Two of the most important unstated issues here Bill Maher quotation above are 1) the kind of religion to which he refers, and 2) the nature of story-making itself as implied by Maher’s assertion that God defeating his nemesis the Devil would mean that there is no story.
Maher correctly shows that the mythical, dogmatic religions are the ultimate hustle. The focus of these dogmatic religious forms on social control via stories of the “In” group vs the “Out” group, the “Chosen” versus the “Other,” the “Saved” vs the “Damned,” the “Saints” vs the “Infidels,” the “Orthodox” vs the “Heterodox,” the “True Believers” vs the “Heretics,” etc. clearly is demonstrated by the consistent pattern of History, the alignment of special interests who profit from promoting those stories inside communities of people whom they have sought to control for political and economic benefit, and the fungible and amorphous meaning of the words and terms used to distinguish people in the “In” group versus the “Other.”
An Astrological Testament: Thoughts of a Classically Educated Autodidact on the Meaning of Astrology and the Role of Astrologer
The following essay is intended for those who would grace me with the distinct and uniquely humbling honor of entrusting me with astrological consultation. I do not take the practice of this most sacred and ancient of the human spiritual arts lightly, but rather I recognize the weighty responsibility with which I am entrusted when a client seeks out my astrological interpretations. In the last few decades, and especially so since the turn of the millennium, nearly every human being has lived through a time which may probably come to known as Great Unraveling. The impact of the Great Unraveling and its responsibility for dissolving the metaphysical underpinnings of global civilization, especially in the West, cannot be understated. Religious people of a more socially conservative bent feel more defensive, if not directly threatened, than ever as the traditional Christian churches have been experiencing a sharp fall in the numbers of their congregations. Likewise, modernist liberals have been facing embattlement as public trust and major institutions buckle under the negative impacts of widening socio-economic inequality; public support for science has been eroding and the collective political will to solve major problems has rarely appeared more enervated.