Nativity scenes removed

Nativity scenes removed from Guantanamo Bay after complaints


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 19, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: In "Back of the Book" segment tonight, an amazing story out of Guantanamo Bay, which currently houses about 158 prisoners suspected of terrorist activities. There are thousands of American military people and civilians on that base in Cuba. And most of them like to celebrate Christmas with decorations.

But, now, the Gitmo commander, Captain John Nettleton, has ordered two Nativity scenes removed from dining halls. This, after some complaints.

Joining us from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mikey Weinstein, the president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Are you behind this, Mr. Weinstein.

MIKEY WEINSTEIN, FOUNDER, MILITARY RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FOUNDATION: Well, Bill, let's not use loaded questions. We had 18 members of the United States Military that came to us. I might add, 11 of them practicing Protestants and Roman Catholics, that came to us because they were very, very upset --


-- and concerned about what they viewed as a violation of their civil rights. They didn't feel comfortable going up their chain of command for fear of reprisal and retribution, so they came to us.

And that's the reason over 35,000 members of the military have come to us. We went to the Pentagon. And we made it clear that we thought this was completely, not inappropriate, but unlawful.

And they have done in the past. The Pentagon thought about it for a while and they agreed with us. We don't have MRFF Stormtroopers to invade Guantanamo. They Navy made the right decision there.

O'REILLY: All right, Mr. Weinstein, --

WEINSTEIN: And we applaud them for that.

O'REILLY: -- calm down, calm down. Stormtroopers, ridiculous. All right, the 18 that complained to you, all right, did you release their names. Do you have their names.

WEINSTEIN: No, Bill, we're not going to release their names. That's part of the reasons they came to us, --

O'REILLY: OK, is there any -- is there one --

WEINSTEIN: -- is they want anonymity.

O'REILLY: I got the anonymity thing. Is there anybody --

WEINSTEIN: We had 41 people there.

O'REILLY: OK. Is there anyone among the 18 that would come on this program just to explain why they were offended. Because it is a federal holiday.

And the federal holiday and the federal holiday honors the birth of Jesus, you know, passed by Congress, signed by President Grant, all right. The crSche and the Nativity scene just basically --


-- portrays what happened on Christmas Day. And because it is a federal holiday, it seems to be in context. It's not like you're making anybody at Guantanamo Bay pray or go to church --


-- or say, "Hallelujah, I love Jesus." It's a depiction of the federal holiday. So, if somebody is offended by that, I would really like to know why.

And, it seems, out of the 18, one would have the cojones enough to come on and tell me why they're offended. Am I wrong.

WEINSTEIN: You know, Bill, my mom and dad are big fans of your show. And my mother told me to make sure that I'm nice to Mr. O'Reilly, so I'm just going to try mellow about this.

Where do I even begin. You're talking about -- and I understand it. I understand that people think that this is political correctness run amok. But what we're really seeing is Christian privilege, previously unchallenged, being challenged now, so I --

O'REILLY: Why is it Christian privilege. Isn't it a national holiday. Wait, wait, wait. Wait, wait, Mr. Weinstein, isn't it a national holiday.

WEINSTEIN: No, no, no --

O'REILLY: It's a national holiday, not a Christian holiday.

WEINSTEIN: Bill, I know it is.

O'REILLY: It's a national holiday.

WEINSTEIN: I know it's a national holiday. Can I respond now, please. I'm your guest. Let me just try to respond.

My point is is that Christian privilege is now gone, previously unchallenged. And, now, welcome to the land of equality. You must all share your toys. I understand that people don't like that but these are --

O'REILLY: Look, Mr. Weinstein, you're not making any sense to me. I mean, I know I'm not as smart as you but you're not making any sense.

WEINSTEIN: Oh, Bill, come on. Come on, Bill.

O'REILLY: It's a national holiday. It's a national holiday.

WEINSTEIN: Bill, Bill.

O'REILLY: All right? It's the same as your local holiday.

WEINSTEIN: Bill, have you ever been in the United States Military. Just yes or no. Simple yes or no question.

O'REILLY: I have not.

WEINSTEIN: OK, let me try to say something to you. When you're in the military, it's not like working at Fox or at Costco. It is an incredibly tribal, adversarial, communal and ritualistic place.

There are department defense, directives, instructions, and regulations in place that absolutely make this clear that this was wrong. The Air Force, like a week and a half ago, the Navy, yesterday, came back and agree with us.

O'REILLY: They might have -- it was a cowardly decision by the base commander because all --

WEINSTEIN: It was a brave decision.

O'REILLY: -- and it was cowardly because this is a depiction of a secular holiday that was signed into law.


That's what it was. And if somebody is offended by it, I want to know why. And your guys don't have the courage to stand up and tell me. That's the fact.


O'REILLY: I'll give you the last word. You've got 20 seconds, go.

WEINSTEIN: OK. Bill, please don't call our members of the military cowards. The majority of them are Christians. Because if you want to start getting ad hominem, at least they joined the military and they're prepared to fight.

And like I said, the majority of Christians, they understand what their rights are. And your Christian personal rights will always be trumped by the civil rights of your fellow American citizens.

O'REILLY: You know what, Mr. Weinstein, you're just -- and with all due respect to your parents, -- are just a bloviator. You don't answer the questions.

And I tell you what. I covered four wars with a pen.

WEINSTEIN: Bill, you're an excessive arrogant idiot.

O'REILLY: All right, cut him off. Cut him off, he's a jerk.

WEINSTEIN: I covered four wars with a pen, OK, Mr. Weinstein, so don't impugn my courage ever again. You're a weasel.

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