Expounding upon his keen sense of the human psyche, comedian and HBO talk-show host Bill Maher told MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough recently, “I think religion is a neurological disorder. If you look at it logically, it’s something that was drilled into your head when you were a small child. It certainly was drilled into mine at that age. And you really can’t be responsible when you are a kid for what adults put into your head.”
Further enlightening the television audience, Maher also said: “We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that. I think that religion stops people from thinking. I think it justifies crazies. I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative.”
We can all breathe a sigh of relief. Thanks to Dr. Maher, we finally know what’s wrong with those crazy religious fundamentalists: They’re mentally ill. Now all we have to do is coerce them into seeking treatment at one of their nearest mental institutions and in a few months — maybe a few years for guys like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell — all of those religious nuts will be as good as new. Almost as if they were born again.
Yeah, those fundamentalists, they’re really nutty. What with their ridiculous beliefs like, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” And how about these crazy ethics: “Don’t murder,” “Don’t steal,” “Don’t commit adultery?”
Oh, the insanity! What else could explain such clearly deviant beliefs as these except for some type of mental disorder?
Just imagine if these evil ideas were to permeate society. People treating each other with respect. No murder. No stealing. No one sleeping around on their spouse. I can’t bear to think on such a horrible outcome any longer.
It’s clear what needs to be done.
First, we need to ban all of their literature. There needs to be a widespread burning of Bibles, Torahs, Korans … if it includes any commandments from a higher being, set it ablaze.
Second, we need to round up all of these fundamentalists and force them to seek treatment. If they refuse to cooperate with the therapy, we may have to resort to extreme measures: lock them up somewhere far away and throw away the keys.
Third, the public schools should immediately start testing our kids every three years or so to make sure they show no signs of this disorder. If little Johnny shares his toys with little Billy, testing should be done immediately.
These are the early warning signs of the disorder: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. If anyone you know exhibits any or all of these traits, immediately report them to the proper authorities.
And while we’re on the subject of schools, the fourth step should be to ban all private schools, for such is the root of all evil. Children should only be placed in government-run schools where they are to be cleansed and protected from any trace of the disorder. This goes along with the great Dr. Maher’s theory that the seeds of the disorder are “drilled” into young people’s heads at an early age.
No schoolteacher should ever utter words like God, Jehovah, Jesus, Allah or any other references to some being higher than humans. Any instructor who violates this rule should be fired on the spot and forced to receive treatment. We have to cut the cancer out at the first sign.
Fifth, and most importantly, we must take measures to immediately eliminate the First Amendment reference to “freedom of religion.” It must be changed to “freedom from religion.” Only then will we truly befree.
Until these steps are taken, our society will forever be under siege by this evil disorder. We will be forever “unenlightened.” I just can’t bear the thought of such a tragic fate. God help us all.
Oh no! Did I just say that? I’ve been infected. Quick, where’s the nearest mental ward?
Adam Fowler is a senior majoring in political science. firstname.lastname@example.org