Fox News host Bill O'Reilly warned that America is "changing for the worse" during his "Talking Points Memo" segment on Tuesday night, highlighting a study released this week by the Pew Research Center that found a stark decrease of self-identified Christians in America — and he warned that the U.S. could be "in trouble."
"Any student of history knows that when a nation turns inward towards a pursuit of individual gratification, the country is in trouble — Rome [is] the best example," O'Reilly said. "The citizens there ultimately rejected sacrificing for their republic and the empire collapsed. Talking Points believes the same thing is happening in America today, but it can be fixed if the electorate wakes up."
In discussing the Pew Research Center results, which found that 70.6 percent of Americans called themselves Christians in 2014 — a contrast from 2007 when that proportion was at 78.4 percent — O'Reilly detailed his theories as to why the nation experienced this decline.
"There's no question that people of faith are being marginalized by a secular media and pernicious entertainment," he said. "The rap industry for example often glorifies depraved behavior and that sinks into the minds of some young people — the group that is most likely to reject religion. Also, many movies and TV shows promote non-traditional values."
O'Reilly also blamed "poor leadership and corruption" in the Catholic Church for the decline, though he did not mention mainline Protestantism, which actually saw the biggest decrease in adherents, as its affiliated denominations and churches continue to battle and splinter over the theology surrounding homosexuality and basic Christian tenets.
In the end, O'Reilly said that the founding fathers didn't want a nation devoid of God.
"Although the founding fathers wanted freedom of religion, they did not want a secular nation," he said, noting that they believed that religion provided a strong moral code that protected the masses.
Watch O'Reilly discuss these issues below:
Read more about the Pew Research results here.