Riffing off of Ryan Reynolds’ recent apology for getting married at a former slave plantation, the Real Time pointed out that the hero of the New Testament wasn’t always on the right side of the slavery debate, either.
In multiple passages of the Bible — Colossians 3:22, Ephesians 6:5 and Peter 2:18, according to Maher — Christ encourages slaves to “submit to your masters.”
No one is perfect, Maher reminded, especially in America where, “We’re all six degrees from genocidal assh*les. If we start turning history into a game of guilt by association it never ends.”
He then gave some examples.
“The stock exchange is 2 miles from New York’s first slave market.”
“The country itself is named after a slave trader named Amerigo.”
“Washington and Jefferson are also up for cancellation because they owned slaves.”
If being a product of your time is really no excuse, he suggested, the reexamination needs to go all the way to the top.
“If we’re gonna be consistent,” said the Real Time host, I think we’re going to cancel God.”
But none of this is realistic, said Maher. “We can’t just pack up our government and pretend this country never happened.”
And we’re no better than these people just because we have the benefit of hindsight, he said. “You’re not better than Jesus, or Ulysses S Grant because you lived later.”
Maher’s solution? Stop looking back.
“Here’s a crazy idea: Let’s live in the present and make the future better,” he suggested.
Watch a portion of Maher’s New Rules below.