Last night on Bill O’Reilly’s show we were treated to a nutty display by a … and I can’t believe I am about to type this … full professor at Notre Shame. Prof. Candida Moss attacked O’Reilly for not mentioning in his new book, Killing Jesus, that … well, here’s Fox News Insider to tell you the tale!
Candida Moss, professor of New Testament at the University of Notre Dame, wrote a critical review of Bill O’Reilly’s best-selling book, Killing Jesus. In a Daily Beast column, Moss slammed O’Reilly for not mentioning the free health care offered by Jesus. [?!?]
Tonight on The Factor, O’Reilly and Moss went head-to-head over the history of Jesus. She called it an “oversight” that O’Reilly failed to mention Jesus’ insistence that the wealthy give away their possessions. [Is that the point of O’Reilly’s book? I haven’t read it.]
O’Reilly reminded her that his book is not about the doctrine. He said it’s dramatically clear that Jesus stood up for the poor. Moss fired back, “No, it’s a historical fact that he told people that in order to go to heaven they had to give away their possessions.” [?!?]
O’Reilly told Moss, “You’re taking it literally when these are parables. If you’re going to sit there, professor, as a theology professor at Notre Dame and tell me that everybody on this earth has to sell all their stuff and can’t have anything, or they’re not going to heaven, I’m going to say you’re a loon.” [And we are going to repeat it: she’s a loon.]
Candida disagreed, saying, “A rich man is condemned to hell merely for not giving away his possessions.” [And for not voting for Pres. Obama!]
O’Reilly called her out for misreading the gospel. He clarified that people have an obligation to help the poor, and that if possessions rule over you, then you will not go to heaven. “But he didn’t say you gotta sell everything, because then you’re going to hell, I’m going to hell and everybody watching is going to hell.”
“Jesus is not a free market capitalist,” Moss responded. “I think in your book, […] you misrepresent and cherry pick the facts.”
So, who is this person?
The Cardinal Newman Society – see their feed on my side bar! – has been watching her antics for a while.
Back in February CNS wrote:
Yale-educated University of Notre Dame professor of New Testament and early Christianity, Candida Moss has released a video promoting her new book, “The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom.”
In the video, Moss discounts the accounts of early Christian martyrdom:
[Let’s pause and watch Candida plug her own crazy theory.]
[Wow… just wow… ROFL! If you made it through that, kudos. Let’s move on.]
Contrary to traditional Church teaching, and popular belief, Christians were not systematically tortured and killed by the Romans merely because they refused to deny Christ. [Right, they were periodically tortured and killed.]
Rather, these stories were exaggerated, revised, and forged, often centuries later, and the history of the Church was reshaped in order to combat heresy, to inspire and educate the faithful, and to fund Churches.
She describes the goals of her book as “getting the history right,” and to “expose the dangerous legacy that these misunderstandings about Christian martyrdom have had for us today.”
The rhetoric of martyrdom and persecution persists especially in the language of the religious and political right, [?!?] and just as early Christians employed the martyrdom myth, this myth is still used to silence dissent and galvanize a new generation of cultural warriors. [THAT’s why we venerate martyrs!]
The idea that Christians are, by their very nature, persecuted, is grounded in an inaccurate history of the early Church. Christians were not relentlessly persecuted in the first few centuries, and they’re not systematically and continually persecuted today.
Moss is delivering a lecture on the topic on March 21 at the Washington National Cathedral. The description of that talk says that “there is the troubling use of this heritage to silence the voice of those who act outside the perceived orthodoxies of the day.”
Let’s now see the O’Reilly video. O’Reilly makes some mistakes along the way: Jesus actually said certain things or he didn’t and how we interpret them is a theological exercise. But let that pass for now.
Okay, having watched the videos two questions come to mind.
QUAERUNTUR: What’s the real reason O’Reilly had her on? And do you think she figured it out?