Is Bill O’Reilly On Our Side Now? November 13, 2010

Is Bill O’Reilly On Our Side Now?

***Update***: Here’s a clip of the segment (Thanks, Pengui!):

On his show Wednesday, Bill O’Reilly discussed the American Humanist Association’s Consider Humanism campaign with Juliet Huddy.

Here’s how it went down according to the O’Reilly Factor website:

Juliet Huddy came in to look at some attention-getting videos. One of them was a commercial from The American Humanist Association, an atheist group. The Factor actually defended atheists: “I don’t think most Americans of faith look at atheists as immoral. I don’t.” Huddy was surprised: “You don’t?” The Factor replied “No, it’s a belief system. And we in America can choose what we want to believe or not.” Huddy pointed out that some people did feel a certain way about atheists: “I think that there definitely is a group within those who are religious who are judgmental about other people if they don’t subscribe to their feelings.” Later, The Factor played a commercial for a religious theme park that reenacted Jesus’ crucifixion twice a day. Huddy knew of at least one group that probably wouldn’t want to visit: “You don’t want to bring your humanists to this fun park, I don’t think. This isn’t the place for them.”

What’s not included in that description is even better.

O’Reilly apparently played one of the AHA’s ads dealing with the following message:

The Bible quotation is from 1 Timothy 2:12.

O’Reilly began saying this was just a bunch of atheists quoting from the Old Testament… until he caught his mistake and said something like (according to one reader), “Wait, Timothy, oh, that is the New Testament,” and then he completely dropped that line of thought and moved on.

Someone please find me video of that exchange!

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Catinthewall

    The amateur typesetter in me is wincing at the “sub-mission” bolded and divided. Plenty of ways to re-align the text so it’s not broken up.

  • Dea

    Awesome! So many christian’s seem to think the worst of the bible is in the old testament – not true at all!

  • idahogie

    Nobody who claims that atheism is just another belief system is on our side. He meant to belittle atheism.

  • Yea.. I was thinking that it was a secondary mission when I read that.

  • I have a nasty feeling he’s trying to set things up so he can decry atheism as a faith later on – he did call it a belief system. And I wonder if he’d have played that ad if it hadn’t mentioned marriage as being between men and women.

    It’s probably just me…but I can’t shake the habit of looking for the expression of any religious pundit’s weasel gene. They’re basically advertising for their faith as a job – if this is as good as it looks, then great! But it looks too good to be true.

  • Brice Gilbert

    The debate is not weather atheists can hold a belief (or lack of) as that is obvious. The question is are Atheists less than other beliefs? AKA do I think of them the same way I think of racists?

  • a religious theme park that reenacted Jesus’ crucifixion twice a day

    I’m just cringing over this. Is that for real? Tell me kids aren’t allowed.

    As for Reilly, I fear it’s most likely something like Aegis says. Or so he can play the broad-minded (hilariously) card if we decry something like that theme park?

    (Please, please tell me that something that gruesome isn’t for real or at least is not open to kids.)

  • I suspect O’Reilly has grudging respect for atheists. Whenever Lori Lipman Brown (then representing the Secular Coalition) was on his show, he was respectful to her, even friendly.

    In these days of Beck, simple tolerance within the conservative media is a giant leap for humanist-kind.

  • It is for real, fucking A!!! Okay, now, I’m sorry that’s child abuse!!! Are these the same whackjobs that decry violent video games?

  • CiaranSidheag

    @muggle,

    Unfortunately, the jesus theme park is entirely too real. It was featured in Bill Maher’s Religulous. Here’s a link to the holyland experience’s website so you can see the horror for yourself:

    http://www.holylandexperience.com/

    Cheers 🙂

  • ethinethin

    @muggle,

    It’s nothing new. When I was a child in the 80’s, my family went to Heritage USA (of Jim Bakker fame) where there was a similar daily reenactment of the crucifixion and resurrection. As a 4 year old, I knew it was an actor and not really Jesus, but it was so convincing that I really thought they drove nails into the actor’s wrists.

  • jose

    What I see here is the classic you have faith in atheism.

  • Richard Wade

    Is Bill O’Reilly On Our Side Now?

    No.

    Bill O’Reilly is, always has been, and always will be ONLY on his own side, and no one else’s, ever, no matter what the issue, no matter what is at stake, no matter what he says or does.

    He is so very much on his own side, he’s on his own inside. His head is so far up his own ass, he can see daylight coming in from his mouth. The only reason his head doesn’t finally emerge out of his own mouth is because he’s so full of shit he can’t quite make it. He’s the human/rectal version of an Ouroboros.

  • Defiantnonbeliever

    O’reilly has given interviews to those who oppose theocracy while many other media have denied them a voice, so I have to respect him for that even if I distrust his motives.

    The O’reilly lier aside, I don’t see how the humanist inclusion of the word sacred, isn’t anything but counterproductive.

  • I have a vid on my website that shows an excited look on O’reilly’s face as he recites the growing Atheist stats around the world.

