Last week on the network talk show The View guest Bill O'Reilly was subjected to a walkout by two of the program's interviewers, Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg.
Was the walkout justified? By examining O'Reilly's comment that triggered the exit the logical conclusion to be drawn by examining the facts is that not only were the walkouts justified; Behar and Goldberg should be heartily commended.
The walkout was triggered by a comment that O'Reilly made that was consistent with anti-Islamic bigots who have spoken out on the topic. O'Reilly opposed the building of an Islamic center near ground zero.This opposition exists despite the fact that the imam supporting the measure has been the quintessence of inclusive thought in the religious sphere. The FBI has used him to brief agents as part of their sensitivity training. He has interacted regularly with figures from the Christian and Jewish communities.
There is another compelling reason why the proposed Islamic center should be built without incident. The group seeking to build the center owns the property in question. Without so much as a minimal legal or moral case to prohibit its construction, why should the imam and the group he represents be denied the opportunity to develop the group's property?
When asked why he opposed the building of the center, O'Reilly struck familiar ground. He stated that because it was Muslims who had bombed the Twin Towers on 9/11 that the center should not be built.
Goldberg quickly replied that extremists had bombed the Twin Towers. Behar concurred and they walked off the set to applause.
Let us use O'Reilly's own twisted reasoning to show the fallacy in his warped thinking. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. His assassin had grown up in a white Protestant home.
At a subsequent point if someone wishes to build a center for the Young Men's Christian Association what should be the response if O'Reilly's contorted reasoning is followed? Clearly, given its roots in American Christian Protestantism, the YMCA should be denied that opportunity even if the organization owns the property.