As many of you know, I am seldom at a loss for words. In fact, I would argue that I am never at a loss for words. Yet, tonight I am speechless. I usually don't get worked up over comments people make especially when there appears to be a political agenda involved, but this one really rubbed me the wrong way. I was referred to a blog run by former Republican now ultra-left wing Democrat Arianna Huffington and comments about Bill O'Reilly's attendance at Easter Sunday Mass. I am not normally an apologist for people like O'Reilly, in fact I pretty much think that "conservative" and "liberal" TV and Radio personalities are all formed out of the same mold. Yet, in this case, the attack was not only against Mr. O'Reilly, it was also an attack against the Holy Father and likewise an attack against everyone who holds the Catholic Faith. Below is an Open Leter I wrote to Mr. Chris Kelly who penned the article. At the time of this writing, I have not yet been able to send it to the Huffington people, the "comments" section of her blog being disabled.
Dear Mr. Kelly:
I read with interest your article attacking Bill O'Reilly and his attendance at "Easter services at church led by ex-Nazi". As a Roman Catholic, I was shocked at the virulence you displayed regarding the current Holy Father Benedict XVI. I have included your post in my letter. My comments are in red.
"The Huffington Post has learned that Bill O'Reilly -- who claims to love America -- spent Sunday at a "church"- I love how you conspicuously put "church" in quotes as if the church represented some fanatical group or religious sect-run by a former Hitler Youth named Joseph Alois Ratzinger-- the "church" that you so mysteriously refer to as being "run by"a former Hitler Youth named Joseph Alois Ratzinger is in fact not "run by" him at all. Look up Catholic etiquette and customs sir, and you will see that "churches" are "run by" pastors and are located in a diocese which is "run by" a bishop. The bishop reports to the Pope who is head of the entire Catholic Church. Ratzinger has gone to elaborate ends to hide this connection, including taking on the absurd pseudonym "Pope Benedict XVI."-Here sir, you have really shown your ignorance. Do you really believe that Ratzinger took on name Pope Benedict XVI to hide his association with Hitler Youth? What about the 265 Popes before him who had no connection with Hitler Youth? Why did they take on new names? My question is as absurd as your assertion. Popes take a different name when they accept the Papacy-it is in a sense putting on the new man. This is not something that Benedict did to hide something from his past. In fact, when he was elected, others more competent than you investigated and brought up his involvement with Hitler youth. This is not new news, in fact it is rather old news. I hope that your job does not rest on your getting "breaking news" stories, because if it does, you well may want to start looking for a new job. Which, even if it doesn't prove anything, certainly makes you think.
This shocking revelation-again, sir, which revelation? The revelation that Pope Benedict was part of Hitler Youth?... again old news! comes only a week after Barack Obama admitted he attends a church formerly run by Jeremiah Wright, who talks smack about America, although probably less than Goebbels-again, a ridiculous assertion that you can neither prove nor disprove. Comparing Pope Benedict to Goebbels is so ludicrous that no comment is warranted. I might add that the obligatory service of a sixteen year old boy in a group like Hitler Youth, is not the same as the association of a racist, Jeremiah Wright with someone like Louis Farrakhan... its not even close. Furthermore, comparing a pastor in a Chicago church to the Shepherd of approximately one billion Catholics is as absurd as comparing you to John Barron.
This would all be holy water- bad taste, Mr. Kelly. It is obvious your mother never taught you manners... sacrilege may score points with the ladies, but it is annoying and insulting. Thank the God who created holy water, that you can even make a comment like this on your post. There are some religions in the world that would not take so kindly to a slam against one of their religious articles- under the bridge, except for one disturbing and undeniable fact: Bill O'Reilly is a Roman Catholic, and Benedict "Joey Ratz" XVI worked for Hitler, as did Unity Mitford, whose baby sister was Jessica Mitford, who knew Maya Angelou, who knew Betty Shabazz, who was married to Malcolm X, who knew Louis Farrakhan- how long did it take you to look up this information?
Is there any place in our public discourse for men like Bill O'Reilly, who won't even repudiate their links to Louis Farrakhan? I'll give you the last word, and then cut you off in the middle of it: No there isn't.
I probably shouldn't say, "The Huffington Post has learned..." I don't speak for anyone but myself- now that's interesting, Mr. Kelly! Why then, isn't the name of the Post called the Kelly Post? Oh, how silly of me. This is where that stupid little disclaimer is pulled out which says "We are not responsible for the statements and or opinions of our writers, guests...etc". Save it for NBC, CBS or the New York Times-and it's all I can handle, just doing that.
