<\body> Stories in America: Kristof Takes on O'Reilly, the "Religious Hypocrite"

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Kristof Takes on O'Reilly, the "Religious Hypocrite"

From Editor & Publisher:
It all started exactly one week ago when New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, taking note of Bill O'Reilly's focus on keeping the Christmas in Christmas, suggested that the Fox personality might honor the season better by exposing the continuing genocide in Darfur, which the TV host has allegedly "ignored." O'Reilly responded by denouncing Kristof as a "left-wing ideologue."

Today, in his column, Kristof replied in kind, while disclosing that he puts up a "Christmas" tree himself, not a "holiday" tree.

"Perhaps I'm particularly sensitive to religious hypocrites because I've spent a chunk of time abroad watching Muslim versions of Mr. O'Reilly - demagogic table-thumpers who exploit public religiosity as a cynical ploy to gain attention and money," Kristof explained. "And I always tell moderate Muslims that they need to stand up to blustery blowhards - so today, I'm taking my own advice."

Then he went on to call O'Reilly "a self-rightheous bully in the style of Father Coughlin or Joe McCarthy," suggesting that perhaps he was a leftwing plant meant to make conservatives look bad.

"So I have a challenge for Mr. O'Reilly: If you really want to defend traditional values, then come with me on a trip to Darfur," Kristof concluded. " I'll introduce you to mothers who have had their babies clubbed to death in front of them, to teenage girls who have been gang-raped and then mutilated - and to the government-armed thugs who do these things.

"You'll have to leave your studio, Bill. You'll encounter pure evil. If you're like me, you'll be scared. If you try to bully some of the goons in Darfur, they'll just hack your head off. But you'll also meet some genuine conservative Christians - aid workers who live the Gospel instead of sputtering about it - and you'll finally be using your talents for an important cause.

"So, Bill, what'll it be? Will you dare travel to a real war against Christmas values, in which the victims aren't offended shoppers but terrified children thrown on bonfires? I'm waiting to hear."

We're sure to hear something from O'Reilly this week--although it may not be what Kristof hopes to hear.


At 12/18/2005 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting little sidebar to this: Christians co-opted pagan rituals which in turn increased Christianity’s popularity. Rather clever, actually.

Another tidbit: The only people to have banned celebrating Christmas in the past were Christians. Early American Puritans banned it, and so did Cromwell in England during his religious dictatorship.


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