I like Bill O’Reilly and enjoy watching his show. But sometimes I find the man incredibly obtuse.
He insists, for one example, that dealers of hard drugs are committing violent crimes, and gets angry with anyone who disagrees. The fact that there is absolutely no violence involved with simply selling a substance to a willing buyer escapes him.
The possibility that the buyer might misuse the drug and be harmed equates to violence in his thinking. Never-mind that most buyers won’t overdose, Bill still regards the sale all by itself as a violent crime. Under that logic, of course, the seller of any product, legal or illegal, which might be misused by a willing buyer and potentially cause harm, is an act of violence.
Since ten years ago now, O'Reilly has been fighting against an imaginary “War on Christmas.” Now he boasts that he and the “good guys” have won that war, but that “insurgents” still remain. By “insurgents” he means anyone who doesn’t say the words "Merry Christmas" at Christmas time. Such people are warring against Christmas in Bill’s mind -- that means war.
When Bill O’Reilly visits any business or store at Christmas time he checks to see if the employees say “Merry Christmas” or not. If not, “I’m outta there,” he explains. And that’s exactly what he encourages his millions of viewers to do. He has called for an all-out boycott on any business that doesn’t affirmatively promote a "Merry Christmas" to all their customers. It’s a war – a culture war. And anyone who doesn’t say "Merry Christmas" is the enemy.
After 10 years, and a boycott of all his enemies businesses, Bill now insists he’s won the war on Christmas. His former enemies are finally starting to say “Merry Christmas" again and O’Reilly is gratified. “For me, it was interesting to go through that,” Bill exalts, “because some on the far left actually denied there was any controversy at all and claimed that I fabricated it. More lies from a crew that is incapable of telling the truth.”
Today, the American Family Association has issued its annual “naughty or nice” list, Bill explains. It tells the public which businesses are Christmas-friendly and which are not. Cracker Barrel, Hobby Lobby, Kirkland's, Lowe's, Michael's, Wal-Mart and several others all get 5 stars for being nice. “I remember at one time, Lowe's was a problem. But obviously that's turned around,” says Bill. “All of those companies use the word ‘Christmas’ in their advertising and promotion.”
The enemies that are still naughty include Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Foot Locker, The Gap, The Limited, Nordstrom, Office Depot, Office Max, Pet-smart, Staples and Victoria's Secret, because they “marginalized Christmas.” They’re “not in the Christmas spirit.”
Now, what does all this tell us about the mind of Bill O’Reilly? It tells me that this is a man who is not quite fully secure in his Christian faith. If some people don’t want to celebrate Christmas exactly the way he celebrates Christmas, it makes him believe that they’re waging a war against Christmas. He feels threatened.
He tends to regard those who don’t agree with his opinions as enemies. He’s obsessed with what everyone believes about Christmas to the point where he’s willing to take action and start a boycott against such enemies.
Really, why should any Christian secure in his or her faith care if someone else says “Merry Christmas” at Christmas time?
Merry Christmas, Bill!
I sure hope that makes you feel better.