Famous comedian, actor, and atheist, Patton Oswalt called out fellow atheists Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins comparing them to the Westboro Baptist Church.
In a recent interview by Salon News’ editor David Daley, Patton Oswalt describes the behavior and views of Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher as similar to those of the Westboro Baptist Church. Oswalt’s statement was part of their discussion on the political correctness of some of his jokes.
Patton Oswalt was asked to comment on Maher’s recent aggressive expressions on religion, particularly Islam, and he responded without holding back. “I feel, as an atheist, about people like Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher the way that Christians must feel about Fred Phelps.” He additionally explains his basic idea of atheism: It’s the disbelief of any religion but at the same time having the morals to respect what others believe in and try not to attack, destroy, or defame it.
Patton Oswalt similarly disapproves of atheists who lump together religious communities. He highlighted the fact that people often tend to blame religion for the wars, crimes, and violence when it fact, it’s the result of unstable people with unstable minds. “Those people started wars because they were unstable idiots. They stumbled across this religion thing, but if they hadn’t found that book, they would have found something else.” He also commented on what he calls “this litmus test, where if you do not agree on every single point, then we can’t talk,” frustrated that such a cultural standard persists.
Patton Oswalt is an actor, writer, and stand-up comedian. He currently appears on ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Among his favorite entertainment topics include most American issues from politics, daily lifestyle, and excessive materialism, as well as religion, including atheism.
Richard Dawkins is a prestigious British evolutionary biologist, atheist, and writer. He became popular through his gene-centered view of evolution and coined the genetic/scientific term “meme.” As a firm believer of genetic evolution, Dawkins proudly considers himself an atheist. His controversial book The God Delusion (Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in Religious Philosophy) claims that religious beliefs of a creator or superior beings are false and delusional. According to him, religion itself is entirely false.
Bill Maher is a TV host and commentator. Known for his HBO program, Real Time with Bill Maher, the TV host is known for his no-holds-barred style of relentlessly aggressive news analysis and commentary. Like Dawkins and Patton Oswalt, he is also an atheist. He became the subject of criticism recently when he made aggressive remarks to the Islam religion and its connection to terrorism in a debate on his show with Ben Affleck. Commenting on the Charlie Hebdo incident while in a Jimmy Kimmel interview, Maher claimed Muslims “applaud an attack like this. What they say is: ‘We don’t approve of violence, but you know what? When you make fun of the prophet, all bets are off.” Patton Oswalt accused Maher “of discounting all of the moderate, progressive, intelligent, horrified Muslims.”
The Westboro Baptist Church is known for its hardline conservatism and devotion to its Christian beliefs. They became widely known for protesting funerals of soldiers and at various LGBT events. The group formerly headed by Fred Phelps has no formal affiliations with other major Baptist denominations of today. The Westboro Baptist Church is often labeled a hate group among American citizens. The group is vehemently anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and anti-Islam.