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O'REILLY: Oh, My God

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly

With the shorthand "OMG" (oh, my God) becoming a huge cliche, it might be worth taking a look at how Americans are seeing the Almighty these days -- that is if they are looking at all.

A recent Gallup poll indicates that just 31 percent of Americans worship publicly on a weekly basis, while 43 percent rarely go to a church, synagogue or mosque.

Growing up under the heavy hand of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, it was drummed into me that attending weekly Mass was not an option. It was a must to avoid eternal damnation, which was not a prospect filled with many positives. Hellfire was perpetual, and no parole would be offered.

And so I went to Mass and was even an altar boy, memorizing a variety of Latin prayers that basically said Jesus was a good guy and everybody should avoid offending him. Not a bad message, so I really had no beef -- unless I was assigned to the 6:30 a.m. service. Was Jesus even up at that hour?

Today, only 24 percent of American Catholics attend weekly Mass, and so Lucifer must be very busy expanding accommodations. There are many reasons for this, but two stand out.

First, Mass is often deadly dull. Sometimes the priest is from Botswana, and you can't understand him. Other times, you can understand the padre, but 20 minutes on the Corinthians can be challenging, if you know what I mean. It would be great if priests, ministers, rabbis and imams would spice it up a little.

The second reason that churchgoing is in decline is that we are living in a narcissistic time when self-gratification has largely replaced the golden rule of treating others as you want to be treated.

Far be it for the public schools to teach this, but the U.S. was founded on basic Judeo-Christian principles. Don't take my word for it. Take a trip to Washington, D.C., and tour the Supreme Court building. There you will see a sculpted copy of the Ten Commandments on the wall.

But why? Moses wasn't an American. He didn't cross the Red Sea into Delaware. The reason the commandments are on display is that the Founding Fathers based the American legal system on honesty and on the avoidance of doing harm to others -- the basic tenets of the commandments.

But many secular Americans, including the ACLU, would dismantle the Supreme Court display if they could. We are now in the age of anti-religion, where pious folks are looked upon as odd. Religion is a bad thing to the secular-progressive. It's too judgmental and stands in the way of unfettered abortion, gay marriage and other sacred causes of the S-P movement.

Faith-based organizations such as the Catholic Church should be fighting against secularism, but they rarely do. Instead, they are on the defensive, as scandals and apathy have devastated organized religion. The Gallup poll reflects that.

But for me, a sinner, it is worth an hour a week to think about things of a spiritual nature in order to try to improve my life. I even turn off my cellphone. In pursuit of a higher calling, it is just not needed.

Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show ''The O'Reilly Factor.'' Visit his website at www.billoreilly.com. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/billoreilly.

Comments

kevin 1 year, 1 month ago

Church is only boring if you go there with that thought in your mind. You are supposed to clear your conscience and go there to learn something, not to worry about how many cell calls you are going to miss. If you can't spare 1-2 hrs a week to pray and understand the readings, I feel really sorry for you and we need to pray for those people. They are "lost."

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 1 month ago

Just so you know...eternal salvation or damnation is not doled out on the basis of worship service attendance. It if the free gift of God, offered to all. You won't get a better or worse seat in Heaven based on how often you showed up for Mass.


I have my own issues with Catholic services, as I see them as to ritualized, and honestly not fitting with the Scriptures of the Bible. There's too much that I just can't go along with in the Catholic idea of worship.


But as kevin said above, you will find church boring if you go in expecting it to be boring. Same goes for any event. If I expect a baseball game to be boring, chances are high that I'll find that game boring. If you find your Mass boring, perhaps you should look for another church that may have something to offer you.

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LilburnsFuture 1 year, 1 month ago

It seems most of O'Reilly's complaints center around the inability to understand. Many of the visiting speakers or priests do not have english as their native tongue. Many Americans fail to comprehend that the Catholic Church is almost 10 times older than this country. So as FordGalaxy seems to resemble that many of the rituals are misunderstood or simply not comprehended.

Baseball is a good analogy. A perfect game may seem incredibly boring, no one hits, no one walks, no one scores except one run by the team that pitched the perfect game. But understanding the game and how incredibly rare a perfect game is for one person to pitch makes it a site to behold.

Maybe what O'Reilly is saying is that he wants to see more american english sounding speakers, more passion, more leadership in terms of spiritual guidance, and less apologies for stance in what they feel is right for the souls of the world.

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kevin 1 year, 1 month ago

I hope all you that hate to go to Mass won't find your "death" and final "judgement" boring. Most of us go to Mass to get an understanding of the words of the Bible and most of all, to receive the Body & Blood of Jesus Christ. How do you receive the Sacrament of penance or Communion if you don't show up at a Church? What the Catholic Church preaches hasn't changed. People have changed.

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 1 month ago

Kevin- I don't hate Mass, nor do I hate any who attend it. I went to Mass with a co-worker once, so that I could experience it for myself. I didn't partake in Communion, because I felt it was not properly presented. The priest made no mention of examining oneself to see if one is worthy of the Communion, as the Apostle paul wrote to the church at Corinth. Apart from that, in my study of the Scripture, there is no saving grace imparted in Communion. Like Baptism, Communion is an outward sign of an inward faith. If saving grace were imparted through communion, then the thief on the cross would not have been able to enter Paradise with Christ, which is the opposite of what Christ promised him.

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LilburnsFuture 1 year, 1 month ago

The priest made no mention of examining oneself to see if one is worthy of the Communion, as the Apostle paul wrote to the church at Corinth. ... Here you go. Right as this prayer is uttered, that is when you are supposed to examine oneself. “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” It is based on the scripture of Matthew - one of your complaints was that there was not enough references in the Bible. The service does not assume it's everyone's first time so they do not explain everything. So Ford, if you have a casual interest, that is cool. If you wanted in depth understanding, you will have to go more than once and research what it's about. That is just my take. Kevin, - I doubt there is any hatred, just misunderstanding for the most part.

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