Russell Brand Takes On Bill O'Reilly On The Fall Of Christian Values And Consumer Capitalism

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On his YouTube show "The Trews," Russell Brand responds to Bill O'Reilly's conclusions that mass media decadence is behind the fall of traditional values in America.

For decades, FNC's Bill O'Reilly has blamed pop culture, rap music and violent video games for the decline in "Christian morality" in the U.S. "The prevailing wisdom," he says, "among some Americans is whatever is good for me, is good period... Any student of history knows that when a nation turns towards the pursuit of individual gratification, the country is in trouble... Rome is the best example."

Russell Brand sees exactly the same problem in society, but he blames consumer capitalism for corrupting Christian values; the media is a reflection of our culture's broken values, not the other way around.

"The Roman Empire isn't here anymore. The Roman Empire is a tourist attraction... And what people seem incapable of understanding is that one day this will just be some artifacts. The things that are timeless, real and valuable are being neglected, and that is why no one wants to go to church anymore, because those values are not promoted. Those value have no relevance, nor resonance, no value, no one talks about them, no one cares about them, they are subjugated, sublimated, at every turn."

"That is what the whole ideology is!" Brand says. "Whatever is good for Exxon-Mobil is good period. That is the whole ideology of capitalism. It is dependent on continual expansion no matter what the cost. Ecological safety is about conservation, sustainability. So if one of those have to go, this society of Exxon-Mobil-dominant capitalist ideology has decided, the planet goes... You could get rid of every rap musician and things are not going to improve."

People "across race, gender, education and geographic barriers" are abandoning traditional faiths, says Brand. Not just fans of Beyonce and those who play Grand Theft Auto.

"What do you want people to do? You strip society's values, you strip society of love, have people show up at church once a week and worship a clearly indifferent Jesus."

Transcript below:

RUSSELL BRAND: The Pew research study [cited by Bill O'Reilly] actually revealed that Christianity is on the decline not just among younger generations and certain regions in the country, but across race, gender, education and geographic barriers, that is what it found. A widespread all prevailing disillusionment with the values/attitudes of Christianity, because Christianity is nominally the state religion of a secular nation. And you're seeing what the results are.

BILL O'REILLY: Also the media promotes non-traditional values.

RUSSELL BRAND: These traditional values are not derived from Christianity. These traditional values are derived from America's myth. America's belief about itself. A revolutionary Republic founded upon freedom that actually behaves on controlling and inhibiting the freedom of its people and increasingly people all around the world.

BILL O'REILLY: The prevailing wisdom among some Americans is whatever is good for me, is good period.

RUSSELL BRAND: That is what the whole ideology is! Whatever is good for Exxon-Mobil is good period. That is the whole ideology of capitalism. It is dependent on continual expansion no matter what the cost. Ecological safety is about conservation, sustainability. So if one of those have to go, in this society of Exxon-Mobil-dominant capitalist ideology has decided, the planet goes... You could get rid of every rap musician and things are not going to improve. Start to try to regulate, control, break down the power of big business, of global trade organizations and the debt-based economy, and the whole structure, if you attack that, then you will get a reaction... What do you want people to do? You strip society's values, you strip society of love, have people show up at church once a week and worship a clearly indifferent Jesus.

BILL O'REILLY: Any student of history knows that when a nation turns towards the pursuit of individual gratification, the country is in trouble.

RUSSELL BRAND: Bill O'Reilly there doing his famous trick of getting so close to the truth you think he is in danger of saying it!

BILL O'REILLY: Rome is the best example. The people there ultimately rejected sacrificing for the Republic. And the Empire collapsed.

RUSSELL BRAND: This is literally uncanny. America is often compared to the Roman Empire. Because of its imperialism, because of its decadence, because of its supremacy, because of their belief that they have a unique access to truth, and because obvious contradictions and doomsday devices that are built into that.

And lets face it, the Roman Empire isn't here anymore. The Roman Empire is a tourist attraction... And what people seem incapable of understanding is that one day this will just be some artifacts. The things that are timeless, real and valuable are being neglected, and that is why no one wants to go to church anymore, because those values are not promoted. Those value have no relevance, nor resonance, no value, no one talks about them, no one cares about them, they are subjugated, sublimated, at every turn.

BILL O'REILLY: Talking Points believes the same thing is happening in America today, but it can be fixed is the electorate wakes up.

RUSSELL BRAND: Phew. Having a slightly worse party of bastards and assholes would certainly make things better. Aren't the Republicans putting Jeb Bush forward? Bill, how can you, after analyzing individualism, the nature of self-pursuit, and how it relates to the decline of great empires, then say well I've got the solution. What is it? It's another Bush! They keep subdividing where are you getting these fucking Bushes from?

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