Published February 25, 2004
Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.
The culture war explodes. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." President Bush said today he supports a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. No surprise. This issue is polarizing Americans as the majority wants to keep the marriage the way it is. And the minority wants to open it up to homosexuals.
In a totally secular society, marriage would be undefined. And under equal protection here, limits on it would go away. Traditionalists, of course, say that would undermine American society as we know it. And that's true. Much of the opposition to gay marriage comes from religious Americans who believe homosexuality is morally wrong. Secularists are appalled by that judgment.
And this is really what the culture war is all about, secularists who want few judgments made about personal behavior and traditionalists who believe judgments are necessary in a disciplined society.
Enter Mel Gibson and his movie about Jesus. As "Talking Points" mentioned last week, it's not anti-Semitic, but it is offensive to people who don't want the philosophy of Jesus incorporated into the public discourse. The secularists reject Judeo-Christian philosophy outright and believes our constitution should be devoid of it. The attacks on Gibson have now become cartoonish. Listen to Andy Rooney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDY ROONEY, "60 MINUTES": As far as Mel Gibson goes, I haven't seen his movie "The Passion of the Christ" because it hasn't opened up up here yet, but I did catch Gibson being interviewed by Diane Sawyer: "Did something right when I came up with here, didn't I? Anyway, as I was saying, Mel is a real nut case. What in the world was I thinking when I created him? Listen, we all make mistakes, God said to me."
My question to Mel Gibson is how many million dollars does it look as if you're going to make off the crucifixion of Christ?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: At 85-years-old, Mr. Rooney is a committed secularist, a man who has no use for organized religion, and that's fine, but his personal attack on Gibson demeans Rooney. And his refusal to answer questions about that attack is outright cowardly.
Once again, Rooney will never debate me, but he can't run over to Larry King fast enough. That tells you a lot about the CBS pundit.
Now if you can't win the debate, smear your opponent. That's what Rooney is really doing here. He doesn't like Gibson's public exposition of Jesus, and therefore, mocks him using God as his spokesman. Right now in America, we are a divided nation. About 60 percent of us respect the traditions that have made this country strong. About 40 percent of us feel the country is oppressive and unfair and many things should be changed.
We've got two wars going on right now, terror and culture. And they will define the upcoming presidential election. And that's the memo.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
Marriage licenses continue to be issued in San Francisco in defiance of California state law, and one of the judges who refused to stop the madness is James Warren, the grandson of the late Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren (search) of the Kennedy assassination fame.
James Warren is himself a homosexual, according to "San Francisco" magazine, begging the question as to why he did not recuse himself. That would not have been ridiculous. That would have been fair. A lot of stuff going on out there in San Francisco that's absolutely not right.
--You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org