Bombastic Fox News host Bill O'Reilly usually turns to politics and social issues on his highly-rated weekday news analysis show. Now he has shifted his focus on what has happened to leadership within the Christian community in the United States in the face of worldwide persecution.
In a "Talking Points" memo released last week on his show "The O'Reilly Factor," the controversial host focused on what he termed "the war on Christianity." While he acknowledged that there was real persecution directed at Christians across the Middle East, he argued that Christians are being attacked verbally in the United States for their beliefs.
"Some far-left people aided by a sympathetic media are now smearing Americans who oppose things like abortion and gay marriage," O'Reilly said. "No question it is open season on Christians."
O'Reilly then cited a poll from a "public religion research institution" that asked Americans if they believed their religious freedoms were threatened in the U.S. Out of those who responded, 54 percent said yes, 41 percent said no, and 5 percent did not know.
"Most Americans get it even though the secular progressives have succeeded in putting people of faith on the defensive," O'Reilly said.
O'Reilly then called out Bill Maher as a "well known religion hater" who has expressed "vicious behavior toward Christianity." He contended that Maher and others like him are able to slam Christianity without blowback because of "the lack of pushback by American religious leaders."
"It is very rare to see any high ranking Catholic cleric defending the faithful publicly," O'Reilly said. "Protestants are a little bit better, but organized efforts to defend the Christian faith are rare. Therefore, the anti-religion people have a free fire zone to attack at will."
The Fox News analyst then brought on conservative commentator Ann Coulter to discuss the issue. According to a report from CBN News, the issue was brought up in the first place thanks to divisive opinion surrounding religious freedom laws in states like Indiana and Arkansas.
"The fact that these Christians would rather get praise from the 'New York Times' and Nicholas Kristof by changing bedpans of Ebola patients in Nigeria, rather than stand up to the 'New York Times' and fight against abortion, fight against these bullies... where are the Christians? And where are the Republicans?" Coulter said.
Coulter argued that "the one thing every Christian should have is courage." O'Reilly, who is a Roman Catholic, also had criticism for those in his religion not standing up for themselves.
"I have been critical of the fact there are no clerics in America, zero, who put themselves out to defend the Christian faith," O'Reilly said.
According to CBN News, O'Reilly and Coulter lamented on the fact that aside from "individual Christian leaders occasionally speaking up," there was no organized effort "to defend religious freedom and Christian rights."
"There isn't an organized attempt as there is in the gay lobby, abortion women's reproductive rights lobby," O'Reilly said. "You don't have anything on the Christian side."
Coulter contended that such lack of action was "cowardice."
"Most people would rather risk getting Ebola than being called a homophobe, a racist, the horrible accusations and ad hominem attacks thrown at Christians in this country," Coulter said.