352. Bill Maher: Mr. Liberal

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Being controversial is a right every American has, and William 'Bill' Maher uses that right about as well as any other person in the country. Maher is an actor, comedian, political satirist, and talk show host. He was born in New York City in 1958 into a Roman Catholic family, but today he calls himself an agnostic. One of the first instances where Maher questioned Catholicism was when his father stopped taking him and his sister when he was 13. He discovered his father was angry at the church because of their stance against birth control. His father has become an outspoken person against all organized religions ever since.

Maher is currently the host of the HBO show "Real Time with Bill Maher." It is a highly-rated, late night show that has received many Emmy nominations for excellence. It is a controversial show where emotions run high between Maher and his guests. Maher speaks his mind, and this has been a source of trouble over the years, but it has also earned him praise.

In 2001, Maher came under criticism for his comments about the terrorist attacks on the United States in September of that year. President George W. Bush had publicly called the attackers "cowards," to which Maher took exception. Maher stated on his show that the real cowards were the Americans. "We have been the cowards," said Maher. "Lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away; that's cowardly." He later said he was not criticizing the American military, but only pointing out that America plays a large role in Middle East politics.

Maher has also made enemies among religious organizations. He says he dislikes religion, which he calls an unnecessary bureaucracy between people and God. He was once very liberal about every religion, but has changed his views on Islam saying he knows of no other religion that calls for the death of anyone who criticizes their religion. He has also called the Mormon church ridiculous.

          

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