This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 30, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly.
In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, part two of my interview with Bill Maher who is one of the most adamant voices against religion and conservative people in America. In fact, Mr. Maher is blunt. Conservatives and believers are morons.
O'REILLY: Even on some cable competition to FOX, which is why many people probably didn't hear you say this, because nobody watches. But you say on a couple of shows that I saw that a lot of Americans are too stupid. They just don't understand what's going on, and therefore, they make fallacious decisions.
Do you feel comfortable saying, "Look, you American people, most of are you dunderheads and you don't just understand"?
BILL MAHER, HOST, HBO'S "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER": I do.
O'REILLY: You do feel comfortable with that?
MAHER: Absolutely, absolutely. Sixty percent of the American people, Bill, believe the Noah's Ark story is literally true.
O'REILLY: OK. I don't know any of those people. I think they found Noah's Ark on some mountain in Turkey. Didn't they find it up there?
MAHER: That's in your Bible. I mean, if you're a religious person and the Bible is written by God, why isn't -- why is stuff in the Bible untrue?
O'REILLY: Well, because it's allegorical, Bill. I'm sure you know -- I'm sure you know it's allegorical, and these are parables. They're designed to -- to teach you a greater truth that apparently has eluded you. You know, it's not a literalist interpretation, the Bible.
MAHER: I thought it was the Word of God. I thought it was literal, and a lot of religious people do.
OK, what about the part in the Bible that says if you see your neighbor working on a Sunday, you should kill him? Is that a parable or is that literal?
O'REILLY: I think that's probably -- I don't know that parable. Can you -- is that Romans? Ecclesiastes? Where did that come from?
MAHER: It's not a parable. No, no. It's in Deuteronomy. It's a law.
O'REILLY: It's a law?
MAHER: If you see your neighbor working on Sunday, you should kill him.
O'REILLY: You've got to kill him?
MAHER: It doesn't sound like a parable to me. But if it's your perfect holy book written by God, why is there stuff in there that makes no sense or is immoral?
O'REILLY: Let me break this to you. I respect the Bible, and I take it as allegorical book, but I'm a Christian so the New Testament is what I believe in. And the Old Testament written by prophets.
MAHER: I love the way the Christians -- right, but they're both written by God. Right?
O'REILLY: No, God didn't sit down and write it. They were written by prophets. And they were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Real human beings who actually took it down.
MAHER: Right. We're talking about the Old Testament now. You know, I know all the Christians want to get behind the happy half of the Bible, where Jesus walks on water. Turns fishing trip with the guy.
O'REILLY: Maybe that's the love half of the Bible that teaches you to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Maybe that's what you're trying to get behind here, Maher. I don't know, really, the downside of that.
MAHER: But you can't -- but you can't disavow the Old Testament.
O'REILLY: I'm not disavowing anything. I'm telling you what I believe in, and what I believe in is love your neighbor as yourself and don't call him stupid because they don't agree with you politically.
MAHER: But if you're saying that some things in the Bible are true and other things aren't. It's not like the Constitution, Bill. It was written by God or inspired by God. So how come so much of it is either wacky or immoral?
O'REILLY: Look, that's the way you see it. All right? Other people see it in a different way.
MAHER: Killing your neighbor.
O'REILLY: I don't know any Christians or Jews killing their neighbor.
MAHER: For working on Sunday?
O'REILLY: I don't know anybody who does that except Ted Bundy, OK? That's all and he's dead.
MAHER: But Bill, the only reason you believe what you believe is for two -- can only come from two places. Either somebody told you like your minister, your priest, a preacher, or you read it in one of the holy books. Right?
O'REILLY: I've read the New Testament. There doesn't seem to be a lot of downside to being like Jesus. He seemed to be a pretty good guy to me, Bill.
MAHER: He was a good guy.
O'REILLY: And I think if Jesus were in charge of the country or the world, we'd all be in a better place, would we not?
MAHER: Right. I think if Jesus was in charge of the country we probably would have health care for everybody.
O'REILLY: All right. And that might be true because he could multiply the loaves and fishes, and we wouldn't have to have, you know, a lot of stuff that we have to have, all right?
MAHER: Multiply the loaves and fishes, really? And I'm the one who's the -- I'm the bad guy for saying people are dumb.
O'REILLY: Listen, Bill, you're free to believe what you want to believe. If you want to believe that a little meteorite crashed into the earth and Bill Maher emerged from some swamp some place, you go right ahead and believe it, man. You and Richard Dawkins...
MAHER: Who is that?
O'REILLY: ... and all your crew, you can't explain how the earth got here. You can't explain how the earth got here. You can't.
MAHER: Right. Nobody can -- nobody can explain it. But it doesn't mean that we should make up stories like children to explain it.
O'REILLY: All right.
MAHER: We at least admit "I don't know." You don't admit that.
O'REILLY: You don't know. So don't denigrate people of faith, because your faith that there isn't a God, that there isn't, is just as much as a belief as those who believe. It's just as much but on the other side.
MAHER: No, it's not. Absolutely not, Bill. You are championing faith, which is the purposeful suspension of critical thinking. That is not what I'm doing.
O'REILLY: No, you are mocking people who actually have sincere beliefs and follow people like Jesus who did very good things.
O'REILLY: You mock them. You denigrate them. You make them or try to make them look stupid.
O'REILLY: That's not noble, Bill. It's not noble.
MAHER: There's a great quote from Thomas Jefferson about how ridicule is the only appropriate way to handle such fantasy.
O'REILLY: All right. Always lively with you, Maher. OK?
MAHER: I'll send it to you.
O'REILLY: And we -- we wish you well, as always. Thanks for coming on.
MAHER: OK. Thanks, Bill.
O'REILLY: Now, the Bible passage Maher referred to is from Exodus, not Deuteronomy. And it reads, quote: "Whosoever does any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death," unquote.
However, here is the context. There is no mention of neighbors. The passage was based on Moses reporting to the Jews that God would handle the Sabbath situation.
As for Bill Maher, you have to give him credit for debating. Many far-left people are too cowardly to do that. The entire Maher interview, uncut, is posted on Foxnews.com.