Bill O'Reilly expressed hope Thursday the Supreme Court will ultimately decide a 40-foot "Peace Cross" honoring World War I soldiers on public land in Maryland can stand, telling Newsmax TV "there's no doubt in my mind that it would."
"What makes it really disturbing is that everybody acknowledges that the World War I memorial is basically directing people, Americans and others who are visiting, to honor those who lost their lives in that conflict," O'Reilly told "Newsmax Now" host John Bachman in an interview. "That's all."
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The U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., ruled 2-1 Wednesday the monument was unconstitutional because it had "the primary effect of endorsing religion and excessively entangles the government in religion," according to news reports.
The monument was built in 1925 with funds from local Maryland families and The American Legion — and supporters have vowed to challenge the appellate decision at the Supreme Court.
"But this is never going to stop," O'Reilly told Bachman, "because there are Americans who hate religion.
"The secular progressive movement thinks that religion prevents abortion. They tie it into gay rights, all of this stuff.
"The hatred of it," he said. "And that permeates through."
O'Reilly noted President Donald Trump telling the Values Voters Summit in Washington last week that he now says "Merry Christmas" over "Happy Holidays."
"I don't care if everybody says 'Merry Christmas' or not," he said. "I just don't want a store telling their employees they can't say it.
"OK? That's my deal.
"I'm not telling everybody. 'You want to say "Happy Holidays"? You want to say nothing?' Hey, that's OK with me.
"But don't tell me or anybody else you can't say 'Merry Christmas' because that's wrong.
"And, so, the controversy of your question is: Where is it going to stop?" O'Reilly told Bachman. "It's never going to stop."
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