Going to Hell (without a hand basket)

While writing my latest book, Killing Jesus, I knew I would catch hell once it hit the marketplace. Your mom was right when she told you never to discuss politics and religion because emotions run so high in those arenas. Especially religion.

Even before Killing Jesus was released, the mail began pouring in. And some of it was very nasty.

Brent in Texas opined: "O'Reilly, you are not someone who has the right to write a book about Jesus."

Eric in South Carolina: "You are helping to deceive people with your ignorance about Jesus."

Al in Louisiana: "Bill, what do you know about Jesus? You are Catholic and they don't know anything about the Bible."

And Raleigh in California really let loose with some disturbing stuff: "Bill, please repent before it is too late. You seem to be angry at God because he put a black man in the White House."

Again, none of those folks had actually read Killing Jesus because it had not been released. The book is pure history; there is no religion in it. The people lashing out at me for daring to address their savior in any capacity are so intense in their beliefs that they have lost all sight of reality.

Now, a sad fact of life in America is that there are some very unstable folks running around and they have always been with us. But from my perch as a national TV commentator, I can tell you with certainty that the level of fanaticism is rising not only here, but all over the world.

The reason is the Internet. In the past, kooks were kind of isolated. But now, they can find other loons in cyberspace with whom to commiserate. That encourages bizarre behavior because disturbed people think their outlook is acceptable as others are saying the same thing on their machines.

The chief al Qaeda recruiting tool is the net. Neo-Nazis campaign heavily in cyberspace. NAMBLA, the child rape club, is a worldwide presence on the net.

There is little anyone can do with fanatics. Reasoning with them is a fool's errand. Avoiding them is mandatory. These people are dangerous; they spread poison and could not care less who they hurt. Thus, the Internet has become a hate-filled town square with no limits put on destructive verbal behavior.

And millions of children have access to all the vitriol.

Freedom has always had a downside. With technology allowing for instant communication, hate groups, perverts, and killers now have many more opportunities to cause harm than ever before. Again, there's little anyone can do about it.

But everyone should be aware of it.

  • D Parri

    Ok, O’Reilly, let me ask you–what is it that you are trying to accomplish via your writings, appearances, and commentaries? Make money? Become well-known? Gain influence? Publish a (or, many) best seller(s)? Create a leading cable news show–nay, THE leading cable news show? If these were your goals, then take a look at your life…Voila! That IS Bill O’Reilly.

    Now, from a different angle–i.e., the substance of this commentary, you seem to be a tad frustrated at some of the loudest voices in the room. May I remind you, they might be the loudest voices, but in no way should you look at them as representing the masses. You will hear from those that enjoy the fruits of your labors but they are not likely to ever be as vociferant as the naysayers. It certainly deserves comment, but you’ve been through it before and….

    Concerning the age of instant and far-reaching communications access, well…I wouldn’t be writing to you if it didn’t exist. I highly doubt that you will ever see my comments that I’ve made here but at least the medium provides me with a gratuitous feeling of ‘being connected’.

    Carry on, O’Reilly.

  • Concernedmimi

    Thanks for the heads-up on dangerous things to look out for, Bill. You really do make a difference sharing your vast knowledge. Ignore the loons and just keep on keeping on.

  • sjangers

    There may not be any comprehensive solution to the proliferation of deviant messages on the internet, but each of us can make a difference. Many of these e-sociopaths prey on people who are looking for a place to fit in the world. They take advantage of the need that socially disconnected people have to belong by offering them a ‘home’ and a ‘family’. If every one of us took just a little time each week to make some connection with the disaffected and lonely souls in our neighborhoods, I’m sure the majority of those people would respond more favorably to the opportunity for positive human interaction in their own communities than unholy connections with purveyors of hate on the world wide web.

  • Sheila Warner

    All one has to do is read the forums. On any topic, on any given day, are uncounted numbers of people who relish the opportunity to get the verbal knives out of the drawer. This is not limited to either side of the political aisle, nor is it limited to a particular religious tenet. The names are mostly always some anonymous concoction. It’s nearly impossible to know if you are conversing with a male or female, where that person lives, or anything else about that person. If you dare to venture onto the forums, beware: there are very few cogent arguments out there.

  • Wil

    Hey Billy, I’m wondering if Andrea Markris is reading any of ‘your’ killing books?

  • Josh

    O’Reilly’s sounding a little whiny here in this instance. He knew going in that religion is the world’s most fickle topic. Just look at what happened to that other guy who wrote a book about the history of Jesus — and it happened on Fox News, no less.

    If one thinks it’s tough to bring Jesus’ name up in the mainstream because of the backlash, try living your life not believing in religion!

