Fox News' Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday stood by his assertion that "thumping the Bible" won't defeat gay marriage and responded to some of the reaction from his charged debate with radio host Laura Ingraham.
Reading one viewer's email that said faith will always be linked to policy when it comes to opposing same-sex marriage and calling gay lifestyles a "sin", O'Reilly said it was a losing argument.
"This is the crux of the matter: Your belief system is constitutionally protected and I respect it," he said. "But if you think you will influence any U.S. policy with a 'sin' analysis, you are misguided in the extreme. Want to stop your country from going down the drain? Fight smart."
Another viewer took offense to O'Reilly's use of the phrase "thump the Bible," saying it's commonly used as a slur. O'Reilly said he's a major champion of Judeo-Christian values and didn't mean any offense. He also clarified that he didn't call anyone a "Bible thumper."
"I said that Bible thumping-- I-N-G -- is not going to win any debate in this country," O'Reilly said.