One has to appreciate the tragic irony that in the 50th anniversary year of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley, a petition is being circulated there to disinvite the controversial Bill Maher as commencement speaker, because of his "racist and bigoted" views.
I am no fan of Bill Maher. He's an Obama supporter who favors income redistribution, race preferences, abortion, tough gun control, and the outlawing of home schooling. He dismisses conservatives as racist, Christians as mental defectives, Americans as "stupid," and the Second Amendment as "bullsh*t." I believe university students deserve a prestigious, accomplished commencement speaker with more gravitas than a foul-mouthed standup comic whose days are spent hanging out in the Playboy mansion grotto (in fact, I don't believe celebrities in general should be invited to speak at commencements).
But at least the atheist Maher has enough intellectual integrity to realize that not all religions are the same. He also has the courage to openly criticize Islam, something that a microscopically small number of public figures have the cojones to do. And let's face it: it is his position on Islam that sparked the resistance of the UC Berkeley petition, because if Maher's insults were limited to bashing Sarah Palin and Christians, no objection would have been raised.