Ignored By Fox News: Christian Terrorist Pleads Guilty In Plot To Massacre American Muslims

Whenever there is an act of terrorism that conservatives can attribute to Muslims, they jump at the chance to condemn the entire Islamic faith as inherently violent. And at the same time, they advance their ingrained superiority by asserting that only Muslims would ever engage in such behavior. They insist that Christians would never resort to violence in response to a perceived insult or political disagreement.

Never mind the ample evidence of Christian attacks on those with whom they disagree, including the murder of Dr. Tiller, the Atlanta Olympic bombing, the extremist in Norway who murdered dozens of children, or the tragedy in Oklahoma City that killed 168 innocent people. The Christian defenders simply don’t see what they don’t want to see. Although, to some extent they also don’t see what is deliberately kept from them. That’s because Fox needs to reinforce the racist theme that all terrorists are dark-skinned foreigners.

Fox News Terrorist Color Chart

The media often fails to publicize acts of Christian terrorism in the manner they do with Muslims. An example of that occurred this week when court records were revealed describing Robert Doggert, an ordained minister in the Christian National Church, who pleaded guilty to plotting a massacre of the citizens of an upstate New York community of Muslims known as Islamberg. The records showed a detailed plan to kill people and destroy buildings, churches and schools. Doggert was quoted as saying “We will offer [our] lives as collateral to prove our commitment to our God.” In other words, it was a suicide mission not unlike those committed by Islamic extremists, and for the same reason.

In keeping with the right-wing media determination to insure that their audience remains biased and ignorant, the Fox News Channel failed to report the story. This failure is all the more egregious considering the complicity that Fox News has in Doggert’s scheme.

Doggert, who was working with right-wing militias that share his view that President Obama was guilty of treason, told the FBI in his confession that he “justified his attack on lslamberg by claiming that the residents of Islamberg were planning a terrorist attack.” And where did he get this groundless notion? In January Bill O’Reilly hosted, Ryan Mauro, a “national security analyst” who claimed that Muslims were forming “no-go zones” in the United States where they would train and launch domestic attacks. These claims were never substantiated by credible sources in law enforcement, and the organizations to which Mauro belonged were well known anti-Islamic propagandists.

That didn’t stop Fox News from inviting Mauro back numerous times to spread his false and inflammatory smears. It is that sort of disinformation that gives Doggert, and so many other Fox News viewers, the wrong impression of Islam along with an unwarranted fear of peaceful fellow citizens. It is the same sort of dishonest “journalism” that prevents Fox News, and other conservative media outlets, from reporting the other side of the terrorism story that reveals the criminal activities of Christian extremists like Doggert.

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Fox News has a long history of fear mongering about Muslims while neglecting news stories involving right-wing extremists. A couple of years ago another Christian terrorist was arrested – and ignored by Fox. Earlier this year Fox became hysterical about a study produced by the Department of Homeland Security that warned of right-wing domestic terrorists. They believed that this demonstrated the government’s anti-conservative bias. What they never told their viewers was that a similar study had also been produced previously that addressed the same sort of threats from radical left-wingers.

That’s the sort of deceptive biases that Fox engages in routinely. And it’s why people like Doggert become radicalized on behalf of insane conspiracy theories. Should any of the crackpots who buy into this nonsense succeed in carrying out one of their plots, Fox News should share in the responsibility for the damage done.

Free Speech At Fox News: Offensive To Muslims OK – Critical Of Police No Way

A few weeks ago a well known Islamophobe and professional instigator, Pamela Geller, held what she pretended was a contest to “Draw the Prophet Muhammad.” In reality the affair had nothing to do with art or free expression, but was a deliberate attempt to incite violence.

Geller’s hate-fest was praised as a courageous expression of liberty by sympathetic bigots at Fox News. They regarded her repugnant message as patriotic and celebrated the death of the two idiots that Geller was successful in provoking into senseless violence. But if you want to know what the same Fox News blowhards who revere Geller really think about free speech, just keep watching and they will reveal their true disgust for the First Amendment when it protects speech that they don’t like.

Fox News Free Speech

Last week Eric Bolling delivered a commentary about an art exhibit by students at a New Jersey high school. The exhibit was called “Law Enforcement – Police Brutality.” It was a subject chosen by the students and was open to, and included, opinions from all sides of the debate. Bolling, of course, focused solely on the work that was critical of the police, and he was not shy about expressing his desire for censorship.

