Tag Archives: Bill O’Reilly

How does your head NOT hurt Bill O’Reilly?

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What really pushes my buttons are average well educated people who are science stupid. I’m not talking about not knowing Einstein’s Theory of Relativity by heart but basic science like how magnets work. Talk show host Bill O’Reilly has a problem with knowing basic science and there is video to prove it.

On his 01/04/2010 FOX “news” program “The O’Reilly Factor” he said this:

“Tide comes in tide goes out, never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that. You can’t explain why the tide goes in….”

His guest was David Silverman, President of American Atheists. The topic was the new billboard American Atheist sponsored in Huntsville Alabama that had the text “You KNOW they’re all SCAMS” along side the major religious symbols.

In his rush to defend religion, O’Reilly picked the wrong item to “prove” religion is real. Many people try to argue that if you can’t explain something then it must be “God” but people try to pick something that is in fact not easy to explain or currently can’t be explained.

In you might be wondering, ocean tides are influenced by the gravity of the Moon.

Here is a video of the “interview”:

This is why we need a rededication to strong rational science education. Mom’s don’t let your kids grow up to be science stupid like Bill O’Reilly.

“Christmas with a Capital C” is porn for Bill O’Reilly

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This is a trailer for an actual movie called “Christmas with a Capital C” that stars Ted McGinley and Daniel Baldwin. Baldwin is the bad nasty atheist trying to “steal” Christmas from a town that violates the 1st amendment by putting up a creche on city property. Amazes me that people protecting their civil rights are seen as the bad guys

Christmas with a Capital C

(H/T vjack via twitter)

There is just so much wrong with the scenes in the trailer. This is porn for the likes of Fox “News” Bill O’Reilly.

Good thing is according to the IMDB it is going straight to DVD on
November 2nd.

O’Reilly schooled about Red Cross

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As happens in emotionally charged debates, one side or the other makes knee-jerk reactions of a slippery slope. They claim that if X is done then all instances of X would have to be done the same way. A majority of the time such claims are wrong.

The Media Matters website pointed out that on the July 25th edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly falsely claimed that the Red Cross “historically … adopted” its emblem “because of the Christian philosophy of giving alms and giving assistance to people in need.”

He was interviewing the lawyer representing Philip Paulson, a man from San Diego, who has won 17 years of court cases to have the Latin cross on Mt. Soledad removed from the public park there. O’Reilly made the knee-jerk reaction that if the Mt. Soledad cross is removed then the American Red Cross would have to change its symbol of a red cross on a white field since it was adopted because of its ties to Christianity.

As Media Matters points out:

In fact, according to the American Red Cross website, it was “[i]n honor of the Swiss … [that] the symbol of a red cross on a white background (the reverse of the Swiss flag) was identified as a protective emblem in conflict areas.”

In addition to stating that its symbol was chosen as the reverse of the Swiss flag, the American Red Cross website adds that “[t]he Red Cross idea was born in 1859, when Henry Dunant, a young Swiss man, came upon the scene of a bloody battle in Solferino, Italy,” and that the “emblem was adopted at this first International Conference as a symbol of neutrality” at the first-ever Geneva Convention at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1864.

O’Reilly falsely claimed Red Cross symbol was “adopted” because of “Christian philosophy”

The Mt. Soledad cross is referred to as a Latin Cross, it has equal sized arms but a longer foot.

The cross used on the Swiss flag and at the American Red Cross shows all the pieces to be equal in size so that the symbol is squarish.

The Latin Cross has been a known Christian symbol since the 1200’s. The International Committee of the Red Cross does make allowances for countries where some might mistake the Red Cross as something wholly Christian. The Committee allows those countries to use a different symbol such as the Red Crescent in Islamic countries and the new Red Crystal where a crescent or cross wouldn’t be used but in all cases the symbol used is noting protection and neutrality.

Instead of saying that the Mt. Soledad cross should be kept or else all public images of the cross must be removed, the real point is that O’Reilly proved that the Mt. Soledad is religious in nature and is a symbol of Christianity. He has made the case as to why that cross should be removed from a public park.

David Letterman calls out Bill O’Reilly on the air

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On the January 3rd “Late Show with David Letterman”, host David Letterman called Bill O’Reilly out on his Christmas sham. I missed it.

I am a regular viewer of the show but I refuse to watch any show that people like Bill O’Reilly host or appear on. I do that for my sanity and blood pressure. That is one reason I have not watched the Sunday morning talk shows for many years.

I should have watched this time. Letterman called O’Reilly out during his segment when O’Reilly brought up the “war” on Christmas. He once again used as “proof” an elementary school in Wisconsin that supposedly changed the lyrics of “Silent Night” for a holiday concert. He never mentioned that his “proof” had been debunked months ago.

Lucky for me, and for you, the website Media Matters has the transcript and a video clip of the exchange. It went something like this:

LETTERMAN: I don’t — I don’t think this is an actual threat. I think this is something that happened here and it happened there, and so people like you are trying to make us think that it’s a threat.

O’REILLY: Wrong.

LETTERMAN: Because nobody said “Happy Holidays” to me and then said, “Oh, Merry Christmas. Oh, I can’t say Merry Christmas.”


LETTERMAN: I’m not smart enough to debate your point to point on this, but I have the feeling — I have the feeling — I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap. But I don’t know that for a fact.

PAUL SHAFFER (Late Show music director): Sixty percent.

