On radio this morning, Bill O’Reilly, author of the recently released Killing Jesus, joined Glenn to talk about his new book, the looming government shutdown, the future of this country and more. Bill made headlines this morning for an interview he did with CBS’s Norah O’Donnell on last night’s 60 Minutes, in which O’Donnell made it clear she has little knowledge of Christian teachings or beliefs.
In discussing his new book, Bill explained he felt a calling to write the book. “I believe, because I’m a Catholic, that comes from the Holy Spirit,” he said of the motivation and idea to write the book. “My inspiration comes from that and so I wrote ‘Killing Jesus,’ because I think I was directed to write that.”
O’Donnell responded by noting that the host seemed to be distinguishing himself as especially important. “You are suggesting that you’re the chosen one, Bill,” she quipped. Bill reiterated that he’s not the “chosen one,” but that he is someone who has been given gifts that he uses for good.
“Look, I set everybody straight. That was a provocative question and I set her straight,” Bill said on radio this morning. “Everybody’s inspired to do good and everybody’s tempted to do evil and then you select.”
Despite his Catholic faith, Bill explained that this book is not at all religious. Instead, it is a historical look at the life and death of Jesus.
“There’s really no religion in this book,” Glenn asked.
“No. It’s a history book and that’s what it says on the cover. Look, this book is for people to know what happened to Jesus while he walked the Earth. That’s it. It’s very simple,” Bill said. “He’s the most famous human being who ever lived, most famous person who walked this planet. How did that happen? He had no money, no infrastructure, no PR guy, no mass media.”
“There are two things that I took away from the book for me personally as a human being. Number one, we just discussed, how do you become the most famous human being with no infrastructure. And the second is why were thousands of people following Jesus around? Back then you had to work to eat. It wasn’t like you had a refrigerator and stored‑up food, okay, go down to the Safeway and buy what you want. So every day you had to work to eat, okay? You had to fish and farm. You had to whatever,” he continued. “These people stopped doing that and they followed the Nazarene around to backwaters all over Judea. Why? Why would they do that? Couldn’t hear him. There were thousands of people. He didn’t have a mic. Couldn’t hear him, okay? He was doing something that attracted all these people. Now, I don’t say in Killing Jesus he was performing miracles because how would I know? No doctor there. I can’t report that as a historian. What I can report is that the Romans and the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Sanhedrin were receiving reports of these miraculous healings, which would have driven crowds like that. That’s the only explanation. Jesus was doing something that got the word out and these thousands of people were converging on where they thought he was going to be. Just to see him or touch his robe. And that had never happened before. And I don’t think it’s ever happened since.”
Switching gears, Glenn asked Bill about his thoughts on Ted Cruz.
“You know, I have two minds on Ted Cruz. Number one, I understand exactly what he’s doing. He wants to run for president. He wants to be the head of the conservative wing of the Republican Party. This was his view. That’s why he did what he did. I think he really believes that Obamacare is bad for the country. I think he’s a sincere man and I think he was representing the sentiments of his district,” Bill said. “All of that is good, but I think in the end you have to compromise to some extent to get anything done long term. And so I would like to see Senator Cruz say, ‘All right, if you give us a year and don’t have the individual mandate for a year, we’ll talk about it.’ I don’t want my way or the highway.”
One of the more interesting elements of this debt-ceiling showdown and Obamacare debate has been the lack of public interest in the topic. The television ratings for coverage of the situation are abysmal, which is disheartening when you consider what that means in regards to an informed electorate.
“What does it say about us and how do we fix our country if people don’t pay attention to real news,” Glenn asked.
“Listen. With the computers now people are creating their own lives, they’re playing games, they’re watching porn, they’re doing whatever they want to do, and it’s an addiction. So they are becoming addicted just like it would be to a drug. They have to have a machine in their hands, they have to text, they have to play a game, whatever,” Bill explained. All that takes you away from the serious business of running the country and the serious business of living your life. So I do not see that ever changing. So you will have an elite that rules the country and then you’ll have some people who pay attention, and most people will be living lives of escapism. Just like in Roman times.”
“That leads you to an elite governing the country. Now, whether that leads to a collapse or not remains to be seen. But you’re going to have a very few people calling the shots because most people aren’t paying attention and don’t know what the hell’s going on,” he continued. “That’s why Barack Obama was reelected. The so‑called low‑information voters just voted on emotion. That’s what they heard. Do they know anything… But that doesn’t mean there’s going to be a collapse. You know, if a good, smart person who cares about the American people and the country gets elected, they happen that person will be able to do a lot of good. But if you’re telling me that the folks are going to rally back into the arena and pay attention, with all these machines that they have? Not going to happen.”
“So wait a minute. So you are saying then we will not be a real republic anymore,” Glenn interjected. “Will be more of a – and I hate to use this word because it’s so inflammatory, but basically what you were describing is a fascistic sort of rule.”
“It depends on who’s in power, if he’s not a fascist. Look… I’m not as pessimistic as you are,” Bill responded. “But I will be pessimistic in this sense: I think right now 50% of Americans have no blankin’ clue what’s going on. And I think that number will rise to 60, 65% in the next ten years.”
So what will happen if Obamacare impacts people’s lives the way it looks like it’s going to?
“Then the Democratic Party will be banished for 10, 15 years. That’s what will happen. They will be banished. They will lose. There will be a Republican president the next time around,” Bill explained. “You know, there are enough people getting subsidies from Obamacare who are going to like those subsidies. So it’s not a clear black and white. But do I think it’s a chaotic thing that will collapse? Yes, I do. Will it collapse overnight? I don’t think so.”
“Next two years,” Glenn asked.
“Maybe,” Bill said. “It depends how many doctors bail… If you get doctors bailing out on this that say, ‘I am not going to take the exchange insurance rates,’ then you will have a revolution in this country, not just ‘We hate the Democrats.’”
Watch the entire interview below: