Many people have asked me over the years how I as a christian can be a Howard Stern fan. I have hardly thought the question worth answering because to me it's a loaded question and absurd. Usually people that ask this question have already pronounced a judgement on Howard yet never even heard him on the radio for a full show and they assume you have to agree with everything he says and does in order to be a fan. It comes off as very condescending and judgemental, which is an attitude that alienates many people of faith to later come to revile faith. A more respectful approach is to try to understand the person before casting judgement, yet who really has the right to cast the first stone?
For example, in the 1990's the crew on the Howard Stern Show gave little thought to religious matters. For the most part, the main cast of characters often answered they were all atheists because they associated religion with their persecutors and censors. Things started changing a bit in the early 2000's when Howard and Robin Quivers, his sidekick, started going to psychotherapy and working on their depression, anger and narcissistic issues. This process made them a bit more introspective and open in discussing matters of religion. Robin has since stopped going to therapy yet always seeks alternative methods of dealing with the issues in her life (to the point where she once experimented in Wicca, but now is very much involved in promoting veganism), while Howard daily practices Transcendental Meditation and goes to therapy three days a week.
What we do know about Howard's religious history is that he grew up in a Jewish-American household in Roosevelt, New York. He was raised in Conservative Judaism, though his parents had some very liberal tendencies. As such he studied the Torah and was Bar Mitzvahd. After this he hardly ever practiced Judaism though still had a certain respect for it in a cultural sense. As a fan of the Beatles, in the early 1970's he began to practice Transcendental Meditation which he has practiced daily ever since. He was encouraged to do this by his mother who was healed of her chronic depression through meditation. Recently Howard even spoke at a rally promoted by the David Lynch Foundation to encourage the practice of Transcendental Meditation in public schools. However Howard has never viewed his meditation as a religious practice, but as a means to relieve the stress in his life. In his early radio career he has admitted that he even lived in a Buddhist Monastery for a year because it provided cheap rent for him. When he was married to his first wife Alison she made sure to raise their three daughters in Reformed Judaism and Howard in recent days has stated that his daughters are very much into practicing Judaism. Howard credits their enthusiasm for the religion to the fact that they grew up in a Reformed tradition, opposed to his upbringing which he found to be too strict, archaic and close-minded causing him to be totally turned-off to religion for the deep scars it left on his psyche. It was his rebellion to such close-mindedness in religion and public policy that inspired him to be more open-minded and honest on the radio. Over the years this approach caused much controversy from conservative and religious groups, giving him more fuel to excel in his novel broadcasting method. Being hated caused him to hate back with a vengeance making him the most successful radio broadcaster in history and the self-proclaimed "King of all Media". His hatred for religion often drew him and his crew to deny God's existence, but in more recent years things have changed. As the years go by it seems some are more open to belief in God and struggling to disassociate God from the religions that seem to only inspire hatred and repression in their view.
When I was living in the South, I had a chance to experience this attitude of right wing religious conservatives toward Howard more than I ever experienced it while living in Boston. These were the days when people like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson were denouncing Howard on their TV shows and rallying to get him off the airwaves by having people send letters of complaints to Congress and radio stations. One of the first places this campaign affected was my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. The rally became localized, to the point where some churches were preaching really corny sermons titled "What Would Jesus Say To Howard Stern?" In the Spring of 2001 Howard was cancelled unjustly to my dismay when Evangelicals for the most part boycotted the sponsors who advertized on the Howard Stern Show. After this I couldn't wait to move back to Boston, which I did a few months later. This campaign never ended until the FCC was fining Howard to the point of ridiculousness. In 2004 Howard left terrestrial radio for censor-free satellite radio, and today has somewhere between 15-20 million listeners daily making him one of the most influential voices in America.