On occasion, guests on Fox News programs go off the requisite right wing script. And when the guest goes rogue, the interviewers, who aren't getting the desired propaganda results, get a bit flummoxed. Such was the case when NJ Chris Christie didn't feed Steve Doocy with the desired Obama bashing that Doocy's question was meant to elicit. Even resident Fox priest Fr. Jonathan Morris, who can usually be relied on for validation of right wing talking points, didn't totally agree with the script about the "War on Christmas." His hosts were taken aback by Morris' comments about the silliness of the bogus Fox "war" which they were obviously promoting. Yesterday, the gang on the curvy couch was all set and ready to go with one of their favorite memes about how political correctness has "gone too far." When Fr. Morris didn't take the bait and proceeded to offer a shockingly correct analysis, the friends were definitely thrown off their game.
Fox & Friends, as the go to morning show for the church of the perpetually persecuted Christian, is a vehicle for the Christian indignation of Fox radio's Todd Starnes whose articles are a staple on Fox Nation. It's a sweet relationship (albeit chaste, Christian, and heterosexual) in which the Starnes gets exposure for his Christian outrage and in return, Roger Ailes gets to push one of the main propaganda memes of the right wing for whom his network serves as a mouthpiece.
The Fox topic for Fr. Morris was the latest thing to get the panties (or is it a thong?) of Fox's resident perpetually outraged Christian, Todd Starnes, in a knot. Last week, the US army removed crosses from the walls of a chapel at an army base in Afghanistan due to army regulations which require that these facilities be religiously neutral. There was also concern that the crosses could provide Islamic militants with a reason to reinforce their view that the US is a modern day crusading army displaying the same cross that was used in the actual Crusades - not a happy memory for Muslims. The Christian right is all upset, as is Starnes who told his Fox & Friends hosts, in 2011, that the removal of another Christian cross, from an army chapel in Afghanistan, was "an attack on Christianity."
Yesterday, Clayton Morris set what appeared to be the propaganda message for the piece. He reported the backstory about how the crosses were removed "so as not to offend anyone." He asked if this was "the PC police going too far?" Famous "dick" Tucker Carlson, in reinforcing the meme, asked why, "of all the problems in Afghanistan right now, why is the military spending its time removing crosses?" After Fr. Morris worked in the perfunctory anti-nasty atheist agitprop with his reference to "activist groups," he strayed off the Fox altar when he said, "for once," he agreed with these groups. The chyron provided the requisite Fox "controversy" - Fr. Morris provided the reason why the answer to the question of the chyron, "Chapel Controversy, Should Building Remain Religiously Neutral?," is a resounding no.
He explained that there should be no permanent religious symbols on this "sacred space" because of the "establishment clause" of the Constitution. After he explained that if this space accommodates different religions, it should be neutral, wall of genius Ainsley Earhardt, who obviously doesn't realize that there might be non-Christians (who don't worship a cross) using the space, asked "isn't it a chapel?" The chyron continued the intended agitprop: "Religious Tolerance or Intolerance, Some Soldiers Upset Christian Symbols Removed." Morris explained that if a cross is on the building it promotes the idea that the space is only for Christians and this is against army policy.
Tucker Carlson said there's something "creepy" about "the federal government blocking out crosses" and asked if the First Amendment doesn't also mean that "people have a right to express religious views." Morris again spoke of religious neutrality. Earhardt joked (?) "You're siding with the atheists here." Morris, amazingly, said "we should respect democracy..."
For ONCE I agree with Father J. Morris — but for a different reason. In the military, all Chaplains are to support the relgious needs of all the service members — regardless of the Religion (FYI — Christianity is a Religion, all other “Christian Religions” are really traditions). True, many Chaplains may have personal affiliations to a specific Religion/tradition. In fact, there have been Chaplains who have been court-martialed for NOT respecting the religious diversity of the service members in their units (I know of one, personally, from Operation Restore Hope — Somalia). Too bad the members of the Faux Noise creq don’t really read these posts — they could learn something. But, if they were interested in LEARNING something that may challenge their preconceived/corporate mandated notions/convictions, they probably wouldn’t be working for Ailes, would they?
Quick history lesson: Quakers were quite influential in the establishment of the documents that outlined the establishment of the US (i.e., Declaration of independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights) and they, as a group, are decidly the least demonstrative of all “Christians” when it comes to displaying symbols, INCLUDING the bible (a Quaker will not swear on the Bible, or anything else for that matter). In fact, it is difficult to even identify many Quaker Meeting Houses as a “religious” institution. True, my affiliation has always meen wth silent meetings (for those who know the difference), and are of the more Progressive/Hicksite version. But I can affirm that all Meeting Houses I have been in attendence in do not have a Cross, Bible or Hymnal in the Meeting room. Many of them have libraries which included many versions/translations of the Bible, The Koran, the Talmud, the Dhammapada, the Tao Te Ching, the Upanishads, as well as the poems of Rumi and Walt Whitman.