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Real meaning of Christmas is clear

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From page A7 | December 23, 2013 | 27 Comments

Anyone offended by public displays of Christmas needs to see a psychiatrist. Are we clear on this? You are a loon if the sight of baby Jesus arouses anger or sadness in you. Get help.

This brings us to the governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee. He recently told me on national television that the reason he will not use the word “Christmas” in describing the state Christmas tree is that the word might offend non-Christians. The governor calls the state-purchased symbol a “holiday tree.”

My reply to the governor was that by excluding the word “Christmas,” he might be offending the 73 percent of Americans who describe themselves as Christian, not to mention the 2.2 billion Christians worldwide. Chafee chafed when he heard that but had no answer.

Then the governor did a very interesting thing: He announced the lighting of the “holiday tree” in Providence a full 30 minutes before the cord was plugged in. Very few Rhode Islanders even knew about the tree lighting because it was done so surreptitiously. Chafee did that because he feared protestors would do what they did last year: sing Christmas carols at the lighting. We can’t have that, now, can we?

Jon Stewart and his merry band of elves will tell you that the so-called “War on Christmas” is a figment of the imagination, perhaps a result of indigestion after eating too much holiday pudding. Stewart’s posture is similar to what Ebenezer Scrooge put forth when the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come told him he was bound for hell. I am channeling Charles Dickens to see whether the ghost can visit Stewart on Christmas Eve. I’ll let you know what happens.

There is something to the argument that there are more important things to worry about than whether people like Christmas. But the assaults against the national holiday are annoying, unnecessary and often disrespectful. I mean, here’s how bad it is in this country: A pastor in Arkansas canceled a play called “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown” because some nutty atheist objected to public school kids seeing it on church grounds. So Charlie, Snoopy and Linus were thrown under the bus by a Christian cleric. Good grief!

For all of you separation-of-church-and-state fans, here’s the deal: Jesus of Nazareth was a man. In fact, he was the most influential person ever born. A third of the world’s population has signed on to the Christian edicts: love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. That sounds like a good thing.

So, when President Grant honored Jesus by signing into law the national holiday of Christmas in 1870, the nation certified that a positive message of generosity and peace was worthy of a day off. Pretty much everybody was on board.

But not today. In our current state, the Thomas More Law Center has to litigate against attacks on Christmas every year. Anti-religion zealots put up billboards in Times Square denouncing Christmas as a “myth.” Rabid secularists bridle at any mention of Jesus or his nice mom and dad.

To them I say: Peace on Earth and tough. You don’t like the federal holiday? Try to rescind it. Start with our pal Lincoln Chafee. See how far you get with that.

By the way, Merry Christmas to all. Even you loons.

Bill O’Reilly is host of the Fox News Show, “The O’Reilly Factor” and author of the books “Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama” and “Killing Jesus.”

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 27 comments

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  • CD BrooksDecember 23, 2013 - 6:31 am

    These momentous days have different meanings for differing reasons and that is okay. To me family, friends, good food, shelter and a warm hearth are the epitome of comfort. We are lucky to have them and that is a good enough reason to be happy. I say love your family and love the holiday spirit however or for whatever reasons you choose to celebrate them. When I say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, I am telling you that I hope you have a wonderful day. I hope you have health, happiness and prosper. It is a kind and genuine gesture period. If you say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to me, I accept that as the same thing and I appreciate the good wishes. It feels good to wish somebody well and that is where I leave it. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays with excellent New Years wishes mixed in too!

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  • rlw895December 23, 2013 - 9:39 pm

    Well said, CD. You're a real decent atheist; I don't care what else anyone says about you;-).

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  • PatriotDecember 23, 2013 - 8:12 am

    Thanks Bill for telling it like it needs to be told. Our society is so screwed up with these vocal minorities jumping up and down whenever we talk about Christmas. Unfortunately they get the liberal media headlines to further their "hate" of Christians and persons that celebrate Christmas. Too bad for them as it is not going away in my lifetime, I hope!

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  • rlw895December 23, 2013 - 9:38 pm

    I'm glad you put "hate" in quotes. It's how someone else characterizes how they feel. Not fair.

