First, before we get into the details, who are the players in this little piece of Shakespearian drama?
Bill O’Reilly is the host of the political commentary program The O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, which is (so they claim) the most watched cable news television program on American television … and least you wonder, yes Fox News do tend to embrace a rather blatant right-wing bias, so much so that they can at the best of times be described at the unofficial Republican spin doctors.
Dave Silverman is the current president of the American Atheists, a non-profit organization that supports the rights of atheists and the removal of expressions of religion in public when possibly interpretable as governmental endorsement.
As for context, well one topic that makes the news at this time of year are the objections from non-believers to the promotion of religion in a public space. Least you wonder, the US was never a “Christian” nation … ever, it was founded as a secular republic that had a wall of separation between the state and any and all belief systems. As an aside this perhaps explains why the US has such a diversity of belief, people have been free to believe what ever they wish. Now least you wonder about the “In God we trust” on US currency, well that is recent, it only appeared on U.S. coins since 1864 and on paper currency since 1957 and has its origins in the thought that God is on the side of those that supported the Union, and so it was just some PR that came about as part of the US Civil War.
Anyway, back to now, some religious folks have been decorating public spaces (schools, court houses, etc..) with religious symbols using public funds and the secular minded have been objecting. The line is clear, if you wish to decorate your own house, church or temple, using your own money then that’s fine, but once you move into the public space you are attempting to nurture special privilege for a specific variation of belief. Once you start down that road you soon find exclusion on the basis of belief and that breaches a very basic human right, freedom of thought.
So Bill, quite rightly, has Dave on to interview him about all this, and of course being a political commentator he gave a fairly balanced impartial and fair interview …. er no, and that is why this interview about an item in the news became the news itself.
Here are a few of the WTF moments from the lips of Bill O’Reilly…
- 01:01 : Christianity, “that’s not a religion, that’s a Philosophy“
- 01:41 : “It is a fact that Christianity is not a Religion, it is a Philosophy”
- 04:20 : “Your view is insane” … says the guy whose view is quite frankly insane.
- 04:46 : “You and your merry band of fascists” … says the guy whose belief system shoves religion down our throats each and every day
Folks such as Mr O’Reilly do indeed have the right to their own opinion, but they don’t get to have their own facts, or attempt to cloud the issue by spouting complete and utter bullshit, This is not really a surprise, it is after all Fox News we are dealing with here, the place where an “interview” usually involves trampling everyone else’s words in a stampede of hateful ignorant twaddle.