Fox News' Bill O'Reilly blames rap for the decline of Christianity

Has the man never heard of Kanye West?

Helen Nianias
Monday 18 May 2015 15:17
Bill O'Reilly
Bill O'Reilly

It's always so great when somebody who knows absolutely nothing about hip-hop throws their hat into the ring to blame it for just about any "youth" problem.

So it's thrilling that Bill O'Reilly has now decided that it's the main reason people aren't going to church as much in the United States.

O'Reilly, who is a Fox News anchor, has blamed "pernicious entertainment" for a decline in people wishing to label themselves as Christian. The number of Christians has been declining since 2007 according to a study by Pew Research.

He said: "There is no question that people of faith are being marginalized by a secular media and pernicious entertainment."

"The rap industry, for example, often glorifies depraved behavior. That sinks into the minds of some young people - the group that is most likely to reject religion."

Scarily, O'Reilly's not on his own in the demonisation of hip-hop. Fellow Fox News broadcaster Geraldo Rivera - who recently got in a fight with an eloquent protester in Baltimore - said the genre's "done more damage to black and brown people than racism in the last 10 years."

Rivera added: "When you find the youngster, a Puerto Rican from the South Bronx or a black kid from Harlem, who has succeeded in life other than being the one-tenth of one-tenth of one per cent that make it in the music business, that's been a success in life walking around with his pants around his ass and with visible tattoos… it’s this whole ethos."

Hip-hop was once again in the firing line in March as panellists of MSNBC show Morning Joe blamed "rap music" and "popular culture" for the racist SAE frat chants at Oklahoma University.

Right-wing commentator Rush Limbaugh then added his penny's worth, saying that the chant - "there will never be a n****r in SAE" - would have been a hit song if recorded by Kanye West.

Going back to O'Reilly's comments, anybody who has ever so much as happened to once stumble into a shop playing hip-hop will know that religious themes run right through the music. Rappers such as Rick Ross, Tupac, Kendrick Lamar and - erm - Puff Daddy have all explored Christianity and what religion means.

Just to get you started, Bill, here's the most obvious example of mainstream Christian hip-hop.

Kanye West - 'Jesus Walks'

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