Just one day after Bill O’Reilly proclaimed himself the chief enforcer of keeping Christ in Christmas, he attacked poor people as undeserving of food stamps. O'Reilly ignored the difficulties of the working poor – and presented himself as a victim of the system. To top it off, he suggested that Jesus Christ would agree with him.
Fox Wants You To Think That Helping The Poor Is Somehow Un-Christian
O’Reilly attacked discussed the federal government's SNAP program (previously known as “food stamps”) In a segment with the “fair and balanced” title, “Nanny state vs. Christianity,”
O’Reilly asked Father Gerald Murray, “We all know” that “Jesus would feed the poor. …But would he impose a system that hurts one group to help another group?”
O’Reilly didn’t say so but it was quite evident, especially from his later comments, that the group being “hurt” was himself. That’s right, a guy who is believed to earn more than $10 million a year, is estimated to be worth $50 million or more, thinks he’s being hurt by having his tax dollars go to providing food to the poor.
Not surprisingly, Murray agreed with O’Reilly that Jesus would not endorse such a “hardship” on O’Reilly. “Not at all,” Murray said. He called the comparison of food stamps to Jesus’ teaching “out of order.” Murray even made O’Reilly look compassionate by dismissing his concern for the millions of Americans without health insurance by saying, “we’ve done pretty well” compared to other countries.
In reality, the U.S. has one of the worst health care systems compared to other countries. But O’Reilly didn’t dispute Murray’s statement.
That was quite a contrast to the treatment of the other guest, Joshua DuBois. Unlike Murray, DuBois was identified as a spiritual advisor to President Obama. So any loyal Fox watcher knew to take anything he said with at least a few grains of salt. O’Reilly certainly did.
Even by Fox News’ standards, O’Reilly’s comments about Christianity and the poor were shocking
O'Reilly had the following exchange with Dubois:
O’REILLY: The problem I have… is that you’re helping one group by hurting another group – and a bigger group. And so I don’t know if Jesus is gonna be down with that.
DUBOIS: Well, Jesus would be down for the poor. He would want to make sure that every single person in this country had enough food to eat. And the bottom line is, if you add up every single private charitable dollar that feeds hungry people in this country, it’s only 10% of what we would need to make sure everyone has food in their stomach. The rest comes from the federal government. It’s $7 billion compared to $80 billion. And so, if the government doesn’t step in, people are gonna go hungry...
O’REILLY (interrupting): You’re making a powerful argument but there’s one huge mistake in it. And that is that some of the people who don’t have enough to eat, it’s their fault they don’t have enough to eat. Particularly with their children. And this is where it really becomes dicey. If you’re an alcoholic or a heroin addict or a drug addict and you can’t hold a job, alright? And you can’t support your children – and that’s a circumstance of millions and millions of people. Not most, but a lot. A substantial minority, OK?
Then it’s your fault – you’re bringing the havoc - and then you’re asking people who may have, be struggling, themselves, to put food on the table to give their tax money to you – and then you’re not even gonna buy food with it. You’re gonna buy booze and drugs with it. Because there’s no government regulation about that. And that’s my problem.
O’Reilly is almost certainly worried more about his own pocketbook than the tax dollars of anyone “struggling, themselves, to put food on the table.” Federal tax rates for the middle class are near historic lows. O’Reilly himself validated Mitt Romney’s now-infamous remarks that 47% of the country are moochers anyway. Furthermore, even if O’Reilly is correct that “it’s their fault” some people don’t have enough to eat, it’s shocking to hear a Christ-loving guy like O’Reilly suggest that the solution is to let people starve.
But the facts show that O’Reilly is wrong about food stamp recipients, as DuBois pointed out.
DUBOIS: With all due respect, there’s a lot of misconceptions in what you just said about the food stamps program. The vast majority of that program goes to elderly people, people who are disabled, 46% are children –
O’REILLY (interrupting again): But they’re children who aren’t being supported by their parents. That’s where they are.
O’Reilly turned to Murray for support. “There are some people that we see that are suffering through their own fault, alright? So how do Christians deal with that? …What’s my financial responsibility to their children?”
Murray replied, “It’s an interesting question.” Apparently caught between the need to speak Republican and the need to at least give the appearance of Christian compassion, he told O’Reilly, “Believe me, private charities do a much better job of taking care of children.”
