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Heartland Traditions Under Attack In The Heartland

Reported by Chrish - January 28, 2007 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

Heartland with John Kasich is always a wild ride and last night’s show (1/26/07) began in high gear. He previewed his show with a teaser about how “traditions” such as the Pledge of Allegiance and swearing on Bibles are being attacked. But in typical Fox fashion, he immediately set about attacking the American tradition of free speech in a rant about John Kerry’s comments, while at an international conference in Davos, Switizerland, about the US being “isolated” and a “pariah.” (Comment: what part of that isn’t true?)

John was so apoplectic about this issue that he talked over Democratic strategist Donnie Fowler Jr., who was attempting to explain that George Bush should be criticized for creating the international ill will that Kerry was articulating. Republican strategist Ed Rollins compared Kerry to Jane Fonda while the chyron read “Did Kerry cross the line by calling the US a “pirah?” (sic)

During a discussion of whether funds would eventually be cut for the war, shots of yesterday’s peace demonstration in Washington, DC were shown with chyrons indicating that Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, and Tim Robbins attended the rally and Jane Fonda spoke at the rally. (Comment: there were others who spoke, including Representative Maxine Waters).

While Kasich asked Rollins if Oprah Winfrey would be instrumental in influencing the presidential election, Fox showed a chyron with the correct spelling of “pariah” which was followed by the preview of the next segment with that chyron upside down and backwards. (Comment: Fox “techies” partying on the job?)

Later in the show, Kasich was once again revved up as he discussed a lawsuit in which the ACLU is challenging the state of North Carolina for refusing to allow a Muslim to swear on the Koran. (Comment: what he didn’t say was that the suit was filed on behalf of 8,000 individuals of different faiths including Judaism). He introduced the segment by speaking the court oath and stating that “every day, this is repeated in courtrooms across America when people are asked to place their hands on a Bible.”

He asked Quannel X, from the New Black Panther Nation, why we are fighting about a “time honored tradition” that was even part of Perry Mason. (Huh?!) When Quannel said that “it’s about faith being represented in the courtroom,” Kasich blathered on about how this is a “tradition and a part of our culture more than a religious tradition.” He then glibly stated that if he went to Iran he wouldn’t be given a Christian Bible to which Quannel responded that under Sharia law, Christians have a right to a Bible. Not willing to accept the “truthiness” of this comment, Kasich said he was totally unaware of this; but “in many places in the Muslims world…I’ll tell you we’re not gonna find this...in a lotta places where there are radicals there’s nothing worse than Christians and Jews.”

In framing his next question, Kasich went into a litany of all the attacks on our “traditions;” i.e. people not wanting to say the Pledge, not wanting to sing the national anthem, taking pesos in restaurants, people fighting about not wanting to speak English, and bi-lingual education. (Comment: whew!) He noted that these are attacks on “basic things in America that hold us together.”

Matt Barber from Concerned Women for America said that this case doesn’t “represent hostility to Islam” but a recognition of “unique American culture founded on the precepts of Judeo-Christian traditions.” While noting, correctly, that we are not compelled to swear on any book, he said this tradition is based on Biblical principals and the Bible “represents our system of values.”

Kasich asserted, loudly, that this “isn’t a religious issue but common sense” and cases like this “pull us apart” when we should “focus on what binds us together.” To Quannel’s comment that when the Anthem was written blacks were slaves, Kasich responded “in this country we have a great tradition of treating all people as equals and that’s why people demanded civil rights because that’s a great tradition.” (Comment: the logic and historicity here are debatable!)

Barber got in the perfunctory jab at the ACLU by stating that they “inject their own brand of secular humanism, diversity, and pluralism on our nation and try to create an America in their own image rather than the image of the founding fathers” which, according to Barber, is part of a “Judeo-Christian tradition set forth over generations.” (Comment: the secular Deist founding fathers are spinning in their graves.)

Comment: As seen in the discussion about the Bible vs. the Koran, diversity and pluralism are not “heartland” values and are seen, by Fox News “pundits” as a threat to the given order. Despite Kasich’s anger about lack of unity, the message of suspicion of those who are different (reinforced constantly on the “Heartland”) serves to keep people divided. Rather than the ACLU, it is Fox and the far right wing that are trying to create a homogeneous America based on their mythology which is no longer the reality. Only Christians need apply in the Heartland!!!!!

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla