WASHINGTON -- For years, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has been trying to save Christmas from all the pinheads who want to destroy the country by wishing people "Happy holidays." He has called the greeting "insulting to Christian America" and bemoaned the "'Happy holidays' syndrome."
On his show yesterday, O'Reilly had the Rev. Jim Wallis as his guest. Wallis had asked to come there to have a dialogue about the true meaning of Christmas and dissus the "War On Christmas" that the host so often talks about.
Wallis told O'Reilly that whether people wished one another "Merry Christmas," or "Happy Holidays" was a superficial issue.
O'Reilly responded, "Nine years ago when we started this reportage on Christmas, there were orders given by some major corporations in America to their employees, forbidding them -- forbidding them -- from saying 'Merry Christmas.' We outed those companies, they reversed the policy, so today, everybody as far as we know ... can say Merry Christmas to anyone they want,"
"My brother Bill, please, you're trivializing Christmas and its true meaning. It's the day of the birth of the Prince of Peace, Our Lord, who in the beginning of the Book of Luke says he has come to free the captives and the oppressed."
O'Reilly responded that Wallis was politicizing Christianity by his use of the the word "oppressed." "That sounds Marxist to me, Rev. Wallis, and it's well-known that you're a left-wing radical."
"Jesus talked about social responsibility and the common good, Bill. Those are democratic values, that's not communism."
O'Reilly attempted a rebuttal, but Wallis, a man of fire and passion, would not be interrupted. "Speaking of politics Bill, we need prophetic religious leadership in our public life. They need to manifest a love of God and God's children."
O'Reilly finally got in a word and told the Reverend that "politics and religion" don't mix. Wallis responded that they sure did on Fox News with its outspoken views on abortion, contraception, and "Phony patriotism cloaked in religious language."
"Christianity for you O'Reilly is a license for homophobia," he fairly roared.
The exchange grew more heated and Wallis almost shouted, "Christmas is the birth of The Prince of Peace you warmongering old Irishman. O'Reilly, you never met a war you didn't like!"
"I love God, I love Jesus, I read the bible every day," the TV host responded.
"You have to have a capacity for understanding if you're going to get its meanings, you don't possess that. Look, your Fox viewers think you're some sort of great wit, the way you try to down your guests. A wit! Well, they're half right."
O'Reilly's face visibly reddened and he got out of his chair and menacingly came toward Rev. Wallace. The Reverend too stood up and proclaimed again that O'Reilley was a war lover. "Jesus is the Prince of Peace," he bellowed as he and the Fox host came to blows.