Bill O'Reilly Vs. Laura Ingraham: Conservative Hosts Debate The Term 'Bible Thumper'

  on
Bill O'Reilly
Fox News political commentator Bill O'Reilly

As the Supreme Court stands posed to deliver rulings on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, a growing number of conservatives have been softening their stance on gay marriage in the event that the court strikes down both laws. 

One of those conservatives was Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly, who admitted last week that those in support of gay marriage have the “compelling argument,” and that the opposition can simply “thump the Bible.” Now it seems that fellow conservative Laura Ingraham has a problem with the way O’Reilly framed his argument. 

"The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals. That's where the compelling argument is. 'We're Americans, we just want to be treated like everybody else,'" O’Reilly said on air last week. “And to deny that, you’ve got to have a very strong argument on the other side. And the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible."

It’s that last phrase, “thump the Bible,” that Ingraham has a problem with. She appeared on O’Reilly’s Tuesday night show in order to debate his use of the phrase. According to Ingraham, O’Reilly was insensitive to those with deeply held religious beliefs as he characterized religious opponents to gay marriage as Bible thumpers.

According to Ingraham, O’Reilly’s use of the word “thump” is disrespectful to religious viewers because “A lot of them do have a very deeply held religious belief about what traditional marriage is.”

“It’s not disrespectful. In their private life they can. We’re talking a policy here. Don’t you understand the difference between private beliefs and public policy?” O’Reilly asked Ingraham. From there, O’Reilly proceeded to speak over Ingraham, claiming that he was insulted Ingraham saw his remarks as disparaging toward Christians. 

When Ingraham was finally able to get a word in, she replied the debate over public policy was not the only thing the so-called Bible thumpers care about.

“I think for some people it’s not about winning a debate. It’s about actually living the life they want to live for their communities, themselves, and their families,” Ingraham said. 

In the end, neither party could come to a solid agreement with the other, though O’Reilly admitted that he respects Ingraham for being the right-wing commentator with the most “common sense.”

Watch the full video from Tuesday night's "The O'Reilly Factor" below.

Join the Discussion