It isn't like he's in new territory here, but I found it somewhat odd for Bill O'Reilly to slap the Pope around alongside people who just want some opportunity to get ahead, on Good Friday of all days. Free-market Satan had to have been whispering in his ear when he wrote this.
Nay, nay. BillO knows all, and what he knows best is that America has more opportunities than any other land on the planet, but lazy lefty moochers will just sit around and drink and take from the government without lifting a finger to help themselves.
It's a strange form of prosperity theology. O'Reilly claims the far left are distorting Pope Francis' November, 2013 message about capitalism and poverty and converting it to socialism, or "forcefully taking from the haves and giving to the have-nots."
O'Reilly interprets the similarity between Democrats' social justice focus and the Pope's words as a cynical ploy on the part of Democrats to hold onto power in the US.
Then he gets to the good stuff, taking aim at a Christmas Eve article by Robert Scheer on The Nation's website, where Scheer slams O'Reilly's fake "War on Christmas." Specifically, this quote annoys BillO:
[T]here can be no doubt that equality of opportunity is explicit in the core Christian doctrine that every infant has a soul as significant as that of any other, and that we all will be judged by how well we respect the sanctity of the lives of those born into the most forlorn of circumstance.
And heeeere we go. Regarding the idea of equality of opportunity:
A noble goal that will never be reality. That's because the human condition dictates that some people will not do what is necessary to succeed in this world.
Dare I mention that access to opportunity is quite different from acting on opportunity? Is BillO telling us we shouldn't bother making opportunities for anyone because there will always be some moocher who just lets it sit there? Here's his magic formula for doing what's necessary to succeed:
That is work hard, be honest, stay sober, and get educated. Some people will not do that. And so their children will suffer deprivation no matter how much money the government hands out.
I guess harassing women isn't a barrier to prosperity even if it does occasionally cause children to suffer. On the other hand, it ended up as an opportunity for someone to prosper from a fat settlement to bury it all, so there's that.
Of course, if you're an intern grabbing at that brass ring -- an intern who doesn't drink, works hard, and is educated and can tolerate being ranted at by BillO -- I suppose that's its own form of opportunity, too.
Now we segue to BillO's Fantastical Jesus Mind-Reading Wisdom:
Jesus of course understood that. When he said "the poor we will always have with us."
That's not at all what that passage means, and in fact, it contradicts everything BillO preaches. Taken in context, that remark is Jesus rebuking his disciples for thinking of everything in terms of money. Inconvenient.
The truth is, the United States provides more opportunity to more people than any other nation that has ever existed. That is why millions of folks all over the world want to come here.
We have done that by developing a free market system.
Oh yeah, baby. Forget those loaves and fishes, forget feeding the five thousand, just set up a free market system! By the way, that whole loaves and fishes thing is totally socialism. Jesus says, give me your bread and your fish and then feeds everyone with it. Why didn't he charge everyone a few shekels? Hell, the rabbis could have charged half a shekel less and BAM! You'd have a free market, just like that. But no, that strange man handed out bread and fish like it was an entitlement or something.
Wait. Wasn't there an incident with markets and moneychangers? Why yes, I believe there was.
Now we come to the finale, where the American left is slapped around as a bunch of America-hating thugs who want to tear down the American system of capitalism and forcibly redistribute everything because Obamacare. Or nanny states. Or some such argle-bargle.
But the left doesn't care about the facts. It's all about hating America.
I feel like waving a flag high and proud, America-hater that I am. Cross your heart and sing American Pie.
Some folks on the left think America is a bad place that keeps people down.
I don't think that at all. What I think is that Fox News is a bad place that keeps people down by lying to them and shaming people and telling them opportunities exist when they don't. I think that right-wing fanatics who wave guns around like holy sceptres and pretend they're "sovereign" are bad people and a disgrace to what this country should and could stand for. I think that corporations that take and take and take wantonly on the backs of the people who enable their profits is evil.
But I don't hate America. I just think some of their extremists should stand down and repent, starting with BillO.