In the alternate universe of Fox & Friends, the 1st Amendment protects the religious freedom of Christians to impose their beliefs into the public arena. That's the claim of a patriotic Christian student, who, on Monday, told a very reverential Elisabeth Hasslebeck, that she is "fighting" for her "right" to say "under God," in the sacred Pledge of Allegiance because the Constitution's protection of religious freedom comes from God and therefore God takes precedence over evil atheists who want to impose their godless views on the rest of us. In continuing its support for the religious freedom of Christian students who are being persecuted by evil atheists, this morning's Fox & Friends featured Elisabeth Hasselbeck validating what appears to be a blatant violation of the Constitution. But wait? Jesus wrote the Constitution so it's all good...
After the perfunctory "Fight for Faith" graphics, Hasselbeck reported that "a high school's pre-game tradition of touching a statue is making atheists furious." The chyron reminded the audience of who is to blame for this newest affront to Christians using Fox's patented "battle" imagery: "Fight Over Faith & Football, Atheists Want Statue W/ Bible Verses Removed." Hasselbeck explained that the evil atheists claim that the biblical verses, on a statue on the property of a Georgia public school, violate the Constitution. (Ya Think!) Video of the quotes, one of which featured "Jesus," was shown. Hasselbeck introduced her guest, one of the football players, who is "fighting" to keep the statue in place.
Hasselbeck asked Sam Bartlett about what the statue "means" to the team - rather than addressing what New Testament quotes, on the grounds of a public school, mean in the context of the 1st Amendment. He informed us that the statue was donated, an irrelevant point because that still doesn't make this legal. After proudly proclaiming his Christianity, Bartlett expressed his pride in the statue because "it's a way for me to represent my faith and get Christ's name up there where I can glorify him." While this would have been an opportunity for Hasselbeck to say that public schools are not supposed to be glorifying Jesus, Hasselbeck responded, "Talk about stepping up the defense."
She asked about his teammates thoughts. Naturally, "many" agree with Bartlett because the statue was donated. (One more time, that doesn't make it legal.) The chyrons kept the anti-atheist agtitprop going: "Atheists Outraged, Team Statue with Bible Verses Under Attack," and "Football Foul, Atheists Want Verses on Team Statue Covered." The next chyron stressed the irrelevant donation aspect: "Gift of Faith, Statue Was Privately Donated to Football Team."
Hasselbeck asked what he would say to someone who wants the statue removed because it's a violation of their right to not believe in God - a stupid, propaganda driven question because it's not an issue of anybody's "right" to be an atheist but, rather, a violation of the Constitution. Bartlett blathered about how Jesus died on the cross for everybody's sins but did say that he understood the perspective of a non-believer. His argument got even more incoherent with his comment that before the statue was erected, he [God] "was still God" and that even if the statue is removed "He will still be on his throne, yada, yada..." (Okaaayyy) Hasselbeck responded: "Kind of a strong message."
Invoking the popular tradition trumps the law Fox meme, the chyron read "Proud Tradition, Football Team Touches Statue Before Game." The chyron finally admitted that this is "A Constitutional Controversy" while Hasselbeck continued to ignore it. But she noted that Bartlett is injured and will be relying on the statue's Christian verses to get him through his time on the bench.
"Patheos" writer Hemant Mehda called it. In predicting the response to the Constitutional questions raised by the atheist groups, he said "That means the Religious Right groups are going to get all defensive, send out their press releases to get the Christian base riled up, and make silly arguments about how this is a perfectly fine and legal monument and how atheists hate freedom… or whatever their playbook tells them to do." Enter, stage right, Fox & Friends.
BTW, what do you think Hasselbeck would say about the presence, on the grounds of a public high school, of a statue with Koranic verses?!
Priscilla, you wrote that as if it was completely unexpected. Now, had the following been written, that would be a shock:
While this would have been where Hasselbeck was expected to toe the official Fox line, Hasselbeck responded, “Public schools aren’t there to glorify Jesus.”
Then again, that would cause the two brain cells that haven’t been killed off from the peroxide treatments to have shut down from an overload. (On the surface, of course, no one would notice anything wrong aside from Hasselbeck’s complete silence as the overload would shut down all voluntary actions. The usual blank look on her face would still be there—though truly discerning viewers might notice just a little more blankness in the look.)
I’m sorry, but that’s just not true or accurate at all. How can she “think” about anything when there is nothing between her ears besides cobwebs and rat turds?