Fox News is a place where religion (read conservative Christianity) and patriotism are defended with gusto. But when non conservative religiosity gets in the way of patriotism, Fox comes down (literally) on the side of patriotism and religious beliefs be damned. Such is the case involving Fox coverage of a PA politician who declined to lead fellow lawmakers in the Pledge of Allegiance because she feels that the words "under God" make it a prayer and she doesn't pray in public. Not surprisingly, the patriotic Christians on Fox & Friends covered it earlier this week in a snarky, mocking tone. And this morning, Roger Aisles' personal attorney, Knight of Malta, NY Catholic archdiocesan litigator, and occasional Fox "friend," Peter Johnson Jr. continued the attack by framing this Pledge refusal as downright unpatriotic. That Babette Josephs also invoked her First Amendment rights, was lost on Johnson who recently defended the First Amendment rights of the producer of the infamous anti-Islamic video. Go figure!
Johnson immediately got the Fox message out: "It's an expression of loyalty to the United Statesand our next guest was shocked when he got this response from a Democratic lawmaker after asking her to lead her fellow house members in the Pledge of Allegiance." (Fact Check - this lawmaker was well aware of Ms. Joseph's feelings about the Pledge) He played the video of the request to lead with the Pledge and the Babette Joseph's response which invoked her First Amendment rights and belief that the Pledge is a prayer. Johnson added that the evil Josephs feels that the "under God" part of the Pledge makes it a prayer and that, OMG, she is refusing to apologize. He introduced the aforementioned lawmaker, GOP Daryl Metcalfe.
Some background on Metcalfe: He recently said, regarding the PA voter ID law, that "as Mitt Romney said, 47% of the people that are living off the public dole, living off their neighbors’ hard work, and we have a lot of people out there that are too lazy to get up and get out there and get the ID they need. If individuals are too lazy, the state can’t fix that." He also "blocked a House resolution honoring a Muslim group because Muslims "do not recognize Jesus Christ as God" and because it improperly compared Muslims to William Penn" because Penn was a Christian.
Knowing full well what the answer would be, Johnson asked Metcalfe is the Pledge is a prayer or patriotic statement. Metcalfe invoked his status as a veteran when he framed the Fox message about this is "a public affirmation of your loyalty and allegiance to our great nation." He claimed that Ms. Joseph's position is offensive and that the recitation of the Pledge is routinely done before meetings. The chyron read "Offended By Her Action, Rep. Metcalfe "Shocked" Over Pledge Refusal. Johnson said "sure" as Metcalfe babbled about an old Red Skelton skit. Johnson added that it is "very inspiring statement."
Note - In 1969, comic Red Skelton, in lamenting the possibility that the Pledge might someday be considered a prayer and be eliminated from the public schools, did his own commentary for each line of the Pledge. Despite the nation still being embroiled in conflicts about the Vietnam War, Skelton believed the country was "blessed by God."
Johnson played video of Josephs stating that she hasn't said the Pledge since the inclusion of "under God" in 1954 and won't say it in the future unless the words are taken out. Johnson mentioned that a circuit court ruled that it isn't a religious statement but a patriotic one. He asked Metcalfe if he knew that Joseph's would refuse to say the Pledge. Metcalfe responded that some of his colleagues "brought it to his attention." To Johnson's question of whether he was aware that she wouldn't say it, Metcalfe said that he was aware that she hadn't been saying it during the meetings; but that he didn't know if she would refuse to say it or her reasons for presently not saying it. He added that when he "gave her the opportunity and honor to lead us in the Pledge, it was on her to refuse to say it."
As the "Church Lady" would say "isn't it special" that Metcalfe, knowing Ms. Joseph's feelings on the issue, asked her to say the Pledge and is now attacking her on a national "news" network. And isn't it special that a news network, that claims to be so patriotic, has no qualms aiding the defamation of a fellow citizen who has same First Amendment rights that Fox feels are being denied to - say -Texas cheerleaders. Go figure!
We Know Amerika!
Otherwise it just sounds like a modern day version of forcing people to say the loyalty oath to prove their patriotism.
I think that about wraps it up.