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Bill O’Reilly Morphs Jesus And The US Constitution – While Ignoring The Constitutional Right to Free Speech

Reported by Priscilla - December 4, 2008 -

Tuesday night’s (December 2nd) Factor was yet another strange trip into the bizarre world of Bill O’Reilly. It seems America’s Daddy has his clean, white panties all in a bunch because evil atheists were granted permission to set up a sign, declaring that there is no God, in the rotunda of the Washington state capitol building as part of the state holiday display. Bill devoted a discussion segment, an interview with rightwing radio talk show host Kirby Wilbur, and his “Talking Points” to this issue that threatens, like the protests against Prop 8, to end the world as we know it. I’ll report on the discussion segment now and, later, if I have the stomach, I’ll cover the other two which, in total, took up most of the airtime. During the discussion statement, Bill made a comment that showed, at least, a lack of historical knowledge and, at most, yet another example of his severe mental health problems.

During the discussion segment O’Reilly, who is fighting mad about the inclusion of this sign, discussed the issue with liberal blogger David Golstein and attorney Ann Bremner. Goldstein hit it out of the park when he responded to O’Reilly’s question as to the wereabouts of Governor Gregoire (whom O'Reilly described as a “coward”). Goldstein said that Governor Gregoire is busy meeting with President elect Obama and trying to deal with the economic crisis "instead of worrying herself over this annual tempest in a teapot, which is what this is." Bremner acknowledged that she was friends with Gregoire so she was reluctant to criticize; but she felt that the sign was offensive and inappropriate and said that it would be like allowing the KKK to put up signs next to a commemorative exhibit for Martin Luther King, Jr. (Comment: some irony here, as the state of Washington allowed a group of separatist Neo-Nazis to use the capitol steps for a rally. Wonder if Hannity was in attendance?)

Bill was just outraged and the outraged sputtering took a strange turn when he claimed, after Goldstein referred to the constitutional right to free speech, that the holiday is about Jesus and “our Constitution is based on a lot of his teachings.”

Comment: Just when you thought Bill O’Reilly couldn’t get any crazier, we have something even crazier than usual. It would actually be funny if it weren’t for the fact that a lot of misinformed Fox watchers become even more misinformed when they hear this bull crap. I realize that this is an “opinion” show; but isn’t there some responsibility to historical accuracy? No wonder Fox News, in a recent Pew Study, is ranked last in the number of “high knowledge” viewers. The U.S. Constitution is based on a variety of historical concepts chief among them the notions of democracy as embodied in English Common Law and the philosophy of the Enlightenment. The philosophies of Montesquieu and John Locke influenced the Constitution. I suppose you could say that Jesus’ admonitions about social responsibility affected, in a macrocosmic way, the Constitutional mandate to promote the “general welfare;” but that is stretching it. Not noted by Bill O’Reilly was that the decision to allow the display was based on a lawsuit, filed last year, by a person who was outraged that the state had a Menorah and no nativity scene. The state then allowed the Creche. Yesterday, the Governor and the Attorney General of Washington put out a statement. As noted in the Seattle Times, "the federal lawsuit led the state to create a policy allowing groups to sponsor a display "regardless of that individual's or group's views." "The U.S. Supreme Court has been consistent and clear that, under the Constitution's First Amendment, once government admits one religious display or viewpoint onto public property, it may not discriminate against the content of other displays, including the viewpoints of nonbelievers.” It's ironic that the person who sued about the Nativity Scene has this to say about the atheist sign: "I appreciate freedom of speech and freedom of access. That's why they're in there, and hey - you know, that's great." O’Reilly also claimed that this only happens in “looney” Washington; yet a similar sign has been erected in Madison, Wisconsin (which O’Reilly has referred to as a hotbed of Satanism.) But thanks to Bill O’Reilly and his culture warriors, the governor’s office, which has other far more important things to deal with, is dealing the hundreds of calls and e-mails (who knows how many death threats) from O’Reilly’s cadre of Peasants With Pitchforks. But Bill does have his priorities and the bogus and hateful “culture war” is tops on the list.

If Bill O’Reilly wishes me Merry Christmas, I have a two word response and it ain’t Merry Christmas!