Yes, as a conservative I just said FoxNews personality Bill O’Reilly is ignorant on Proestantism. And I love him otherwise.
He possesses a good deal of knowledge concerning political matters, but when he begins to discuss religion and religious terms – the man is … uneducated.
My first realization of this fact came in 2002, when I heard him discussing differences and similarities of Christianity and Islam. He was woefully ignorant of both, surprisingly so. If you are a national figure discussing controversial and timely topics, wouldn’t you at least try to learn about the basic tenets of the faiths you are discussing?
Most recently I discovered his ignorance last night (my local talk station broadcasts his show at night). In analyzing the possibilities for Super Tuesday, he began to talk about born again Christians and evangelicals. He brought up surveys that seem to indicate a voting shift among those groups.
In trying to explain who “born again” Christians are, he made a rambling statement about them being born Christian, leaving the faith and then coming back to it, so they are “born again.” Apparently, all those studies of the biblical ignorance of Americans are true when one of the most recognized conservative political analyst has no idea what “born again” means.
In my second month of blogging, I discussed the myth that the term “born again” is an evangelical created phrase, but I never knew that a nationally known Catholic conservative would have no grasp of the term to the point where he embarrassed himself.
I know that the idea that someone can be “born” a Christian is accepted in some Christian groups, so I can give you a pass on that one. However you can’t explain away the other statement, that they left the faith and have returned to it. Some may have done that in a sense, but my five-year-old was recently “born againt” without ever leaving Christianity.
Here is why Christians use the phrase born again:
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
I understand that not every Christian group believes the same as evangelicals do, but if you are trying to discuss a group of people you should know enough about what they believe to understand the major terms they use in describing themselves.
So my plea for O’Reilly – discuss politics. You’re good at it. You get great ratings and you sound like you know what you are talking about. Stay away from religion! You sound less intellegent bluffing your way through.