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  • Mike KirchubelDecember 23, 2013 - 9:31 am

    It's too bad billo doesn't expend as much energy or column inches telling us about the teachings of Christ and how they would mesh with current politics, instead of using Christmas as a bully pulpit to bash those he considers anti - Christian. That's not very Christ-like, billo. But then, neither are your politics.

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  • Mike KirchubelDecember 23, 2013 - 10:57 am

    "The real meaning of Christmas is clear." Too bad you can't see it.

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  • TonyMDecember 23, 2013 - 11:49 am

    Mike, every time Bill has a column here in the Daily Republic you use the DR as your 'Bully pulpit'! Too bad your articles of attack in this paper and your remarks toward him are so far beneath him for him to respond to. When you are really recognized nationally as a powerful force in your area of expertise(and one book does not cut it) then you probably will have more ears listening to you. I knew when I saw an O'Reilly column today that you would attack him. For about 25 years I listened to so called experts at UC Berkeley attack others they did not like politically. Some of them wrote more than one book! They never proved anything Nationally, but fit right into the Berkeley culture. Some experts, which I am not, expand because they are good at what they know! Some do not and stay in their safe comfortable little niche for all their lives while taking pot shots from it. What is interesting to me is that I have read your non-attack mode writings and found them done quite well. I like that style and the content really makes me think. I just get tired of the attacks.

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  • Mike KirchubelDecember 23, 2013 - 12:26 pm

    Tony m, maybe im getting tired of billos annual attack on Christmas. Did you ever tire of his attacks, or just mine? Im so sorry that i am not worthy of stating my opposition to billos annual Christmas message. Please let me know when i am. You seem to embody to true spirt of the founding fathers, are you a member of the tea party? Sorry about that last jab. That was uncalled for. Maybe my problem is that i dont recognize when i attack versus when i simply write the truth. Perhaps you could help me differentiate the two modes.

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  • TonyMDecember 23, 2013 - 3:47 pm

    Sorry Mike, if you do not think I know the difference between attacking and the truth then your phony satire is deliberately patronizing. I have no party affiliations so bark up another tree. Bill did not attack Christmas, but only his opinion was offered about the word Christmas being left out. But you stated 'Tony m, maybe im getting tired of billos annual attack on Christmas.' Those are your own words! As a writer you know that you did not clearly state how Bill attacked Christmas in that sentence or the basis of it. My English Professor would have had a field day on you, as he did on us all. He was the one that sued the State of California DMV and forced them to rewrite their driver's tests because of poor English use. I am careful enough not to write something that is not the truth or having the basis leading to the truth. Tell us how he has not discussed in other writings his understanding of Christ? Did you read Killing Jesus? Or are you just still shooting blanks from the hip?

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  • Mike KirchubelDecember 23, 2013 - 1:29 pm

    Oh, also, i have to attack the white guy or im called a racist. Yeah, theres that too. My detractors seem to attack no matter what i do. Its a pretty small box you guys got me in. Not much room to move around, but... whatevers right. Right?

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  • rlw895December 23, 2013 - 9:48 pm

    TM: Billo, like many others, has learned how to turn being a right-wing shill into a lucrative and even influential life. I'm not sure anyone can do it, but the reason many chose not to is because they are not willing to sell their soul. In any event, the admiration successful (i.e., rich) people in American has been around since Puritan times, when the be rich was seen to be blessed. Conversely, to be poor was seen to be cursed. It really is a pretty stupid concept, don't you agree?

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  • Mike KirchubelDecember 23, 2013 - 11:49 am

    Billo's annual Christmas message reminds me of the aluminum tricorner hat crowd who march around pretending to be "patriots", but don't know the one sentence preamble to our Constitution. All they know is what is best for the wealthy and their corporations.

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  • DanielDecember 23, 2013 - 3:50 pm

    Kirchys "charitable" Christmas giving is involuntary forced redistribution by the likes of the government pay check millionaires, those that never had a job nor business, the likes of Pelosi, Reid, the Clintons and Obama, trickling some small scraps of the $17 trillion to the homeless and hungry (their friends and donors get the massive chunks of our money) this is Kirchys idea of charity, Merry Christmas!

