Bill O’Reilly has responded harshly to conservative criticism over his remarks last week that same-sex marriage opponents need to stop “thump[ing] the Bible”; last night, O’Reilly Factor contributor Laura Ingraham was on the receiving end of O’Reilly’s frustration. Throughout their debate on his show, he repeatedly told Ingraham that he was “disappointed” in her because she “bought into this garbage,” i.e., that his comments were inappropriate and unfair, but Ingraham repeated the general criticism that his phrasing was disrespectful.
The conversation got so heated at one point that Ingraham asked O’Reilly, “Why are you yelling at me?!” Both did agree that same-sex-marriage opponents cannot rely on religious beliefs to make their political argument, so they clashed mainly over O’Reilly’s word choice. “Why did you use the word the word ‘thump,’ Bill?” Ingraham asked. The host explained, “because that’s the way you get it across — there are Bible-thumpers, and all they do is say, ‘I object to gay marriage because God objects to it.’”
Last week, O’Reilly drew ire in conservative circles — including from Rush Limbaugh — for saying that, on gay marriage, “the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible” and that “the compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals.” Last night, O’Reilly stood by his comments, calling them an “accurate description.”