Fox News' Bill O'Reilly seems to think he knows how to win these fights. This week, he interviewed David Silverman, president of American Atheists, whose group has put up billboards calling religion a "scam."
O'Reilly found that message "offensive," not surprisingly, but proceeded to offer his version of proof of God.
O'REILLY: I'll tell you why [religion's] not a scam, in my opinion: tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can't explain that. You cannot explain why the tide goes in.
SILVERMAN: Tide goes in, tide goes out?
O'REILLY: See, the water, the tide comes in and it goes out, Mr. Silverman. It always comes in, and always goes out. You can't explain that.
"Tide goes in, tide goes out"? That's's O'Reilly's theological trump card? If Silverman had brought along a scientist who could explain the effects of the moon and its gravitational influence on the spinning earth, would O'Reilly be inclined to give atheism a second look?
Every side of the theological spectrum needs articulate, thoughtful representatives in the public sphere. I can't imagine many monotheists are pleased to have O'Reilly making the case for them.
At one point during the interview, O'Reilly notes he's "not the smartest guy around." On this, he'll get no argument from me.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
The tide goes in, the tide goes out...
I don't watch Bill O'Reilly, but Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly tells us of this exchange.