The Fox News stable is full of conservative Christians, with the majority of the heavy hitters being conservative Catholics. While Shannon Bream isn't part of the Fox first string line-up, she does provide news commentary and fills in for hosts. But in whatever function she fulfills, she provides Fox's Christian perspective which customarily consists of propaganda that corresponds to whatever Christian right talking point she is pushing, such as her support for anti-LGBT legislation. Last night, in keeping with the Christian right/Fox meme that the religious liberty of Christians is under attack, a theme she echoed in her coverage of gay issues, she advanced the now popular Fox meme about evil atheists using the evil IRS to harass good Christians. It was trademark Bream.
Filling in on the Kelly File, Bream started off with a lie: "Developing tonight, a new challenge to the feds over a secret plan to target churches." (The plan is so secret that it was reported on by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and is on the Freedom From Religion Fondation website. As both sources report, the IRS and the FFRF reached an agreement which resulted in the IRS instituting "a protocol for investigating tax-exempt churches and religious organizations involved in political activity." Hardly "targeting.") Bream reported that the Oklahoma Attorney General is "demanding to know exactly what is in that deal with an atheist group to investigate what pastors are saying from the pulpit." (It's not just sermons, it's written material, such as parish bulletins, that could be defined as electioneering.)
Bream asked Scott Pruitt to identify "the red flags." After he whined about how the "details" of the agreement have not been made public, he cited how the FRFF "referred a bishop from Wisconsin" to the IRS for "sharing his scriptural views about abortion and homosexuality." (Pruitt could have been referring to Green Bay Bishop David Ricken who "warned that if Catholics vote for a party or candidate who supports abortion rights or marriage equality, 'you could be morally complicit’ with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy'.") Pruitt also mentioned that the FRFF's complaint against the Billy Graham Association. (After assuring Mitt Romney that it would do all that it could for his candidacy, the association ran ads in its publication urging members to "vote biblical values.") Pruitt said that if this relates to the "content of what a pastor says in the pulpit, we need to know about it."
Bream provided the response from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. She mentioned that the above cited Catholic bishop told his congregation that they although couldn't vote for a pro-choice candidate, "they didn't mention a candidate but the Freedom From Religion Foundations said that this is like telling them to vote for Mitt Romney." (Ya think!) Pruitt was troubled that the IRS ruling could affect the "content" of sermons. He added that the IRS is required to go through a process if they are changing the rules.
After Bream read the Graham material, she suggested that the FRFF is truly scary: "If the Freedom From Religion Foundation has the power to reach a deal with the IRS, how far do you think they're going to go?" Pruitt said that's why he "needs to know" and that's why he sent a letter to the DOJ. As Bream nodded in agreement, he claimed that the FRFF for having "a different view of the First Amendment" and if "they've engaged in an off ramp settlement, we need to know about it." Bream concluded: "We know a lot of churches out there, a lot of pastors, priests are saying to the IRS bring it on."
Bream told a graduating class at her alma mater, Liberty University, "this is about right and wrong, unwavering absolutes." And we know that Fox is always on the right side?!
This makes me wonder-would churches be taxable in a Theocracy?