I have read a review of Bill Maher's movie "Religulous" on Catholic Exchange. If I did it right, you can click on the title of this post to see the review. I agree with the reviewer on all accounts except one. He refered to Mr. Maher as an agnostic. I saw him on the view the other day, and I believe Mr. Maher described himself as an atheist.
Maybe it seems nitpicky, but to me, the difference seems vast. Agnostics are people who admit that they do not know if God exists or not. At best, they were uncatechized in their youth, maybe even in adulthood. At worst, they had hard lives, and can't reconcile a loving God with a God that let's bad things happen. And of course, who wants to believe in an unloving God.
But I can't picture someone who says they don't know if there is a God blatantly making fun of those who believe in God. It takes the hubris of the atheist to do that.
I truly can find love in my heart for the agnostic. I am not agnostic because people who I love and trust taught me about God. God has spoken to me through loving parents, wise teachers, knowledgeable clergy, and caring friends. It is through their care and guidance that I have learned to discern the whisperings of the Holy Spirit in my heart. God used these people to carry me to Him, and I am grateful. My heart aches for those who have not had these blessings.
But I confess, I find it difficult to love the atheist. The one who claims to know their is no God must believe we as humans are somehow the epitome of the universe. That is hubris. When you look at a mountain, or put your feet in the sea, and breathe in air that sustains life in perfect proportion to your ability to survive, don't you just know that someone greater than any human being designed things this way? Doesn't it take more blind faith to believe that this is all accicental, than to believe in a creator? I just don't understand.
I do hope that Mr. Maher one day returns to the faith of his youth, because I know that God hasn't stopped loving him. I pray for his return to faith, because I know that God wants that. And the angels would rejoice. Surely the angels deserve a good party...