Bill O’Reilly was full of malicious glee last night as he relished the official launch of his annual War on Christmas season. Oh, he’s already engaged in a few pre-season skirmishes. O’Reilly has been so consumed with the Christmas spirit that he couldn’t wait until after Thanksgiving – or even after Halloween – to initiate attacks on a public school in Wisconsin and a town in Maine. By November 1st, he had gone after a public school district in New Jersey. You could be forgiven for thinking that attacking people for not observing the holiday the way O’Reilly thinks you should is his personal reason for the season.
“Over the years, we’ve taken on the role of protecting the federal holiday of Christmas,” O’Reilly intoned. As if the the only part of the holiday that counts is whether or not you say “Christmas” as part of your celebration. He continued:
Everything was swell until about 10 years ago when creeping secularism and pressure groups like the ACLU began attacking the Christmas holiday.
…Now, we have the "Happy holidays" syndrome.
That’s right, it doesn’t matter how commercial, how phony or even how irreligious (at its core) Christmas has become. If you say “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holidays,” you’re all good with Jesus.
O’Reilly couldn’t have looked merrier as he announced this year’s Holiday Gotcha – that since Hannukah will end the night of December 5th, there's no excuse not to wish people "Merry Christmas."
For further gotcha-merriment in the name of Jesus, O’Reilly whined that a Macy’s ad features a Santa who will help you with your “holiday wish list. “So here’s my question to Macy’s,” O’Reilly sneered. “What holiday is Santa celebrating?’” There was laughter off camera. “Winter solstice? The birthday of a reindeer?” I guess it never occurred to him that many people play Santa, gets gifts from Santa and shop for Christmas who don't observe Christianity. Jewish people with Christian friends, for example.
War on Christmas General O’Reilly identified “three primary culprits seeking to diminish Christmas”: the ACLU, Freedom from Religion Foundation and the American Humanist Association.
General O’Reilly announced gravely, “The Freedom from Religion Foundation “routinely threatens to sue small towns and school districts if they dare utter the word Christmas or allow choirs to sing carols in public schools.”
That’s apparently a huge distinction – at least in O’Reilly’s mind – from stalking and humiliating them on national television and riling up out-of-towners to harass them if they dare to be inclusive, erect a "holiday tree," wish people a “Happy Holiday” and/or sing winter songs instead of religious ones.
O’Reilly added, “The irony is that nobody is bothering the atheists. They are free to celebrate whatever they want to celebrate.”
As if O’Reilly isn’t.
“They are the oppressors. The Christmas spirit people are just upholding a nice tradition,” he concluded.
I guess that depends on what the meaning of “nice” is. O'Reilly has made it clear just what kind of "nice" Christian he is, especially over the holidays.
“So why are we allowing anti-Christmas madness?” O'Reilly asked, without a trace of irony at his own anger-filled and irrational (unless you're deliberately trying to incite) theatrics.
“Once again this year, I will keep an eye on the situation,” O’Reilly promised.
So be on the lookout, America. O’Reilly will be wrapped in a flag, carrying a cross and using it to club you over the head to make sure you follow his dictatorial reason for the season.
Um…this is America. We are all free to celebrate whatever we want to celebrate. It must be nice making a living fighting nothing at all.
And, BOR, in addition to other reasons, perhaps you should consider the fact that many who say “Happy Holidays” do it to cover the whole range of holidays that happen this time of year. In the first place, I say “Happy Holidays” to folks I don’t know personally because I do not know exactly what they celebrate. And, secondly, I say it to my Christian friends too – it covers Thanksgiving, Xmas and the New Year’s celebrations. Not a one of them has ever seemed offended or challenged me on it because they don’t see “Happy Holidays” as something inherently devious and secular (the way BOR and his ilk do). My opinion is that this speaks more to the nastiness inside folks like BOR that they will not accept “Happy Holidays” as being genuine, heart-felt and more inclusive of everyone. Nah, why see the inherent goodness of the greeting when BOR can instead use it to create division among the folks and put himself out there as the savior of “Merry Xmas”? Pffft.
P.S. Growing up in the 60’s/70’s, my 99% Christian, conservative, small hometown in MO had town-wide decorations that said “Seasons Greetings” and “Happy Holidays”. Am I supposed to believe that my hometown was anti-Xmas and was trying to cram secularism down everyone’s throats? No, of course not – it was just a friendly, cheerful way to cover all the holidays of the season. Seriously, BOR, get a grip!