While Fox News loves anything or anybody connected to right wing Christianity and conservative Catholicism (ignore that "Marxist" pope), it isn't exactly enamored of atheists who, on Fox, are considered the enemy. While Fox News is always yammering about how Christian First Amendment rights are supposedly being attacked by atheists, they have no concern about the First Amendment rights of those who don't follow Fox's one true faith. Fox friend Elisabeth Hasselbeck recently channeled Gretchen Carlson's belief that there should be no free speech rights during Christian holidays. And yesterday, in keeping with the patented Fox atheists suck big time meme, Hasselbeck provided a platform for "pre-Vatican II" Catholic Judge Andrew Napolitano's argument that those filthy atheists do not deserve to have their own military chaplain.
According to Fox News, an atheist group is in the process of lobbying the Defense Department for the appointment of a chaplain. The push for atheists to be represented in the military's chaplain corps has been happening since 2011 and hasn't gone unnoticed by Fox News. Fox's morning Christian show, Fox & Friends hosted Fox's one true priest and Tim Tebow fan boy, Fr. Jonathan Morris, for a discussion of how the presence of an atheist chaplain would "degrade" the military." Flash forward to 2014 and Fox & Friends is picking up where they left off.
As the chyron defined the issue as a "controversy," Jesus BFF, Elisabeth Hasselbeck reported that "an atheist group is demanding an atheist chaplain." (Notice the more inflammatory use of "demand" as opposed to the reality that the group is requesting this position). She set the propaganda message as a question: "Is the DOD being politically correct?" She tossed to Judge Napolitano who said that while it's not surprising, given the number of atheists in the military, "it's surprising that the military is considering it" because - wait for it - "they have lot more important things to do than figure out how to provide a chaplain for an atheist."
He spoke of how chaplains are provided for other groups "who believe in God." (Buddhism's theology is very different from those who, in Napolitano's world, "believe in God"). He asserted that atheism isn't a religion and doesn't fit government statutes which require the provision of a chaplain to the military. In invoking the patented Fox & Friends evil "political correctness" meme, he proclaimed "this is political correctness gone crazy." As the chyron read "(Non) Religious Freedom, MAAF: Atheists In Military Need Own Chaplain," Napolitano claimed that the 14th Amendment doesn't apply here and that "when you join the military, you give up certain rights."
Although, to Hasselbeck's question, he said that military rules have been loosened, Napolitano said that he didn't understand why atheists need a chaplain when the military provides counselors for those who need them. He questioned what an atheist chaplain would preach "since atheists don't believe in God." Hasselbeck zeroed in on what appears to be some sort of Fox conspiracy: "Is this an attempt to remove a chaplain of a religious group that's larger or is it a replacement or an addition to that they're asking." Napolitano surmised that's "an attempt to make the military more soft and cushy and in ten years we'll be laughing at this."
Hasselbeck cited the number of atheists in the military and asked if the military will eventually "be forced" into appointing an atheist chaplain. Napolitano said that Congress would have to change the law "to force the military" to appoint atheist chaplains. He became animated as he propounded how "it would be absurd for the federal government to spend money to help these people preach about atheism." The concluding Cavuto marked chyron summed up the Fox agitprop message that these atheists are just a small group of trouble makers who don't need a chaplain: "Is A Chaplain Really Needed? Rpt. Under 4% Military Identify As Humanist."
Obviously, atheism isn't a religion, per se, but it is a belief system. What Napolitano is saying is that it's fine for Christian chaplains to preach their religion but a spokesperson for atheists can't extol the values of theirs. Oh, right, I forgot. This is Fox News, where persecuted Christians are welcome and atheists reviled. America's newsroom, fair & balanced!
Well, do atheists lose more rights than Christians? Or should Christians lose their chaplains in the military.
Rejection is a belief system because it reflects the belief that a belief is actually not founded on reality (i.e. not true). Personally, I’m rather more of an agnostic than an athiest, my own personal belief being that I won’t know for sure until I die.
As for the idea that non-believers in the military already have access to “counsellors” (aka psychologists ?), personal experience has proven that some of those counsellors have religious beliefs (one actually ended a session with an invitation to pray together, sheeeesh). Counsellors are also available only by appointment whereas a chaplain is supposed to be available by definition.
I don’t know much about the military but suspect that a soldier asking for time off to visit a counsellor could set off some bells. Not quite the same for a chaplain.
And the disparity could soon widen: Data from the Air Force indicate that 87 percent of those seeking to become chaplains are enrolled at evangelical divinity schools.”—St Louis Dispatch
But one Atheist is too much? Dang I hate Fox News!
Hmmm. That’s hilarious. I remember when the right-wing was insistent on PROTECTING the “civil rights” of military personnel when the question of gays openly serving in the military arose 20 years ago. Anyone else remember Sen Sam Nunn’s submarine visit and using the “tight quarters” of the ship as a “prime reason” to keep gays from serving, since poor little straight sailors would be continually leered at by “teh gayz”—and worse!!!—because the straight boys wouldn’t have any “privacy.” Oh, and let’s NOT forget the right-wing’s outrage at the idea that military chaplains might be forced to perform same-sex weddings. And why was the right-wing so outraged about that possibility? Oh, right. Because those chaplains might feel their “strong religious beliefs” would prohibit them from doing so. What was Mr Napolitano’s opinion on a military chaplain’s performing a LEGAL same-sex marriage if the chaplain’s religion didn’t accept same-sex marriage? Was he of the “give up certainb rights” opinion then? I’m thinking not.