Christian Coalition founder Ralph Reed went deep into unfriendly territory Friday night, engaging liberal atheist Bill Maher on Maher's HBO show "Real Time."
"A lot of people who are people of faith don't even want to be seen with me because I am the opposite of a person of faith," Maher told Reed, "so I appreciate your courage."
He then asks if Reed believes the Bible to be literally true, and when Reed says he does, Maher pulls out a list of offensive Bible passages.
Maher hits Reed on Bible passages covering everything from slavery to sex outside of marriage, but Reed takes much of it in stride.
"What did Jesus say when he was presented with the adulteress and the people who wanted to stone her to death cited that verse?" Reed responded to Maher's bringing up Old Testament rules on adultery. "He got down on his knees and he wrote in the dirt, 'We believe the sins of all those present,' and he said, 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.'"
(Content warning: strong language)
"Why did Jesus need to come along to correct his dad?" Maher asked later, hung up on the distinction between Old and New Testament.
"Because humankind is fallen," Reed answered.
One of Maher's main contentions was that the Bible seems to be hit-and-miss.
"If it's perfect, all of it should be perfect!" Maher argued.
Reed told Maher he was being "very selective" with his Bible passages, and made the ultimate case that true Christianity is not about rules and regulations.
"You're not going to get to Heaven by observing do's and don'ts and rules," Reed said. "You're going to get to Heaven by a personal relationship with God through his son."
Maher's final response: "I just didn't know that's how it worked, that Jesus had to come along to say to him, 'Dad, your s*** is whack.'"
Featured image: screengrab via YouTube
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