In Santa Monica the court has banned a Christian group from hosting a nativity scene in the public park, a tradition that was started almost 60 years ago. A staple in the community, one might say. However, the banishment of the nativity scene is not at all surprising. After all this is a battle that has gone on for years and will always be a topic for debate.
What really surprised me was O’Reilly’s response and flippant attitude toward nativity scenes and atheists in general. He is way too shallow in his interpretation of the atheist agenda, as well as the meaning of Christmas for that matter. Here is a video of he and Adam Carolla, a pronounced atheist, discussing the issue:
First of all, the atheist O’Reilly decided to have on his show was one who didn’t even share any of the sentiments of the atheists involved in the Santa Monica case, nor was he an atheists because he hated God. Carolla just didn’t want to be “bothered.” So, in other words, he is a wishy-wash atheists who would agree with everything O’Reilly said. If O’Reilly wanted to have a real conversation with someone he should have invited an atheist who might actually disagree with him.
Second, O’Reilly doesn’t seem to want to begin a dialog with these atheists. He is simply interested in making fun of them and moving on. “You want to find an atheist you go to the pier or under the pier,” he said with a laugh as Carolla nodded in agreement. It was an atheist bash if I ever saw one. I may not agree with most of what atheists teach, and I may have a real problem with how they act, but even I know the best way to begin a conversation with someone is not by belittling their social or religious stance.
Third, and perhaps most important to me, O’Reilly said the Christmas holiday is only “about the children.” Talk about belittling something! No offence to kids, but Christmas is about way more than them. To the secular world, sure, it’s about presents, shopping, Santa Clause and family. But to the Christian world Christmas is a celebration for the birth of a savior: born of a virgin, prophesied about for thousands of years, son of God, son of Man and sent to die for the sins of creation. It’s a remembrance of one of the most pivotal portions of the Christian faith, and O’Reilly should know this.
The Christian Broadcasting Network says this is the meaning of Christmas:
Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event.
But O’Reilly sluffs it off as being “about the children,” so naturally the atheists should give them their nativity scene because the kids want it, and if they don’t than the children will cry and the whole world will be unhappy. I think your way off base with that one O’Reilly.
He has managed to alienate both Christians and atheists in one two minute video. His comments spurred a post from the liberal website News Hounds: “Actually Bill, if anybody is ruining Christmas, it’s you! And if anything has ‘gone way too far’ it’s your bogus War on Christmas!” This will always be the attitude in response to a performance like the one O’Reilly gave.
But what is even more surprising is that in a different part of his show, O’Reilly actually got back on track and talked about the infringement on the First Amendment and religious freedom rights. Where was all this talk during his “atheist bash” with Carolla? Is religious freedom about the kids? Should we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion because it is good for the kids, or is it because it is a right given to all mankind as equals – fought for through the generations by people of many religious backgrounds? This is the central issue here! So Why did O’Reilly chose to talk about unhappy kids and stupid atheists instead?
Come on Bill, in a nation where almost 20 percent of the population claim they are non-religious, this is not the best way to build unity throughout our land.