Defending Christmas

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," December 1, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

DAVID ASMAN, GUEST HOST: A newly formed group is battling against the war on Christmas. Its founder and members, they are not gentiles. They are Jews. The group is called Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation, and they held a press conference Thursday in Washington.

Joining us via phone call is comedian Jackie Mason, who is a member of the group. He joins us now on the phone.

Jackie, what's a nice Jewish boy like you doing with a group like this?

JACKIE MASON, JEWS AGAINST ANTI-CHRISTIAN DEFAMATION: Well, not only am I a member, I'm a founding father of this organization, because I have never seen anything so offensive to me. I can't believe this. All my life, I was always worried about Christians persecuting Jews. And who knew that Christians would start persecuting Christians? And who knew it would take the Jews to defend the Christians from each other?

We have only 1.5 percent of America's population and the Christians have to run to us for help to protect them from other Christians.

ASMAN: Now, there are Jews with the Anti-Defamation League and everything who say there is too much emphasis on Christmas and we should take the word Christ out of Christmas and so forth. What do you tell them?

MASON: First of all, the amount of Jews who are saying this kind of a thing can't even be found. You would have to hire the CIA to find a Jew who is disturbed or offended by anything representing the word Christmas. Jews are thrilled and delighted to celebrate Christmas because, you know, we don't see it as a threat. There is no normal Jew in America, I can't find one, bang on every door of every Jewish house in America. If you find more, if you would find more than six Jews with this complex, that they are disturbed by Christianity or by the word "Merry Christmas." Jews love the idea of "Merry Christmas" because not only is it celebrating brotherhood and friendship and love and the extension of happiness to everybody in the world — how could you be offended by that?

Pornography is allowed in this country because freedom of speech protects it. Rappers are singing songs about killing everybody in the streets, and it's protected. But if, God forbid, you say "Merry Christmas," "Ho, ho, ho," a whole fight breaks out. Love is the only thing that they hate. Hate is protected. Love is obnoxious to them. How nuts could you get? If a store is selling rap music, it's protected. But if that same store hung up a sign that said "Merry Christmas," they would be in all kinds of trouble.

ASMAN: Oh, well, wait a minute. We've got to interrupt Jackie Mason for President Bush, who is about to do the lighting. He is going to say a few words before he lights up the Christmas tree. Let's listen to the president, and then we'll get to Jackie.

And the president and the first lady are now leaving. Jackie Mason, were you able to see? There is the tree. What do you think of it? Are you ready to call it a Christmas tree or a holiday tree?

MASON: I think anybody who sees it and decides you must call it a holiday tree should be put in a sanitarium. Because what are they going to do? Are they going to do this to all the religions now? Are you going to say a Jew is not allowed to say "Happy Passover," you have to say happy, hello, I can't remember what I am now? What if it's Purim and what — we have any kind of a holiday? What if you fast on Yom Kippur, should we have to say we're fasting on a day we don't know about?

ASMAN: Jackie Mason, we've got to leave it there. We thank you very much, Jackie.

Content and Programming Copyright 2005 FOX News Network, L.L.C. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2005 eMediaMillWorks, Inc. (f/k/a Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, L.L.C.'s and eMediaMillWorks, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.