Bolling: OK, I get the idea of free speech but … hey, teachers at Westfield would you put up an art exhibit showing teachers abusing students? I don’t think you’d do it. Nor should you have done this. I’d like to see that thing taken down.

Judging by this comment it is not particularly clear that Bolling really does “get the idea of free speech.” These students have every right to express their own opinions of significant current events that affect their communities. Suppressing the artwork they produce is a clear breach of those rights. But hypocrites like Bolling continue to expose themselves as having variable principles that permit freedom only to those with whom they agree. This is illustrated best by what Bolling himself said a couple of weeks prior in defense of Geller and her hate exhibit.

Bolling: Free speech is protected no matter how inciting it may be. We’re becoming too politically correct. We worry that offending Muslims somehow overrides our won Constitutional rights.

It should surprise no one that Bolling never suggested that Geller’s exhibit should be “taken down,” nor that he never stood up for the students’ free speech “no matter how inciting it may be.” To Bolling and his Fox News cohorts, Geller’s anti-Muslim bigotry makes her a standard bearer of American virtue, but the students’ concerns about abuse of power by law enforcement makes them snotty little delinquents who should be neither seen nor heard.

On a side note, why is Fox News so obsessed with demeaning high school students? Check out this previous attack on students in Vermont after they defended their state from disparaging remarks by a Bill O’Reilly producer.

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Icing on the flake: The following day, Bolling responded to criticism he received for his overt hypocrisy. In his whiny, self-defense he insisted that he is a stalwart proponent of free speech and all that he meant to convey was that he also had the right to say that he didn’t approve of the student art show. However, there a couple problems with that “clarification.” First, he didn’t say that he didn’t approve, he said that he would like to see it taken down. Second, he never acknowledged that critics of Geller’s phony exhibit also have a right to disapprove. He still regards them as anti-free speech, once again proving that his rights are legitimate and everyone else should shut up.

Good News: No Boobs On Fox News

When I first heard that Fox News was taking steps to insure that there would be no boobs on their network, I was excited at the possibility that Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Steve Doocy, etc., would soon be fired. To my disappointment, I later learned what the real story was that Fox News Blurs the Boobs on a Picasso Painting.”

Fox News Picasso

It turns out that it was the Fox News affiliate station in New York that so virtuously protected viewers from the sinful display of geometric breasts. But that doesn’t let Fox News off the hook entirely because the same man, Roger Ailes, runs both the cable news channel and the affiliate group. To its credit, the morning show on Fox5NY did their own bit of ridiculing the night crew that went too heavy on the blurring.

This is not the first time that overzealous conservatives took it upon themselves to sanitize the smutty, or otherwise inappropriate and dirty world, from decent Americans. Back in 2011 News Corpse documented a series of occurrences wherein free expression was not permitted by right-wingers:

A few years ago, Secretary of State Colin Powell was scheduled to give a speech at the United Nations to make the case by the Bush administration for going to war against Iraq. Prior to the speech he had aides cover up a tapestry depicting Picasso’s painting, Guernica. Powell was not going to make an argument for war in front of such a powerful and iconic anti-war statement.

Bush’s Attorney General, John Ashcroft, held press conferences in the Justice Department in a hall where the statue “Spirit of Justice” had stood for decades. In 2002 he ordered that the statue, a female representation of justice with one bare breast exposed, be covered by a drape. It’s not clear whether he was worried more about this being embarrassing or arousing.

Earlier this year, Paul LePage, the governor of Maine, had a mural removed from the Maine Department of Labor. The mural depicted scenes of Maine’s working citizens and the history of labor in the state. Obviously it has no business taking up space in the Labor Department.

And just this week, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin removed a painting from the governor’s residence. The painting was of children from diverse backgrounds and was meant to remind the residents of that home, which belongs to the people of Wisconsin, of the impact their work has real families. Now Walker won’t have to be concerned with that unless he runs into some in person, in which case he’ll have much more to be concerned about.

