Bill Maher, the agnostic comedian, wrote and starred in a documentary that painted Christianity and other forms of faith as a mash-up of the words religion and ridiculous.
Released in 2008, “Religulous” spawned a tiny protest at a Canadian university and muted grumbling in the United States. Back then, in the infancy of social media, before Twitter turned performative outrage into the preferred method of seizing power, no one called for HBO or corporations to discipline Maher.
Fourteen years ago, you could write and star in a documentary with the expressed intention to offend, mock, and challenge conventional wisdom without people demanding that you lose your job.
I’m a Christian. I watched "Religulous" years ago because I’ve been a fan of the Jewish comedian for two decades. I find him funny, smart, sincere, and relatively honest. In 2010, after Maher argued that religious people were “deluded,” I wrote a column for the Kansas City Star that chastised him for, among other things, belittling the faith that inspired my mother, grandmother, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and the men who sacrificed their lives in the Civil War.
Let’s compare the way I responded to Maher to what’s happening to Kyrie Irving, the NBA star, in the aftermath of a sentence-less tweet that listed a religious documentary – “Hebrews to Negroes” – that many Jewish people say is offensive.
A handful of Nets season ticket-holders sat courtside at Brooklyn’s last home game wearing T-shirts that stated “fight anti-Semitism.” The fans told an ESPN reporter that the Nets should suspend Irving. Many pundits in corporate media have vilified and demonized Irving. Last night on TNT’s NBA broadcast, Shaquille O’Neal called Irving an “idiot.” Charles Barkley said the NBA should suspend Irving for the tweet. Barkley insinuated the league should have disciplined Irving for tweeting out something Alex Jones said.
A sentence-less tweet about a documentary no one is watching sparked this much outrage. Why? I tried to watch it. It’s a bad documentary. It’s boring. It’s impossible to follow. It’s three hours, 30 minutes. I made it through the first 75 minutes only because I’m a glutton for punishment.
The documentarian, Ronald Dalton, is a member of the Black Hebrew Israelites, a group of mostly black men who believe they are the true Jewish people. I don’t buy their argument. I’ve had it explained to me two or three times over the past 10 years. I don’t get it. Mostly I don’t care. It’s America. People are free to believe whatever they want.
Bill Maher thinks I’m delusional because of my Christian faith. So what? I still like him. I’ll still pray that he will be saved and come into enlightenment. There’s a long, never-ending history of Christians being persecuted across the globe. Maher’s documentary doesn’t make me feel vulnerable. It makes me want to explain and testify. That’s what I did in 2010 in my Kansas City Star column.
The only thing interesting about Ronald Dalton’s documentary is the insane overreaction to it. The overreaction makes me want to rewatch it and try to discern why a Kyrie tweet has this kind of importance.
We want to suspend Kyrie from playing basketball over a tweet that doesn’t contain one word he wrote? Really? This makes no sense.
It can’t be the doc. The doc is too easy to ignore.
My tin-foil hat tells me Kyrie is loathed by globalists and their corporate media puppets because the system is doing everything in its power to prevent Irving from inspiring other athletes to think for themselves. The system prefers LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick, athletes who do exactly what their handlers tell them to do.
Kyrie refused to take the jab. That’s his real offense. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell bullied basketball and football players into taking the experimental medical trials that were advertised as vaccines.
Pro athletes have every right to be outraged. The experimental medical trials were at best useless and at worst harmful. Irving refused to be bullied.
Judging by his retweet of Alex Jones, Irving likely heeded Jones’ warnings about the “vaccines.” Alex Jones is a threat to the globalist propaganda machine.
Kyrie is seeking information from outside the approved sources. He’s being punished for that. I like Charles Barkley. I respect Charles. I consider him a friend and a well-intentioned American.
I’m highly suspicious of any broadcaster on television who earns more than $3 or $4 million a year whose first name isn’t Tucker. Anyone making more than $10 million a year – not named Tucker – has been let into the cult. Everybody else in corporate media is basically on the waiting list to join the cult.
They all took the jab. And it’s their job to punish any high-profile person who didn’t take the jab. If Kyrie goes unpunished, the narrative gatekeepers worry that Kevin Durant or Patrick Mahomes or some other black athlete might start questioning the wisdom of his handlers.
I’ve yet to see one gatekeeper argue that Amazon should be held responsible for selling “Hebrews to Negroes.” Amazon, not Kyrie, owns the platform profiting from the documentary.