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Bill O'Reilly seldom makes glaring errors. He is, in my humble opinion, one of the most honest news media personalities to grace the airwaves. That's not to say I always agree with him -- no one does -- but that I respect his opinions and appreciate the contribution he's made to the conservative movement.
Yesterday's show was an exception. O'Reilly not only made one glaring error, he made two.
He was addressing the problem with grinch atheists hell-bent on purging Christmas from public view. Sitting across from O'Reilly in his TV studio was noted atheist activist, David Silverman.
O'Reilly informed Silverman that Christianity is a philosophy, not a religion, and as such doesn't meet the constitutional prohibition of government endorsing religion. Specifically, O'Reilly stated that the Constitution says that government "cannot promote religion."
O'Reilly is wrong. The Constitution does not say that or anything remotely like that.
The 'endorsement clause' is a myth that has been successfully embedded in the minds of Americans by those doing war with America's Western culture.
O'Reilly's glaring error is that he has bought into the anti-Constitutional nonsense that the First Amendment somehow bans the endorsement of religion. It does not. O'Reilly was honestly wrong. The First Amendment prohibits Congress from establishing religion. Opponents of Western culture contend that endorsement constitutes establishment. That, of course, is nonsense.
If the president of the United States were to announce from the Oval Office* in writing that he endorses particular elements of the Baptist faith -- such as the existence of God, creation, and prayer -- he would not be violating the Constitution. If fact, one president actually did just that. That president was none other than Thomas Jefferson. He made his endorsement when penning a letter to a group known as the Danbury Baptists. And it was in the letter of religious endorsement that Jefferson first coined the phrase "separation of church and state." Obviously, Jefferson didn't view religious endorsement as a violation of separation of church and state. The details of Jefferson's endorsement are here ►
Granted, such an endorsement may be offensive to some, but it would not be unconstitutional.
Fallacy of fascism
Second, O'Reilly made the egregious error of calling Silverman a fascist.
Apparently, O'Reilly -- like most Americans -- has a misconception of the word's meaning. Most think fascist is synonymous with authoritarian. In reality, fascism was a system of government first extensively practiced in Italy in which government partnered with large corporations. It was similar to socialism, but differed in that government didn't own large businesses, it merely controlled large businesses that were legally owned by the private sector. Mussolini was a fascist. Hitler was a fascist. Obama is a fascist. One can be an authoritarian without being a fascist. Fidel Castro is an example. One, however, cannot be a fascist without being authoritarian. (Hence, Obama's healthcare mandate that requires by government edict that we do business with major corporations is a fascist policy.)
Hopefully, Mr. O'Reilly is reading.
*"Oval Office" is used metaphorically.
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