Thursday, December 09, 2004

Bill O'Lie-lly

Once again, Media Matters is on top of the story about Bill O'Reilly and his conservative viewpoint. Check out this article.

The best part, in my opinion, is when O'Reilly tells a Jewish caller, who has complained about the public schools using Christmas to convert him:

You have a predominantly Christian nation. You have a federal holiday based on the philosopher Jesus. And you don't wanna hear about it? Come on,
[caller] -- if you are really offended, you gotta go to Israel then. I mean
because we live in a country founded on Judeo -- and that's your guys' --
Christian, that's my guys' philosophy. But overwhelmingly, America is Christian. And the holiday is a federal holiday honoring the philosopher Jesus. So, you don't wanna hear about it? Impossible.And that is an affront to the majority. You know, the majority can be insulted, too. And that's what this anti-Christmas thing is all about.

It's difficult even to know where to start with how wrong this is. First off, as I have noted before, America may be a "Christian nation" in the sense that a majority of people are Christians (though many of the sects of the "Christian" majority do not recognize the others as "Christians"), but even so it is a "Christian nation" with a secular government, as guaranteed by the First Amendment. That is to say, it doesn't matter whether the majority is Christian or not: The Constitution prevents any religious group, majority or no, from using the government to promote its beliefs. Period. End of sentence.

Then, O'Reilly comes across with the highly insulting, "if you are really offended, you gotta go to Israel then." What!? According to O'Reilly, if you find offensive having rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights violated, you have to leave the United States? Huh? Where in the hell did he get that from? If the caller said, "My neighbors have a nativity scene in their yard and it offends me," then maybe O'Reilly might have a point. But when someone protests the government using tax dollars to promote Christianity in the public schools in violation of the Constitution -- the document the President swears to defend as his Oath of Office -- O'Reilly tells them to go somewhere else?

Hey, how about this, Bill O'Reilly: If you don't like the rights granted by the Constitution of the United States, why don't you leave the goddamned country and go somewhere where they don't have a guarantee of religious freedom, like Iran. Jerkoff.

And there's his calling Jesus a "philosopher." Either O'Reilly has never read the Gospels or he doesn't have a clue what "philosopher" means, because Jesus is not a philosopher. He is using the term "philosopher" in bad faith, as an attempt to make it seem as if it's okay for there to be a Federal holiday for the guy's birth and for his teachings to be taught in schools, as if Jesus and his teachings can be studied without invoking religion.

They can't. Outside the existing framework of monotheism and Judaism, Jesus' teachings have no meaning. They aren't secular philosophies about the meaning of the universe and life. They are tracts about what has gone wrong with Judaism, about what God wants of His children, and about how Jesus is the living son of Man, the resurrected Son of God, God incarnated as a human. How can the teachings of a guy whose teachings claim he is the incarnation of God as a human be separated from Christianity, the religion of Jesus as the Son of God? They can't.

Moreover, the very people who are bringing Christianity into the classroom would object to Jesus being demoted to a mere philosopher. He's not a philosopher to Christians, Bill. He's God incarnate. And that is who the Federal holiday celebrates the birth of, which is against the First Amendment. But claim Jesus is just a philosopher? It angers Christians that, in Islam, Jesus has been demoted to a prophet! A prophet is better than a philosopher, but Christians don't even like that. Jesus, a philsopher. Gimme a break.

"The majority can be insulted too," O'Reilly says. So, Bill, what you're saying is that the Constitution guarantees every American certain rights, like freedom of religion, but you shouldn't seek to exercise those rights if the majority disagrees with you, because they might be "insulted." So, in the O'Reilly universe, the Bill of Rights is really the "Bill of things you can expect only if the majority thinks it's okay." The fact that the whole freakin' point of the Bill of Rights is to make sure the majority doesn't oppress the minority is apparently lost on O'Reilly, as is the fact that it is when the majority is violating your rights that it is most crucial to assert them. And when it is most crucial that everyone who values those rights support those being oppressed. Because rights that only exist when the majority or government decides they do are not rights at all.

O'Reilly demonstrates his fundamental lack of understanding of this nation by his statements. O'Reilly is a bad American. He, like the Bush regime and the evangelical right, stands against everything America stands for while claiming to be a patriot. By suggesting that this caller go to Israel because the caller's rights were violated, O'Reilly shows that he is a traitor to America and the American way of life.

Yes, I said traitor. He seeks to destroy the foundation of American society and government. He seeks to destroy what the President takes an oath to protect. Trying to destroy the Constitution is more traitorous than spying or giving information to our enemies, because those things simply give our enemies means to try to destroy the Constitution. O'Reilly wants to tear down the Constitution himself.


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