O’Reilly Blames Decline of Christianity on Rap Music

That new Pew survey that shows Americans becoming significantly less religious has a lot of folks up in arms and searching for an explanation. Bill O’Reilly offers his usual simpleminded finger pointing, blaming it on the media and on rap music specifically.

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday night said that the decline in Americans who identify as Christians signals that the United States “is in trouble” and placed some blame for this decline on the “rap industry” and “pernicious entertainment.”…

“There is no question that people of faith are being marginalized by a secular media and pernicious entertainment. The rap industry, for example, often glorifies depraved behavior, and that sinks into the minds of some young people, the group that is most likely to reject religion,” O’Reilly said after referencing the Pew study. “If you are a person of faith, then the media general thinks you are a loon.”

Yeah, it’s only rap that “glorifies depraved behavior” (by which one assumes he doesn’t mean offering to rub down one of his employees with a falafel). Rock music wasn’t full of sexually suggestive lyrics for decades before rap became really popular and religious belief began to decline. O’Reilly always did have a problem with that cause and effect thing.

“Any student of history knows that when a nation turns inward toward the pursuit of individual gratification, the country is in trouble,” he said, noting that the Roman Empire collapsed after people “rejected sacrificing” for the republic.

“The same thing is happening in America today,” he said.

Yeah, “any student of history” knows that this vague and immeasurable “pursuit of individual gratification” is what destroyed the Roman empire. Ironically, it declined mostly after it became officially Christian and its heyday was when it was still pagan. But please Bill, tell us how you measure “pursuit of individual gratification” and then show us the evidence that those measures increased before the Roman empire fell. We’ll wait.

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  • dingojack

    Billo O’RLY? gets partial marks this time:

    If not anything else, the decline is due to Christian ‘Rap’ Music!

    :) Dingo

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    But please Bill, tell us how you measure “pursuit of individual gratification”…

    No. Just no. The image that question conjures up requires a lot of brain bleach to get rid of.

  • dingojack

    If Rap music is to blame* — how come all demographics are showing a shift toward being less religious? You’re seriously expecting anyone to believe the Silent Generation (born 1928-1945) listen to a lot of Rap, are you Billo?

    Dingo

    ———

    * what not ‘Rock and/or Roll’ generally? How disappointing!

  • Annie Bruce

    So it’s excess individuality ruining us this week? Huh. Always thought it was socialism and the destruction of individuality.

    Wake me up when these people make up their mind.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    I blame Vanilla Ice

  • brucegee1962

    the media general thinks you are a loon

    I think that this is the real problem right here. All of Obama’s appointments to the Media General cabinet spot have been fascist bullies, right?

  • dingojack

    Billo — It could be that this kind of behaviour is, at least partially, a factor Billo. Talk about ‘pernicious entertainment’, ‘pursuit of individual gratification’ and ‘glorifying depraved behaviour’!

    @@ Dingo

  • dingojack

    Marcus Ranum – Personally, I blame Cliff Richard! (Not for this specifically — just as a general rule).

    :) Dingo

  • doublereed

    Wow, blaming rap music really brings me back. That’s a line used more in the early 90s. Then the line was to blame video games. Nowadays blaming social media is all the rage.

    Come on, Bill. Get it together.

  • doublereed

    I don’t actually know if that much pure rap is still around anymore. Nowadays rap artists seem to combine with pop and hip-hop artists for their music. Hip-hop is way more in vogue than rap.

  • blf

    French rap “music” causes the decline and departure of just about everything, except, unfortunately, itself.

  • John Pieret

    Any student of history knows …

    … when and when not he covers a war.

    ,,, when a nation turns inward toward the pursuit of individual gratification, the country is in trouble

    Individual gratification? Like helping the poor? Advancing human knowledge in the sciences? Teaching children? All things that pay far less that being a blowhard on TV. Maybe you should turn away from individual gratification and do something good with your life, BillyO.

  • dingojack

    Expect Billo to burst into a rendition of Trouble in River City at any moment!

    Dingo

  • raven

    Most of the fundie xians have no real idea why their religion is declining in the USA. None.

    1. A lot of them aren’t even aware of it. This survey has been on the news and internet for days. So what? They don’t read the news unless you call Glenn Beck and Pat Robertson news.

