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Bill O'Reilly Defends "Eucharist" Against Christian Insulting "Secular" NY Times

Reported by Priscilla - August 30, 2011 -

As Jon Stewart so accurately expressed it, "conservative victimization is the true genius of what Fox News has accomplished." Perhaps the most "victimized" Fox victims are right wing Christians who are aided in the whinefests by Fox "News' which never wastes an opportunity to take a swipe at those evil secularists who, in addition to their attempts to ban Jesus, have no respect for Christians. Staunchly defending his fellow Christians against the evil, "secular" media is Bill O'Reilly who never wastes an opportunity to take a swipe at his personal bete-noir, the NY Times and its executive editor, Bill Keller who had the unmitigated gall to say that Fox News isn't "fair & balanced" - something that Bill O'Reilly wasn't happy about. Recently, Keller expressed his opinion, in a NY Times article, that Rick Perry and Michele Bachman should be questioned about their faith, given that their faith does appear to have connections to radical Christianity. As such, Keller feels that the public has the right to know if how beholden these candidates are to the groups who espouse these beliefs and if these beliefs would effect policy decisions. He says that "it's worth knowing whether a candidate has a mind open to intelligence that does not fit neatly into his preconceptions." Seems pretty tame. But not for Bill O'Reilly who twisted the intent of the article and cherry picked one quote in order to advance his bias against Bill Keller and the NY Times. I don't know if that's a sin of "omission" or "commission" but as Bill thinks he's "without sin," he has no problem throwing those stones!

The opening graphic, behind good Christian Bill framed the discussion. It showed a picture of Bill Keller and the words "insulting Christians." (Death threats are probably being sent as we speak.) Bill said that "the secular media is continuing to batter religious politicians." (Is Bill admitting that Fox is "religious media?) He commented that Keller wants the religious views of politicians to be scrutinized. He read the Keller quote about how every faith has elements that seem bizarre. Keller then says that when he grew up, he actually thought that Catholic priests could turn the communion wafer into the body of Christ. Well those were fighting words for Catholic Bill who said that Keller is insulting the Eucharist. (Catholic Bill expects everybody to understand "Transubstantiation.") Bill then brought up the tired right wing whine about how there would be outrage if Keller insulted Jews and Muslims and how, today, you can "kick Christianity around all day long." (Bill doesn't know that Fox kicks Islam around?). He did admit that the candidates should be questioned about their theology.

Bill asked Juan Williams about "this wafer business." Williams agreed with some of Keller's comments but asked why Keller equated "the body of Christ" with aliens. (He didn't. He merely said that if candidates said that they believe in aliens, we would question them; but we're reluctant to question them about their religious beliefs that, to some, seem strange.) Bill, who can be so patronizing to his female "culture warriors," said that Keller seemed "condescending." Mary Katherine Ham, who writes for the right wing "Daily Caller," scoffed at Keller's reference to "fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity." (Keller was describing what are, in reality, extreme homophobic, dominionist groups with which Bachmann and Perry are affiliated.) O'Reilly got in his perfunctory smear of "the far left" with his reference to Keller being part of the "far left" "attack mode" which "throws a basic Christian tenet that a priest or minister has the power, through ordination to change bread into the body of Christ a la the Last Supper when Christ Jesus gave the dictum to his apostles to do that, that's like believing in aliens..." Bill says he's not "offended" but there are people "smarter than Bill Keller who do believe it happens" and that Keller is insulting those who believe this. Episcopalian Williams should have corrected Bill's comment about "priests and ministers" changing bread into Christ's body because Reformation churches do not believe in Transubstantiation but hold that communion is a symbol of Christ's presence - defined, in the Episcopal Church as "consubstantiation."

Williams mentioned attitudes of the candidates that are worth questioning. Mary Katherine Ham "joked" that NY Times writers don't, as do "normal people" wrestle with the dictates of their faith. She alluded to how, in 2008, questioning someone's preacher was "tantamount to racism." (Yeah, Mary Katherine, Fox portrayed Rev. Wright as another scary black man who was a member of a scary black church which taught scary black liberation theology.)

Comment: The Pope should rest easy knowing that Bill O'Reilly is defending the faith. But this was classic Bill cherry picking of material germane to his propaganda. What he didn't tell his audience was that Keller also mentioned "Mormon underwear." And Bill, just because non Catholics find "transubstantiation" a little strange, doesn't mean they're mocking it. That you think that they are is your problem - not theirs.

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