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.