    I briefly glanced at a forum where a lot of fundies hang out. There wasn’t one word about the Pew survey on 5 different threads.

    2. The local fundie xian newsletter had an article about how the churches are losing members and money and laying off people and deferring maintenance.

    They have absolutely no idea why this is happening. None. It would require looking in a mirror and thinking and they wouldn’t dare do that.

    3. They aren’t going to change anything. As many have noticed, they are steadily getting worse. Trying more of what hasn’t worked in the past. More hate, more lies, more hypocrisy, more conspiracy theories.

  • raven

    Ed Brayton:

    Ironically, it declined mostly after it became officially Christian and its heyday was when it was still pagan.

    QFT!!!

    The Western Roman empire had long been xian when it fell. And the Germanics who pushed it over were…xians!!!

    It was a territorial dispute between xian groups over who gets to control the land and take the loot.

    You can’t really blame the fall of the Roman empire on xianity like Gibbon tried. It’s just a correlation. But you can say with certainty that xianity didn’t prevent it.

    No suprise. The xians claim their god is all powerful but no one sees him doing anything tangible. My cat is more powerful.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    “The Western Roman empire had long been xian when it fell. And the Germanics who pushed it over were…xians!!!”

    And both groups listened to a lot of rap music you (and read a lot of Catullus). Every student of history knows that, raven.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Everything wrong with society today can be traced back to the Waltz.

  • doublereed

    @15 raven

    But your cat has the power of adorability.

    They aren’t going to change anything. As many have noticed, they are steadily getting worse. Trying more of what hasn’t worked in the past. More hate, more lies, more hypocrisy, more conspiracy theories.

    Honestly, I don’t think the churches could change anything to prevent the decline. If they were more tolerant and welcoming of other beliefs, that would probably reduce their numbers even faster as their members wouldn’t insulate themselves as much.

    And I personally think I lot of people go to church specifically for the more righteous and intolerant rhetoric, as its important to their identity.

  • scienceavenger

    …he said, noting that the Roman Empire collapsed after people “rejected sacrificing” for the republic.

    The Roman Empire was never about sacrificing for the Republic, unless you mean sacrificing members of conquered societies who resisted Roman rule. That’s more Freudian than Bill realizes.

  • scienceavenger

    All Bill O’Reilly rap commentary should come with a reminder that he thinks Jay Z and Kanye West are gangsta rappers.

  • http://onhandcomments.blogspot.com/ left0ver1under

    Maybe this is the “mumble-mucking Ice-T” that O’Liarry was blathering about, not the drink.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    I just have to drop this quote:

    In music, Ralph Stanley has killed more people than 50cent and Ice-T.

    -Ray Wylie Hubbard

  • Pierce R. Butler

    When it comes to glorification of criminal behavior, rappers and rockers alike have to take a back seat to … country & western music(s)!

    Apparently BillO has never listened to any of same – will his audience ever figure that out?

  • favog

    Dammit, given my own personal distaste for Christianity and for rap music, I lose either way!!!!

  • DonDueed

    Modus: personally, I blame it on the Bossa Nova.

  • colnago80

    Re DonDueed @ #25

    Not a bit of it, the decline is quite obviously due to the designated hitter rule.

  • blf

    If you want nasty killings / murders / wars, rape, torture, decease, pestilence, famine, et al., then two excellence sources are fairy tales and folk music. Just stay away from the morris dancers…

  • bybelknap

    Piffle. The Girl from Ipanema is to blame.

  • dingojack

    This magic music grooves me, that dirty rhythm fools me

    The devil’s gotten to me through this dance

    I’m full of funky fever, a fire burns inside me

    Boogie’s got me in a super trance

    Don’t blame it on the sunshine

    Don’t blame it on the moonlight

    Don’t blame it on the good times

    Blame it on the boogie”.

    😉 Dingo

  • Hoosier X

    It makes more sense to blame the decline of christianity on “Greensleeves.” Or maybe “Beowulf.”

  • dingojack

    I blame that Jesus character — ‘blessed are meek…’? Pfft. It’s been all downhill since 6bce*.

    Dingo

    ———-

    * it was soooo much better in ye olde dayes.

