The "Dr. Phil of Prayer" has issued a challenge to outspoken television star Rosie O'Donnell to defend her "anti-Christian hate speech," surprisingly by the invitation of radio talk show host Howard Stern.
This would be the third time Bill Keller, host of Live Prayer with Bill Keller, has spoken on the popular "shock jock's" daily program, and he is willing to appear again to debate with O'Donnell, who he felt has had no direct challenge from Christians against her anti-religion remarks.
"This could either be because Christian leaders are afraid of Rosie, or because Rosie is afraid to be confronted by Christian leaders," Keller explained. "Well, I am standing here today calling Rosie out to defend and debate her positions, and let the people decide for themselves if she has any merit or if she is lacking substance."
The request has been dubbed "The Rosie Challenge."
Keller has asserted that O'Donnell, an openly lesbian star and co-host of ABC's The View, has continually criticized Christianity and the internet/television evangelist said he will specifically respond to her comments that Christianity is "no different than radical Islam."
Last year, days after the observance of Sept. 11, O'Donnell had shocked co-hosts and audiences when she said on The View, "Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have a separation of church and state. We're a democracy here."
Two months later, a Barna Group study conducted in October on over 1,000 adults revealed that most evangelical Christians were unaware of the controversial remark that aired.
Keller jumped on the idea to appear on Stern's Sirius Satellite Radio 101 network to speak directly with the television co-host.
"Rosie is very brave when she is talking to the camera and nobody is there to challenge her outrageous views on so-called 'radical Christianity,'" added the prayer host. "Let her stand up and debate someone who will not be intimidated by her and will go toe-to-toe with her on this issue."
Keller has gained his unusual connection to Stern following a debate he had with the "shock jock" last month, when they quarreled with one another for about 20 minutes on topics ranging from homosexuality to adultery to pre-marital sex. The radio personality liked the debate so much that he invited the prayer evangelist back to host his Live Prayer show – which is the only live call-in, faith-based television show that is broadcasted on only secular television channels – directly over his own.
Keller returned on Mar. 26 and ran his show with his normal format, and received telephone calls from some of Stern's more difficult listeners.
"Just from the first program, I had over 3,000 emails from Stern listeners," the ministry figure noted in a statement. "About 40 percent of them were typical, hateful anti-Christian emails, but some 60 percent of them were legitimate, sincere people asking for prayer and direction in their lives. I believe many were backslidden Christians who were jolted back to reality by listening to Howard and I debate the very things that were heavy on their hearts."
Live Prayer with Bill Keller is broadcasted Monday-Friday on Tampa, Fla.'s CBS Affiliate CW 44 late at night from 1-2 a.m. Interested people can listen 24/7 to online streaming on his website, LivePrayer.com.
According to Keller, his website has responded to over 60 million prayer requests.
O'Donnell has not yet announced a response to the "Rosie Challenge."