    Like, for instance, if I pointed out directly to a believer the circular logic in using the Bible the prove the Bible, and claimed that would be like using The Shining to prove ghosts, I know full well that’s running the risk of causing a blood pressure spike and a hatred-for-all-things-different heated tirade against my character.

    I’ve been called some of the worst things imaginable, and have been threatened with infinite torture more times than I can count. But since it’s because of “love” that I face so much vitriol, I suppose it’s okay. LMAO

    But, seriously, that stuff is what it is. It doesn’t bother me and shouldn’t really bother anyone. I’m no victim; neither is O’Reilly and his little bit of criticism for daring to name-drop people’s soul buddy. After all, you could live in Pakistan or someplace similar where writing that book would be literally risking your life, and someone like me would have to either tow the line or face a potential blasphemy execution. At least they see Jesus as a prophet. I’m instant kill-fodder.

    So, in an odd way, I’m thankful for America’s kooks. At least in this modern age, not back when I may have been hung as a witch. But for this modern age, a little Internet lashing every now and again keeps the blood fresh.

    And I do have to disagree with the claim that things are becoming worse. Having an outlet of expression available seems to be increasing speech but decreasing crime. I can remember even in the late 80s and mid 90s how heated some topics got, to the point punches were thrown, windows were broken, etc. Now this generation just gets on YouTube to troll people.

    Exceptions, obviously, but we are not circling the drain.

    I’d be quick to tell my kid that, hey, if you want to debate with people about politics or religion, it’s safer to do it online.

    • Sheila Warner

      I like it that you want to discuss this with your child. I think that once a child is old enough to understand the vitriolic back and forth, it is a good idea for a parent to sit side by side with that child as he visits the forums. The most important thing I’d point out is the sheer vastness of the numbers of ad hominem attacks that are thrown out. Once someone has called you a name, or who simply says to STFU, you know you have a) hit a nerve, and b) the person has nothing of substance to offer.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    Love your Neighbor he said and your God,
    believe him and you will he laud,
    when at long last,
    your future is past,
    and they lay you to rest neath the sod.

  • DonaldYoungsRevenge

    There were more than 300 prophecies fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The most reliable history about Jesus can be found in the 66 books of the Christian Bible. I have heard Bill O’Reilly discuss religion and at times doctrine on his TV show and he is a complete idiot when it comes to his own church’s doctrines (Roman Catholic Church) and especially the doctrines expounded upon by the Apostle Paul. At best, Bill O’Reilly may have read the Bible randomly without any thought of how the Bible explains the beginning of things and puts on display how it will all end. Pretty sure I will not spend a dime on the book.

    • Sheila Warner

      I’m sure that Bill O’Relly has the whole Bible, all 73 books of it. I’m a former Protestant who converted to Roman Catholicism. This has caused much angst in my own family, who adhere to “once saved always saved”. My conversion is testing their belief.

      • DonaldYoungsRevenge

        “Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them” (Micah 3:6). “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:14).

        Both verses speak of God’s silence as a means of punishing His people. When Israel was disobedient God responded with a course of punishment. This particular course of punishment lasted 400 years until John the Baptist came bursting onto the scene in Israel introducing Jesus Christ. Those extra books you speak of were all written during that period of time in which the prophets were silent (God was not speaking to His people). The Roman Catholic extra books are not part of the Cannon of Scripture and this would be one reason of many not to include them.

        I don’t know why your family would be “angst” over your demotion, free choice is a marvelous gift from God. I will say you went from a “BMW” with life time warranty to a “Chevy Volt” always looking for a charging station. There is an overwhelming move from Roman Catholicism to biblical Christianity (that would be me and many in my family). You are a rare bird reversing that trend.

        • Sheila Warner

          Not so rare as you might think. There is a whole army of us. Those “extra” books were in the canon for 1200 plus years, until Martin Luther decided to add “alone” to one verse, and then start tossing books. He wanted to go further, but others prevailed. It was his scrupulosity that got him in the end. Very sad.

          • DonaldYoungsRevenge

            Statistics are overwhelming with Roman Catholics going in the other directions or just dropping out of church period. As I said prophets were not speaking to Israel for more than 400 years (Malachi to Matthew). God went silent, that was part of the reason that Jesus Christ never quoted from any of those added books. The best scholars to ask are those responsible for the books, the Jews, not the Roman Catholics. Hey, I hope you are happy with your decision, nice chatting with ya.

          • Sheila Warner

            We will not agree on theology, and this isn’t the forum for it, anyway. We both love and follow Jesus, and that’s all that counts.