While the Christian right constantly whine about how their 1st Amendment rights are being infringed upon, they have no problem violating the First Amendment's "Establishment Clause" in their attempts to force religion into the public square. While the Christian right decries the "gay agenda," their Christian agenda, vis-à-vis the US military, is abundantly clear. But their efforts to enforce a radical Christian worldview have been met with opposition by members of the military who have the Constitution on their side. Recently, the Air Force dropped the "under God" section of its oath and the Christian right is bullshit. As their mouthpiece, Fox News provided validation for those who objected to the policy change. And now that the policy has been changed, America's morning Christian show, Fox & Friends, continues that validation in claiming that this is all the fault of politically correct secularists who hate Jesus' favorite country. Oh, yeah, and atheists suck, too.
Episcopalian despising, devout Anglican and famous "dick" Tucker Carlson began the segment by reporting that the Air Force will OMG no longer require the phrase "so help me God" in its enlistment oath. The chyron stated as FOX FACT: "Faith Under Fire, Air Force Allows Airmen to Omit God from Oath." Carlson opined "this is without precedent." A statement, from the Secretary of the Air Force, was read in which Deborah Lee James said that the Air Force takes religious freedom issues seriously and this measure was OMG "done to ensure our airmen's rights are protected."
Jesus BFF, Anna Kooiman explained that this was done as a result of an airman who couldn't complete his reenlistment because OMG he didn't want to say those words. Without explaining the Constitutional implications of requiring a religious test for the military, Kooiman asked the audience "is this right, are we becoming too politically correct in allowing the, this secular society to overrule a Christian society and something that has been said for decades?" Carlson chimed in "decades, well centuries" in American military tradition but not, as he qualified, for the Air Force because it hasn't been around for centuries. What Carlson didn't say was that "so help me God" is optional for the Army and Navy oaths as well as any federal oath.
In keeping with the Fox patented meme of how political correctness is corrupting our society, Carlson claimed that the "military is becoming incredibly politically correct." The chyron reinforced the patented Fox & Friends persecuted Christian meme: "Force'd Removal of Faith, "Help Me God" Optional After Lawsuit Threat." He wanted to know "whose rights are violated." (Answer - those cadets who don't believe in the Judeo- Christian God) The chyron stated as FOX FACT: "Fighting Faith, Lawyers Claim Oath Violates Constitution." He asked it the oath is "an establishment of a religion." (Uh, government requires you to pledge to a "God" - that's an establishment.) Kooiman repeated "who is it hurting."
After vaguely Christian Clayton Morris read part of a letter, citing the "Establishment Clause," from an attorney to the Air Force, Carlson, not a Constitutional scholar, said he didn't think that "the Constitution says that." He brought home the propaganda bacon: "Activists have decided that any mention of God, in public, somehow threatens the rights of religious minorities and I would argue it's a threat to all of us when we don't acknowledge a higher authority...in US Government. When you think the only authority in the universe is the government you're living under, then that government can do anything." As the The chyron stated as FOX FACT: "Fight Against Faith, Atheist Claims Secularists Need Equal Rights," he made the bogus claim that the Founders "insisted that we acknowledge a higher authority because it was a limit on the power of government and without that people get radical." (Uh, no, Tucker, the Founders placed responsibility for limitations on the people - God ain't mentioned in the Constitution)
In reacting to Richard Dawkins' commentary about Christian American intolerance towards secularism, Carlson opened that "people are suspicious of atheists, there's no doubt about it." He claimed that serious Christians and Orthodox Jews aren't nearly as aggressive as atheists and never "file lawsuits forcing people to do things they don't want to do [Like the elimination of buffer zones around abortion clinics?] but I see a ton of atheist groups doing that recently." Morris sited "billboards" to "get you to not believe in God." (Uh, if you're faith is strong, what's the problem?) The concluding chyron framed the propaganda message: "Seriously, Atheist Says USAF Scandal Shows Intolerance."
Hey Tucker - Based on bullshit like this, people are suspicious of Fox News, there's no doubt about it!!! But seriously, Fox & Friends is talking about "intolerance?"
What Fox never bothers to mention is that ‘so help me God’ was always optional until 2013.
Air Force Instruction 36-2606 spells out the active-duty oath of enlistment, which all airmen must take when they enlist or reenlist and ends with “so help me God.” The old version of that AFI included an exception: “Note: Airmen may omit the words ‘so help me God,’ if desired for personal reasons.”
That language was dropped in an Oct. 30, 2013, update to the AFI. The relevant section of that AFI now only lists the active-duty oath of enlistment, without giving airmen any option to choose not to swear an oath to a deity.
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
(Chapter 18, verses 9-14)
See, Tuck-tuck, even Jesus himself felt that prayer was something between a person and God, rather than something used for self-aggrandizement and self-promotion.