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Bill Maher's Tim Tebow tweet sparks calls for HBO boycott

December 27, 2011 |  4:11 pm

Bill Maher's tweet draws fire.

Bill Maher has run afoul of religious conservatives yet again, after a Christmas Eve tweet the comedian sent about overtly religious Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Following a 40-14 Broncos' loss to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday, Maher tweeted, "Wow, Jesus just... #TimTebow  bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler 'Hey, Buffalo's killing them'. (Adult language has been removed from the Tweet.)

Predictably, the dig from the atheist comedian didn't go over well with Christians. Fox Business' "Follow the Money" host Eric Bolling got things rolling with his Twitter response: "Bill Maher is disgusting vile trash. I can't even repeat what he just tweeted about Tebow..on Christmas Eve. #straighttohellBill."

Others have called for a boycott of HBO, which is the home of Maher's show, "Real Time." This wouldn't be the first time Maher's words have raised the ire of those on the opposite end of the political spectrum. There are regular calls for Maher's ouster from HBO. It happened in July, following a frank discussion of "hate sex" with Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. And in 2008, following comments about Pope Benedict XVI.

Will taking on Tebow be a bridge too far for Maher? Doubtful — but it is interesting to consider that the "Real Time" host wasn't just taking on an exceedingly popular quarterback; he was also mocking the best-selling religious author of 2011. According to Yahoo! Sports, Tebow's 2011 memoir "Through My Eyes" has 475,000 copies in print, with many more expected to be sold after the season.

Of course, considering Maher made a documentary critical of religion titled, "Religulous," he probably wouldn't have changed a thing.

"Real Time With Bill Maher" returns to HBO on January 13.

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—Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Bill Maher. Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

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