Fox News is quite interested in the case of Air Force Sergeant Phillip Monk who is now the darling of the Christian right because of his claim, promoted by Fox News, that he was punished for his religious opposition to same sex marriage. After Fox's resident homophobe Todd Starnes reported that Monk had been persecuted by his lesbian superior, alleged Fox news anchor Shannon Bream, asked if there is a "reverse don't ask, don't tell" for Christians in the military - a popular meme in the homophobic Christian right. The Air Force told Fox that there was no punishment; but Bream reported Monk's allegations as fact. Earlier this month, Starnes reported that Monk is being investigated - not for his Christian views - but because he told his bogus story to Fox News - a breach of military regulations. Fox's "The Five" rallied around him. Yesterday, Fox's official anti-gay "news" person, Shannon Bream advanced Monk's narrative with Tony Perkins, the head of the homophobic hate group the Family Research Council, and once again, advanced the right's hottest new meme of persecution of military Christians by a Jesus hating Obama administration.
Bream began by reporting on Monk's version of the story: "a Christian airman fighting for his career after being punished by his female commanding officer who is an open lesbian when he refused her order to support same sex marriage or at least they had a disagreement." She said that Sargeant Phillip Monk told her that "he was just trying to express his own religious beliefs." She played video of Monk making the claim that "he was let go." She reported that "he is now facing an investigation and possible court martial after talking to the media and arguing for what he says is his First Amendment right."
Bream told Perkins that "there's so much more to the story" and noted that the military said that Monk was, as had been planned, transferred and not punished. The homophobic Perkins didn't believe this and, in pushing the Christian right bogus claim that Christians are being persecuted in the military, said that "the reality is that this is not an isolated case." While Monk says that his superior wanted him to agree that opposing same sex marriage is discriminatory, Perkins claimed that Monk "had refused to go along with a statement supporting same sex marriage." The chyron stated, as Fox Fact: "Military and Religion, Airman Punished For Same-Sex Marriage Views."
Perkins defended Monk by saying that he was following the Christian obligation to stand up for what you believe in. He recounted how, in Monk's church, 80 other members of the military are claiming persecution. He asserted that the military "has become extremely hostile, under the Obama administration, toward orthodox Christianity."
Bream spoke of how Monk told her that he is appealing "what he perceives as a reprimand." She added that Monk and his lawyer were told that Monk could "be facing criminal charges, potential court martial for making false, official statements" and as such, he feels that this is "retaliation" for "going public." Perkins said it was "absurd" because all Monk did was make a statement that he believed that he was "being discriminated against" because of his religion. Perkins reinforced the persecuted Christian agitprop with his comment that this is a "pattern, under this administration, to intimidate and silence those who would challenge the direction the Obama administration is taking our military." After whining about how the evil Obama administration makes it "difficult" for people of faith to "live their faith" in the military, he claimed that Monk wasn't "able to hold a view that was contrary to his lesbian commander." Bream cited a law that protects the religious freedom of military personnel.
If Bream weren't pushing an agenda, she might have mentioned that the law she cited allows disciplinary action for speech "that threatens good order and discipline." She might have informed the viewers that the case wasn't about Monk's personal beliefs but his defense of a trainer, under his supervision, who made religiously based anti-gay statements to trainees. As such, the case was about his "willingness to follow his commander’s instructions and enforce military policy" - clearly not related to anything his lesbian commander allegedly ordered him to do. She also might have mentioned that Monk's condemnations of the Air Force, made to Starnes, are a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Fox News - "fair & balanced" as always!
You’d probably lose that bet, so let me revise:
What do you want to bet that NONE of the other people involved with this story, other than the Airman, were capable of keeping religion to themselves, and respecting people who disagreed/told them to shut it off for two minutes?
Is he not a hypocrite?
Thou shalt not kill…ever heard of that in the Bible?
Yet, let some right-wing faux-Christian nut disobey orders under the guise of “religious freedom” and FoxNoise is right there for them.
Of course, this isn’t really anything unusual. FoxNoise was willing to call for the firing squads or life imprisonment for servicemembers who spoke out against Dubya but it’s more than eager to defend servicemembers who speak out against Obama. (You just gotta imagine the first accounts of Bradley Manning’s release of classified documents must’ve put the folks at FoxNoise in a state of confusion—support Manning for “embarassing Obama” or denounce Manning as a traitor. What I would give to have been a fly on Murdoch and Ailes’ wall to hear that discussion.)