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A daily summary of segments aired on The O'Reilly Factor. A preview of the evening's rundown is posted here by 5 pm ET each weeknight.
Monday, December 20, 2004
Parchments
Christmas under siege: Secularists strike back
Guest: Charles Haynes, Freedom Forum

"The traditions of Christmas are under fire by committed secularists, people who do not want any public demonstration of spirituality. The situation is absurd--department stores refusing to post Merry Christmas banners, a school forbidding any song that mentions Christianity, even Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer. The Factor has been exposing these anti-Christmas people, so some in the media have stepped up to attack me. The smears appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Denver Post, and elsewhere. Why? The Fox News Channel and its commentators stand in the way of the secular agenda--demonizing us sends a message to others who may challenge the secular cabal. This is another vicious battle in the American culture war. Somewhere Jesus is weeping."

Charles Haynes of the Freedom Forum, author of "Religion in American History," said the government should search for a middle ground--allow religious symbols on public property without paying for them. "I think we have a problem in this country," Haynes told The Factor. "People on one side overreact when they see a Christmas tree or hear a carol. The solution is to let religious people express their faith in public spaces, but you don't want the government putting up the cr�che. Wouldn't it be better for the religious communities to put up their own expressions?" The Factor said anti-Christmas forces still wouldn't be satisfied. "The secularists want to wipe out all religion. You cannot do what these secularists are doing. To say you can't have a cr�che honoring the birth of Christ in a public place is fascist."
A victory for Christmas on Bay Harbor Island
Guest: Frank Simone, attorney

When the Florida town of Bay Harbor Island allowed a menorah on public property, a Federal judge ruled the town must also permit a nativity scene. Lawyer Frank Simone, who represents Bay Harbor Island, explained why the town objected. "We already had a Christmas tree," Simone said. "We didn't want to put a nativity scene on public property, which we felt would violate the law. This was never about excluding the Christian voice on public property." The Factor summed up the case and the result: "Your town was ordered by a judge to allow this cr�che. You lost!"
Fetus kidnapper charged
Guest: Crime expert Edward Appel

Lisa Montgomery has been accused of killing Bobbie Jo Stinnett, cutting her open, and taking her unborn baby. The women had become acquainted on an Internet chat site, where Montgomery learned details of Stinnett's life. Crime expert Edward Appel warned that computer technology makes some crimes easier to commit. "The Internet allows criminals to do something that perhaps they couldn't do as well before. Computer use is greatly increasing, and from what we know of the Internet-related crime stats, they seem to be increasing at the same rate." Appel added, "There's a good aspect to this--the crime left a trail on the computer. Experts found computer evidence of who did it, and apprehended the perpetrator a lot faster than they would have otherwise."
Democracy and Iraq
Guest: Dr. Deepak Chopra

What is the best road to peace in Iraq and the Middle East? Author Deepak Chopra suggested we should look for terrorism's root causes. "You've got to get rid of people like Osama Bin Laden," Chopra said. "But unless we understand other people's perspectives, there's never going to be a solution. When you have poverty and extreme economic disparities, hatred arises." The Factor argued that poverty is less to blame than institutional anti-Semitism. "You have a culture that has a strong hatred toward Israel. Kids are taught to hate the Jews and to hate America." Here's what Chopra would do if he were President Bush: "I'd go on world television and ask for help, for creative solutions. I'd appeal to even the Islamic people to be on my side."
The left vs. the right
Guest: Phil Donahue

Former talk show host Phil Donahue also had advice for President Bush, suggesting he should acknowledge his mistakes. "I don't think he should grovel, but he should say we invaded Iraq because we thought Saddam was a threat. But we did not anticipate the chaos that has ensued. And for that, we apologize. It will begin to close the gap between the United States and the Islamic world." But The Factor argued a Presidential apology could do more harm than good. "As soon as he apologizes the far left will say we told you so, and terrorists will see it as a sign of weakness."
Tom Wolfe
Guest: Author Tom Wolfe

Author Tom Wolfe's latest novel "I Am Charlotte Simmons" focuses on sex, sports, and studies on an elite university campus "As far as I know," Wolfe said, "this is the first book to show you the life of undergraduates from their point of view--what they're feeling, what they're seeing. I wanted to find out what is it really like for these young people." On another subject, Wolfe defended traditional religion and its role in American history. "I don't think we would have ever settled this continent without the fervor of religious communities. Religion is a great glue that holds people together."
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