If Fox News' propaganda were an epidemiological model, you could say that Todd Starnes is "patient zero" in that many of Fox's propaganda viruses start with Starnes before they spread to other shows. This morning Fox & Friends provided the host bodies for Starnes' newest infection which is just another variant of the same old, same old Fox persecuted Christian meme. Earlier this week, Starnes wrote about how, sweet mercy, a Florida school district has ended its tradition of having local Christian pastors act as chaplains for the football teams. The schools are also removing other displays of Christianity because evil atheists reminded them that all this sweet Christian fellowship, at taxpayer expense, is unconstitutional. So it's no surprise that one of the persecuted pastors showed up on Fox & Friends for sweet Christian fellowship and a discussion about how the Constitution supports school prayer. Seriously, I'm not making this up!
At the beginning of the segment, part of Fox's patented "Fight for Faith" series, Jesus BFF Elisabeth Hasselbeck framed the Fox message with the patented "battle" reference: "It's faith under fire." She reported that school chaplains will no longer be allowed in a Florida school district because of that nasty Freedom From Religion Foundation. She raised her voice in indignation as she explained that the pastors will now be classified as "life coaches," a part of the story originated by Starnes who is not noted for his truthiness. The FRFF says that if this is true, it is also impermissible as it allows the coaches to continue to preach while putting the school in the role of regulating religious speech.
After she introduced Baptist pastor Troy Schmidt, Hasselbeck showed us her Constitutional acumen (not.) She exclaimed "it's unconstitutional, that's what this Freedom From Religion group said for you to gather with the team and pray with them and befriend them." Pastor Schmidt, also not a Constitutional scholar, snarked that the FFRF "hasn't read the Constitution" because "it's pretty clear that they cannot prohibit my free expression of my faith or the free expression of the coaches to express their faith."
(Obviously neither Elisabeth nor Schmidt is unfamiliar with the SCOTUS case Lee v Weisman which stated that "officially sanctioned prayers in public schools" are a violation of the Constitution.) He proffered this bit of ludicrousness: "They’re telling us to be atheists, when we want to say this is what we believe. And we want to express it freely like the Constitution says.” The chyron established, as Fox FACT: "Faith Under Fire."
She showed video of retired FloridaState football coach Bobby Bowden, on yesterday's Fox & Friends, encouraging coaches to keep praying. He said that he led prayers at Florida state and that he doesn't "care about political correctness" because he "wants to be spiritually correct." After Schmidt said "amen, a sweetly smiling Hasselbeck repeated the "amen." She mentioned how her husband played professional football and was never denied the chance to pray which is, of course, different from public school sponsored prayer.
Schmidt said that everybody is upset about this. Hasselbeck asked if Schmidt will continue to pray with the team even as a "life coach." He said that the coaches will "continue to meet" with kids and bring them meals so they can pray before the meals. He said he's refusing the title of life coach because he doesn't "want to be turned into an atheist chaplain." Hasselbeck thanked him for appearing and "holding" his ground. She opined that the players must "appreciate your commitment to them."
Much like Ebola, there is no vaccination and no cure for Fox News propaganda!
And BTW, how do you think Fox would react if public high schools hired Muslim Imams who, as football chaplains, led the team in Islamic prayer?
The Lizardbreath* was supposed to show a credit to Lynn Johnston, creator of the comic strip, “For Better or For Worse.” The name was used by the oldest child, Michael, for his younger sister Elizabeth when he was feeling, well, like an older brother who finds his younger sister to be a pain.
As for Bowden’s comment, when he shows me that the State of Florida is paying the tuition of his athletes AND is requiring those athletes to attend his school, then his comment will have some merit to it. Yes, the school does get funding from the State Legislature (most public universities do) but there’s absolutely NO requirement that people attend a college or university, as opposed to elementary and high schools (I know Alabama has a mandatory school attendance policy for children up to age 17 but I don’t know what Florida law is; I doubt, however, that the State has a mandatory school attendance policy that covers college-age people).