Fox News host Bill O’Reilly used Bill Maher as one of his examples on Thursday to argue that “it is open season on Christians.”
“Mr. Maher, a well-known religion hater, who is much lionized by the media, given a free pass to attack people of faith,” O’Reilly said after airing clips of Maher voicing his antipathy toward organized religion. “His anti-religion movie got some negative reviews, as did his attacks on Islam, but his vicious behavior toward Christianity [is] largely ignored in the press.”
O’Reilly showed the footage of Maher after saying that the U.S. has seen a rise in verbal attacks against Christians, compared to actual physical assaults in other parts of the world.
He also defended laws allowing wedding-related businesses to turn away same-sex couples for religious reasons by showing an Associated Press poll showing support for that argument in states where such marriages are legal. He did not mention, however, that the poll was taken between Jan. 29 and Feb. 2, before the recent controversy involving the heavily-criticized — and ultimately revised — laws in Arkansas and Indiana.
The Factor host then criticized U.S. religious leaders for not mounting an organized campaign supporting those “religious freedom” laws.
“It is very rare to see any high-ranking Catholic cleric defending the faithful publicly,” he said. “Protestants are a little bit better, but organized efforts to defend the Christian faith are rare. Therefore, the anti-religion people have a free-fire zone to attack at will.”
Watch O’Reilly’s commentary, as aired on Thursday, below.