has a powerful World Net Daily
column, O`Reilly won the battle—but lost the debate
(December 19), arguing that while Bill O`Reilly has succeeded in embarrassing Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire for permitting an anti-religious placard alongside the traditional nativity display in the state capitol, he has no effective answer to her claim that the U.S. Supreme Court requires her to give equal time to all beliefs:
Bill might have won the battle, but he lost the debate. Why? Because O`Reilly fiddles with the icing rather than the cake:He defends the country’s founding faith on the frivolous grounds that it is a federal festival like any other – an “uplifting tradition … where peace and love are the theme of the great day.” The substance of O’Reilly’s claim against those who’d disrespect a Christmas display is: “Be nice, because Christmas is nice.” And because the feds have told you to.Having defended Christmas as a lawful, public holiday, logical consistency then compels O’Reilly to stick up for every foul federal holiday, including Martin Luther King’s dedicated day. This he duly did, even going so far as to suggest that atheists apply to have their own, federally approved, winter solstice celebration. Until such a day, however, Bill vowed to banish them from the public square.
But, Ilana notes: "This is the country`s founding faith O`Reilly is talking about; not one among many competing holidays."
She concludes that Christmas should be defended
not because the State designated it a holiday, or because it is a harmless and happy day. Christmas ought to be defended on the basis that Christianity is America`s founding faith.To defend Christian America with reference to un-Christian State law that has all but banished Christianity from the public square is worse than silly.
E.V. Kontorovich made a similar argument in a famous and controversial
1997 column in the New York Post
, which I quoted when adjudicating
the 2005 War Against Christmas Competition:
Unless society draws a line—the only obvious place to draw it is at Christianity—an unmanageable tumult will ensue: gridlock in the public square.
Kontorovich and Mercer are Jewish. Would anyone else would have the courage to make this argument?
For the record, it was also Ilana who alerted me to the fact that MSNBC`s Keith Olbermann, a loud War Against Christmas Denier, recently accused
me of anti-semitism for my role in pioneering the issue. (Thanks, Ilana!)
You didn`t think I
watch Olbermann, did you?