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Oct 12 2013

Bill Maher rips into Scalia’s Satanic delusions

Maher: But somehow, the lack of Beelzebub sightings positively mystifies the leading legal mind in conservative America. Scalia says: “In the Gospels, the Devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn’t happen very much anymore …” (audience laughter)

Does anyone have any idea where that “making pigs run off a cliff” dealio came from? Because I try to stay on top of these grifters and religious fanatics for a semi-living, and it seems like several times a month something bugfuck crazy like that still comes out of nowhere, and yet turns out to have a storied etymology in the pious pews ringing Bullshit Mountain. Think how jarring that is: if it were parent-student career day at the local elem school, and a local judge came in wearing his robes presumably to talk to eager young children about legal careers, and started ranting instead about the devil being a real person who chases pigs off of cliffs, wow, you might want to pull your kid out of that school.

13 comments

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  1. 1
    SallyStrange

    And of COURSE he has to slip an insult about Bachmann’s inability to give men orgasms in there. Granted, it was a clever pun, but really? I wish I could like Maher more.

  2. 2
    daved

    I thought the dig at Bachmann was a sideways cut at her husband. I could be wrong.

  3. 3
    Al Dente

    It was a completely unnecessary sexist jab at a woman and her sexual relationship with her husband. That Bachmann is a religious nut who says God talks to her and influences her decisions is fair game for a political commentator. Making a dig at her using her husband’s rumored homosexuality is sexist.

  4. 4
    Drolfe

    Pig stuff is Matthew, Chapter 8! (Devils can possess pigs, I guess?)

  5. 5
    lanir

    Yeah, don’t care who they diddle in the bedroom. Do care who they diddle in Congress.

    Otherwise funny and apt. I don’t recognize the pig thing though and not feeling masochistic enough to hunt for “demonic” swine through the intellectual sewers I’d have to go looking in to find it.

    I think part of the turn-off when hearing things like the sexist dig at Bachman is it makes you wonder if he’s someone you actually agree with or if he’s just going for low hanging fruit and would make fun of anyone who was convenient. Kind of guessing the latter at this point.

  6. 6
    Holms

    As usual, an otherwise good point against a fair political target is marred by his inability to resist being a smug arsehole. Never liked the guy.

  7. 7
    kacyray

    Think how jarring that is: if it were parent-student career day at the local elem school, and a local judge came in wearing his robes presumably to talk to eager young children about legal careers, and started ranting instead about the devil being a real person who chases pigs off of cliffs, wow, you might want to pull your kid out of that school.

    I can dig it!

    In fact, it’s also jarring to read a post about religious batshttery, only to see the entire conversation turn toward howling accusations of sexism from the very first comment.

    When you’re a hammer, indeed the whole world looks like a nail.

  8. 8
    Reptile Dysfunction

    As I recall the story, Jesus was prevailed upon to cast out some demons
    from a person who would now be called delusional or psychotic. The
    demons left the unfortunate person & took over a herd of swine.
    Scalia probably thinks that The Exorcist was a documentary.

  9. 9
    prodegtion

    I thought it was absolutely hilarious. If that was sexist, then there’s nothing wrong with being sexist.

    Maher is wrong on vaccines, but otherwise I think he’s awesome.

  10. 10
    kmg50

    Is this the same Bill Maher who rejects the germ theory of disease?
    Just askin’.

  11. 11
    sambarge

    kmg50 – I agree with about 70% of what Maher says. The germ theory stuff is obviously problematic but understandable given that he lives in California (where “WOO” is the state leading manufactured product) and has no scientific training. I’m far more concerned at his casual misogyny but whatever. Being wrong about one thing doesn’t make him wrong about everything.

  12. 12
    lorn

    I suspect the “seeing a man come” was less a reference to her husband or sexual desirability, she has kids, than a reference to oral sex and her probable ‘plain vanilla’, highly conventional, thinking about sex and sexual propriety. IMHO it is an apt enough assumption as Palin does, given a choice, seem to consistently accept the most hackneyed and unimaginative interpretation and options available to her.

    It has been noted that conservatives seek to avoid novelty. IMHO many of Palin’s most egregious gaffs and ridiculous pronouncements have their origins in her adherence to the least imaginative and most literal interpretation of religious and political theory possible even when reality and accepted fact blatantly disagree with her interpretation. Her’s is a world without nuance or option for interpretation.

    Thinking that sex has to be one way and between only two people of differing gender is entirely consistent. Making fun of that rigidity and lack of imagination is both allowed, and funny.

  13. 13
    brucemartin

    The supposed operative verse in Matthew is this:
    8:32 And he said unto them [the devils], Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

    This supposedly took place “near” the lake known as the Sea of Galilee. Of course, there are three or four towns in the area that various people think might have been the location, mostly on the eastern shore, up to 5 or 10 km away.

    But if you look at the Google terrain map and Street View, it is clear that there is no cliff near the water. The pigs could have run down a gentle slope to the shore and walked in to the water.

    Modern records show pigs swimming 4 or 5 miles with no bad effects, despite the supertition that they would cut their own throats if they tried to swim. So even if Jesus had indeed granted the devils’ request to travel inside pigs, the pigs could have run down to the shore (if they didn’t die of exhaustion going several miles to get to the shore) and then swam around for pleasure in the Sea of Galilee, perhaps choosing to swim to the other side. In other words, rather than killing the devils, it appears that Jesus helped them to escape, if the story were even possible.

    And this is the BEST evidence since the fable of Job for the existence of any devils, despite Scalia’s ravings.

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