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Fox News Presenter Bill O'Reilly Blames WDBJ Shootings On Rise Of Atheism

28/08/2015 15:51 BST | Updated 29/08/2015 02:59 BST

Fox News presenter Bill O’Reilly reacted to the WDBJ shootings on his Thursday show, concluding the latest tragedy in America’s cyclone of gun-related horror was the product of atheism.

The host of 'The O’Reilly Factor,' who has secured a personal fortune with a series of books on the decline of the Republic (including the best-selling ‘Killing Jesus’), ascribed the deaths of WDBJ TV reporter Alison Parker and station cameraman Adam Ward on America “turning away from spirituality.”

Paraphrasing Smerdyakov from 'The Brothers Karamazov,' O'Reilly noted: "If you don't believe in anything, anything goes," while blaming the "liberal media" for "openly mocking" religious beliefs.

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Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox's 'The O'Reilly Factor' at Fox Studios on December 15, 2011 in New York City

The host, who has the highest–rated show on cable news, offered a “rise in nihilism” and a decline in the number of Americans who identify as Christian as the cocktail responsible for producing alleged killers such as Vester Lee Flanagan, who have “few restraints on their lives.” He also managed to get in a plug for his latest tome 'killing Reagan.'

Karen Ruskin, a psychotherapist appearing in the segment made the counterpoint that plenty of murders are spiritually motivated. Bill shot back demanding she name one “outside the Jihadists.”

He continued: “Every single murderer over 40 years that I have covered in these circumstances has been either atheistic, agnostic, no religious basis at all,” adding: “Can you point to one person who committed mass murder recently that had a religious background? You cannot.”

O’Reilly concluded: “The spiritualism falls apart in the face of the jihad, okay, which is a perversion of Islam, we all know that. But over the years and centuries, religion has been used to justify murder, even in the Christian precincts. That has happened. But individuals in this country now, I believe, are tending away from spirituality and into the secular-progressive ‘it’s all about me.’ And when you combine that with a mental illness, you have what you had in Virginia yesterday.”

Earlier on Thursday, Donald Trump responded to the killings by insisting the issue was one of mental health, and restricting gun access was not a solution. “This isn’t a gun problem, this is a mental problem," he told CNN. "It’s not a question of the laws, it’s really the people.”

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Alison Parker and Adam Ward were gunned down live on air by alleged shooter Vester Lee Flanagan on Wednesday morning

Peddling NRA-scripted Republican orthodoxy, the GOP presidential frontrunner said banning weapons would leave “bad guys” with guns, and everyone else defenseless, while noting that Flanagan, also know as Bryce Williams, was a “very sick man.”

On Wednesday, Dana Loesch, a conservative author and radio host, similarly refused to countenance any correlation between the country’s right to bear arms and its monstrous gun-related death rate.

She said: “We don't have a gun problem. We have a criminal problem. We have a society that thinks it's completely permissible to shirk responsibility. We have people who have no problem with what Planned Parenthood does in terms of fetal parts harvesting. We don't teach a respect for life. We glorify violence in movie, music, film, and books. This is what our society is. This is Frankenstein's monster. This is what society has created; it is a reflection of us."

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Virginia Shooting of Alison Parker and Adam Ward