As you can see, this is a recurring theme among the sanctimonious wingnuts who believe that their morality trumps yours. And while conservatives went out of their way to defend the free speech rights of hate mongering Islamophobes they aren’t the least bit hesitant to deny those rights to rap artists, the Dixie Chicks, Michael Moore, or even Picasso.

All things considered, I would prefer that boobs like Hannity were subject to censorship rather than those in the great paintings of history. But sadly, some boobs are more equal than others.

Muhammad Cartoon Contest In Garland, Texas Had Nothing To Do With Free Speech

First things first: Freedom of speech is a cherished liberty among all Americans and most citizens of the rest of the world. It is the bedrock upon which all other freedoms rest. Preserving it is critical for civilized societies to exist. And it must be honored for all speech, especially that which is regarded as unpopular or offensive.

That said, in the practice of defending free speech we must be able to distinguish between actual expressions of genuine thoughts and beliefs, as opposed to cynical exploitation aimed at inflaming emotions and inciting violence. Just as shouting “fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire is not protected speech, staging events meant to cause harm is not an excusable act under the First Amendment.

Hypocrites who pervert the notion of free expression need to be called out. They are often easy to spot. They complain bitterly when they are not allowed to malign and insult others with impunity. And while they insist that any derogatory speech directed at their heroes be condemned and suppressed, they outright lust for words and pictures that offend those whom they don’t particularly like. That’s how they can justify support for blatantly repulsive speech against Muslims or other enemies of right-wingers, but the slightest perceived slur aimed at Christians or other conservatives is an abomination. [Just ask the Dixie Chicks and the casualties in the War on Christmas]

Cletus Free Speech

The affair in Garland, Texas was advertised as “The Inaugural Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest.” But lest anyone mistake it for a legitimate exercise in free speech, the facts about its organizers and purpose must be known.

The event was a project of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a virulent anti-Islamic operation that has been been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. It is run by notorious Islamophobes, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Geller & Co. have often produced media-centric events to promote an overtly bigoted agenda, of which the event in Garland is just the latest example.

To underscore the evil intentions behind this gathering, note that the venue chosen was the very same venue where Muslims held a conference in January of this year with the stated mission of making it clear that terrorists like ISIS and Al Qaeda are “enemies of Islam who are hurting Muslims and neighborly relations toward the world.” That event was heckled by right-wing protesters who apparently object to peaceful Muslims who repudiate terrorism.

Geller admitted that she picked this site as a response to the previous, pro-peace event put on by area Muslims. Which also raises the significance of the fact that the Garland community has a growing Muslim population. Consequently, holding an openly hateful event in such a community is purposefully provocative.

So can this rightly be called a “free speech” event when the primary activity is an alleged “art” contest that the producers know will be inflammatory; the site was chosen as a deliberate poke in the eye; the community is home to those the organizers wish to offend; the guests include international anti-Islam activist Geert Wilders; and the participants are professional hate mongers? Wouldn’t it more more correct to call this a deliberate provocation intended to incite violence?

There was obviously no intent on the part of Geller and her hate brigade to engage in a sincere public discourse. It is far more likely that she got exactly what she wanted when a couple of would-be terrorists showed up with guns blazing. Sadly, what isn’t being reported in the media is that the leaders of the broader Muslim community at large condemned the shooting and expressed unreserved support for the free speech rights of Geller et al. They also counseled other Muslims in the area to refrain from even showing up to protest the event, in order to preserve the peace. In that effort they were successful as there was no onsite protest. The only alleged Muslims who showed up were, unfortunately, the gunmen.

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It’s really too bad that there are people like Geller whose sole purpose in life is to create chaos and disharmony. And it makes it all the worse that they twist cherished principles like freedom of speech to incite violence. It is also too bad that there are idiots who will take the bait and give the hate mongers what they yearn for. Yes, Geller is just as entitled to free speech as anyone else. But she is coming awfully close to that line where she is shouting “fire” and hoping that innocent people get trampled.

Breaking News: Gay Marriage Caused 9/11, Global Warming, Ebola, And Benghazi

The religiously inspired opponents of marriage equality have blamed society’s gradual acceptance of more expansive civil liberties as the trigger for innumerable catastrophes and natural disasters. The range of horrors that they claim are the result of granting more freedom to Americans to live their lives as they chose run from hurricanes to wars to epidemics. These are the lengths that crazy people obsessed with pseudo-religious fervor will go to demonize the objects of their hateful crusade.

