Billy is an atheist. Was he hiding the fact in the past? Seriously, this comes off to me as about as news worthy as if Christopher Lowell were to come out. In either case, we already knew what was up.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."


BobSpence's picture

He equivocated about

He equivocated about whenever asked about it previously. He emphasized his contempt for the churches and organized religion, but dodged on the atheist question.


Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

Sapient's picture

 This is news because

 This is news because of....

Maher in 2006...


"I'm not an atheist. There's a really big difference between an atheist and someone who just doesn't believe in religion. Religion to me is a bureaucracy between man and God that I don't need. But I'm not an atheist, no." I believe there's some force. If you want to call it God... I don't believe God is a single parent who writes books. I think that the people who think God wrote a book called The Bible are just childish. Religion is so childish. What they're fighting about in the Middle East, it's so childish. These myths, these silly little stories that they believe in fundamentally, that they take over this little space in Jerusalem where one guy flew up to heaven�no, no, this guy performed a sacrifice here a thousand million years ago. It's like, "Who cares? What does that have to do with spirituality, where you're really trying to get, as a human being and as a soul moving in the universe?" But I do believe in a God, yes."

I've also heard him say "I'm not an atheist because atheists are certain there is no god" on Jon Stewart, he was misled by deceptive theists as to what the actual definition of atheism is.

Apparently receiving the Richard Dawkins award and spending sometime with Dawkins has given him the opportunity to find out just how wrong he's been.

- Brian Sapient

Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

100% rationality would be nice from Maher

Nice that Bill is out and proud wrt atheism! Now if we could just get him to drop the anti-science woo garbage, which seriously poisons the man's (self)image as a rationalist...