Bill O’Reilly: ‘Christianity is Not a Religion; It’s a Philosophy’

Earlier tonight, our friend and American Atheists President Dave Silverman appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to discuss — what else? — the War on Christmas.

The most amazing part of the conversation may have been O’Reilly’s retort to Silverman saying the government shouldn’t be promoting religion: “Christianity is not a religion; it is a philosophy.”

You know what the appropriate reaction to that has to be:

Later, O’Reilly claimed that a Christmas tree was a secular symbol, not recognizing the hypocrisy in that statement. (Silverman pounced on it, though.)

Then, there was this classic exchange, after Silverman argued against the idea of Christmas as a federal holiday:

O’Reilly: You and your merry band of fascists —

Silverman: Fascists?! Fascists.

O’Reilly: You get [Christmas] revoked!

Silverman: You called me a fascist!?

O’Reilly: Absolutely!

Silverman: I am a patriot, sir!

O’Reilly: You are a fascist.

Silverman: I am a patriot who is taking the crazy notion that everybody in this country is equal and that the government has to treat everybody fairly. That’s fascism?!

Silverman after being called a fascist. Let the memes begin.

Silverman handled that brilliantly. O’Reilly had his arrogance thrown right back in his face by a supposed bogeyman who ended up looking like the only reasonable person in the conversation.

***Update***: American Atheists’ Teresa MacBain has something to say about whether or not Christianity is a religion:

I’m a former pastor, who served many churches for over 20 years. I would consider myself somewhat of an expert. Trust me; Christianity is a religion by any modern definition. According to my theology professors, Christianity has been and always will be a religion. Every priest, every pastor, every Sunday School teacher, choir member, deacon, usher, and pew sitter will tell you that Christianity is a religion. So where did Mr. O’Reilly come up with this idea? Oh! I know! The tides told him.

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