The Blaze, operated under the auspices of Glenn Beck, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, informs us that the incident took place during a recent appearance by Maher on the Ed Show. Guest host Michael Eric Dyson asked Maher if he thought the Republican base could put their faith in a candidate who is a Mormon. Maher said No, then responded thusly:
That’s what’s going to be so interesting is when Rick Perry in sly and underhanded and no fingerprints methods starts putting out the idea, which is a true idea by the way, that Mormons are not really Christians. You know, once America, which is a very Christian nation, finds that out, I think they’ll have a, certainly in the Evangelical part of the country, those folks, they will not be very fond of Mitt Romney.
Once they find out that Jesus Christ is like third in the hierarchy there. Really was about Joseph Smith. Actually, Mormonism is closer to Islam because in Islam Jesus is also a revered figure. He’s a wonderful prophet. He’s just not the ultimate prophet. You know, he’s like the middle act. He’s certainly not the headliner.
Not only does he regurgitate the tired old canard that a Mormon can't become president, but he actually insists in the body of his response that Mormons aren't Christians. Then in the second paragraph, he openly lies about Mormon doctrine, falsely claiming that Jesus Christ comes "third".
The name of the church clearly indicates that Jesus Christ is the "headliner"; Mormons are indisputably and undeniably Christian. By the way, although Bill Maher was born a Jew, he now considers himself an atheist.
This is the main reason why FAIR launched the Mormon Defense League website -- to counter inaccuracies and outright smears like those uttered by Maher. In a serious society, celebrities like Bill Maher would be nothing more than passing ships in the night. But in our celebrity-obsessed society, these people have more influence than they deserve.
And they deserve a vigorous rebuttal.