It might not seem like an important distinction, but for the last couple of weeks Bill O'Reilly's been accusing Arianna-well now, Mr. Kelly, on a first name basis are we? Didn't you learn that that's a big no no in the journal world. It brings down the tone of your article and makes you sound unprofessional of running a "hate site" just based on the comments- Mr. Kelly, am I to understand you correctly that Ms. Huffington or rather Arianna has no idea what is said on her comments? Someone must read through the comments to edit what is being posted. Otherwise, who or what would prevent someone from spouting obscenities on your post? I am aware of every comment on my blog, and if Ms. Huffington isn't, then she should be, especially when the comments posted on her blog offend approximately one billion Catholics... Taking the old "babe in the woods" approach does not suit her well. On a side note, and just a word of caution, the Southern Poverty Law Center only requires you to offend minorities to be blacklisted. You, sir, have offended every Roman Catholic by your comments today.
Which is like pretending you don't understand the difference between a newspaper and a blog, or a post and a comment, or The Great Gatsby and a copy of The Great Gatsby someone has written notes in.-It doesn't matter if it were written on a bathroom stall or in a Subway station... the rhetoric offends people, sir... and Ms. Huffington's inability to control her blog shows not only bad faith on her part, it show compliance with what was said.
No, Bill, F. Scott Fitzgerald didn't circle those words in ballpoint and write "water imagery!!!" in the margin. That was someone else.-This is supposed to be funny... leave the jokes for the professionals, sir.
I think it's too bad that we live in a climate when you can get in trouble for something someone else says, where not censoring someone is the same as agreeing with them. Obama and Jeremiah Wright. Wright and Farrakhan. Arianna and everyone who posts a comment on this site.
If we have to take down every comment that Bill O'Reilly might not understand it's going to get pretty quiet around here.-Miracles never cease!
No, not that last part. But even if it had happened, it wouldn't have been worse than the things Kessler had heard. Because what makes you a good American or a bad American doesn't depend on what you do. It depends on which blowhard you listen to. If you don't believe me, ask a Dittohead.
But, okay. That's the new rule: All that matters is what people say. So Obama made his speech about Wright last week, and someone asked Kessler what he thought of it, and he said:
"It was very eloquent, it was brilliant, but it's just words."
I swear I'm not making that up.
"It is fairly easy to understand why France, Germany, China and Russia oppose removing Saddam Hussein by force; all of those countries are doing profitable business with Saddam, and all of them would like to see American power diminished. But Pope John Paul II is another matter... the Pope believes there are still options to war.
The problem with this argument is faith, pardon the pun. The Pope is putting his faith in a system of inspections that very well might fail. If that happens and even a portion of Saddam's unaccounted for 8,500 liters of anthrax are used against people, a worldwide catastrophe would ensue."
I wonder when that anthrax is going to turn up.
Maybe we should have listened to the guy who's infallible.
And I know it's not as simple as that. But that's the difference between the Pope and Bill O'Reilly: The Pope is only infallible ex cathedra.-Please, please, please, Mr. Kelly for the last time, do your homework before you write an article. Might I suggest that you read the Dogmatic Constitution I on the Church of Christ from Vatican Council I written by Pope Pius IX. You will find the Pope's prerogative of infallibility correctly spelled out in there. Bill O'Reilly is wrong all the time.
You should be ashamed of yourself for writing such bilge, Mr. Kelly. I do, however, want to help you. I have five very simple ways you can improve your article. They are as follows:
1. Get all of your information straight before you publish it.
2. Avoid ridiculous assertions.
3. Avoid old news stories. They were news once, oftentimes front page news... Stop trying to steal someone else's thunder- its bad journalism.
4. Don't defend someone by attacking someone who is completely outside of the loop- you obviously never studied formal logic.
5. Don't (and this is really important), don't attack the customs and religious practices of a people who worship God in a religion that is as old the Western World. You may need their help one day, and no one likes helping someone who insulted their mother. Hope that this helps.
John W. Heitzenrater II
The double standard of modernity is unbelievable. If Mr. Kelly had made comments about black Americans, Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson would have been screaming "hate". If Mr. Kelly had made a comment about the Jews, the SPLC would have had his job and would have made sure everyone knew he was "anti-semetic". Yet Mr. Kelly has made a comment about the Pope, the head of approximately one billion Catholics, the head of the Church of Christ, and no one has said a word...
Anti-Catholicism is alive an well in America- in fact it is the prejudice of all prejudices. We should all pray for Mr. Kelly and Ms. Huffington. We should pray that our Lord may open their minds and graciously shut their mouths...As a follow-up to my earlier post, I was able to post a modified version of the letter you see here on the comments section of the Huffington Post. It is "pending approval"... The Editor