The Founding Fathers did not give us a Christian state!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Let's Start With Bill O'Reilly

I'm a fan of Bill O'Reilly. I admit it. Unfortunately, he is right only 80% of the time and in that other 20% he is way off! That "bad" 20% is always in the area of religion. Bill has the same problem that many conservatives have, they loose their mind when it comes to religion. They just can't think, or more accurately, they refuse to think.

Now, I think Bill is a pretty honest guy and I think he is open to learning new facts, even if they contradict some of what he previously believed. (Perhaps in a future post I will give the evidence that I have for Bill's honesty, but for now you will have to take my word for it.)

My belief in Bill's honesty led me to think that sending him an email containing corrections to his statements would do some good. Basically, I want him to correct the factual errors he has made on his cable Fox News TV show "The O'Reilly Factor" in hopes that he would stop perpetuating false information. Especially with regard to the the founding of our country, what the Founding Father's truly believed about religion and its relation to proper government. What follows are a list of points that I plan to email to Mr. O. in hopes that he will mend his ways.

Errors and "did-you-knows" for Mr. O'Reilly:

1) Hijacking Christmas. Mr. O'Reilly, recently you said that the "Holiday Parade" in Denver Colorado this year which does not include religious exhibits is hijacking Christmas by having the parade at Christmas time. Perhaps you don't know that the Christians originally hijacked this holiday time from the pagans. There was a pagan holiday on December 25. In an attempt to steal this pagan holiday out from under the pagans the Christians moved Christmas to December 25th. This explains why Christmas is celebrated on a date that even religious scholars admit is not the correct date of Jesus' birth. So who are the real thieves?

2) You state that the Christmas tree is a symbol of Christmas. It is not. It too was stolen from the pagans.

3) You state that mixing religion and government is okay. You cite Grant's declaration of Christmas as a national holiday as justification/proof that such days do not violate any basic principles upon which our county was founded. Obviously, Grant is not one of the "founders." To compensate, you also throw into your justification of these sorts of situations the founding fathers, one of whom is Thomas Jefferson who is responsible for the Declaration of Independence that you so often cite as proof we were founded as a religious nation. The fact is, Jefferson did not approve of such national religious days. After his election to President of the United States, a religious group proposed to him that he name a national "fast day." Jefferson said that he could not do it because it would violate the U.S. Constitution and its First Amendment. And Jefferson would know if it violated the religious restrictions in the First Amendment because he was the one that suggested to Madison that such a restriction should be in the amendment in the first place! If Jefferson himself cites such days as unconstitutional then how can Grant's Christmas day be constitutional?

4) Mr. O, as you know, President Bush believes in giving federal money to religious organizations that perform public services in his "Faith-based Initiative." If I remember correctly, you don't see a problem with this idea. You often state that the founding fathers would support such ideas. This is not so. James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, while President of the United States vetoed a bill passed by Congress that simply gave a charter to an Episcopal church within the District of Columbia. The bill referred to the functions of this particular church in dispensing charity and education to the neighboring poor. Madison's veto claimed that the legislation violated the First Amendment and "would be a precedent for giving to religious societies a legal agency in carrying into effect a public and civic duty." In another similar instance, he vetoed another bill because it violated the First Amendment, comprising "a precedent for the appropriation of funds of the United States for the use and support of religious Societies." So exactly how is Bush's proposal not a violation of the First Amendment?

5) You stated that the founding father's prayed at the beginning of each session during the writing of the Constitution. This is a myth. The myth started when Benjamin Franklin suggested that such a prayer be held. His suggestion was basically ignored and never implemented. The founding fathers did not pray before sessions at the constitutional convention.

6) More good stuff to come!