Gay Marriage Fire

So what about the people who are not crazy? On last night’s Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore (video below), the host cited a report that claimed that same-sex marriage would produce 900,000 more abortions in the next thirty years. That must be because of all the unwanted pregnancies among gay couples. Wilmore explained that this inane theory was what happens when “people who don’t believe in science try to do math.” However, the important thing to note about this claim is that it was not made by the Westboro Baptist Church (aka the “God Hates Fags” tabernacle), but by a group of a hundred conservative attorneys and academics who filed their opinion in a brief to the Supreme Court. In addressing the absurdity of these claims, Wilmore entered into this exchange with former press secretary to George W. Bush and current Fox News host, Dana Perino:

Wilmore: These are things that people actually blamed the gay marriage on. These are true: Hurricane Sandy, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Northridge earthquake, mass animal deaths, and September 11th was also blamed on gay marriage.
Perino: All the things you mentioned that people are absurdly saying that gay marriage has caused, people have also said that global warming is causing. They’re almost interchangeable at this point.
Wilmore: Global warming caused 9/11?
Perino: Oh yeah, there are people who say that. Because of the unrest in the Middle East. And then you have the drought. Yes, believe me.

Perino is no Glenn Beck (who said this week that gay marriage will also cause church attendance to decline by 50% in the next five years), but she has managed, in that brief exchange, to dismiss the gay bashing nut cases by suggesting that everybody does it, while simultaneously associating Climate Change with the same coterie of crackpots who think God is punishing America for its descent into sin. Note that the gay marriage doomsayers are faith-based purveyors of myth, but those warning of the harmful effects of Climate Change are scientists. In the contest of credibility, who would you trust: Rush Limbaugh or Prof. Neil deGrasse Tyson?

As the time nears for the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, the religious right is convinced that it also represents the nearing of the End Times. Conservative wingnut Alan Keyes called a decision upholding the right of all Americans to marry “a just cause for war.” Likewise, Rev. E.W. Jackson, a frequent guest on Fox News, declared that Christians “must enlist in this war” and be prepared to “give our lives.” But all of that may be unnecessary if Rick Wiles is right:

“America will be brought to its knees, there will be pain and suffering at a level we’ve never seen in this country. The word that I hear in my spirit is ‘fire.’ I do not know if it refers to riots or looting or war on American soil or a fireball from space.”

A fireball from space? Now THAT sounds like global warming.

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Not News On Fox News: Pope Francis Calls Male/Female Pay Disparity A ‘Pure Scandal’

The bias in journalism is as much evident in what news editors chose to report as it is in what they chose not to report or in how they slant stories that make it to the air. Therefore, by recognizing the omissions of news enterprises you can identify their biases.

This is particularly true when a media outlet fails to cover a story that would ordinarily be of interest to it. For instance, Fox News is a devoutly religious news organization. They are not shy about expressing their faith personally or in relation to a news item they are covering. Most of their anchors are avowed Catholics, and the inclusion of Christian themes in their reporting is routine. They have a Catholic priest on the payroll as a regular contributor (Father Jonathan Morris), and their Todd Starnes is an aggressive advocate for evangelical causes and a critic of perceived, imagined, and fabricated slights.

So it should come as no surprise that Fox News has failed to report on the views expressed today by Pope Francis. In his regular “catechetical reflection,” the Pope came out squarely in favor of equal pay for equal work, a social reform that has long been a goal of the feminist movement. This is not, however, a reform that is favored by business interests, Republicans, and consequently, Fox News. As a result, they shut out of the news cycle the Pope’s message that…

“…as Christians, we must become more demanding in this regard […] supporting with decision the right to equal retribution for equal work; disparity is a pure scandal.”

The last thing that Fox News and other right-wing media outlets want is to advertise that the head of the Catholic Church agrees with feminists and Democrats on the issue of fair pay. That would only extend the list of issues on which the Pope has taken sides with liberals, including the judgement of gays, Climate Change, economic inequality, and health care, to name a few.

The fact is that many right-wingers have already given up on this Pope calling him ignorant, delusional, leftist, Marxist, etc. Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, are among those who have explicitly denounced him. And in an act of utter absurdity, the Republican House balked at honoring the Pope because he “sound[s] like Obama.”

