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08 November 2005

The assault on religion in America

The assault on religion in America, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
Thursday, November 03, 2005 By Bill O'Reilly | FOXNEWS  http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,174428,00.html

Tonight, we begin an ongoing series of reports entitled "Religion Under Siege". There's no question secular forces in America led by the ACLU (search) want to wipe out all vestiges of religious traditions in public. This battle's been going on for quite some time, but it is intensifying. And increasingly, the press is becoming involved.

Now last week, we reported the school board in Hillsborough County, Florida, the Tampa area, has removed most mentions of religious holidays from the school calendar. This, after a Muslim student requested an Islamic holiday be included among observances like Yom Kippur, Good Friday, and the day after Easter.

Rather than deal with the Muslim issue, the school board ruled 5 to 1 to wipe out all mention of religious observances, except for Christmas. That federal holiday is being called "Winter Break".

The lone vote against this madness came from Jennifer Falario, whom we immediately booked on “The Factor”. She told us she was excited to get out her point of view. But later, she canceled. And we found out it was because of pressure, which the woman subsequently admitted.

Now we reported all of this to you honestly and fairly, but almost immediately, I was attacked in The Tampa Tribune newspaper, called a liar in a news article and viciously smeared by the paper's far left character assassin columnist.

Now this disgraceful exhibition isn't unusual. As we discussed last night with Michelle Malkin, the far left forces in the USA will say and do pretty much anything. But I'm holding Tampa Tribune publisher Gil Thelen (search), who is too cowardly to talk to us, personally responsible for the shameful course of events. There is no excuse.

Now this is another case of a newspaper protecting its turf. We saw that with The New Hampshire Union Leader in the Jessica's Law debate. The Florida situation is yet another example of a national movement to remove all traces of religion education from the public school system to avoid teaching kids about their heritage.

Nearly 85 percent of Americans call themselves Christians. Why is that? How did that happen? And what exactly is Christianity?

All American students should be able to answer those questions and define other religions as well. This isn't a promotion of religion. It's just teaching about an established part of our society.

By banishing any mention of religious holidays, the Hillsborough County (search) school board is setting back education and is practicing a kind of fascism. That's what they do in Cuba.

The anti-religious zealots in America have powerful allies in the media and succeeded in intimidating their opposition using vile tactics. Fair-minded Americans need to know about the Hillsborough County school board, The Tampa Tribune, and the fact that this is not an isolated occurrence.

Twenty years ago, religion was not under siege in America. Now it is big time. And only you, the folks, can stop it.

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