Our Mandate is not to Waste Your Time

To watch "The Memo" click here.

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thank you for watching us tonight.

Well, our mandate is not to waste your time, and that is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.  We know you're busy, we know you have 90 other channels you could watch.  Connie's on, Phil's on, there are monkeys everywhere on the Discovery Channel, and Buffy is constantly chasing those vampires.

So we here at The Factor have to be on it.  And once again, we are.

Few weeks ago, we broke the University of North Carolina Koran story nationally.  The school is requiring all incoming freshmen to read a book praising the Koran, the Islamic Bible.  We said that was unfair and possibly unconstitutional because books about Jesus or Judaism or Buddhism could not be required reading for all students in any institution funded by the public.

In a theology class, fine.  But not as a standard for admission into a university.

This the authorities at UNC disagreed with us.  But now a North Carolina legislative committee has voted 64 to 10 to ban any public funds associated with this reading assignment.

Now, the issue raises a number of questions.  The professor in charge told me that knowing about the Koran is relevant and highly necessary after 9/11.  I understand that point of view but don't completely buy it.  I believe Americans don't need to read the Koran to understand that fanatical Islamic killers are a threat.

I went on to tell the professor that we didn't need to read Mein Kampf to understand that Hitler was a threat.

So guess what happened?  Some Muslim Web sites wrote that I compared Mein Kampf to the Koran.  Isn't that nice?  Talk about dishonest spin.

Unfortunately, that kind of stuff happens all the time, especially on the Internet, where there are no editorial controls.  Anybody can say anything.

But the larger point is this.  America is fighting a war on terror against an enemy that has perverted the Islamic theology.  If you want to know exactly what the Koran says, read it.  I have a copy in my home office.  But no American should be forced to read a book that lavishes praise on the Koran or the Bible or any other theological tract.

We do have freedom of religion in America, but we also have freedom from religion.

So the freshmen at the University of North Carolina should not be subjected to any religious indoctrination period.  There are plenty of religious colleges around if you want that.

The Factor applauds the North Carolina legislature's decision, and we're happy to be the first ones on television to bring you -- bring this to the nation's attention.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."

This weekend in south Florida, there will be a high school reunion that I have a particular interest in.  Thirty years ago, your humble correspondent was teaching history and English at Pace High School in Miami.  Now, many people have asked me how could you teaching at age 14.  Well, that's a long story that I'll have to tell you some other time.  But, I want to wish all my former students at Pace a great reunion this weekend and it is ridiculous that 30 years have come and gone so quickly. 

— You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com