Gee, why is Bill Maher, a comedian by trade and host of "Real Time" on the HBO cable network, now considered expert on religion?
Is it because he's an outspoken Atheist, and lots of Atheists consider themselves masters on the subject, especially where it concerns Christianity?
Let's see, he has a B.A. in English from Cornell... that qualifies him to be an authority on Religion, Philosophy and Ancient Languages, yep!
Bill Maher has most recently been noteworthy for his little pseudo-documentary called "Religulous", which, several years ago, played to partially packed movie houses for a couple of weeks.
A key point of his poking a finger at religion was his regurgitation of an old claim that Jesus is a mythological invention based on the Egyptian god, Horus. Let's examine where this actually came from:
The Egyptian God Horus was first discovered in modern times as hieroglyphics which were inscribed circa 2500 BC. The current claim about Jesus being Horus comes from the film "Zeitgeist" (a conspiracy film that is so bad it's been limited to running on YouTube and occasionally in art house theaters). "Zeitgeist's" section on Christainity relies almost exclusively on the work of pseudo-scholar Acharya S (whose real name is Donna Murdock. It's ironic that this supposed "expert" publishes her books under a pseudonym). Donna Murdock's claim about Jesus being Horus relies almost solely on the claims the of Gerald Massey, a 19th Century English poet and dabbler in mysticism.
Massey claimed to be an Egyptologist, and first pointed at Jesus being an imitation of Horus. Massey's work has been universally panned by modern Egyptologists. Ironically, Donna Murdock's books have also been panned by secular history scholars. The fact is, there is almost no resemblance between Jesus and the Egyptian god Horus. This popular myth has been floating around the internet and was once more popularized comedian Bill Maher.
A simple fact-check, which so many atheists seem unwilling to do, reveals the Jesus-Horus connection to be bogus.
Here is what is known about Horus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horus
I guess Mr Maher's education at Cornell didn't include verifying sources before opening his mouth and making a fool of himself. Unfortunately, too many Atheists still believe this hogwash, because many of them also believe the rest of the spurious claims from "Zeitgeist", which is a Thanksgiving feast for deluded tinfoil hat conspiratards.
Ignorance is bliss, and people like Bill Maher seem to enjoy spreading it around to his uninformed audience.