Can we start 2016 with a little Christian charity, Bill O’Reilly? How about you finally call off your bogus War on Christianity once and for all?
There are many challenges facing the nation in 2016, but a pogrom targeting Christians is not – and never has been – one of them.
It has long become clear that what pugnacious pundit O’Reilly mistakenly calls the “war on Christianity/Christmas/Christians” is really just another tantrum that elderly white conservative males like himself don’t get to call all the shots in America these days, the way they always used to.
“If you are a Christian or a white man in the USA, it's open season on you,” he huffed.
Warming to this idiocy O’Reilly’s pal Rick Santorum agreed saying: “The treatment of Christians is so bad we should keep in mind Nazi Germany... where you go from Christians – Jews, obviously, but also Christians – being not just persecuted but put to death.”
Apparently they both think they’re just days away from the gas chambers. Who is building these fictitious gulags, Bill Maher?
You can see why they’re panicking. O’Reilly thinks that conservative supremacy should be the national status quo – and increasingly, it’s not. So he and his fellow conservatives desperately want all of the political power back and to get it back they’ve concocted this epic bait and switch: when they say Christianity they mean Conservatism.
Telling the comfortable that they’re really being persecuted is all he’s left with. It’s a dangerous game. Placing Jesus at the front of your political party has been tried before with disastrous results.
The truth is seventy percent of the United States identify as Christian, every president ever elected here has been a Christian, seventy eight percent of our governors are Christian and eighty percent of our Congress is Christian.
Set yourself the challenge of finding a major Democratic politician who has maligned Christianity and you’ll fail. If this is a war against Christianity then someone forget to inform the liberals.
The sheer hucksterism of terrifying Fox News’ elderly viewers into thinking their world is about to end is just another way to raise funds for Republican causes. Tell them they’re fighting for Jesus instead of Ted Cruz and they’re more likely to part with their hard earned cash, after all.
But attacks against American Christians over their faith is almost non-existent in the United States. Attacks on Muslims, Jews and people of other faith traditions are much more frequent (and often much more violent) however.
Anti-gay violence is actually the second most commonly occurring type of hate crime committed in the United States (when will we see O’Reilly run a campaign to address that?). Race is the number one reason (when will we see an O’Reilly special on that epidemic?)
And of course there are precisely zero incidents of gays attacking Christians recorded by the FBI.
So crying that you’re being attacked when the statistics prove just the opposite isn’t just mendacious, it’s reprehensible.
The war that O’Reilly is fighting is just a propaganda war. The “threats” he sees all around him exist only in his imagination and nowhere else. Not being able to persecute gays isn’t really a defeat; not being the only faith tradition on the national stage isn’t a crisis.
If fewer and fewer young people here describe themselves as Christians then perhaps Christians should reflect on why they’re increasingly disillusioned, rather than look for easy scapegoats among liberals and gays.