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  • Mike KirchubelDecember 23, 2013 - 8:16 pm

    And a very merry Christmas to you too, Danny. Enjoy the day.

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  • rlw895December 23, 2013 - 9:43 pm

    The DR should have dumped Billo and asked CD write a column instead. Who are the haters here, the Christian zealots who insist on national conformity at Christmastime, or the non-believers who just want not to be hated and forced to conform?

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  • rlw895December 23, 2013 - 9:58 pm

    Sorry about the typos; I hope everyone could fill in. TM: "Killing Jesus," eh? Good title. Sure to generate sales. Now here's one for you to expand your mind: "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart Ehrman.

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  • TonyMDecember 23, 2013 - 11:34 pm

    I picked 'Killing Jesus' to point out that Mike makes statements that Bill does not 'Tell us' about the teaching of Christ. If he studied Bill then he would not make statements that he can not back up! Most book authors just look for one time followers and never get published again. That was learned by all the so called experts in Berkeley. They kept looking for Books to further their causes. I work on common sense and not B.S. Christmas IS a Federal holiday and some haters gotta hate things because they can!! Right rlw895 ???

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  • rlw895December 24, 2013 - 1:52 am

    Are atheists haters or defending themselves from hate?

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  • CD BrooksDecember 24, 2013 - 7:21 am

    Funny how the “hate” word gets tossed about so freely. I like to say that if you knew me personally, you’d probably find me an okay guy. You may not like my politics or religious point of view, but I rarely discuss them outside this forum. I am completely okay with your thinking I’m a jerk and an opinionated ass, some even say I’m obnoxious, but hate? C’mon, you really have to actually know somebody to hate them. I like quoting my friend Mr. Practical: “If we ever met, we’d have a lot more respect for each other.” I have found that to be the truth having met many of you. I never met Marci but I got a kick out of her style and I miss the banter we used to trade! She used to toss some pretty good shots my way but I doubt she really hated me… Marci? Many of us have had good moments and some not so much, but it is Christmas Eve so let me wish each of you a wonderful day and safe travels. Merry Christmas, my very best to you really!

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  • FDCDecember 24, 2013 - 8:30 am

    CD, you are a puzzlement to me. But, I have to admit that many times I agree with you and often I even think I might like you if we could just get rid of the political and religious stuff. In the spirit of the season, I hope you and your family will enjoy the holidays. Merry Christmas to you and good will to all.

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  • rlw895December 24, 2013 - 8:34 am

    Thanks, CD, and to all as well. By the way, you may need to know someone to hate them, but you don't need to know them to respect them.

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  • TonyMDecember 24, 2013 - 10:53 am

    I do not post very much but I do read these Blogs! CD and I have had our differences but I do respect him. His posting here was classy and full of spirit for these days. I respect his views on religion but does not mean I agree with him nor he with mine. If Mike still wants to go on attacking Bill, then let his postings have substance to them that addresses the column and not some murky snippet because of political dislike of the man.

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  • Mary's Boy - Boney M Christmas songDecember 24, 2013 - 11:00 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7-4GC828rM

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  • Important to plead the blood of JesusDecember 24, 2013 - 11:04 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FHwdx5BIvc

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • All Hail The Power Of Jesus' NameDecember 24, 2013 - 11:23 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8Vk59SHSWs

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mike KirchubelDecember 24, 2013 - 12:47 pm

    If I "studied" Billo's musings, I'd be a pinhead too. Good grief, are there actually people who would waste their time doing that?

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  • Shame on you Bill O'Really...Propagandist for the NWO...Tell us 9/11 was an inside job?December 24, 2013 - 7:54 pm

    Quote...."For all of you separation-of-church-and-state fans, here’s the deal: Jesus of Nazareth was a man. In fact, he was the most influential person ever born. A third of the world’s population has signed on to the Christian edicts: love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. That sounds like a good thing." See Bill O'Really is very sneaky....most Christians would find this statement Doctrinically incorrect.....Jesus was fully God and fully man.....As per the old Testament when God told Abraham that God would provide His own Sacrifice ( not Isaac ), the Old Testament points to the fulfillment in The New Testament.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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