Decoding O’Reilly’s Rebuttal: Culture War Crap

O\'Reilly and LettermanBill O’Reilly, apparently reeling (or rejoicing in the publicity, take your pick) from the public mauling he’s been receiving after the Late Show incident with Dave Letterman (“60% of what you say is crap“), has responded in a lengthy article on the matter, saying the incident proves there is a vast left-wing culture war. Interestingly, apparently simply calling a spade a spade makes us privvy to this leftist conspiracy, even though we’re a libertarian outlet.

For me, it’s hard enough to watch O’Reilly bloviate on television, trying to decode his smirks and raised eyebrows for hints of couched sarcasm that he so frequently retreats to, so I was doubly annoyed when I had to read through an entire article without visual cues. For our own reader’s amusement, I have tried to decode this article and decipher which parts were crap (I’d spit-ball at 60%, but I’ll just call ’em like I see ’em) and which parts contain a modicum of truth. To make it easier to distinguish, I’ve simply struck through the crap:

Even though the war on terror dominates the headlines, the culture war in America is almost as intense. On one side you have traditionalists, people who believe the country was well-founded, does mostly good things, and has become the most powerful nation on earth by adhering to Judeo-Christian principles like generosity, justice, and self-sacrifice.

On the other side of the culture war are the secular-progressives (S-P’s) who believe that the USA is fundamentally a flawed country, which has caused considerable misery both within and outside our borders. The S-P’s want drastic change and a new direction for America.

The two most intense issues in the culture war right now are how to deal with terrorism and what role spirituality should play in the public arena.

The S-P’s want little or no public displays of God or religion. That’s what drove the attacks on Christmas images and traditions; knock down the big Christian holiday, and the secularists achieve a big victory.

On the terror front, traditionalists largely want aggressive action to wipe out the “evildoers,” and if lraq is the battlefield, then so be it.

Secular-progressives are appalled by the Iraq war and generally believe the USA has no right to act unilaterally to hunt down terrorists or their enablers.

So the stage was set for my recent appearance on the David Letterman show. I am a traditionalist; Mr. Letterman tends to mock traditionalists. And he often does it very well.

Our discussion began with the Christmas controversy. Dave did not see it as a big deal. When I pointed out the absurdity of a library in Memphis, Tennessee OK’ing a manger scene but then telling the woman donating it that she had to remove Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the three Wise Men, Dave said he did not believe the story. And, generally, that was the opinion of the liberal media: There was no Christmas controversy — the whole thing was fabricated by religious zealots bent on establishing a theocracy.

Dave’s skepticism must have come as a surprise to Memphis resident Brandi Chambless, the woman ordered to remove statues of the Holy Family and their visitors from the East. But, hey, the shepherds could stay, staring into an empty stable.

The subject quickly shifted to Iraq, a conflict both Letterman and I believe has been poorly managed. We also found common ground on the terrific performance of the U.S. military.

But then Cindy Sheehan came up. Uh-oh.

Dave, as well as many in the entertainment community, feels that Ms. Sheehan should not be criticized. He believes she is above reproach because her son, Casey, was killed in Iraq.

I do not see it that way, so sparks flew. My contention is that Ms. Sheehan is entitled to grieve and dissent in any way she wants, but her grief is being exploited by far-left elements.

And when Ms. Sheehan told Mark Knoller, a correspondent for CBS radio, that the terrorists in Iraq were “freedom fighters,” she insulted thousands of other Americans who lost loved ones in Iraq.

Simply put, terrorists who blow up civilians, women and children are not freedom fighters in any sense. They are murderers, and I called Mr. Letterman on Sheehan’s support of them.

I hope you saw the program. It was a rare display of the culture war on television. I told Dave I respected his views and he should respect mine. I enjoyed the joust.

By far more important, is the wake-up call many late-night viewers got. We in America are becoming a deeply divided country along cultural lines. The more we all understand what the issues are, the better. The culture war is real, and now, everybody watched Letterman that evening knows it.

The reality is that O’Reilly and his “traditionalist” pals represent a a contingent which likes to take offense at everything that doesn’t go their way towards a more theocratic state where laws based on religious collectivism run the show.

