Clearly, 2013 is coming to an end, as signaled by the now-annual back-and-forth between Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly and Comedy Central's Jon Stewart as they debate the existence of the so-called War on Christmas and O'Reilly's perceived sense of constant persecution as a white, Christian, American male.
On Tuesday's episode of The Daily Show, Stewart laid into the conservative victimhood encompassed in the "war on Christmas," noting that since Hanukkah occurred early this year — beginning on November 27 — prior to the Jewish celebration's conclusion on Thursday, everyone should have been wishing holiday shoppers a "Happy Hanukkah." In the biting segment, Stewart also pointed out that O'Reilly's claims that there are no holidays between the end of Hanukkah tonight and Christmas Day on December 25 totally disregards other year-end holidays including Kwanzaa, New Year's, and Epiphany.
Despite the fact that Stewart's mention of the Catholic observance of Epiphany should have appeased O'Reilly, a self-described devout Catholic, it was that holiday that ignited O'Reilly's indignation with a Saturday Night Live-worthy shriek of "really?!"
"It is quite clear to anyone with a brain that there is a war between traditional Americans and secular progressives in this country," continued O'Reilly on Wednesday's episode of The O'Reilly Factor, in a clip posted by Media Matters. "In order to remake the United States into a progressive nation, the committed left must diminish Judeo-Christian tradition, which stands in opposition to them."
After claiming that President Obama's calls for greater income equality will result in Americans being "guaranteed a certain lifestyle, courtesy of other Americans who would pay for it," O'Reilly turned his attention to the perceived progressive goal of "unfettered abortion."
"The far left wants absolutely no restrictions on destroying a fetus," O'Reilly claimed. "None."
O'Reilly did admit that when it comes to marriage equality, "the secular-progressives have won."
"They have turned public opinion around, and gay marriage is now legal in many places," lamented O'Reilly. "It took years for the secularists to hammer that point of view into the law, but they succeeded."
O'Reilly closed with a message directly to Stewart, claiming the latter knows "in his heart," that O'Reilly is right.
"Christmas is a huge symbol of the cultural struggle in this country, and has been for years," said O'Reilly. "And what a great Christmas gift it would be for Jon Stewart to finally admit it."
This isn't the first time O'Reilly has alleged that the "war on Christmas" is being fomented by the pro-choice and marriage equality movement. In an eerily similar segment from December 6, 2012, O'Reilly "absolutely agree[d]" that the so-called War on Christmas is a result of the so-called gay agenda.
"The war on Christmas is very, very real," said one of O'Reilly's guests that day, in a clip pulled by Media Matters. "And if you ask me, in addition to some grouchy, misanthropic heathen aethists, it has to do with, at the root of it, it has to do with two things: abortion and the gay rights agenda, because Christianity is against those things."
"100 percent agree," replied O'Reilly. "I absolutely agree 100 percent that it's the diminishment of Christianity is the target, and Christmas is the vehicle, because the secularists know their opposition to their agenda. Legalized drugs is in that as well, comes primarily from the Judeo-Christian traditionalist people. It's not so much a church, it's a mindset."
Watch Wednesday's segment from The O'Reilly Factor below, if you can stomach the absurdity. Catch the Tuesday Daily Show segment that prompted O'Reilly's incensed response here.