“All of the ideas come to me in the middle of the night; and one night, I just woke up and I thought, “Killing Jesus”! And I believe, because I’m a Catholic, that my inspiration comes from the Holy Spirit.”
–Bill O’Reilly, discussing his irreverent new book, “Killing Jesus”
God told him to do it.
That’s what Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly thinks. In an interview which will air at 7:00 p.m. Sunday on CBS, O’Reilly tells 60 Minutes interviewer Norah O’Donnell that he wrote Killing Jesus under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
I’ve watched the preview clip over and over. Each time I hear his explanation, I react like this:
Killing Jesus: A History, published by Henry Holt and Co., is not religious. In fact, it contradicts the Bible. O’Reilly, who has a B.A. in history, believes that much of the Bible is allegorical, and the New Testament gospels contradict one another. He wanted to write about Jesus of Nazareth from a historical perspective, while making no theological claims.
Interviewer Norah O’Donnell seems surprised, as well. ”And why would the Holy Spirit choose you?” she asks. “You are suggesting that you are the Chosen One, Bill.”
For Killing Jesus, O’Reilly and his co-author Martin Dugard received a $10 million advance. O’Reilly makes light of it, though, asserting that he’s not “special.” In the 60 Minutes interview, he tells O’Donnell,
“I’m just one of many who have been given gifts. I can write. I can bloviate on TV. So I’m trying to use the gifts in a positive way. And I believe that’s all direct and that’s why I’m here on the planet.”
You can watch the preview here, or see the entire interview on CBS at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, September 29.