Michael Gaynor
Hurray! Laura Ingraham refused to excuse Bill O'Reilly's slur on Bible believers opposing gay marriage on biblical grounds
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By Michael Gaynor
April 5, 2013

O'Reilly can make the point that referring to the Bible is not likely to persuade those who don't believe it without disparaging Bible believers for professing their religious faith in the public square, as the First Amendment intended.

Christian Science Monitor
(http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/Vox-News/2013/0403/Bill-O-Reilly-battles-Laura-Ingraham-Is-thump-the-Bible-a-slur-video):

"Fox News host Bill O'Reilly ripped into radio talker Laura Ingraham on 'The O'Reilly Factor' last night, and Ms. Ingraham responded in kind. The subject was gay marriage – specifically, whether it's offensive for Mr. O'Reilly to say that those on the right who simply 'thump the Bible' in opposing same will lose.

"O'Reilly began his Tuesday show with a segment downplaying any feud between him and Limbaugh. He said the left was trying to create an argument where none existed. Then he repeated his 'thump' assertion.

"'Zealots picked up on my statement that opponents must do more than thump the Bible if they want to win the civil debate. That's absolutely true,' he said.

"Then he turned to guest Ingraham, who sometimes sits in for him and with whom he seems to have a good relationship. He appeared to think she would agree with him on Bible thumping. She didn't.

"'I don't think you really needed to say that,' she said.

"Things went downhill quickly from there. O'Reilly quickly shouted her down and had his say, then let her have two minutes to respond, then jumped in and overwhelmed her with volume while she sat back and looked disgusted.

"Her basic point was that opponents of gay marriage have been surprised by the quick turnaround in the national debate and haven't had time to really articulate their beliefs. But to dismiss the beliefs of social conservatives as somehow irrelevant is insulting, she implied.

"'A lot of them do have a very deeply held religious belief about what traditional marriage is,' said Ingraham.

"O'Reilly countered that he was not insulting people's religious belief.

"'Why did you use the word "thump?"' asked Ingraham.

"'Because that's the way you get it across,' said O'Reilly." Bravo to Ingraham for standing up to O'Reilly and by her principles.

Bulletin for O'Reilly: "Bible thumper" IS a perjorative.

Bible thumper(www.thefreedictionary.com/Bible+thumper):

"n. Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a Christian, especially a fundamentalist or evangelical Christian, considered to be overly zealous in haranguing or censuring others."

Bible thumper (www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bible%20thumper):

"One who uses the Bible to attack/defame others' characters instead of as a guide to proper living. These people tend to be depressingly ignorant of anything else except the Bible and behavior as expected by the religious.

"That Bible Thumper makes me so sick! Every day, he stands on my porch shouting about how I'm doomed to a flaming eternity in Hell just because I watch Crank Yankers and South Park!"

"Originating from typically southern US fundamentalist Christian sects given to evangelizing in a very outgoing, rambunctious way, often characterized by a religious bigot standing on a street corner, with or without foam around his mouth, shouting about how we should all turn to Christ, whilst vigorously thumping his soft covered bible for emphasis.

"Their actions usually do more harm than good to their cause and bring into disrepute and ridicule those more reticent Christians.

"He's a bible thumper, so don't go near him.

"He thinks everything in the bible should be taken literally; he's a foolish bible thumper."

Ironically, that morning Ingraham interviewed on her radio program the unintimidable Michelle Malkin, who preceded Ingraham as a regular guest and substitute host on "The O'Reilly Factor" until a conflict in 2007 with a crude Geraldo Rivera.

Malkin explained it this way (http://michellemalkin.com/2007/10/15/stiiiiill-going/):

"I made the decision to quit appearing on the O'Reilly show in response to the poor handling of the Geraldo Rivera matter (in case you hadn't heard, he threatened to spit on me because of my views about illegal immigration and his staged 'apology' on The Factor was a complete farce). I won't go into details, but please know that your support means a lot to me. You can catch me on other Fox News shows and read my daily blog posts and weekly columns at MichelleMalkin.com."

Thanks be to God that Ingraham and Malkin refuse to be O'Reilly syncophants!

O'Reilly's shameful surliness may result from an absence of marital bliss.

John Cook (http://gawker.com/5990571/bill-oreillys-divorce-is-so-ugly-god-got-involved): "Bill O'Reilly wants his ex-wife to go to Hell. Literally. As we previously reported, the Fox News falafelist became separated from his former wife Maureen McPhilmy at some point in 2011, and later went on an apparently corrupt crusade to destroy the career of the Nassau County Police detective she was dating. We have now confirmed that O'Reilly and McPhilmy have been formally divorced, that she has since married the detective, and that O'Reilly is in the midst of a scorched-earth custody battle – dubbed, appropriately enough, Anonymous v. Anonymous – over the ex-couple's two children. It involves a surreptitious attempt by O'Reilly to undermine his custody arrangement by hiring, as a member of his household staff, the woman he and his ex had agreed on as a neutral arbiter of their disputes. It also involves O'Reilly's attempts to annul his marriage and have McPhilmy potentially booted from the Catholic Church."

Here's the unanimous appellate court opinion in Anonymous v. Anonymous:

Greenfield Labby, LLP, New York, N.Y. (Casey Greenfield of counsel), for appellant.

Albanese & Albanese, LLP, Garden City, N.Y. (Barry A. Oster of counsel), for respondent.