O’Reilly: Christ would be down with me!
It’s worth pointing out that while O’Reilly loves to attack poor people as undeserving, he rarely (if ever) discusses the mounting problems of the working poor in our country. It was also telling that the "No Spin Zone" provided no statistics to show what percentage of SNAP beneficiaries are addicts.
Still, O’Reilly wants you to think he’s the kind of compassionate guy Christ would surely love:
Now, Mr. DuBois, I give a lot of money – and you probably know this – to children’s charities, OK? Children who have derelict parents. And I say, you know, it’s not the kids’ faults. So I’m gonna give the money to the kids. But I don’t give it to charities, unless the charity hands it to the kids, alright? Gets it right to the kids. So I’m circumventing the drugs and the alcohol and the other craziness, alright? And I know charities who do that. And they do it well. But a lot of charities don’t. And the government certainly doesn’t. The government throws it with no drug testing, no counseling, nothing. Bang! Right in there. And a lot of that money goes right down the drain.
But DuBois had a great retort, one that struck right to the heart of Fox’s “American exceptionalism” hypocrisy:
But Bill, I don’t live in a derelict country. There are some folks who have the problems that you describe but that is not the vast majority of food stamp recipients. …I think we’re creating a culture where we’re trying to give folks a hand up, so they can get out of poverty. That’s what SNAP does, that’s what the food stamp program does.
But does DuBois say “Happy holidays” or “Merry Christmas?” Because on Fox, this seems to be the only thing that counts about being a good Christian.
Just one of the tidbits from Billo’s porn novel.
And let’s always remember "O’REILLY further suggested that Plaintiff ANDREA MACKRIS purchase a vibrator. When Plaintiff became embarrassed and told him that she was not interested, O’REILLY again suggested: “We should do it together, I could coach you through it.” " “Well, if I took you down there then I’d want to take a shower with you right away, that would be the first think I’d do… yeah, we’d check into the room, and we would order up some room service and uh and you’d definitely get two wines into you as quickly as I could get into you I would get ‘em into you… maybe intravenously, get those glasses of wine into you….
Uh, would Jesus be down with any of that?
Not talkin to you, Billo
I would hope that if either does exist, he/she would be more compassionate.
As the tale goes, Marie is made aware of a group of French peasants protesting and she asks why. She’s told they’re protesting because they have no bread to eat and she supposedly utters the “Well, let them eat cake, then” line—not to mock them but merely because she’s apparently so stupid she doesn’t know that one needs flour to make cake. (Technically, the traditional French quote has her using “brioche” not “gâteau”—a brioche is basically a type of bread, enriched with butter and eggs and “gâteau” is the usual French word for “cake.” It’s a very subtle difference since, at the time, butter and eggs could be even more costly for those who didn’t live on a farm.) Additionally, the line is actually derived from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Confessions” (the first part which had been written in the late 1760s—though not published till 1782—when Marie would’ve been about 13, and, somewhat ironically, her popularity among the French people only began to decline about the time that Rousseau’s “Confessions” was published) in which he recounts a story of a “thoughtless princess” who utters the line; notably, he’s recounting this story while explaining why HE couldn’t go into a bakery as a young man (it’d be sort of like explaining why you felt compelled to vote because of a story you’d heard about some election in which one vote was the deciding factor—even if the story itself was completely false). Rousseau was in his 50s when he wrote the narrative about something he recalled as a 20-something young man.
The first actual direct attribution of the line to Marie was by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr some 50 YEARS after her execution in one of his “Guêpes” (a series of essays that were frequently satirical). However, most of the surviving letters written by Marie have an entirely sympathetic tone when dealing with the poor. And, one should never discount the fact that, as the French Revolution was beginning, France was becoming highly xenophobic and highly nationalistic, in addition to its anti-aristocratic and anti-monarchial tone, and Marie was from Austria so she had two very big black marks against her (which help with the confluence of Marie with the infamous line).
Effectively, this thing with Marie is no more real than the stories of Washington chopping down the cherry tree or the reality of “the midnight ride of Paul Revere” or Betsy Ross’s first flag. It makes for a good story but is pure hokum.
Marie Antoinette: “Let them eat cake.”
Bildo: “Let them starve. They are a bunch of crackheads anyway.”