One of the religious right's foundational beliefs is that good Christian members of the military are being persecuted by the evil Obama administration. As Fox News loves its persecuted Christians and hates Obama, it isn't surprising that America's "fair & balanced" network transforms these memes into yet another faux controversy much of which is generated by Fox's Todd Starnes. Relying on an endless supply of anonymous sources, Starnes seizes on these alleged outrages, many of which stem from attempts, by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, to push back against aggressive Christian proselytizing in the military. As the flagship show for persecuted Christians, Fox & Friends never wastes an opportunity to push the narrative. In May, Steve Doocy validated the complaints of the homophobic retired general Jerry Boykin, VP of the SPLC hate group, the Family Research Council. This morning, the Fox & Friends professional Christians welcomed the FRC's head honcho, Tony Perkins to discuss the same issue. And to give him even more credibility, the pals stressed Perkin's military service.
This morning's interview was part of Fox & Friends patented "Fight for Faith" series which reflects the apocalyptic world of the Christian right in which there is a constant struggle of good vs. evil. The first topic was about how the HHS birth control mandate was dealt "another striking blow" by a court decision which "blocked the mandate." Of course, this being Fox, Elisabeth Hasselbeck didn't mention that this is only a temporary injunction and that other court cases have not been as favorable. Brain Brian Kilmeade introduced Perkins as head of the FRC and veteran of the US Marines - a descriptor that previously has not been used when Perkins appeared on Fox. Perkins, described on the chyron as *(Ret) US Marine Corps, opined that the HHS mandate, which is about - wait for it - "religious liberty" - will go to the Supreme Court. The chyron stated, as Fox fact "Faith Under Fire, There are 77 Cases on Contraceptive Mandate."
Before the conversation quickly turned to religious liberty in the military, Hasselbeck thanked Perkins for his service and said that it was "an honor" to have him in the studio. She continued: "We're talking a lot about [wait for it] religious liberties and there seems to be sort of a push back in what our military members can express in terms of their own religious beliefs." The chyron stated, as Fox fact, "Fight for Faith, FRC Raising Awareness of Religious Hostility." And that's when Perkins launched into full agitprop: "This administration has not confined their attack on religious liberties simply to the workplace and it really started in the military. This administration, the Obama administration, I believe, all evidence would suggest that they're on a search and destroy mission when it pertains to religious liberty."
The chyron stated, as Fox fact "Censoring Religious Beliefs, Cases of Religious Hostility on the Rise." Perkins claimed that his group has been assiduously documenting these cases and mentioned a website that catalogues them and provides anonymous (LOL) "testimonies." He continued that these are "the men and women who are putting their lives on the line [Kilmeade interjected "like you"] to protect our freedom [Hasselbeck interject "of course"] and theirs are being taken away..." Hasselbeck added "and to protect the religious freedom of others." Perkins invoked his veteran status: "Having been a veteran I understand at every phase of military engagement...religion and the ability to work through difficult issues is very important."
On cue, the Obama bashing began with Kilmeade's question about whether the Obama administration "wants this fight." Perkins continued the agitprop: "I think this administration has a very narrow view of the First Amendment..." After saying that Obama doesn't believe that religious should be in "the public square," Perkins claimed that the Founders "saw us with an aggressive ability to live our lives according to our faith..." He concluded with "that's why the Pilgrims came here." Hasselbeck murmured "absolutely."
Slick piece of propaganda which covers all the bases - and to make it even more credible, Fox utilized a veteran who, prior to the elimination of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" used the "religious freedom" argument in his crusade to deny gay soldiers the right to serve openly and honorably. Nice to know that his presence, on Fox & Friends, is an "honor." Indeed...
And a thank you for your service goes out to all active military and vets of all races, men and women, gay and straight, Christian and non-Christian.
*Perkins was in the Marine Corps for six years. So "Retired?"