Once again, Bill O'Reilly has reminded us of his total lack of self-awareness with his latest cant about atheists allegedly declaring war on Christmas. This is old hat for O'Reilly, who for years has been railing against secularists and their supposed plot to destroy all that is holy and good in the United States. The latest indication of this, O'Reilly informs us, is the presence of a billboard in several U.S. cities sponsored by the group American Atheists:
It's not a great billboard, especially considering it features a note from a child telling a mythical being that the kid is too old for fairy tales. But the point is simple enough. Anyway, here's how O'Reilly described the situation, before bringing on psychoanalyst Karen Ruskin to parrot his views:
"Every Christmas season, there are people who try to diminish the celebration of Jesus' birthday. We all know it. But we do have a whole bunch of war on Christmas deniers who say that I and others are making the whole thing up.
"Well, here's the first evidence this year: A billboard put up by an atheist group telling children to skip church on Christmas Day. Nice, right? Billboards are running in a number of states."
Though it's a common and well-documented phenomenon, the persecution complex possessed by many Christians never ceases to amaze me, nor does the gross double standard it gives birth to. The highways and byways of the United States are absolutely peppered with with religion-themed signage year-round -- telling passersby to attend church, pray, read the Bible, and other orders along with the occasional warnings about how you're going to hell for eternity if you don't believe.
And yet, when a few atheists put up a billboard that challenges this norm wherein belief in god is the default position, this is evidence that there is a war on Christmas.
Beam me up.
Believe it or not, Ruskin actually one-upped O'Reilly in the irony department, saying, "It’s horrifically insulting, it’s really disrespectful but not unlike the bully who tries to push other people down in order to make themselves feel better. That’s what’s happening here."
She added, "It is very upsetting in a family unit when you have one person shouting loudly in their nasty way about how everybody else in the family should be believing what they’re believing. The pushing of other people down, the nastiness..."
And she's talking about atheists?
I don't know if Ruskin's been paying attention to the modus operandi of religion for the last 6,000 years or so, but that's exactly how it works. Devoid of persuasive arguments and facts, religion isn't taught to believers; it is inculcated and browbeaten into their brains at an early age, and for this reason religion is the ultimate bully paradigm.
So I agree. There is something "horrifically insulting" and "really disrespectful" about "the bully who tries to push other people down in order to make themselves feel better," except you won't find that bully behind an atheist billboard, but behind a pulpit.