In a matrimonial action in which the parties were divorced by judgment dated September 1, 2011, the plaintiff appeals, as limited by her brief, from so much of an order of the Supreme Court, Nassau County (Schwartz-Zimmerman, J.), dated February 15, 2012, as, without a hearing, denied that branch of her motion which was to modify the joint custody provisions of the parties' judgment of divorce so as to award her sole custody of the parties' children. Ordered that the order is reversed insofar as appealed from, on the law, without costs or disbursements, and the matter is remitted to the Supreme Court, Nassau County, for the appointment of an attorney to represent the interests of the children, and thereafter for a hearing and a new determination of that branch of the plaintiff's motion which was to modify the joint custody provisions of the parties' judgment of divorce so as to award her sole custody of the parties' children.

The parties have two children, a daughter, born March 21, 1999, and a son, born September 8, 2003. The parties entered into a separation agreement on April 2, 2010, pursuant to which they agreed to share legal and residential custody of the children on alternating weeks. They also agreed, inter alia, that the children's therapist would act as a neutral mediator to help them resolve any parenting disputes. The separation agreement (hereinafter the agreement) was incorporated but not merged into the parties' judgment of divorce dated September 1, 2011.

On October 19, 2011, the plaintiff (hereinafter the mother) moved, inter alia, to modify the joint custody provisions of the judgment of divorce so as to award her sole custody of the children. In support of her motion, the mother submitted an affidavit wherein she asserted, inter alia, that a change in circumstances warranted a modification of the shared custody arrangement. The mother claimed that the defendant (hereinafter the father) had repeatedly violated conditions of the agreement. The mother further alleged that, after the execution of the agreement, the father had hired the children's therapist as a full-time employee to perform virtually all of his parental duties. The Supreme Court denied, without a hearing, that branch of the mother's motion which was to modify the joint custody provisions of the judgment of divorce so as to award her sole custody of the children, finding that the mother had not alleged a change of circumstances "which would warrant the relief requested."

"An order . . . modifying custody[ ] must be addressed solely to the infant's best interests".... Where parents enter into an agreement concerning custody, "it will not be set aside unless there is a sufficient change in circumstances since the time of the stipulation and unless the modification of the custody agreement is in the best interests of the children"....

When making such determinations, a court "must consider the totality of the circumstances" .... A party seeking a change in custody is entitled to a hearing where the movant has made an evidentiary showing of "a sufficient change in circumstances demonstrating a real need for a change of custody in order to insure the [children's] best interests"....

Here, the mother made the necessary showing entitling her to a hearing regarding that branch of her motion which was for a change of custody. The mother's affidavit contained specific allegations concerning the father's repeated violations of the custody provisions of the agreement since its inception.... Moreover, the full-time employment of the children's therapist, the person designated in the agreement as a neutral third-party "arbitrator" of custodial disputes, by the father, constitutes a significant change of circumstance which could undermine the integrity of the agreement's custodial provisions. The record also reveals a "[c]ontinued deterioration in the [parties'] relationship" which may qualify as a further circumstance warranting a change in the present custodial arrangement.... Thus, under the totality of the circumstances, the mother is entitled to a hearing before the court determines that branch of her motion which was to modify the joint custody provisions of the judgment of divorce so as to award her sole custody of the children.

Given the particular facts of this case, the interests of the children should be independently represented....

Accordingly, the matter must be remitted to the Supreme Court, Nassau County, for the appointment of an attorney to represent the interests of the children, and thereafter for a hearing and a new determination of that branch of the mother's motion which was to modify the joint custody provisions of the judgment of divorce so as to award her sole custody of the children. Angiolillo, J.P., Austin, Sgroi and Miller, JJ., concur.

O'Reilly was married to his ex-wife from 1996 to 2011 and they have two children.

O'Reilly's sexual harassment lawsuit history suggests that he should spent time studying the Bible instead of bashing people who believe the Bible disapproves of "same-sex marriage."

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_O'Reilly_(political_commentator)):

"Sexual harassment lawsuit

"On October 13, 2004 O'Reilly sued former producer for The O'Reilly Factor, Andrea Mackris with extortion charges, alleging that she had threatened a lawsuit unless he paid her more than $60 million. Subsequently that day, Mackris sued O'Reilly for sexual harassment, seeking $60 million in damages. Her lawsuit was alleging two types of legally cognizable sexual harassment claims that are not based upon physical contact: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. In her lawsuit, she filed a 22-page complaint with the Supreme Court of the State of New York and produced quotations from alleged explicit phone conversations between herself and O'Reilly in which he 'advised her to use a vibrator and told her about sexual fantasies involving her.' On October 15, 2004, Fox sought judicial to fire Mackris, but she was never dismissed. On October 19, 2004, Mackris filed an amended complaint seeking further damages for illegal retaliatory actions by O'Reilly, Fox News, and the News Corporation-owned newspaper The New York Post. On October 28, 2004, O'Reilly and Mackris reached an out-of-court settlement and dropped all charges against each other. According to several published reports, as part of the settlement O'Reilly likely paid Mackris millions of dollars, but the terms of the agreement are confidential."

O'Reilly can make the point that referring to the Bible is not likely to persuade those who don't believe it without disparaging Bible believers for professing their religious faith in the public square, as the First Amendment intended.

© Michael Gaynor

 

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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