Wednesday night, Bill O’Reilly got into a heated debate with David Silverman, President of American Atheists. O’Reilly pointedly questioned Silverman about why atheists are ‘messing around’ with Christmas traditions.

“We’re not messing around with anything, we’re stopping the government from preferring one religion over another,” Silverman retorted.

O’Reilly argued that Christianity is a philosophy, not a religion. “If the government was saying that the Methodist religion deserves a special place in the public square, I would be on your side.”

“So, you’re going to actually tell me on live television that Christianity is not a religion?,” Silverman asked.

“Correct, it is a philosophy,” said O’Reilly. He continued, “Roman Catholicism is a religion. Judaism is a religion…” To which, Silverman disagreed saying that these are 'sects of Christianity,' and charged that it was 'not cool' for O'Reilly to try to 'cloud the issue.'

O’Reilly countered that he would have no problem with it if Silverman wanted to promote the atheist philosophy by posting “Happy Winter Solstice” signs on government buildings.

When Silverman challenged him on that claim, O’Reilly blasted, “Don’t tell me what I think! I said I didn’t have a problem – I don’t have a problem! Got it?”

The tension between the two escalated when Silverman charged that everyone is forced to celebrate Christmas because ‘you can't go to work, you can't get your mail, you can't go to the bank.’ O’Reilly then blasted that Silverman and his ‘merry band of fascists’ want to get the Christmas holiday revoked.

Watch the whole heated discussion below: