Friday, December 19, 2008

Mercer, O'Reilly and Christmas:

Ilana Mercer has an article at WorldNetDaily entitled O'Reilly won the battle – but lost the debate. She discusses Bill O'Reilly and the Christmas Wars. She doesn't like the way O'Reilly defended public Christmas displays. As she writes:

He defends the country's founding faith on the frivolous grounds that it is a federal festival like any other – an "uplifting tradition … where peace and love are the theme of the great day." The substance of O'Reilly's claim against those who'd disrespect a Christmas display is: "Be nice, because Christmas is nice." And because the feds have told you to.

As she argues:

O'Reilly's problem[ is that h]e's forever arguing his case from the stance of the positive law. The " Dictionary" defines legal positivism as "man-made law, as compared to 'natural law,' which is purportedly based on universally accepted moral principles." Believers call the natural law "God's law"; others, like myself, refer to law derived from reason.

Whatever the case, the natural law is the law O'Reilly seldom defers to.


...Christmas ought to be defended on the basis that Christianity is America's founding faith.

To defend Christian America with reference to un-Christian State law that has all but banished Christianity from the public square is worse than silly.

I left a comment on her blog which follows:

I disagree that Christmas should be defended because Christianity is America’s Founding Faith. I actually think O’Reilly’s case that the message of Christianity is “be just and good” — something to which secular folks and folks of ALL religions can agree about — is FAR closer to the natural law creed that defines America’s Founding.

Americans were divided on the basis of religion during the Founding era (yes, they were; you cannot form a lowest common denominator of “Christianity generally” because “Christians” like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson took blasphemous positions that the orthodox felt had *no proper place* in the understanding of “Christianity”).

And because they were so divided, they found they could come together on the basis of a natural religion based on “the laws of nature and nature’s God.” Now, this natural religion is, in many ways, entirely compatible with Christianity. But, nonetheless it IS not Christianity and Christianity’s essential and exclusive truths are not discoverable from reason or the natural law.

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