I'm not a big fan of Bill O'Reilly, but I find, in spite of myself, and of his enormous ego, I generally agree with what seem to be his positions on most matters. Until last night.
Responding to an email Mr. O'Reilly glibly asserted that "you can't make public policy based on the Bible." Oh, really? Someone should have told our Founding Fathers, for as scholars such as Barry Alan Shain and Forrest MacDonald have pointed out, that is precisely what they did in crafting the Constitution.
Historians of the Founding I have read are near-unanimous in their view that the Christian worldview, still vibrant at the time, made a major intellectual contribution to the shape of this independent republic. Even a generation after the Founding, de Toqueville commented on the strong role of Christian faith in America, including its public policy.
Mr. O'Reilly's tossed-off remark was either naive, ill-informed, or simply unthinking. If Christians are not allowed to insert their Biblically-informed views into the crafting of public policy - such as pro-life, which Mr. O'Reilly, a Catholic, strongly advocates - then why should they be involved in the political arena at all? Does Mr. O'Reilly mean to suggest that faith has no role in public policy?
For Bill O'Reilly to make such a facile assertion as though it were Constitutional truth is irresponsible. As he said, he's not a student of the Bible. Perhaps if he were, he would understand better how, without the Bible, Western law as we know it today simply would not exist.
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