Fox News host and best-selling author Bill O'Reilly believes that children should learn Judeo-Christian principles in public schools.
O'Reilly explained his views during an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's "TODAY" show Thursday, saying, "Kids need to know what Judeo-Christian tradition is, because that's what all of our laws are based on. That's what the country's philosophy is based on. ... And because that's what forged the Constitution."
"Kids, if they live in a secular home and go to public school, don't know anything about Jesus. … Our Constitution was forged on Judeo-Christian philosophy and tradition," he reiterated.
When Lauer countered that he had a secular upbringing and was able to do just fine via finding other things to "fill the void," O'Reilly argued that he should not have had to do that.
"You should not have to go seek it. It's part of our history and part of our heritage," replied O'Reilly, noting that Moses holding the Ten Commandments can be found at the United States Supreme Court building.
Lauer was interviewing O'Reilly about his new book, The Last Days of Jesus, which is an illustrated version of his best-seller Killing Jesus.
"We're basically saying look, this is the most famous man who ever lived. The most famous human being who ever lived. Here's what happened to Him and why."
O'Reilly's assertion about the need for Judeo-Christian principles to be taught in public schools has its critics, including Simon Brown of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
In a rebuttal posted on the AUSCS blog "Wall of Separation," Brown noted that Moses was one of many lawgivers adorning the Supreme Court building. He also took issue with O'Reilly's conclusions on the nature of the Constitution.
"The U.S. Constitution has no basis in religion. After all, people are free to ignore the Sabbath or disobey most of the other Ten Commandments with no legal consequences," said Brown.
"O'Reilly agreed (during the NBC interview) that proselytizing should not occur in public schools, and said it can be left to faculty to make sure that does not happen. That is an extremely optimistic view, as the temptation to proselytize would be too great for some to resist."
Released last year and coauthored by Martin Dugard, Killing Jesus chronicles the events and time period of the days leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus.
"Nearly two thousand years after this beloved and controversial young revolutionary was brutally killed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe He is God," reads the Amazon description.
"Killing Jesus will take readers inside Jesus's life, recounting the seismic political and historical events that made His death inevitable – and changed the world forever."
The illustrated adapted version of the book, titled The Last Days of Jesus: His Life and Times, was released in April.