Bill O’Reilly is apparently still smarting from the election and the loss of traditional America. Although he told guest David Silverman, president of American Atheists, that he wanted to understand atheists' position on Christmas displays, within minutes he was shouting at Silverman and calling him a fascist. Along the way, O’Reilly insisted Christianity is not a religion and that Christmas is not affiliated with any religion. Fortunately for us, Silverman was a terrific guest and did not take any of the attacks lying down. Grab the popcorn!
I believe O’Reilly meant well. But the road to you-know-where is paved with good intentions. “I’m really trying to get your point of view here,” O’Reilly said at the start. “I don’t look down on you. I don’t think you’re a pinhead,” he said amicably. That was before he called Silverman a fascist, of course.
Oh, what a difference a few minutes can make. Silverman told O’Reilly he’s not “messing around” with Christmas, he just wants to stop the government “from preferring one religion over another.”
That annoyed O’Reilly to the point where he said brusquely, “You listen to me and you answer my questions.” Then, in a condescending tone, he “asked,” “What religion is involved with Christmas?”
As Silverman said, “Christianity,” O’Reilly interrupted to say, “That’s not a religion, that’s a philosophy.”
Silverman was not snowed by this gotcha tactic. He said, “It’s not cool for you to cloud this issue,” with that argument.
Things devolved from there.
O’Reilly said he’d have no problem with Silverman putting a sign saying, “Happy Winter Solstice” on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office door. Silverman disagreed, saying that O’Reilly would.
That really set off O’Reilly. His finger jabbing the air, he snapped, “Don’t tell me what I think. When I said I didn’t have a problem, I don’t have a problem. Got it?”
But Silverman stuck to his guns and that really aggravated O'Reilly. He said, “This is so unreasonable. You are so unreasonable, it is frightening… Your view is insane… You and your merry band of fascists…”
Silverman did not take that lying down. “You call me a fascist? I am a patriot, Sir, who is taking the craziest notion that everybody in this country is equal and that the government has to treat everybody fairly. That’s fascism?”
It's possible O’Reilly wouldn’t mind a "Happy Winter Solstice" sign on Democratic Cuomo’s door. But he’d almost surely yell the loudest and longest if such a sign was on the lawn of the State Capitol. Even longer and louder if it was anything Islamic. Just think how he squawked about the Ground Zero Mosque – and that was on private property.
By the way, Bill, have you gone down there with your saw and hammer yet? I’ll bet not.