Although he is no longer at Fox, Roger Ailes' tradition of defending conservative Christianity is still alive and well on Fox & Friends. This morning, Jesus BFFs Brian Kilmeade and Ainsley Earhardt extended their Christian fellowship to a godly Texas judge who is being persecuted by the nasty Freedom From Religion Foundation.
The background to this piece (another in the interminable Fox & Friends patented "Fight for Faith" series) is a recent opinion, issued by the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, which supported the right of a Texas judge to open his sessions with a prayer or bible reading presented by volunteer chaplains. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, acting on two complaints, states that, based on a 1991 Fourth Circuit decision, this prayer is unconstitutional. So, cue the Fox Christian outrage machine.
Earhardt (who, as a Southerner, sees no problem with "benign" expressions of Christianity in schools), immediately framed the VERY IMPORTANT FOX MESSAGE: "Fight for faith in the courtroom, a Texas judge could be sued for starting every session with a short prayer." The banner supported Fox's patented Christian persecution meme: "Prayer Penalty, Judge Could be Sued for Praying in Court." After interjecting "sued, yeah," Brian Kilmeade reported that the Freedom From Foundation Foundation (near the tops on Fox's shit list) says the invocation is unconstitutional. He noted that Paxton supports the judge, "but the Foundation is considering a law suit."
Sporting a great big grin, Earhardt welcomed Judge Wayne Mack and his lawyer Chelsea Youman from First Liberty Institute, a group that specializes in persecuted Christians. The judge claimed that both the Supreme Court and the Texas court start sessions with an invocation - a statement that conveniently ignores that the issue isn't about the invocation, but about actual prayers given by actual chaplains - not the standard "God save the State of Texas and this Honorable Court." Mack spoke of the chaplain program that he developed, but didn't mention that these chaplains are saying the prayers! The banner proclaimed the VERY IMPORTANT FOX PERSECUTED CHRISTIAN MEME: "Freedom Fight, Group Says Prayer in Court "Unconstitutional."
Kilmeade read part of the FRFF complaint which addressed the issue of coercion. The judge responded that, of course, he would never, ever force anybody to pray. (The ADL explains how this exemption, in practical reality, doesn't really work.) To Earhardt's question of whether "this group from Wisconsin can tell you guys down in Texas what you should and shouldn't be doing." Youman said "absolutely not."
(Once again, the true nature of the prayers was ignored when she referenced the "invocation" that's allowed. She claimed that SCOTUS has "ruled on this twice" when, in reality, one decision (Marsh v Chambers) ruled that legislative prayer was constitutional [not court prayer] and the other decision (Town of Greece v Galloway) ruled that town council prayer is consistent with legislative prayer and thus, OK.)
At the conclusion of the segment, Earhardt smiled and said "God bless you, both...we wish you all the best in this case."Naturally, none of the countervailing facts were mentioned. But hey, Fox & Friends is doing the lord's work, so it's all good - "fair & balanced" be damned - literally!
This is why you do not allow benign “Under Gods” on your coins, your paper monies or to replace “indivisible” with “under god” in your pledges of allegiances. These people who are poor thinkers will think they can get away with projecting their terrible poor thinking upon people who know better. They will use past transgressions against humanity and progress to fill themselves with intoxication to press their ancient, medieval archaic unsound ideas.
Then again, THAT isn’t the real problem here, is it?
The judge wants HIS religion foisted on everybody. And FoxNoise is right there to provide him cover.