Bill O’Reilly’s casual ignorance is something to behold.
O’Reilly–who’s having a much hyped interview with President Obama pre-Super Bowl today–prides himself on being a devout Catholic, and never mind that he’ll go against his Catholic Church by calling for someone’s execution, as did in playing judge, jury and God about the Wikileaks guy. But like so many other Fox News keepers of Christianity he gets all Catholicy and teachy and preachy about his church’s teachings on abortion and sanctity of life.
Years ago he casually dismissed Pope John Paul II’s adamant opposition to the invasion of Iraq by saying in a debate in an interview with a guest, “Aw, he’s the Pope–he has to say that stuff.”
Talk about dissing your Pope–he essentially accused John Paul, who was consistently and passionately anti-war, of being intellectually and theologically dishonest.
That said, Bill somehow always misses and/or ignores his beloved church’s stand on evolution, since the Catholic Church sees evolution as valid and completely compatible with the Christian faith and teachings. See here and here too, and see any number of church catechisms and teachings and you’ll find that the Catholics and United Methodists and most mainline, mainstream churches and denominations don’t get freaked out or threatened by Darwin and evolution. Catholic schools have been teaching evolution forever (figuratively speaking), recognizing that Genesis is hardly science or literal history. In fact, anyone who reads the Bible’s Creation story will be astounded at how contrary it runs to science that is beyond dispute, or should be. The Bible was writ at a time when the earth was indisputably flat, but we can only hope that Bill O’Reilly has accepted the scientific theory of a round earth by now.
Like so many Fox TV talking heads who are moonlighting as (mal)practicing theologians and (mal)practicing scientists these days, O’Reilly continues to do a disservice to both Christianity and Science by being so utterly insecure about God and Christianity and feeling compelled to defend God.
The militant atheists love to see the O’Reillys of the world spread this ignorance about both faith and science because it gives them ammunition. It empowers and enables them to say, “See how ignorant and anti-science those Christians are???!!!”
Here’s an excerpt from Phil Plait’s takedown of O’Reilly’s weird science at Discover and click here for it all.
And Bill, please, understand–our Bible is about faith and meaning–they who wrote it over hundreds of years were looking for meaning in the mysteries of life and death and pain and joy and suffering and man’s humanity and inhumanity to man and all the rest, and that’s why the Holy Book endures.
Not because it’s a book of anything remotely like Real Science.
Wow. I guess O’Reilly hasn’t discovered Google. Or any astronomy textbook written in the past thirty years. Because we know how the Moon got there (a Mars-sized planet struck the Earth a glancing blow about 100 million years after it formed, splashing debris into orbit which coalesced to form the Moon). And we know how the Sun got there (a small region of a vast cloud of gas and dust collapsed under its own gravity, compressed in the center, ignited nuclear fusion, and Our Star was born).
It gets worse. He asks why we have a Moon, and Mars doesn’t. Pssst, Bill: Mars has two moons. …
Now it’s possible that Bill is being metaphoric; he doesn’t literally mean the Moon, or tides, or anything like that: he means rules and order in general. We have the laws of physics, and we don’t know why those exist the way they do.
That’s true enough, and an interesting field of exploration. But to jump to say, “God did it” is a losing bet. They used to say that about thunder. They used to say that about people getting sick. They used to say that about, oh, why the Moon and Sun are in the sky, and why we have tides. Say.
But now we understand those things. We understand them because we’re curious, we humans, and we developed a method of understanding the Universe. It’s called science.