As the mouthpiece for the Christian right, Fox News is squarely in their corner especially in regards to issues involving church and school. Thus, we have seen Fox hosts cheerleading for Christian cheerleaders who were being prevented, by evil atheists, from displaying bible banners at public school football games and Christian football players who unsuccessfully fought against the removal of an "inspirational" school statue with Christian quotes. Fox & Friends regularly features these stories as part of their patented "Fight for Faith" series during which no mention is made of 1st Amendment ramifications while much mention is made of how these unconstitutional encroachments are part of a fine tradition being attacked by evil atheists. On this morning's Fox & Friends, Ainsley Earhardt kept with the familiar script of Christian victimization at the hands of evil out of town atheists who are defying tradition - with some Christian preaching, a lesson on Southern culture, and mention of the "war on Christianity." It was all good....
At the beginning of the "Fight for Faith" (Christians are always fighting!) segment, sweet lil Christian gal Ainsley Eardhardt (one of the Christian cheerleader Fox cheerleader) began by setting the propaganda message: "Atheists are threatening to sue a Texas school district over religious plaques that have hung in front of two elementary schools for nearly two decades." After asking if they "have a point," she said that her guest "says no." (Quelle Surprise!) She introduced Tiffany Davlin and Pastor Justin Coffman who live in the area and have kids attending the schools.
After Davlin spoke about how the towns residents "have a vested interest" in the issue and deserve a vote on it, Ainsley explained that the problem is all due to the evil Freedom From Religion Foundation, a popular bête noir on Fox. After noting that the FRFF is located far away from Texas, she asked if the "majority of parents" approve of the plaques, thus setting up the right wing meme that the majority should rule and the Constitution, I guess, be damned. Davlin responded "absolutely."
Earhardt read the inscription on the plaques which are clearly Christian in orientation: "Dedicated in the year of our lord 1997 to the education of God's children and their faithful teachers in the name of the holy Christian church, solo deo gloria." After Earhardt said that this "seems like such a benign message, to me," Coffman began to preach: "We're all about, you know, wanting to see the cause of Christ go further. We want to see the cause of Christ in more public arenas and culture, we don't want to see it taken away from. We want to see Christ in our schools and that's what I really want as a parent and community minister." (So screw u, Jews and other non-Christians, in TX Jesus rules!)
Earhart, on script, noted that the FRFF is the same group that "attacked" a Clemson coach for "holding voluntary bible studies for the football team." Reinforcing the meme of Christians under "attack," the chyron read "Plaques Under Attack, School District May be Sued if Plaques Stay or Go." She continued her attack on the FRFF by recounting how, as a Southerner, these big city atheists "need to understand the culture in the South" and how churches are "integral" to Southern life and culture. (Just like lynching during Jim Crow?) In revving up this supposed culture clash, she asked Davlin if she was angry that these evil Northerners are "trying to change what's happening in your children's elementary school." The chyron reinforced the Fox who-cares-about-the-Constitution-if-it's-traditional meme "Atheists Outraged, Religious Plaques Have Hung for Two Decades." (Who's really outraged here?)
Davlin, of course, was "bothered" by the fact that outsiders can come into a "strong, Christian community and say what we can or cannot have." Earhardt nodded as the Pastor said that his was "an attempt to bully us." Earhardt worked in a very popular Fox meme: "You touched on it, the war on Christianity."
Oh, pass me my fan and a nice mint julep because I do believe that I'm having a fit of the vapors over these poor, persecuted Christians. Seriously, Ainsley, honey pie, call me when clergy starts getting arrested and Christian hauled off to internment camps. Ainsely talks about "not understanding" the South. Perhaps she should try to understand the Constitution!