Bill O’Reilly Wants To Explain Jesus To The Pope (VIDEO)
It is probably too much to expect coherence out of Bill O’Reilly. He has compared Black Lives Matters to the KKK, repeatedly lied about his journalistic record, and come off as an all-around terrible person. But on Feb. 22, Bill O’Reilly outdid himself, when he decided that it would be a neat thing to pick a fight with Pope Francis over immigration.
“I would suggest to Pope Francis, that millions of Americans have been harmed economically by our immigration system which desperately needs reform. I think I could persuade the Pope that providing protection and enforcing settled law is certainly not un-Christian. What is against the tenets of Jesus is to allow chaos that harms innocent people, like Kate Steinle and her family. What I believe might infuriate Jesus is politicians who are sworn to uphold laws, ignoring their oaths in pursuit of power and votes. When human beings are being harmed, Christians have a sacred duty to try to stop that harm. Yes, there must be compassion for the poor and oppressed. And no one is better in promoting that than Pope Francis. But social order and justice must be incorporated in to compassionate public policy.”
I’ll admit, being that O’Reilly is Catholic and I am decidedly not, that perhaps he has a bit more grounds to criticize Pope Francis than I do. Even so, O’Reilly’s criticisms are stunningly off the mark. Yes, I understand why he’s picking a fight here. Pope Francis has been speaking out on immigration of late, specifically targeting the policy proposals of Donald Trump as being un-Christian. It is scarcely surprising that O’Reilly has chosen to inject himself into the conversation, if only for the sake of boosting his ratings. It is also scarcely surprising that Bill O’Reilly, who tends to be spectacularly wrong on any subject you can think of, has managed to outdo himself, and be more spectacularly wrong than usual.
Bill O’Reilly’s thoughts on immigration have little to do with the teachings of Jesus.
Again, I admit that I am not an authority on Catholic doctrine. So let’s go back to the source, and see what Jesus has to say:
“35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Not terribly ambiguous, is it? Jesus didn’t exactly stutter, nor did he include a footnote noting that the preservation of “social order and justice” trumps simple compassion to the least of his brethren. There is also no mention of compassion to those who are suffering being less valuable than the comfort of the privileged. But Bill O’Reilly has an ace in the hole. Forget what Jesus said, here’s Kate Steinle; her death at the hands of an undocumented immigrant apparently justifies throwing out any thought of Christian compassion. Never mind that Steinle’s death, while deplorable, has become just another piece of anecdotal “evidence” used by the right to excuse its xenophobic immigration policies. In O’Reilly’s mind, this is all the justification he needs to give a bit of unsolicited, and un-Christian, advice to the Pope.
If Bill O’Reilly’s usage of Kate Steinle’s death as a means of scoring cheap political points against Pope Francis strikes you as disgusting, join the club. But Bill O’Reilly being reprehensible isn’t exactly breaking news. What is notable is the man’s sheer hubris, in imagining that he has a greater understanding of the words of Jesus Christ than does the Pope. That, I submit, is taking things a bit too far.
I get it. Bill O’Reilly does not agree with Pope Francis’s interpretation of the words of Jesus. The Pope’s interpretation is rather at odds with the militant, intolerant, and inexplicably Caucasian picture of Jesus propagated by the misguided “theologians” of the right. But this interpretation, while at odds with Right-Wing Jesus™, seems far closer to the truth. While O’Reilly bloviates about “enforcing settled law,” the Pope is sneaking out of the Vatican to serve the homeless. While O’Reilly partakes in cheap and easy Islamophobia, Pope Francis seeks to bridge the gaps between practitioners of differing Abrahamic religions. O’Reilly lectures and pontificates. Pope Francis is more interested in actions than in empty words.
Not being a Catholic, or even a Christian, I suppose this dispute is not exactly my business. But, despite my own personal lack of faith, I do know how to read. I can read the words of Jesus Christ. I can read the words of Bill O’Reilly. And I can read the words of Pope Francis. And, when it comes to the interpreting the words of Jesus, it is not terribly difficult to see that, between O’Reilly and the Pope, only one of them gets it right. Sorry Bill — it isn’t you.
Watch the video of Bill O’Reilly’s remarks below:
[brid video=”28544″ player=”5260″ title=”Bill O’ Wants To Give The Pope Advice On Immigration And Jesus”]