LETTERMAN: Sixty percent, that’s just a — I’m just spitballing here now.

O’REILLY: Listen, I respect your opinion, you should respect mine.

LETTERMAN: Well, I — I — OK.

O’REILLY: Our analysis is based on the best evidence we can get.

LETTERMAN: Yeah, but I think there’s something, this fair and balanced, I’m not sure that it’s — I don’t think that you represent an objective viewpoint.

In Letterman appearance, O’Reilly repeated false claim that school changed “Silent Night” lyrics

It is interesting to note how O’Reilly wants Letterman and anyone listening to believe what he is presenting is true, yet when challenged O’Reilly wants his view respected.

This is a common religious and political conservative argument tactic. They expect one to ignore the truth value of their statements and just go along with them out of fairness. (Where have I heard that before??)

On the other hand when Letterman challenged O’Reilly’s objectiveness, he demanded proof. Logically he should have just said “I respect your view. I think you are wrong but I respect it.”

That is being fair and respecting the truth value of the statements.

*Side Note*

I added a link to my blog roll that goes to a listing of articles on Media Matters that focus on the “separation of church and state” topic. Media Matters is an excellent website that exposes a lot of lies and myths told by conservatives on many topics. It also takes the media to task when they go along with the lies or ignore obvious myths.

Have a Merry Christmas… Or Else!

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The holiday season always causes a frenzy with the religious right. From installing Baby Jesus on courthouse lawns to chastising businesses for not expressing Merry Christmas, political and religious conservatives are hell bent to force everyone to remember why we have Christmas.

Two items show how serious they are.

Liberty Counsel, a religious right group, started a “Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign” to help Christians fight the “war” against Christmas. It provides a memo for concerned Christians to give to school and public officials that detail what is permissible and what is not. It also asks for people to report on stores that “refuse to recognize Christmas”.

Wal-Mart, the uber store, was forced to change its policy of expressing the more inclusive “Happy Holidays” after a threatened boycott by the Catholic League.

The e-mail response from a Wal-Mart customer service person (who was fired for the e-mail) actually described the truth behind many of the symbols Christians claim is Christmas. It included:

“Wal-Mart is a world wide organization and must remain conscious of this. The majority of the world still has different practices other than ‘Christmas’ which is an ancient tradition that has its roots in Siberian shamanism” and added that “Santa is also borrowed from the Caucuses, mistletoe from the Celts, yule log from the Goths, the time from the Visigoth and the tree from the worship of Baal.”

Not to mention that it has never been proven that Jesus was born on December 25th. Common stories have Christmas being created by Christians in order to get their new converts from worshiping Pagan gods like the Roman Saturnalia which had a celebration in December. The Christmas traditions we have today have roots in the old Pagan religion.

The History of Christmas

It is a fact that celebrating Christmas wasn’t a US Federal holiday until the 1870 when interest was revived by Washington Irving’s Christmas stories, German immigrants, and the homecomings of the Civil War years.

But the truth isn’t going to stop James Dobson, founder of “Focus on the Family”. He has a legal fund and lawyers ready to file lawsuits to combat “any improper attempts to censor the celebration of Christmas in schools and on public property,” through his Alliance Defense Fund.

Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News commentator, believes the greeting “Happy Holidays” offends Christians celebrating the Christmas season.

“It absolutely does. And I know that for a fact,” he declared on his program, “The O’Reilly Factor.”

According to the website “Media Matters”, O’Reilly is quoted as claiming there is “a very secret plan” by the “secular progressive” movement, which he said aims to “diminish Christian philosophy in the U.S.A.” and it starts with getting rid of “Merry Christmas”.

According to O’Reilly, the “secular progressive” movement has three elements:

* First, progressive financiers George Soros and Peter Lewis “pour money into the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union], they pour money into the smear websites, you know, they buy up a lot of media time.”
* Second, “the ACLU is their legal arm. … [T]he ACLU runs around the country suing everybody and intimidating people.”
* Third, “the smear websites are their media arm.”

O’Reilly said these three elements operate “in tandem”:

O’ REILLY: [Y]ou use your left-wing smear websites to go after anybody who stands up for Christmas. If you stand up for Christmas, they come after you. So the tandem intimidates. The tandem intimidates. Suing on one hand; smearing on the other hand.

The result? According to O’Reilly:

O’ REILLY: In every secular progressive country, they’ve wiped out religion … Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, all of them. That’s the first step. Get the religion out of there, so that we can impose our big-government, progressive agenda.

O’Reilly: “There’s a very secret plan … to diminish Christian philosophy in the U.S.A.”

Is there really a war against Christmas. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State says no. “They’re preparing a campaign to fight for Christmas in a war that in fact does not exist. This is just one more fund-raising gimmick for Jerry Falwell,” Lynn said.

And the ACLU?

The notion of a “war on Christmas” is “nonsense,” said Jeremy Gunn, director of the ACLU’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief.

Christians can put religious displays on church and personal property “and the ACLU will defend their right to do so,” said Gunn. “The issue is whether people want to have a political fight about putting religious displays on government property. We wonder why people are seeking such controversy. Is that the Christmas spirit?”

Holiday sayings stir war of words

December is month full of festive celebrations of many different faiths and for those who celebrate the Solstice and I thought it was a positive development when businesses moved to be more inclusive by expressing “Happy Holidays”. It is unfortunate that some political and religious conservatives want to force you to focus on the birth of Jesus – a primarily Christian celebration.

Talk about a buzz killer.