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O'Reilly and the Culture Warriors: Even In the Face of Dead Africans, Obama's Adviser, Knox, Can't Be Right

Reported by Julie - February 12, 2010 -

Last night (2/11/10) on the “Culture Warriors” segment of The O'Reilly Factor, the Prissy Pair, Margaret Hoover and that champion of persecuted Christians, Gretchen Carlson, weighed in to provide the proper amount of misguided, Christian-right perspective on The Factor. Bill O'Reilly seemed disgusted to report that gay rights activist and President Obama's faith-based and neighborhood partnerships adviser, Harry Knox, made a comment that the Pope is “killing people in the name of Jesus” because he doesn't support condom use to prevent the spread of HIV in Africa, and last March actually said that condom use “increases the problem” of AIDS. Except . . . Knox didn't say "killing" – he said “hurting” people. And O'Reilly got two-thirds of the way through his segment, using the words “killing” or “kill” four times, before his two Warriors saw fit to correct him and tell him that the actual comment was “hurting,” not killing. Killing, hurting – all the same when the misstatement is to advance the cause of Jesus – or anything straight, white and Christian – and stick it to the gay guy, along with a bunch of Africans. So much for their whole "what would Jesus do" thing. With video.

O'Reilly noted that the Pope says that condoms “violate Christian teaching . . . We don't want to debate condom use, but the Pope and the Catholic church are against it and they don't believe it is an effective tool to stop the spread of AIDS in third-world countries. Knox obviously sees it differently . . . he did say very provocatively 'the Pope is killing people in the name of Jesus,' that's pretty tough.” Not wanting to debate . . . this must be a first for O'Reilly, a man who would argue with a stump. He just couldn't offer up an opinion on this one, when the issue is what a gay man said -- a gay man who also happens to be part of the Obama Administration.

Hoover offered no correction on the "killing" comment (although as we later see, she knew it was incorrect), saying primly,“That's really extremist language and it doesn't do much to further his policy objectives . . . .” What these alleged Christians chose not to mention is that the real "extremist language" here is the outrageously ignorant comment by the Pope that condoms increase the problem of AIDS.

O'Reilly plowed on, complaining, “. . . Member of the Obama Administration says look, he's using Jesus to kill people, that's a little bit over the top. Who is this guy Knox?”

Christ-loving, wide-eyed Carlson (who also offered no correction on the killing comment, although she, too, knew better), said, “. . . He's on Obama's advisory council on faith-based and neighborhood partnerships – titles are so difficult you can't figure out what the heck they do . . . this comment was so inflammatory. . . whether or not you think condoms are a good idea or not, you should just not use this inflammatory language, especially about the Pope.” Well, Gretch, darlin', I do believe that Knox intended the comment to be inflammatory -- and I'm sorry Knox' title contained just too many words for your little head to worry over. I certainly hope that you took the same stance -- too wordy, can't figure the whole thing out -- with President George W. Bush's "White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives."

O'Reilly said with disgust, “If I'm the President and one of my advisers says that the Pope is killing people in the name of Jesus . . . .” Let me finish that for you . . . I'd certainly look into what prompted the comment and, if necessary, back my adviser up, especially in the event that some person of merit was deliberately endangering scores of people with irresponsible, dangerous rhetoric.

“Well, he said hurting, hurting people in the name of Jesus," Gretchen finally offered up.

“Hurting people in the name of Jesus," Hoover echoed.

All the Christian tenets of tolerance, in stereo.

O'Reilly seemed loathe to let go of the "killing" comment, though.

“What does AIDS do in Africa . . . You're right, I want to quote it accurately – still, the guy would be gone . . . You both agree it's inappropriate, okay -- guy's still there, President doesn't take any action. We're not calling for his head, I don't think that's necessary, but we want to bring it to your attention.”

Well, while you're at it, maybe you guys could bring to our attention that Rebecca Hodes, director of policy for the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa, seems to concur with Knox. Hodes said that "his [the Pope's] opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans." As reported by guardian.co.uk, the Pope previously said, 'The traditional teaching of the church has proven to be the only failsafe way to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids' . . . He also warned them that African life was under threat from a number of factors, including condoms. 'It is of great concern that the fabric of African life, its very source of hope and stability, is threatened by divorce, abortion, prostitution, human trafficking and a contraception mentality' . . . ."

It might have also behooved O'Reilly and the Warriors to note the feminist issues in this "debate." As reported by The Free Library, ". . . a married woman living in Southern Africa is at higher risk of becoming infected with HIV HIV . . . Extolling abstinence and fidelity, as the Catholic Church does, will not protect her; in all likelihood she is already monogamous. It is her husband who is likely to have HIV. Yet refusing a husband's sexual overtures risks ostracism, violence, and destitution for herself and her children. Given these realities, isn't opposing the use of condoms tantamount to condemning countless women to death?" I guess Googling a few things before spouting ignorant drivel on the show is out of the question.

It might also have been worth noting that ". . . A preponderance of medical research demonstrates that condoms help prevent the spread of HIV . . . Uganda earned its reputation as a paragon of HIV prevention for its now-famous ABC program: Abstain, Be faithful, and Consistent, Correct use of Condoms. Following the implementation of ABC, HIV infection in Uganda decreased from between 15 and 20 percent of the population in the early 1990s to 5 percent in 2003."

What a cop-out, O'Reilly -- and your Warriors, too. You don't want to debate condom use? Really? Well, there's really no debatable point here -- condom use, at minimum, decreases the risk of HIV. The only point up for debate is whether you, O'Reilly, and your Culture Warriors, would rather have a bunch of dead people in Africa than acknowledge that a representative of the Obama Administration is right -- and that your self-serving, pompous, Christian-right, Pope-loving claptrap is dead, dead wrong.