  • magistramarla

    This explains why the rapper who was a guest on Bill Maher’s show last night said that Bill O’Reilly is full of shit.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/16/killer-mike-bill-oreilly-maher_n_7297958.html

  • vereverum

    I think it’s because we stopped those atmospheric nuclear tests. We never had all these problems while we were doing those test. Weather was better too.

  • amadan

    Makes a change from those long-haired hippies from London

    Take it away, Kris!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjRT-J8dPSA

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001548104064 jimatkins

    Blame it on the Bossa Nova.

  • jufulu

    Personally I blame it on jazz and the saxophone, also known as the Devil’s Horn or the Instrument of the Devil. Much sex was caused by that demon instrument.

  • anubisprime

    Religious kooks and right wing dumboids have a tradition of blaming everyone else especially ‘popular’ music and musicians about the apparent decline in society towards kowtowing to a mythological fairy tale, since before even Bill Haley got the band wagon rolling oh so very long ago…

    His gyrations just coincided with a burgeoning media empire which was the perfect carrier of screed and opinion decrying the youth of the day.

    The facts seem to suggest that religious decline has been under a constant downward pressure since the Renaissance, if not a bit before.

    But it had an extremely high pedestal to start with.

    It is really since those halcyon days of pony tails and quiff hairstyles and taking the chevy to the levee that the blossoming media has been used as the conduit in scapegoating so much so it has became the favorite past time by the religiously contaminated.

    They have no real answers because they do not fully understand the questions suffice to say the authoritarian ‘thou shalt get on thy knees and praise de lawd” is well passed its sell by date, simply put, times have changed, as they do constantly and throughout every generation where styles and being hip remains a preoccupation of the young folks, and the old folks struggle to understand the fashions that come and go.

    The old folks and the retinue they gather about them tend to hold on to one aspect of life, their insane insistence that some spurious ancient foreign goatherders make believe god is reality and all else is opposed to that ‘fact’ probably aware deep down that it is all fading away along with that structure and forced reality and that ‘knowledge’ that the priests and pastors all know better and are the critters to follow as they all amble through a frightening, confusing and sometimes turbulent life.

    The only palpable life line they have left is to get into schools as early as possible and try their damnedest to contaminate impressionable young minds with the tale they hawk in order to seed the next religious congregation, and that is not going as well or as easy as they would hope, it does indeed look bleak for the bunnies.

    So back to blame game 101…tis the muzak and muzak makers doing the damage, while in the main all the muzak and muzak makers are doing is reflecting a society already there in front of them and indeed the audience, but they fall foul of the religiotards of actually relating that perceived reality in song, or prose or lyrics.

    The same can be said for artists and writers. all is based on what is there but enhance it with view point. empathy and a considerable amount of adding to the layer with invention, that is what art in all its forms actually is, a mirrored distortion, sometimes it soothes sometimes it riles and always it challenges…well the best stuff anyway…but that in itself is subjective.

    One persons Hockney is another persons bored irritation.

    It would appear that religious dingbats are somewhat compromised, they are not allowed imagination except in one obvious direction.

    It does leave them mentally crippled and railing at the shadows and things that go beyond their comfort zone, which is a very narrow slippy precipice just this side of abject crippling gut wrenching fear of the modern world, a kind of agoraphobia of the terminally dim and dumb…

    And life goes on…until the sun runs out of Hydrogen and starts burning Helium.

  • John Pieret

    Why not blame it on what RWNJs always blame things on … Gawd?

  • cjcolucci

    It would make a lot more sense to blame rap music on the decline of Christianity, not vice-versa. I don’t necessarily endorse the proposition, but I think a much better case could be made for that rather than the reverse.

  • eric

    “There is no question that people of faith are being marginalized by a secular media and pernicious entertainment. The rap industry,

    That’s crappier than crap and he’s crap, y’all.

  • dingojack

    All down hill since — The Faith Tones!

    Dingo

    ———

    Or maybe: These upstanding gentlemen 😀

  • dingojack

    *Ahem* – These upstanding gentlemen

    [link bork 404]

    Dingo

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    I look forward to the day, I’ll give it about 20 years, in which late-middle-aged scolds tell us about how much better things were when we had the wholesome music of Snoop Dogg and 2 Live Crew.