  • Nordog

    Richard,

    While I would have worded it somewhat less colorfully than you did, your take on O’Reilly is on the mark in my opinion.

    As a politically conservative sort, I don’t like O’Reilly at all, though I do see his show occasionally. I can’t even watch Beck.

  • fritzy

    I kind of agree with O’Reilly–I think the Xtains that believe that atheists are immoral or amoral are a relatively small but unfortunately vocal minority in our society. People that fall into this category tend to be insulated from exposure to non-believers and I’d like to believe, are a dying breed. Unfortunately, those renaining also appear to be tenacious, prone to violence (or at least not averse to it if they percieve it as necessary to sustain themselves and their beliefs against the percieved threat of secularization) and blame us, the atheists for the secularizing trend.

    As for this gem:

    O’Reilly began saying this was just a bunch of atheists quoting from the Old Testament… until he caught his mistake and said something like (according to one reader), “Wait, Timothy, oh, that is the New Testament,” and then he completely dropped that line of thought and moved on

    That’s O’Reilly’s typical “go to” line. It’s always about how we quote mine and cherry-pick from the Old Testament. Somehow, many xtians have become comfortable dismissing something considered distasteful in their bible in this manner. That O’Reilly does not see the irony or hypocricy in his own cherry-picking is as telling as it is banal in the world of modern xtianity. Of course, I would imagine there is a certain amount of biblical ignorance on O’Reilly’s part when he made this mistake. He is Catholic, after all. I have always suspected that his religion is largely peripheral in his life and he is only as xtian as his audience requires him to be. I’d love to hear the transcript as well–I kind of wonder if one of his producers didn’t have to point out his error to him.

  • fritzy

    As for what Richard said–I couldn’t have stated it better myself. O’Reilly is in this game for O’Reilly. He has no priciples beyond what will get him listeners/viewers. He is his own bigest fan and would proclaim that aborted human fetuses should be our new universal currency if suddenly, in some “Bizzaro universe” leaking into ours event, he discovered this is what would increase his viewership and therefore line his pockets.

  • 0Megabyte

    But is that really that bad? I’d rather deal with someone who was on their own side, with purely mercenary motives, than a True Believer in pretty much anything any day.

  • ethinethin, that is utterly and entirely horrifying. I googled to see and found the horror, CiaranSidheag. This morning. I’m still shuddering.

    I thought I heard some hellfire and brimstone stuff when I was a kid but I guess I’ve been fortunate enough not to have been in any church that graphic. Guess it would take legislation or something to protect kids from this bullshit; meanwhile, they complain about video games or that kiddies might actually hear some cuss.

  • PaperCat

    About 15 years ago the Catholics started doing crucifixion re-enactments during Lent during mass. The actors would lead “Jesus” to a not so visible spot at the rear of the church where they would hammer loudly on the fake cross as the Jesus actor would cry out. Then they would carry the entire structure with the Jesus guy tied on for us to see. You could hear many people gasp during the hammering. They were quite moved. Explain that to the kids! I guess they figure that everyone likes a live nativity for Christmas, why not an execution for Easter?

  • Dan W

    I agree with Richard as well. O’Reilly’s on his own side, which on a few occasions happens to correspond with our side. Most of the time his views are batshit crazy though.

  • Charles Miller

    “Unfortunately, the jesus theme park is entirely too real,” said CiaranSidheag. Do you want to wipe out all Christian-based entertainment, to include music, films, etc? Look, they have a right to entertain themselves, period. And their creed says they are supposed to tell people about their belief. It’s what they do.

  • Steve

    That theme park is less about entertainment and more about brainwashing children. That’s why it’s problematic. Christian entertainment for adults may be dumb in some aspects, but fairly harmless compared to that.

  • Lost Left Coaster

    I can’t stand O’Reilly, but I was pleasantly surprised by this video segment. I think that two things may be at play here: one, the continual outreach by the AHA and other organizations is starting to get through to him, and he is, in fact, starting to be more accepting and tolerant of nonbelievers. And two, I think that O’Reilly is possibly more content these days to be the “sane” one (it’s all relative) on Fox News now that Glenn Beck has fallen into babbling, drooling lunacy.

  • siveambrai

    I am sad to realize that I now consider O’Reilly more understandable now than I did 10 years ago. I remember thinking that he was the worst thing to have happened to political media ever…. little did I know how far we would slip.

  • Charles, “entertain” themselves all they want but don’t subject kids to something that grusome. That’s all I’m objecting to even though I’d find that fucked up even for adults, frankly. Kids should not be traumatized with it. Period. Bad enough they’re read the stories without the grusome visualization. (Or audio as in papercat’s example.)

    Then the hypocrites rant about the violence in movies and video games being rained down on children’s heads. Well, you know what, you don’t get to scream about that when you’re doing this. When you make the buybull R-rated, we’ll talk about the rest.

    So glad I raised my daughter without religion and that she and his father are raising the grandson without it also.

  • Recognition that Atheists are not inherently immoral is nice, but Bill O’Reilly on our side? Yeah, no.