OLYMPIA, Wash. - Earlier this week an atheist placard joined a ‘holiday tree' and Christian Nativity scene on display in the state capitol. Not only did the sign generate statewide attention, but the host of Fox News Network's The O'Reilly Factor Bill O'Reilly picked up the story and is now asserting that Governor Gregoire has "insulted Christians all over the world" by allowing the atheist sign to be posted.
The atheist sign was unveiled Monday by Washington members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. It reads, in part, "Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."
The state Capitol has displayed a holiday tree for years, sponsored by the Association of Washington Business. The Nativity scene was first put on display last year by an Olympia real estate agent.
On Thursday, December 4, an article by Bill O'Reilly titled "Jesus vs. the Atheists" was posted to his web site condemning the actions of Gregoire in which he states "Governor Gregoire's behavior is offensive, insulting to all people of faith, and totally incomprehensible."
O'Reilly also discussed the story on his show. He began the segment by reliving a similar situation in which certain companies had ordered their employees not to say "Merry Christmas," an order he dubbed ‘outrageous.' O'Reilly says that after he aired the segment many Americans stopped conducting business with those companies and "presto the words ‘Merry Christmas' came back."
O'Reilly then went on to discuss the sign placed by atheists next the Nativity scene at the State Capitol. O'Reilly defines the situation as political correctness gone mad. He then begins to attack Gregoire's character saying she is a weak, confused leader and states that if atheists want a public holiday honoring the Winter Solstice, that's fine and they should petition Congress. In his closing words, O'Reilly stated, "Washington is ground-zero for just about every nutty, secular cause on Earth, but this time, the State has embarrassed itself and the Nation."
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