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Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: Pinheads in Toyland

By Bill O'Reilly

For the past 15 years we have stood up for Christmas here on "The Factor." Swatting away insane attempts by secular progressives to diminish the national holiday. The attacks were widespread. In fact John Gibson wrote an entire book documenting the worst of them.

This year most retail companies are saying Merry Christmas. But you may remember a few years ago some companies actually ordered their employees not to say it. But in the nation's public schools, the battle over Christmas sometimes still pops up.

For example, a Fort Worth, Texas independent school district sent a memo to staff saying that if students are allowed to exchange cards or gifts on school property this year then the district would be required to allow students to distribute religious messages along with the gifts. What? Required by whom? Total BS.

Fort Worth school spokesman Clint Bond put it this way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINT BOND: We have students and parents who don't see Santa Claus as the icon for this time of year. So we have to be concerned about what their feelings are as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: So let me get this straight, if an image of Santa Claus is seen on school property some students might be depressed? Sure.

As soon as we began calling down to Fort Worth, the tone changed. Here is Mr. Bond today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOND: The district cannot endorse or promote or foster any particular religious belief or doctrine. So, what we are saying on our... in our policy about seasonal celebrations is basically use common sense. You know, any of the current icons that are out there like Santa Claus or Christmas trees or, you know, snowflakes or any of those other icons that we all use are fine for the classroom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Good. We're glad the school district will not deny its students' freedom of speech and expression. And since Christmas remains a federal holiday, it might be nice for all American teachers to explain to the urchins why that is?

But who on this earth, who on this earth can explain Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee. Every year the Ocean State puts up a big tree in the public square. This year some folks wanted the Governor to call it a Christmas tree. But to quote John Belushi, no. Governor Chafee insists it's a holiday tree.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lawmakers voted to call this a Christmas tree. But the governor calls it a holiday tree.

GOV. LINCOLN CHAFEE (R), RHODE ISLAND: I have my own religious views but as a government official I want to keep it separate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're going to call it a Holiday tree?

CHAFEE: Yes, I am.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Amazingly dumb. Off the charts stupid. Governor Chafee must know that the Christmas tree display began in Germany in the 16th century for the specific purpose of providing celebratory decorations for December 25th, the day of the birth of Jesus is honored.

We asked the governor to appear on "The Factor" so we could explain to him some history. Predictably he's hiding under his desk.

But here's my question and maybe his staff can relay it to the governor who's on the floor. What holiday exactly is the Rhode Island tree representing, governor? Arbor Day?

Whether he knows it or not, Chafee has offended far more people than any Christmas tree ever could. Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams in the name of tolerance. Well, how about a bit of tolerance toward folks who respect Christmas traditions, about 90 percent of us?

And that's "The Memo."

PINHEADS & PATRIOTS

Earlier this week the city of Seattle announced to the world that it would not allow advertising to say "Buy American" to be posted on city buses, the city saying the ads were, quote, "too political."

Now, of course, this is unbelievably pinheaded and a violation of freedom of speech, to boot. So when Seattle found out we were going to highlight this tonight, they reversed the insanity, much like Fort Worth at the top of the program. Now the "Buy American" ads will be run on Seattle city buses.

Are they patriots for doing so? No! It never should have happened in the first place, you pinheads.