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Say What? Bill O’Reilly Claims Celebrating Jesus Doesn’t Have To Be Religious
The War on Christmas is back and Bill O’Reilly is here to tell America that the mixing of religion and state is fine because celebrating Jesus doesn’t have to be religious.
Here is the audio from Media Matters:
When a viewer emailed Bill-O to ask how he can defend the congressional establishment of a religious holiday like Christmas, he answered, “Because it doesn’t have to be religious, Sean. The philosophy of Jesus the man heavily shaped the founding of this nation.”
Ah, so O’Reilly is going with the old the constitution is based on teachings of Jesus excuse. How does the Fox News host explain this part of the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievance.”
How about Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists? Jefferson wrote, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
How exactly does one go about celebrating a religious holiday that marks the birth of Jesus Christ in a non-religious way? There is no way around it. Christmas is a religious holiday. More importantly, if you take the religion out of celebrating Jesus, then aren’t you taking the Christ out of Christmas? If you take the Christ out of Christmas, then you might as well say Happy Holidays, which means that the War on Christmas is lost.
Way to go, Bill O’Reilly. You just lost your own war on Christmas.