Merry Solstice

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I’m not really feeling the season spirit this year. Maybe it’s the lack of snow here on the valley, maybe it’s because I’ll be alone this year since Hunter will be at his mom’s and my girl will be at her grandma’s. But you know what? It doesn’t bother me one little bit.

I’ve developed the habit of watching the Fox news station at the gym when I’m doing cardio, and I got to tell you, Bill O’Reilly’s war on the First Amendment’s establishment clause has basically killed Christmas for me.

I know around here, the “press” part of the First gets all the attention, but the amendment actually starts out, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The first part essentially is interpreted by the courts to mean that government can’t favor one religion over another. So when Bill O’Reilly claims government should ignore some parts of the First Amendment but support another—the press part—I get a little disgusted.

Let’s be clear on one thing: Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. O’Reilly’s every argument is that it is not. It’s a denial of his Catholicism, which he claims is the reason he and other Christians should fight to get their religious symbolism enshrined in government halls. He even talks about how the majority of Christians should force this view on the minority of non-Christians and atheists in the United States. He went as far as to say, “It is a fact that Christianity is not a religion. It is a philosophy.”

I guess this would be analogous to Simon Peter saying, “I don’t know the man, but I like the way he thinks.” Bill O’Reilly has literally forced me, with his intellectual hypocrisy, to recognize that Christmas can’t be a cultural holiday enjoyed by all of us.

As for myself, I’ll celebrate another reason for the season: Eggnog and longer days.