Last week, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly argued that opponents of gay marriage needed to do more than “thump the Bible” to make their case. Those comments then drew the attention of conservative talker Rush Limbaugh, who criticized O’Reilly’s comments on his radio program the next day.
That back-and-forth between the conservative media heavyweights has fueled speculation that the two are engaged in something of spat. But on his Tuesday night show, O’Reilly dismissed that speculation in his “Talking Points Memo.”
But later on O’Reilly’s program last night, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer advised the popular host to ignore his detractors.
“Look, of course, you get attacked from left and right all the time,” Krauthammer said. “If you’re in the business and you’re a big boy, you know that’s going to happen. And I think you’ve got to ignore almost all of it because, otherwise, you’re going to spend your whole time in response. Now, there are the major issues of our time where you express yourself. And if you and, say the body of conservatives, disagree, I think you’re obligated to explain yourself. But, beyond that, I don’t think you’re obligated to go to the mat.”
Krauthammer then said that while he believes that it’s fine for people to let the Bible inform their political views, an argument based in religion will not help bring over converts on the gay marriage issue.
“I think you were right to say it,” Krauthammer said. “And the reason is this. It’s a serious argument. I have complete respect for anybody who says, ‘I’m against abortion,’ or ‘against homosexual marriage because I believe in the Bible.’ That I respect completely and I don’t argue. However, if you want to persuade people who are not of your faith, you have to go beyond that or you will not succeed. And since we are not a majority country where everybody has the same interpretation of the Bible, I think you have to make a case that goes beyond it.”
“It’s not that I have no respect for it or that some liberals, I believe, that if you cite scripture, somehow you are written out of argument,” Krauthammer continued. “And you’re, somehow, in a way, that is against the Constitution, introducing religion into politics. There is no pro-edition about opposing policy x for whatever reason, it could be religious or secular. You have every right, but if you want to expand your constituency.”