TODAY   |  April 10, 2014

Bill O’Reilly: My book’s about ‘most famous human’

The pundit and author joins TODAY to talk about his latest book, “The Last Days of Jesus,” and the role of faith in culture. He also talks about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s current status in the Republican party.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> with bill o 'reilly. his latest book "the last days of jesus " is a special illustrated edition of a "the new york times" best-seller "killing jesus ." he's on fox news and also happens to be a former history teacher . bill good to see you as always.

>> thanks for having me, matt.

>> your timing is awesome. you look at "noah" at the box office and other movies in the pipeline set to be released. there seems to be a lot of attention paid to religion now. a hunger for it? what's driving it?

>> well, i think that people are fed up with secularism because it's really -- it gets to be too much. but "killing jesus " and "the last days of jesus " not a religious book .

>> how do you separate the two?

>> we don't even use the word christ. once you use christ, you have to use messiah. basically saying this is the most famous man who ever lived. the most famous man who ever lived. this is what happened to him and why. politics, there's a lot of politics surrounding it.

>> you say that people are fed up with secularism. you say that the life and death of jesus christ are essential to understanding the country. you want this taught in public schools . make your case for me.

>> kids who live in a secular home and go to public school don't know anything about jesus . in fact, the only thing they know about jesus is when somebody is yelling at people. it's forged on tradition. if you don't believe that go to the supreme court . what's outside of the supreme court ? moses holding the ten commandments. a sculpture.

>> and you people teaching it --

>> i grew up in a secular home.

>> and look what happened to you.

>> but i found the way to fill the void in other ways in my life.

>> you shouldn't have to seek it as part of our history and heritage. kids need to know what judeo-visijudeo judeo- christian tradition is. that's what it's based on.

>> it's difficult to separate the religious side of the story. and one of the things that's interesting in public schools these days you go sit in one of those classes and sur surrounded by four or five kids of different faiths. why should they sit is there and listen to the story of jesus christ ?

>> if they're american children, because that's what forged the constitution. and if they don't like it, that's too bad.

>> how do you protect, though? how do you draw the line between balance of someone who would go in the classroom as a teacher and teach the historical story as opposed to religious believes.

>> no proselytizing.

>> who would do that?

>> i think teachers do. a lot of history teachers badmouthing their country and teaching that america is an evil nation. it's no proselytizing. that's why i wrote the book.

>> time for the lightning round . faith, upcoming election. chris christie has had a tough several months. is he still a force to be reckoned with in the republican party ?

>> he's a contender if nothings happens on the bridgegate stuff. i think he can run and see what happens. he's a contender.

>> jeb bush raised some conservative eyebrows over the weekend. he was speaking out on the subject of immigration. he drew a distinction between reasons why people cross the border illegally. he said in some cases, it is san act of love. what do you make of that?

>> he took it from me. i've been saying that for years.

>> did he give you credit?

>> no, he never does. you have to be compassionate. there are some bad illegal aliens and they should be out of here in a heartbeat, all right? but most of the people are good people. that doesn't mean you give them amnesty. it means you treat them fairly. and surely a great nation like america can come up with an immigration plan that's fair. surely we can do that.

>> last but not least, hillary clinton is she definitely running?

>> i don't know, i think she's socking in the pantsuits. we see the big trucks coming to the house. if she wants it she has it. it's all about what mrs. clinton wants.

>> "last days of jesus " you need to read this. i read all your books you know that.