The Raving Theist

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Watch Your Language

May 22, 2007 | 1 Comment

Watch Your Language

Earlier this year Bill O’Reilly devoted two consecutive shows to attacking atheist blogger and former John Edwards blogmistress Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon. Reviewing them recently (I’ve posted the video clips on YouTube here and here, together with the full version of the Falwell clip I posted Friday), I wondered whether what sparked his anger was more related to religion, politics or obscenity.

O’Reilly has had other atheist guests, including Sam Harris and Bill Maher, who have expressed their distaste for religion as strongly as Marcotte. But he treated them civilly and without leveling accusations of bigotry or discrimination. So it’s not entirely a question of atheism or even anti-religion.

As to politics, O’Reilly did direct some of his ire towards the “far left.” Harris and Maher, however, are not conservatives, and with respect to the issue primarily in play — reproductive rights — Marcotte, Harris and Maher are more or less on the same pro-choice page. Although O’Reilly is cagey about it — watch this clip if only for Maher’s priceless expression when O’Reilly tries to evade the issue — he’s come out in favor Roe v Wade.

The only difference I can see between the other atheists and Marcotte is that her criticism employed x-rated language. So obscenity may have been the key as much as anything else. It certainly didn’t help that the cursing was directed at religion, but even without the faith factor I think O’Reilly would have agitated for her dismissal from the Edwards campaign. Candidates aren’t allowed to swear in public, either directly or through their spokespeople.


One Response to “Watch Your Language”

  1. Jenn
    May 22nd, 2007 @ 5:20 pm

    I think O’Reilly’s biggest issue was Edwards hypocrisy.

    I’m a raving atheist, so I couldn’t care less if someone says jebus or god. But it kinda pisses me off the lengths to which some people will go just to piss off their right wing brethren.

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