(Actually Teller is not involved in this, but I couldn’t resist playing on their bit “Penn and Tiller get killed.”)
Penn Jillette, the famous debunker, won’t say anything about Islam, because he is afraid that if he does, he will get killed. Then he has the breathtaking audacity or lack of self-reflection to try to portray his admission of this as some kind of act of moral courage, because it might please Islamic jihadists: “It might, but you have to say what you believe, even it if pleases somebody you disagree with.”
But of course he isn’t saying what he believes when it comes to Islam, and he is tacitly admitting that terrorism works by refraining from talking about Islam because of the possibility of a violent reaction.
That’s plain cowardice.
Note, however, that although he has contempt for Christianity, he refuses to play any fashionable moral equivalence games, and instead acknowledges that Christians generally don’t react to his scorn the way Muslims would.
Are there any groups you won’t go after? We haven’t tackled Scientology because Showtime doesn’t want us to. Maybe they have deals with individual Scientologists–I’m not sure. And we haven’t tacked Islam because we have families.
Meaning, you won’t attack Islam because you’re afraid it’ll attack back … Right, and I think the worst thing you can say about a group in a free society is that you’re afraid to talk about it–I can’t think of anything more horrific.
Of course, it might please some Islamic fundamentalists to hear you say that you won’t talk about them because you’re afraid … It might, but you have to say what you believe, even it if pleases somebody you disagree with–that issue comes up all the time in moral discourse.
You do go after Christians, though … Teller and I have been brutal to Christians, and their response shows that they’re good fucking Americans who believe in freedom of speech. We attack them all the time, and we still get letters that say, “We appreciate your passion. Sincerely yours, in Christ.” Christians come to our show at the Rio and give us Bibles all the time. They’re incredibly kind to us. Sure, there are a couple of them who live in garages, give themselves titles and send out death threats to me and Bill Maher and Trey Parker. But the vast majority are polite, open-minded people, and I respect them for that….