My Bill Maher Q&A: Fall, 2015

Forget Barack Obama and Donald Trump, Bill Maher is America’s most politically polarizing living figure. Whether you like him or not, Maher is one of those people you see on TV and go, “I wish I could talk to that guy, just for 15 minutes.” Not because of aligned political ideals, or because of simple celebrity, but rather, because Bill Maher is informed, convicted and unafraid to talk about his beliefs. I got my 15 minutes, thanks to Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living magazine, and those minutes were enthralling. To be honest, I could barely keep up. 

Say what you want about Mr. Maher, but you have to hand it to him: the guy is an entertainer — always on and ready to talk. Speaking of that, Warning: Explicit language!

Between Real Time with Bill Maher, HBO’s Vice, and a national stand-up tour, I’m curious: Are you so busy that you have to stop through Spokane just to pick up some legal weed?

[Laughs] Believe it or not, it’s actually legal where I live in Los Angeles. See, I have a medical marijuana card to treat my infirmity. I don’t remember what that infirmity was, but I do know that marijuana is very helpful in treating it.

Being an outspoken proponent for drug legalization, do you see Washington and Colorado as the first dominoes to fall?

We’re hopeful of that. There are some unfortunate rearguard people. Chris Christie is very much against any sort of legalized marijuana. Because, you know, he’s very disciplined about what he puts in his mouth. [Drug legalization proponents] have waited. Obama fixed the economy, healthcare, gay marriage, he opened up Cuba, he made a climate deal with China, and a nuclear deal with Iran. I’m hopeful his last thing out the door will be … Weed! “Weed, bitches!”

Turning to the 2016 presidential race, it seems like both a comedian’s goldmine and low hanging fruit. How do you maintain a balance when writing? (more…)

I broke my Facebook argument virginity and all I got was this lousy blog post

I have a hate/hate relationship with Facebook. Sure, I didn’t have to rejoin the social media giant three times. But I did. The reality is that Facebook is a necessary evil. For me? It’s a networking tool for freelancing. Also, after moving across the country, it aided me in remembering new faces and new acquaintances.

Facebook, really, isn’t evil. I try not to be an either/or type of person. I believe it’s best to live somewhere in the middle. Between the mean of two extremes, as Aristotle would tweet.

Facebook arguments, however, are evil and dumb and silly and fun to watch.

They have never settled well with me. Mean spirited. All-too-easy. Festering and sprouting at every opportunity, usually ending in a dog pile of earnest, hurt emotions.

As a veteran online-conscious being, I have abjured all temptations to join any form of online argument. Even as a political Independent. The stuff I see on Facebook (racist, ignorant, stereotype perpetuating, heavy bias journalism) makes me want to scream my fingers off. And the way people pounce on one another. Ugh.

Facebook is a daily lesson in self-restraint, certainly.

That is, until I broke my Facebook argument virginity. I caved in. I can’t even find my promise ring.

The Facebook Argument

There are many kinds of online arguments. Let’s break this down. (more…)

The Great Wave of Anti-Christian Sentiment (from Christians)

Concerning popular Christian culture, there is no doubt we are currently living in The Great Backlash. It is a time where the cool and hip Christians critique and complain about the pitfalls of Christian faith. We have fun new tools like blogging and Twitter to give us a voice we never had inside the church. In addition, we have also discovered millions who feel the same way we do.

And can you blame us?

The late 20th Century witnessed the rise of mega churches and pastor celebrities, Christian apparel, alternative approved entertainment industries (including best-selling worship albums) and the WWJD movement. In short, the Christian culture created a bubble just large enough to coalesce American consumerism into the teachings of Jesus, the church, and the Bible.

As we aged, we began to think for ourselves. We started asking questions. We wondered if we weren’t Christians, but were, instead, just another market segment. We started wondering about others, the non-us’ we loved to condemn and pray for.

In, “When We Were On Fire,” Addie Zierman writes, (more…)

5 Reasons to Stay a Christian

I fell upon a christian radio station today.

I’ll usually stay away from these shows altogether. If I want to hear talk, I’ll go AM; FM is for music. Leave me alone.

Feeling a bit curious, I let the station keep. What’s a Monday without a little risk? Historically, I’m the type to keep to myself; whatever meat mainstream christians collectively chew and spit at, I try to leave alone and let them be.

Today though, I thought I’d feel the pulse for a bit.

Gay marriage. Of course. As if it’s the only thing to talk about. As if we don’t believe in anything else. As if Christians couldn’t differ on the issue. As if. (I’m doing my best Alicia Silverstone here).

Are we wrong, are they right? I’m not sure. All I know is that this stupid fight we’ve picked is getting the best of us.

Instead of serving the world, we’re trying to rule it. We’ve become obsessed with winning arguments and asserting political agendas; personally, I’m convinced the Kingdom of God is more than just a lobbying group in Washington. It has to be.

It has to be in the streets. It has to be in our homes. It has to be living and breathing love.

Otherwise, I can live without it.

5 Reasons to Stay A Christian
(For frustrated Christians like me)

1. Jesus, Moses, God, Paul, all instruct us to love our neighbors. No agenda. Staying in community keeps us focused on this goal.

2. There are worthy causes to fight for. How do we know which is which? In peaceful protest, Jesus died for his cause. If it’s not worth your life, is it worth fighting for? Will it save another’s if you do?

3. Agreement isn’t the point; what we need is your voice. Mainstream radio, TV, and mega-churches expect us to vote, argue and tolerate what and how they do. The Family is beautiful in it’s diversity, not sameness.

4. Leaving doesn’t make the statement you think it does. Weakness is not meekness. Doors will shut, ears will close, communication will halt. Change takes time; speak as one who loves and listens.

5. Your tithe can change the world. I used to think tithing was a cop out, but money is a faithful way to serve when you can’t otherwise. These people could use your money (and time and energy as well): Potter’s House, Restore International, World Vision, The Mentoring Project, just to name a few.

I’d love to hear some feedback on this. Can arguments (like gay marriage) distract the purpose and hinder our reach? Or are they worth fighting for?