O'Reilly's On-Air Treatment of Former Homosexual-Coming Persecution?

by Allie Martin

(AgapePress) - A former homosexual who is now a Christian recording artist says his recent appearance on a top-rated television talk show provided a glimpse of the coming persecution facing Christians in this nation.

During a verbal confrontation on FOX TV's The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly - a hero to many conservatives - blasted Stephen Bennett for his biblical views regarding homosexuality and his opposition to homosexual adoption. Bennett tried to appeal to O'Reilly's Irish Catholicism by reading Bible verses that condemn homosexual behavior.

But O'Reilly repeatedly interrupted and said that he could not understand why Bennett would object to a troubled child in foster care being adopted by a loving, homosexual couple.

Bennett, who now ministers to those wanting to leave the homosexual lifestyle, says Christians need to be prepared to take the heat for Biblical beliefs.

"We are living in days right now where the gospel of Jesus Christ is no longer politically correct - it hasn't been for a while," Bennett says. "I believe that the persecution now is starting to come in America for this - and I just praise God for my brothers and sisters across the world who came out in support" [of him following the broadcast].

Bennett said the episode proves that not all conservatives are true believers. "When you follow God and you follow the Bible, God will never, ever steer you wrong," he says. "God is the #1 conservative. You follow what the Bible says and, believe me, you'll be going the right way the entire time."

During the show, O'Reilly called Bennett a "religious fanatic" because he believes the Bible is the infallible, literal Word of God.

The American Family Association and Concerned Women for America have urged their members to protest and write O'Reilly's treatment of Bennett. An Associated Press story quotes O'Reilly as saying he has received 100 angry e-mails. But Buddy Smith of AFA says O'Reilly was "pummeled" with responses and received "hundreds" of e-mails from concerned viewers.

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