Jon Stewart nailed it when he said that "conservative victimization is the true genius of what Fox News has accomplished." And no show embodies the sense of persecution and grievance than Fox & Friends which serves to validate a steady stream of those, particularly Christians ,who feel aggrieved by the slings and arrows of outrageous liberalism and the "gay agenda." Some of the complaints heard on the curvy couch have their genesis in Fox's ace culture clubber Todd Starnes who is constantly on the look-out for perceived affronts to Jesus' posse, such as the story of a Colorado student who has been told to cease and desist his prayer group, held in violation of school policy during the school day. But never fear, sweet lil Christian friend Ainsley Earhardt is on it and, in typical Fox & Friends fashion, is appropriately outraged. And yeah, the headline is for real!
On Saturday morning's Fight for Faith segment, a clearly agitated Ainsley Earhardt reported that a Colorado high school student has, for three years, been leading a prayer group during a school designated free period. But OMG the school is putting an end to that and, naturally, the Christian advocacy group and Fox fave, Alliance Defending Freedom is suing. The chyron framed the message, the oh, so popular Fox/Christian right claim that public schools hate Jesus: "No God Allowed, High School Puts End to Free Period Prayer."
Earhardt introduced her guest, a lawyer from the Alliance. Kerri Kupec could have been reading from a Fox prepared script as she said that "it's a sad day when schools cease to be the market place of ideas that they're supposed to be and instead of encouraging students...school officials censor them." The chyron, "Prevented from Prayer, High School Bans God During Free Time," kept the agitprop flowing as Kupec explained that this student has been allowed to have the prayer group for three years. She claimed that other students can just "hang out and talk" and do anything they want. The chyron continued the propaganda: "Free Speech, Can School Prevent Prayer." She noted that Chase was hauled into the principal's office and told to stop it.
In a tone of utter disbelief, Earhardt asked "why, why would the principal do this." Kupec said that the school says that this is about separation of church and state which, she noted, isn't found in the Constitution. (As a lawyer, surely she knows about the Establishment Clause and all the court cases based on it?) The chyron upped the persecution ante with classic, Fox conflict imagery: "Prayer Group Attacked, Kupec: School is Targeting This One Group." She claimed the Constitution protects the students.
Earhardt followed up with "it's voluntary, it's during their free time" and read a statement, from the school, which explained that the time is not so free but "for academic purposes." Kupec, naturally, disagreed. Her claim that this time can be used for anything is disputed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State which reports that the school is very clear about this being "instructional" time. Kupec appealed to the sense of Christian grievance with the assertion that because the students "are talking about God, the school is shutting them down."
Earhardt who, as a Southern Christian, has no problem with "benign" Christian plaques in a public school, put in her two cents: "Many people would say that it is academic, learning about the Bible, learning about religion is an academic subject so if they're gonna ban people from talking about God, should they ban kids from talking about pop culture, from talking about Kim Kardashian or any other actor?" Kupec: "Exactly." She praised the Christian kids for talking "about what matters most." She claimed that what the school is doing "undermines the whole purpose for education."
Despite Fox's attempt to scare the audience into thinking that God has been booted out of the school, the reality is that the students "are free to pray before or after school hours or during other 'non-instructional time' – such as before lunch." Despite Kupec's claim that the free period is anything goes time, it is, according to the school, "part of the academic day" which is supervised by teachers. As such, bible reading and praying are not appropriate.
But yes folks, it's a slippery slope. First they come for the bibles, then they come for Kim Kardashian. Oh, nooo...
BTW, how do you think Fox would react if a school laid the hammer down on a Muslim prayer group?
Kim Kardashian is on the same level as God?
How the Kardashians have fallen….