Fox's Gibson: Christians tolerate those who are "following the wrong religion ... as long as they're civil and behave"December 1, 2005 6:04 PM EST ››› MAX BLUMENTHAL
Throughout his promotion of his book The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought (Sentinel, October 2005), Fox News host John Gibson has remained vague about exactly who he believes is orchestrating the alleged attack on Christmas beyond the "liberals" in the book's title. For instance, as Media Matters for America documented, during an appearance on the October 20 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Gibson limited his criticism of those supposedly undermining Christmas to "liberals." O'Reilly, on the other hand, was compelled to narrow the focus of their offensive: "I think you made a mistake by saying it's [the "war on Christmas"] a liberal plot," O'Reilly told Gibson. "It's the far left. It's the loony left, the Kool-Aid secular progressive ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] America-haters. That's who's doing this."
Gibson was more pointed, however, during a November 17 appearance on Janet Parshall's nationally syndicated radio program. During a discussion about the alleged "war on Christmas," Gibson suggested that people "following the wrong religion" were not reciprocating the tolerance afforded to them by "the majority religion -- Christianity." He also said that as long as adherents of minority religions "are civil and they behave," Christians will tolerate them "without causing any trouble" -- a view endorsed by Parshall.
From the November 17 edition of Salem Radio Network's Janet Parshall's America:
GIBSON: The whole point of this is that the tradition, the religious tradition of this country is tolerance, and that the same sense of tolerance that's been granted by the majority to the minority over the years ought to go the other way too. Minorities ought to have the same sense of tolerance about the majority religion -- Christianity -- that they've been granted about their religions over the years.
PARSHALL: Exactly. John, I have to tell you, let me linger for a minute on that word "tolerance." Because first of all, the people who like to promulgate that concept are the worst violators. They cannot tolerate Christianity, as an example.
GIBSON: Absolutely. I know -- I know that.
PARSHALL: And number two, I have to tell you, I don't know when they held this election and decided that tolerance was a transcendent value. I serve a god who, with a finger of fire, wrote, he will have no other gods before him. And he doesn't tolerate sin, which is why he sent his son to the cross, but all of a sudden now, we jump up and down and celebrate the idea of tolerance. I think tolerance means accommodation, but it doesn't necessarily mean acquiescence or wholehearted acceptance.
GIBSON: No, no, no. If you figure that -- listen, we get a little theological here, and it's probably a bit over my head, but I would think if somebody is going to be -- have to answer for following the wrong religion, they're not going to have to answer to me. We know who they're going to have to answer to.
GIBSON: And that's fine. Let 'em. But in the meantime, as long as they're civil and behave, we tolerate the presence of other religions around us without causing trouble, and I think most Americans are fine with that tradition.
PARSHALL: I agree.
GIBSON: In other words, they'd like it in return.