Rotella on Fox News Night Is A World War II Vet's Bible Offensive?
Shannon Bream: All right. Brian Claypool, what is the argument against it?
Brian Claypool: Hey, Shannon. Look, two years ago, my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were deprived of playing in the Super Bowl because of a call by a referee against the New England Patriots at the end of the game. I was so upset, but there was a rule in place that I didn’t like, and I thought the rule was unfair. Same thing applies here.
The rule book is the First Amendment. The establishment clause says, “The government cannot give preference to one religion over another,” and more important, “The government can’t give preference to religion over non-religion.” And here, a Bible, unfortunately, is an instrument of faith. It’s an instrument of religion and it’s being used to advance the religion, the Christian faith. I happened to be a Christian, but unfortunately, there is a rule, and it’s breaking the rule.
Shannon Bream: Okay, Bryan Rotella, we go to Exhibit B. This is part of the lawsuit now filed against the director of the VA Hospital. It says, “We would all be outraged if the hospital only provided care to Christians or denied care to nonbelievers or those who worship their god in other ways. The placement of a Christian Bible on this sacred table is just as objectionable.”
Bryan Rotella: Well, Shannon, it’s really hard for me to go against another Brian. Now, Brian doesn’t spell it with a Y and that’s important to me, but what I’m going to tell you is this. I’m fired up about this tonight. Shannon, for this reason, this was a World War II veteran who donated his Bible. Why? For the VA, the Veterans Administration in New Hampshire, to display on behalf of those who have been missing in action or POWs. It’s like a historical artifact. And a little bit of push back on Brian. Really what’s at issue here is the establishment clause in, is what the VA doing, does it have some type of purpose or in fact to support or endorse religion? It’s a political artifact. The question I’d ask is, what’s next? Are we going to go back and watch old M*A*S*H reruns, take Father Mulcahy out with CGI, and have a safe space?
Shannon Bream: Huh. Brian Claypool. What do you think about that idea?
Brian Claypool: Look, at the end of the day, the law is imperfect. You don’t shoot the messenger. The law is a law. There’s a couple cases, Shannon, that dealt with this in the U.S. Supreme Court. There was one in Kentucky. Two counties in Kentucky had The 10 Commandments in courthouses. The U.S. Supreme Court said, “You can’t do that,” because there was no historical connection between The 10 Commandments and the courthouses. So, I hear what Bryan’s saying. I’d like to see it changed, but that is the law of the land.
Shannon Bream: All right, Bryan Rotella, final argument from you, and then we put it to the jury.
Bryan Rotella: Oh, I just got to say, we’ve got to look at who’s bringing the lawsuit. The gentleman who’s bringing these lawsuits, he’s got a business where he does this. It looks to me like it’s an industry to bring lawsuits. Ultimately, who’s hurt here? That World War II veteran. I think that’s wrong. I think ultimately the purpose, in effect, wasn’t in any way to endorse religion. It’s an artifact, something that we should cherish in American history.
Shannon Bream: All right, Bryan Rotella. Brian Claypool, you have major arguments. Thank you, gentlemen, for your legal expertise tonight. Folks at home, you’re the jury now, so tweet us, @FoxNewsNight, or @ShannonBream to let us know what you think and how you’d vote in this case. Gentlemen, thank you so much.
Bryan Rotella: Thank you, Shannon.
Brian Claypool: You bet. Thank you, Shannon.