Michelle Obama mixing politics and religion

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 5, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, FNC HOST: Now, for the "Top Story" tonight. First Lady Michelle Obama speaking at a church conference in Nashville, Tennessee saying the social problems of America, things like poor education and obese children should be discussed in houses of worship.


OBAMA: To say to anyone who said that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better. No place better because ultimately these are not just political issues. They are moral issues.


O'REILLY: Well it all ties into the social justice concept.

And joining us from Washington to react, Fox News analyst and radio talk show star, Laura Ingraham.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Bill, I've got to -- I've got to end this segment, my back is killing me and I'm kind of -- I've got to --

O'REILLY: You need a disability?

INGRAHAM: I need it this. I need to take a break.

O'REILLY: Are you going to get it from -- from Fox or from the radio thing?

INGRAHAM: You know pain in the neck, you know. Pain in the neck from all these crazies.

O'REILLY: You are a little bit of pain in the neck Ingraham you know that.

INGRAHAM: Well, that's what they say about you O'Reilly. So we got you, we got you covered there.

O'REILLY: I'm more than a little bit. You are just a little bit.

INGRAHAM: Yes, yes you're a 6'5" pain in the neck.

O'REILLY: So Michelle Obama saying, look, some of the problems we have in America even though they are in the political realm are moral situations; that we have children who are suffering, who are being, you know -- not given what they should give to succeed in life and you say?

INGRAHAM: Well, look, I want to look at the bright side. Number one, the First Lady talking about morality, that's a great thing. And I think that -- that's to be celebrated.


O'REILLY: All right, really. And you are not saying that sarcastically?



INGRAHAM: No, I say that in all seriousness. And any time we have a prominent citizen of her stature, then that's great. And -- and I don't personally have a problem with going to a church and talking about those things.

The issue, I think arises here with the Obamas though because of the decades, of course, of the liberals attacking faith and politics, right? There is always as you alluded to the separation of church and state, that's supposed to being sacrosanct. So -- so if George Bush or -- or a conservative goes to a church and talks about marriage. Traditional marriage the importance of the family, abortion -- any of these types of issues, people on the left will usually say oh, how could you do this? This is -- you're politicizing the pulpit and how dare you do this on election year.

O'REILLY: Yes that's an interesting point because they're moral issues as well.

INGRAHAM: Yes well they are moral issues to a vast majority, I would submit.


INGRAHAM: Of -- of African-American pastors would think that much of what the Obamas have done on -- on issues of -- of the HHS mandate.


O'REILLY: All right, so let me ask you this.

INGRAHAM: And even on the issue of marriage it comes into conflict with their views.

O'REILLY: You just made an excellent point. So if -- if Michelle Obama were here this evening and you said Mrs. Obama, would you consider a conversation about gay marriage in a church to be legitimate? What do you think she would say?

INGRAHAM: I would -- I think the language would probably devolve into well, it's ok, however, we need to be tolerant and we've all evolved to this position. In other words, the debate is really kind of shut down for a lot of people.


O'REILLY: But she couldn't say that though, Laura. Because in some churches they go by the bible and the bible basically says that marriage is between a man and a woman. So I don't think she could say anything like that.

INGRAHAM: Well, she didn't raise this issue at this -- at this Tennessee deal right I mean, which is pretty amusing because obviously there was great consternation. You explored it on THE FACTOR I certainly have on radio.

O'REILLY: But I think she would have to say yes that that is a legitimate subject to be discussed in a house of worship. I think she would have to remain consistent.

INGRAHAM: Well -- well -- Bill, Bill yes, the problem is a lot of the groups says as you pointed out that supports the Obamas would be going ballistic right. Because they are dedicated to this idea of expunging God from the public square and -- and vice versa, right?

If you're -- if you're getting tax exempt status as a church, should you be doing an explicit get out the vote effort which when you look at Michelle Obama's speech -- it's quite a lengthy speech.

But when you look at the language she talks about you know change starts at home. Change starts with each of us. Using the language of her husband's campaign and then moving to talk about the need to get out on election day and be part of the process, now, that's different from just talking about morality, which I think is -- is terrific.

O'REILLY: So you think she was using that church in Nashville, Tennessee as a campaign stop.

INGRAHAM: Without a doubt. I mean there's -- there's -- she certainly hadn't done this before. To -- to this type of degree where you're talking about the need for individuals to get out and vote and she referred to Congress. Members of Congress, we're not going to get the things we want done unless we have the right people in Washington.

What is she talking about? She's talking about getting out to vote.


O'REILLY: Right.

INGRAHAM: And again, I think when the shoe is on the other foot, that's crossing the line there.

O'REILLY: No I agree, I think that that was close -- I think she did a little bit.

All right, Laura, thanks as always.

INGRAHAM: It's great to see you.

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