Apart from the topless "Page three girls," Fox & Friends might be the closest that Rupert Murdoch's Fox News gets to one of Murdoch's British tabloids. (The female Fox friends do show a lot of leg which, for conservative Christians, is sufficiently titillating!) Like the infamous tabloids (Murdoch's NY Post included), Fox & Friends engages in a toxic brew of lighthearted chat with and about entertainment figures combined with lighthearted slander of those in the opposition party. And like the tabloids, Fox & Friends features sensationalist material such as stories of those who have died and gone to Christian heaven. But forget celestial journeys, this morning, Elisabeth Hasselbeck interviewed a young man, James Leininger, who claims to be the reincarnation of a World War II fighter pilot. No, I'm not kidding. I wish I were!
Hasselbeck began with the story of how "it all started" when a young boy woke up from a nightmare and started talking about a "fallen World War II pilot." The chyron presented, as Fox fact "Tales of Past Lives, Boy's Story of Reincarnation Goes Viral." She added that when this happened, child knew nothing about war stories; but his parent "think he may have experienced them in a past life." She introduced the boy and his parents "who have shared" this story "all over the world in hopes of shedding light on what we do not know about the afterlife." She noted that the story has been put into a book which has been translated into 10 languages. (Ka-ching?)
After Hasslebeck introduced the Leininger family, the boy's mother, Andrea, discussed how, when her son was two, he had "night terrors" about being in a plane that was shot down. Hasselbeck showed drawings of military planes, in battle, which were done by Leininger when he was a boy The pictures were signed "James 3." As this was being discussed, the chyron read "Faith in Afterlife, Family Believes Son is WWII Pilot Reincarnate." Andrea said that when James was this age, he didn't know how to sign his name. She noted that James' father is not named James.
With his mother coaching him, James listed the names of others involved in the battle (Iwo Jima) where pilot James went down. The credulous Hasselbeck said "right" when James noted that this is something a young boy wouldn't know. Andrea claimed that James even knew the name of the ship (Natoma) from where the pilot took off. As Bruce Leininger spoke of more "proof," Hasselbeck said "yeah." She added that "carrying the life of of a WWII veteran" must have been "an awful lot of responsibility." James said that since he visited the battle site, he has "reconciled the problem" with a "spiritual release" He speculated that those with innate interest in certain career paths might have worked in those areas in a former life. Hasselbeck agreed and asked if he "could live his own life." He said that he could but he frequently thinks about "James."
Okaaaayyyy.... Here's the thing that you won't learn from watching Fox & Friends. After the Leininger family told their story, on ABC, in 2005, inquiring minds wanted to know more. It seems that James' parents took the 18 month old James to a flight museum in Dallas where James saw WWII aircraft. After the dreams, James went to a therapist who believes in reincarnation. So it looks like the parents encouraged James' fantasies. It is also possible that, at this time, his parents told him stories about WWII which could have included mention of the ship "Natoma Bay." There is a lot we don't know, as detailed in this debunking.
But you won't hear any debunking of Fox & Friends because that cuts into the sensationalism which is at the heart of their high ratings. Put it this way, in Fox world, reason isn't a big money maker.
Yeah, James Leininger is a reincarnated WWII pilot. That's what Fox & Friends tells us so it must be true. As said in the classic Plan 9 From Outer Space, "That Proves It."
Addendum - I really love to engage in occasionally snarky criticism of Fox News. I think I remember my parents saying that when I was a baby I said Menken - or was it minkey which was the name I gave my grandmother's mink stole - OMG, Am I the reincarnation of HL Mencken?!!!!!
Of course Ted Cruz can always say that he had a vision of Reagan’s ghost telling him to run in ‘16, and what’s really frightening is they are many dumbasses who will believe it.
Anyway F&F please let us know when you find the reincarnation of Jack Benny and Groucho Marx. We could use a good laugh.
When you have nothing, just make some shit up.
But I bet Fr Johnny won’t be visiting any FoxNoise show and chastising the network for allowing such heresy to be broadcast.
For what it’s worth to you here’s what Billy Graham had to say about reincarnation…
By Billy Graham, Tribune Media Services
Q: My friend believes that when we die we don’t go to heaven or anything like that, but we live our lives all over again, perhaps in other parts of the universe. Does the Bible say anything that might support this? — J.J.
A: Your friend apparently believes in what is called “reincarnation” — the idea that when we die we come back to life on earth (or some other place) again and again, instead of going to heaven.
The idea of reincarnation isn’t found in the Bible, nor does anything in the Bible support it. In fact, the Bible clearly teaches that when we die our mortal lives on this earth are over, and we will enter the presence of God. The Bible says, “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
Why is this? The reason is because only one thing can keep us out of heaven, and that is our sin. But when we know Christ, our sins have been forgiven and cleansed — totally and completely. Jesus Christ was sinless, because He was God in human flesh. But when He died on the cross, all our sins were transferred to Him — and His perfect righteousness was transferred to us. The Bible says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Encourage your friend to ask himself why he finds this idea appealing. The reason, I suspect, is because down inside he knows he’s not perfect, and somehow he hopes he’ll have enough time to become better. Urge him instead to discover what Jesus Christ has already done for him. He alone gives us hope — hope for today, and hope for eternity.