Some conservatives are currently having a freakout over an atheist group’s sign at the Wisconsin state capitol. In response to an Easter display by the Concerned Women For America that features a cross and anti-abortion material, the Freedom From Religion Foundation now have their own. The FFRF’s position is that if the government building is going to allow a religious display, then the group should have the right to counter it. And counter they did with this:
In case you’re wondering, the sign is bent because somebody tried to destroy it. But as foolish as that was, the “controversy” become more so when Bill O’Reilly had Laura Ingraham on his show Thursday. O’Reilly said the sign is “nasty,” apparently confusing it with his shower falafel fantasies.
Incredibly, during the entire four and half minute segment, which impressively got stupider along the way, there was no mention of the CWFA’s Easter display. So if you knew nothing about this going in, you’d think these atheists were putting up their display just to rub Christians’ noses in shit as they walked by. But O’Reilly ignores this because it more easily allows him to portray the atheists as instigators.
Right out of the gate, Ingraham was in top form: “I think every Christian holiday, we see something like this, right. They don’t really do it so much with the Muslim holidays. I’m not quite sure why.”
It might have something to do with the fact that Islam is far from the dominant religion in the United States, and that Muslims are too busy worrying about being objects of suspicion to try to use public property to impose their beliefs.
“They want to hate and disparage people like you and me,” whined O’Reilly.”
On its surface, the statement is correct. Atheists — as well as liberals, racial minorities, labor unions, the poor, and other erstwhile O’Reilly targets — do disparage him because he’s a dishonest right-wing hack. But that’s not what he means in this case. And if you don’t know what he means, let Ingraham hammer it home:
“I mean, as a theological matter, I mean, all of this is is kind of, you know, predicted in The Bible — you’re supposed to persecuted.”
Did you hear that sound? That was the sound of contemporary Christian martyrdom. It used to be that being persecuted meant being killed, tortured, or oppressed in some other way because of one’s beliefs. No more. Now, persecution means any challenge to Christianity, even if that challenge is simply an equal and opposite reaction to a Christian display on government property. In this way, conservative Christians can emulate the fate of their savior, but without the nasty nail wounds and inevitable asphyxiation.
O’Reilly then went back to Ingraham’s earlier observation about the FFRF not targeting Muslims, saying, “They’re afraid of the Muslims.”
Or it’s because Muslims constitute 0.6% of the U.S. population and therefore do not have the kind of religious influence that gets them their own display in a capitol building in a country that’s 78% Christian. It’s a wild thought I know, but try to imagine such a thing.
O’Reilly then added, quite hilariously, “Christians would turn the other cheek and the Muslims won’t.”
Yes,they’ll turn the other cheek, just like they’re doing right now in this segment. Or like O’Reilly did here in this famous display of cheek-turning:
Bill O’Reilly: cheek-turner. Just like Jesus.