Bill Maher compares fraternities to ISIS: “a cult is a cult.”

Bill Maher Compares Fraternities to ISIS: “A Cult is a Cult”

Bill Maher Compares Fraternities to ISIS: “A Cult is a Cult”

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March 22 2015 12:54 PM

Bill Maher Compares Fraternities to ISIS: “A Cult is a Cult”

Bill Maher went off on fraternity culture in his show this week, saying that before President Obama leaves office he “must send in the national guard to desegregate America’s last bastion of societal-approved racism.” And for those who complain? “Sorry brah, from now on if you’re going to want to live with 40 dudes and hold secret homoerotic ceremonies you’re going to have to join the seminary.”

Maher says that it’s always seemed strange that while everyone seems to value political correctness on campus, “smack in the middle are frat houses, these little Vatican cities of depravity that seem to enjoy diplomatic immunity from civilization.”

And while fraternities do plenty of bad things, there’s likely nothing worse than the way “they take young people at the exact moment when they should be learning to be individuals and turn them into shit-eating orders-following group thinkers,” says Maher.

“Jesus, why not just pledge ISIS?” Maher wonders. “Hey, a cult is a cult, and that’s what a frat is—a place where they strip you of your personality and rebuild it in their image. That’s why when a girl says, ‘I’m dating a frat guy,’ no one ever says, ‘Oh yeah, what’s he like?’”

The host of Real Time knows some people only need to say one word to defend fraternities: tradition. “Yes, so was throwing virgins in a volcano for a while,” Maher said. “And if you think tradition is a good enough reason to paint your face, degrade women or drink yourself sick—or if you think a good place for a bottle rocket is your ass—then maybe college isn’t for you to begin with.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.