Bill O'Reilly is an educated man; but when it comes to religion he retreats into the comfy narrow dogmatism of 1950's Catholic education which provided both questions and answers as determined by the Magisterium. Any disagreement with the script was marked with a stern reprimand. That Bill learned his lessons well is shown by his incisive theological exegesis about the divine nature of the tides, Jesus guided evolution, and atheists suck. And as a devout Catholic who has taken over the patriarchal role of looking out for us, he is distressed about a new survey which shows that belief in God, among young people, is plummeting. For Bill, this is troubling and an example of more creeping secularism which, according to Bill, is actually the fault of the American public school system which Bill reprimanded in last week's "Factor's" discussion on how kids might be, in the words of R.E.M., loosing their religion.
At the beginning of his "Impact Segment," Bill reported on Pew Research data which found that 31% of those between the ages of 18 and 29 have expressed doubts about the existence of God. Bill thinks that this means that "secularism has taken hold among younger Americans." (And this is a problem, how?) Bill was joined by guests, Michelle Fields from the right wing "Daily Caller" and liberal Leslie Marshall. Bill, in typical narcissistic fashion, noted that he predicted that this would happen because young people are "not getting the same message, that's important, from society that older Americans once got." (One wonders if Bill was referring to stuff like you're going to hell if you think dirty thoughts, masturbate, have sex before marriage, are sexually attracted to members of the same sex - and if you miss Mass on Sundays - and, given the content of the phone tapes involved in his sexual harassment lawsuit, he didn't get the message about "dirty talk.")
Marshall agreed with Bill. She said that Americans "aren't taking as much time out for God, they're not teaching their kids about God." She could have mentioned that young people, who don't accept things on "faith alone," see the hypocrisy of those, like O'Reilly, who don't practice what they preach. She might have mentioned that the rampant pedophilia scandal in the Catholic Church could have an impact on religious cynicism. While she spoke, video of empty pews at a Catholic church was shown. Bill cited stats about declining Mass attendance and mentioned that he's a Catholic. He then claimed that "the public schools have a lot to do with this" because they have "wiped out spirituality" out of "all of the curriculums in public schools...they're fainting, they're throwing up, it's crazy." He didn't mention that the Supreme Court, in McCollum v Board of Education Dist. 71, declared religious instruction in public schools unconsitutional.) He proclaimed that when you combine "the media, the selfishness of society and public school abdication" you get secularism.
Fields claimed that there is a "social stigma" about religion because university professors diss Christians as those "who don't believe in science," (Check) and "who treat homosexuals as lesser beings." (Big check there because evangelical Christianity and Catholicism are ground zero for homophobia albeit with Catholicism condemning gay sex but not being gay.) Aside - she works for the Daily Caller which is run by Tucker Carlson who has mocked gay soldiers, doesn't want school curriculums to include gay history, and who doesn't support anti-bullying programs which talk about gay bashing. Bill wanted to know if this alleged Christian mocking is "indoctrination" or "a secular argument overwhelming the traditional religious argument." She responded that it's "indoctrination" because "it's not true" and that religious characters in movies are "always the idiot." Marshall did disagree with Fields and noted that it's more acceptable to question the existence of God. O'Reilly said it's a matter of faith. Bill said that this secularism is what happened in Europe and (be so scared ) could happen here. Marshall got Bill creds for her belief in God.
What you won't learn from Bill O'Reilly is that those countries that are the most secular have low crime rates, high health outcomes, low teenage pregnancy, and high levels of education. Bill will never admit that the secular Scandinavian countries which are the least religious countries are the happiest. But ya gotta love how Bill, not exactly a role model for Catholicism (but then again!) says secularism is due to godlessness in the public schools. Who knew!
Schools need ta teach:
god math – (1 apple + 2 dopes = eternal damnation)
god geography – (Eden wuz back there)
god science – (rain for 40 days/nites begets new zoo )
god history – (6,001 years ago there wuz nuttin’)
god sex – (Adam’s rib made Eve so Eve can eat The Apple and be cursed)
god law – God Luvs you, so dammit! just watch out!
Then why did (s)he give us hands?
All those empty pews just prove that there IS a god….that hates the Catholic church.
When it comes to ignoring God, Bill knows what he’s talking about since he ignored the commandment, Thou Shall not Covet Thy Assistant Producer.
To that last statement, I’d love to see (and hear) how Mel Gibson would react to that comment. I have a feeling she’s only thinking (if I might use that word in its loosest sense) about how Christian fundamentalists are handled. Films like “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Exorcist,” and even “The Last Temptation of Christ” treated “religious characters” as anything but idiots (okay, the first movie’s “religious characters” were largely “Satanists” but the only folks who would think they were “the idiots” were people who honestly believed that Satanists acted like that). I’d really like to know what SPECIFIC films Fields is referring to. There are a whole horde of films that present scientists as idiots (when they’re not portrayed as “madmen”); I’ve never heard of any legitimate film with a title like “The Absent-Minded Priest” or “The Nutty Rabbi” but Disney had “The Absent-Minded Professor” and, of course, “The Nutty Professor.”
Are there films where “religious characters” are presented as “idiots?” Well, of course there are. But, that’s only because there are “deeply devout” idiots in real-life as well. Just as idiots come in all shapes and sizes, movies tend to reflect that. Now if she’s spending all her time watching films that ONLY show idiotic religious characters, that’s her problem. Maybe she just needs to go broaden her filmgoing horizons. Let her go watch some films like “Psycho” or “Aliens” or "Dracula or “The Ten Commandments.” None of those films have “religious characters” who are “idiots.” The first film seems to lack any “religious characters” but has a couple of idiots—most notably Janet Leigh*—and the second film is filled with idiots but none of whom are really especially “religious” in nature. The third film does have a “religious character” who just happens to also be a scientist (and he’s pretty much the key to defeating Dracula) while the last film presents the basic idea of “my religion is better than yours” (in the process, it makes the Egyptians’ “religious characters” come off as “idiots” but I’m sure Fields doesn’t object to THAT).
I only identify Janet Leigh as an idiot because who the hell stops at a motel that is next-door to such a creepy house in the middle of nowhere? I don’t care how tired I am. Even if I’m “on the lam,” I don’t think I’d be so stupid as to stop at a place like that. (Granted—I *do have the luxury of having seen enough movies where a character does make such an insane decision and ends up being turned into a dead body but, then again, they remade “The Hitcher” less than a decade ago, despite DECADES of people being warned against picking up strangers.)
Yeah, ‘cause the best place for teaching about God is the public schools. On the other hand, according to the right-wingers, they aren’t the proper forum for sex education. Got to hand it to right-wingers for their (in)consistency when it comes to the public schools.