There used to be a time when, on Fox News, any criticism of the US military was seen as downright treasonous. But times have changed. Now that there is push-back against what is seen, by military leaders, as inappropriate attempts to foist a fundamentalist Christian world view onto a secular institution, the American Taliban Christian right is incensed about this alleged violation of Christian "religious liberty." Fox News, as the defender of all persecuted Christians, has jumped on board. Todd Starnes, who has documented every single alleged affront to Christian soldiers, advanced this meme on Hannity. And not surprisingly, Christian right mullah, Mike Huckabee, added some cheese to the whine with his Saturday piece about how military Christians are "barred" from "expressing their faith." That, of course, is a lie; but that didn't stop the Huck and his Christian veteran guest from pushing all the popular tropes. But what was really special was that Huck was able to juxtapose the patented anti-Islamic Fox narrative with the patented Fox persecuted Christian one.
During the first part of the segment, Huckabee played video which detailed the horrors of the Fort Hood shooting. He then spoke of the accused shooter's ties to radical Islam and accused the military of "protecting" him while "actively punishing soldiers for having bibles, having Christian material in their possession, even having chaplains pray in Jesus' name." Of course, without having any specifics, it's difficult to determine what he's talking about; but it's obvious that he's reacting to claims made by the right wing about supposed harassment of Christians when, in reality, these claims stem from soldiers who resent being proselytized. He introduced his guest, active duty Army officer, Scotty Smiley who was blinded in Iraq and has now written a Christian inspirational book.
Huckabee wasted no time in commenting about how "homosexual" soldiers now have the right to wear their uniforms while marching in gay pride parades but Smiley can't wear his uniform to churches when he gives his "Christian testimony." (God hates fags?) Huckabee wanted to know if that is a "double standard." Smiley said that the policy is that uniforms are not to be worn at "political events." He whined that the policy "makes it difficult for Christians to stand up for their faith..." More propaganda with Huck's next question: "Do you feel it's more difficult now to be openly be a Christian in the military than when you first went into the military." Smiley answered in the affirmative. He then went into a rant about how terrible it is that chaplains can't pray in the name of Jesus because God gave us Jesus and if we believe in him, "we will live forever." To Huck's question of whether this applies to chaplains, Smiley did say that chaplain's can invoke Jesus in church services but not at events.
Smiley referenced "generals who have been reprimanded...because of their Christian faith." Once again, we only get one version. He continued with commentary about how he feels demeaned and persecuted because "my religious faith is being torn away from me." Huckabee segued back to Nidal Hassan and how the military allowed him to grow his beard, a religious accommodation. He asked Smiley how he felt about "a murderer being allowed to express his religious viewpoint and you are not." Smiley said that while the army follows policy for non-Christians, it seems unfair that soldiers are ordered to take the bible off their desks. (An urban legend started, it seems, by Todd Starnes and which the Air Force denies) He asserted that it's difficult to serve an army that doesn't support Christians because - ready for it - "Christians fight for this country, as I believe this country was started by Christians for Christians." (Guess he doesn't know about Roger Williams, William Penn, George Washington's letter to a Newport synagogue, and the Treaty of Tripoli!). He complained again about what a problem this alleged persecution is.
Only in the bizarro world of Fox News is religious freedom defined as the freedom to push a certain version of Christianity onto soldiers in the taxpayer funded, officially secular military. Poor Christians. They are a majority in this country, yet they're so persecuted. But hey, there's a choir out there and Fox is preaching to it!
FOX “News” Host Attacks Military
Watch Hucky’s invites to conservative events drop off real quick.