It wasn’t secularists who got religion booted off of public property, it was traditionalists who couldn’t stomach the idea that someone might want to put an upside-down neon cross or whatever satanist/religious/sectarian icon of the day next to their baby jesus in a manger display on the public lawn. Because they raised a stink, both sides had to suffer since the courts ruled that if one couldn’t have a display, neither could the other.

Liberals of yesteryear may have shoved the notion of political correctness and not daring to offend anyone down our throats, but the flip side now seems to be taking offense at religious mockery and unfettered speech while declaring a “culture war”… which is downright laughable.

So, on behalf of moderates and common sense folks (libertarians) who are caught in the crossfire of this “culture war” — watching in amusement as they trade religious-toned barbs and politically correct tsk tsks — we simply say to both sides: kindly shove it up your ass.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. Well, There you go again. I think that you Libs are the ones finding offense in almost everything Bill and Friends have to say. The politically correct movement was started by the left and is at the forefront of taking actions to deconstruct the Judeo Christian ethic and roots of our Country.
    The 80% of the people that have belief in God have been sitting by watching our culture die a death of a thousand cuts for the last 40 years. We’ve had enough and, omigosh, we have the audacity to stand up tp all your liberal secular crap.
    By the way there aren’t any moderates. They are just Liberals that don’t have the courage to admit it.

  2. I am sure if you dig deep enough that throughtout the whole history of the USA, you will find writings that say the USA is loosing its christian roots. A portion of the christians seem to be more pessimistic than the rest of the country. The only thing that is demoralizing the USA is all the humans that live there. There have been people of faith that have done bad things as well as people of non-faiths. Teach your children not to do bad things and be polite to others. Stop worrying that the world is coming to an end, because it is not. At least for another billion years.

    Just remember, this country was made to be governed by all the people and for all the people. Not by christians and for the christians, nor is it by the majority and for the majority. Freedom for all not the select few. The majority win the vote but not the rule.

    I am one of the 20 so percent (athiest), that has enough toleration to put up with the other 80 so percent.

  3. Article 11 of the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli (which was drafted during George Washington’s second term and was unanimously approved by the Senate and signed by President John Adams) states:

    “As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

  4. As a Christian who is unswerving in his faith, and also very clear on my beleifs. I would like to point out that there are a number of us ‘C’s who are NOT happy with how this country is being run (may I point out that it is rapidly turning Fascist?) I am not amused by O’Really(?) and I would like to sort of point out that those CHristians among us who are spending so much time whining about the state of affairs in our nation may want to think about the very idea of an all-controlling State and perhaps come to the realization that the more this country becomes LEGALIST (as opposed to JUST) it becomes less tolerable to ALL forms of thought that vary from the ideas of those in power.

    I am one of the 20% (Christian) who tolerate the other 80% (hee hee)

  5. Living in the SF bay area I believe I have a real perspective of what folks have said about `Letterman vs O`reilly`. No one thought Dave got the best of O`Reilly, in fact most of my friends (liberals and progressives)thought that Lettermen sounded like a desperate school boy out of his league. We must stop with this simplistic hate or we`ll never get a democrat elected dog catcher. We need an individual with a heart without hate and a mind full of new ideas for our terror, immigration and economic problems.Thats the only way we`ll start winning again. Until then we have haters running our Democratic party, and we`re going to continue to lose. What a shame and embarassment.Does`nt anyone else see this? And why is my party excluding me as a Christian? No wonder the Republicans are kicking our butts.

  6. I thought this was a decent forum in which I could offer my opinion and have it taken seriously. I was mistaken.

  7. This site isn’t a Democrat or Republican, we’re libertarian. The troll comment by “Veuben Rargas” is rare, so either shrug it off or take it personal, your choice.

  8. I`ll shrug it off Stephen, and thanks for the restoration of faith. I certainly appreciate all points of view, including those of libertarians and independents.We are all Americans here, and the fact that we`re having this exchange of views is what were all about.I`m just so tired of all the hate…and for those of you that don`t know, `Hate kills the hater, not the hated`

  9. Stephen, thanks. You’re also speaking for religious progressives – who work for positive change and to eradicate poverty with whatever politician we can. The culture wars waste everyone else’s time while both sides sit back and count up “their” ratings, “their” newspaper sales, and “their” bobble-heads in Congress on either side of the aisle.