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Fox & Friends Continues To Attack Vanderbilt For Non Discrimination Policy

Reported by Priscilla - October 24, 2011 -

The Christian right is, once again, feeling victimized. The newest outrage is about the non-discrimination policy at Vanderbilt University which was put in place in order to address campus Christian groups' anti-gay policies that were in violation of the school's non discrimination policy. As the conduit for Christian victimization, Fox "News" is very concerned about this. Fox Nation has already taken up this topic in order to foment righteous Christian outrage. Both Fox News radio and the Fox News website have this newest thing that has Jesus weeping. On Thursday, after proclaiming, that Vanderbilt's policy discriminates against Christians, Steve Doocy presided over a segment which underscored this Fox "fact." And on Saturday, week-end Fox & Friends did the same thing with the help of a conservative college professor who is also an anti-immigrant birther. (Strange, I thought all college profs were commie-pinkos!) The persecuted Christian meme was the prevailing one with nary a word about the sexual orientation thingie and nary a word that the 4 out of 36 religious organizations at "Vandy," that are out of compliance with the non discrimination policy, are Christian. If the Fox News audience is misinformed, this is why.

Alysin Camerota set the message immediately: "Christian groups are worried about restrictions on who can lead them. Leaders no longer need to share same religious beliefs. Is this fair?" (No, we, in the audience know it's an outrage!") When asked how this Vanderbilt policy hurts Christians, Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain (wearing a great big US flag pin) talked about how these groups help students grow in their faith. Camerota said that if students don't share religious beliefs, why would they want to lead the groups. Swain claimed that Vanderbilt is saying the group leaders can't lead bible studies and worship and that this is an attempt to "secularize"religion. After Camerota read a statement from the university about how this is a non discrimination policy, Swain asserted that is discrimination against religious organizations as groups on probation will have to pay to rent rooms after the end of the year and could end up leaving the school. The Roger Ailes/Gretchen Carlson prepared script couldn't have been more obvious in the following exchange. Alysin asked why this is happening and, on cue, Swain said "political correctness" and being so afraid that someone would be offended. She accused the school of removing protections for religious organizations. Camerota asked how public could get involved. (A little Fox "community organizing"?) Swain urged alumni and donors to contact the school.

During the segment, the agitprop chyrons underscored the message, Nothing gets a righteous Chistian more agitated than mention of atheists and this chyron got er done. "Crusade Against Religion ? Policy, atheist can lead christian group." And this one sure to get those Christian Jesus juices flowing: "Religious Freedom Under Attack, *Letter Urges School To Abandon New Policy." Those evil atheists were mentioned again: "Atheists to Lead Christians, Can Happen Under Vanderbilt's new policy." And here we have the Fox Cavuto marked position: "Denying Religious Freedom, Vanderbilt's Policy Bans Any Discrimination." (Uh, it's OK for Christians to discriminate?)


Comment: Carol Swain, who is no stranger to both Fox News and Fox Business. has been cited by the SPLC as having used her book about white supremacists to trash affirmative action and immigration. As such, it has been suggested that she shows some sympathy to racist views. On immigration she agrees with Lou Dobbs and has filled in for him on his show. She also doesn't think that the birth certificate, released by Obama, is acceptable. So not only do we have Fox News attacking Vanderbilt's policy but we also have a platinum level right wing member of academia to reinforce it. While Fox is framing this as discrimination and a way to open the door to evil atheists taking over Christian groups, it is really an issue about fairness. The constitutions of the Christian groups explicitly state that the leadership is restricted to those who share the groups beliefs. If the beliefs are, as in these cases, anti-gay, that means that the leadership is restricted to those who hold Christian based homophobic views. And that would appear to be out of compliance with the school's non discrimination policy. You'd think that the "fair & balanced" Fox News would want to point that out!

*This "letter" was in reference to the 23 Christian members of congress who sent a letter to the school protesting the policy. It wasn't mentioned during this segment but was during the Steve Doocy interview. Fox reuses chyrons without considering the content!

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