If Bill O'Reilly is inspired by God, it's clear his heavenly pal needs to brush up on his history. And that's because O'Reilly is still making the BS claim that the US was founded on "Judeo-Christian" values. Sounds like Bill and his celestial mentor need to get some remedial education.
On last night's "Tip of the Day" segment, a nightly piece in which Bill shares his sagacity with we mere mortals, *devout Catholic Bill began by informing us that he attended Mass last Sunday. He lamented that there were few people at the service and that (despite Bill's best efforts to combat this trend) there "is no question that America turned secular, religion is receding almost everywhere." He asked, "if you are a non-believer, how should you celebrate Sunday besides having a nice dinner?"
Historian wannabe O'Reilly launched into a lesson that could have been straight out of the work of pseudo-historian David Barton, who promotes the totally bogus narrative that America is a "Christian nation" founded on Christian principles - a notion, popular in the Christian right, used to justify anti-gay, anti-abortion legislation and prayer in school - stuff that O'Reilly heartily endorses.
O'Reilly described the "brave men and women" who "wanted freedom which they believed back then was God's intention that man live free of oppression." (Does O'Reilly know that once these godly folks got set up, they then oppressed others, such as the Quakers?) Bill recommended that we godless heathens spend Sunday reading about "Judeo-Christian philosophy and how it was forged in America, how it influenced everything we do even today." He continued the homily "Judeo-Christian philosophy, our laws, everything we do." He offered more advice: "If you're not included to worship, then education yourself. Easter is a great time to do that."
Bill might want to take his own advice. He might want to acquaint himself with Founding Father John Adam's quote: “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion" - a belief underscored by our treaty with the Barbary Pirates. He should check out our Founding documents which have almost no mention of a deity. He might want to read about Rhode Island's Founder, Roger Williams, who was the first to write about "the wall of separation" - a concept later endorsed by Thomas Jefferson who was not too keen about organized religion. Bill might want to read up on the Enlightenment and how its principles helped in forming this nation.
Those who take his advice and read up on "Judeo-Christianity" might learn that it wasn't the Founders who originated the term. Rather, it seems to have its origins with FDR and was then promoted by Protestants and Catholic politicians and clergy who used it in their homilies against Communists. From the 1980's on, it "became a badge of identity for Christian conservatives who wanted to chip away at the wall of separation between church and state" as well as a means of furthering the evangelical movement, in other words pushing the "Christian" and diminishing the "Judeo," something that former ADL head Abe Foxman was very concerned about.
Anyway, happy Sunday reading. When you're finished, I guarantee you'll be more knowledgeable on the topic than Father Bill!
*Never mind the sexual harassment case, the nasty divorce case, and years of attacking those who don't agree with him with slander and lies...
I’d be willing to bet that O’Reilly’s not even aware that his fellow Catholics were also oppressed by those “godly folks.”
In fact, the ONLY colony that was established where Roman Catholics could practice freely was Maryland. The charter that would establish the colony in Maryland was sought by George Calvert, the 1st Lord Baltimore, although he died just weeks before the charter was granted. The charter was signed by his son, Cecil, who would become the first Proprietary Governor of Maryland (his second son, Leonard, would become the first ruling Governor—effectively, his post was to represent the Proprietary Governor much the way the Governor-General in Commonwealth realms represent the Queen’s authority). One of Cecil’s most notable achievements was the Maryland Toleration Act which protected Catholics as well as Protestants who didn’t conform to the Church of England (the act did have a minor sticking point: it applied only to Christians and only those who accepted the Trinity as truth (Unitarians, for instance, who denied that Jesus was THE Son of God risked their lives to practice their faith). After Cromwell took control in England, Maryland’s new Anglican leadership repealed the Toleration Act (after Cromwell died, the colonial legislature reinstated it but after the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688, it was permanently repealed and within 20 years, Maryland Catholics would even be denied the right to vote; Catholics in Maryland would have no legal protections until after the American Revolution).
And, Bill might really want to rethink that whole “Judeo-Christian” nonsense. That’s a Reagan-era idea designed by fundamentalist Christians to alleviate fears by Jewish Americans (especially those in the GOP) over the evangelical Christians’ rise to power. Jews had, for decades, been wary of the evangelical and fundamentalist movement with its anti-Semitic origins (the Klan limited its membership to Christians of churches that, in Biblical terms, offered no succor to Jewish groups). Many of the leading evangelical Christians in the 1960s and 1970s were adamantly opposed to Israel UNTIL certain officials saw Israel’s existence as vital to their “end times” philosophy. It was around this time that these Christians started supporting Israel, even though it was for purely selfish reasons (Christ could only return to Earth after Israel had been “restored”; without an Israel, Christ’s “Second Coming” would never come to pass). SO………to placate concerned Jews, the evangelicals started with the “Judeo-Christian” blather, insisting that the Founding Fathers were inspired by Jewish traditions in establishing the United States, even though it’s all a bunch of nonsense.