Pope Francis

No really, it’s true. GOP House Speaker John Boehner refused to even bring up the resolution for a vote, so it died in committee. That’s how severe the epidemic of Obama Derangement Syndrome is. And it isn’t getting better any time soon. After Obama leaves the White House its next occupant could be Hillary Clinton. Should that occur, look for the Republican Party to cut the salary of the President by thirteen percent.

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In The Church Of Fox News A Telephone Pole Is A Sign From God

For the faithful, God is not just omnipresent, his visage is manifest in all things no matter how trivial. It is that devotion to holy encounters that has resulted in believers finding the Almighty in everything from toast to tacos.

The knowledge that the Lord is present everywhere and in everything must be comforting to those who require the assurance that their heavenly master is always watching over them. However, there ought to be limits to the imagination of these disciples. Not every vague profile of a man with a beard, visible when squinting at an old brick, is a manifestation of Jesus. Likewise, not every perpendicular arrangement of french fries or the twisted wreckage of a demolished building represents the cross of the crucifixion.

That is, unless you are a five year old child, a glassy-eyed devotee, or a Fox News host.

Fox News

The picture above was featured on Friday morning’s broadcast of Fox & Friends. It was taken by a teenager in Moore, Oklahoma, who spotted the miracle following a devastating tornado. The Curvy Couch Potatoes at Fox then posted it to their Facebook page and reported that it went viral. They viewed it as a sign of hope following a catastrophic natural disaster that proved that, in spite of the tragedy, “God is with us.”

For some reason, when people of faith find insignificant trivialities like this they manage to assign some positive spiritual meaning to it. Something as common and trifling as a telephone pole becomes an unmistakable symbol of God’s benevolence and protection. You have to wonder why they never seem to associate the negative occurrence (e.g. a tornado) with the Lord’s work, even though there were hundreds of cross-like telephone poles throughout the city that was just flattened, presumably with God’s knowledge. Apparently, in their view, God had nothing to do with the tornado. but he hoisted a broken telephone pole up so that his children could see he was keeping them safe. At least the ones that didn’t get killed or had their homes destroyed.

The only reasonable message that can be derived from this photo is that local communications are going to be interrupted for some period of time. Maybe it’s God telling you to use your cell phone or the Internet to let your loved ones know you’re OK.

Or worse, maybe it’s a message from Satan. Maybe the Devil is taunting the victims of the tornado by showing them that their Savior is powerless to help them. How else would you interpret a broken cross dangling in the air with no foundation? And maybe Satan is using his minions at Fox to spread this fearsome message. Did you ever notice the numerical significance of “FOX?”

F = 6
O = 15 = 6
X = 24 = 6

That’s right. FOX = 666. The self-described “most powerful name in news” is literally branded with the mark of the beast. Is that where they derive their power? If you’re looking for spiritual messages, you better consider the source. In truth, people determined to find hidden meanings (I’m looking at you, Glenn Beck) can find pretty much anything they want with a little imagination. Following 9/11, Christian zealots were certain they found a cross in the rubble of the World Trade Center. Never mind that every structural component of the tower’s architecture was in the form of a cross. It would have been a miracle if there weren’t any cross-shaped pieces of debris. Yet with literally millions of embedded crosses, the towers still came down snuffing out some 3,000 lives.

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But don’t try to convince these cultists that the signs they see all around them are anything but signs of hope. After all, if they can see Jesus in the ass of a dog, they are not about to have their faith shaken by the likes of you and your “reason.” Especially when they have Fox “News” devoting its airtime to stories that pay tribute to preposterous figments of the imagination.

Fox has indeed completed the transformation to full fledged televangelism. In addition to nonsense like the telephone pole miracle, they openly advocate on behalf of Christians, whom they believe are an oppressed majority. They characterize blatantly bigoted legislation, like that just passed in Indiana, as religious liberty. They promote prayer in school and the use of the Bible as the basis for law, in violation of the constitutional separation of church and state. And they engage in the annual idiocy of their imaginary War on Christmas.

The editorial policy at Fox is stridently pro-Christian to the detriment of any other faith or the absence of it. They have a roster of openly pious Christian activists like Todd Starnes and Kelly Wright. So don’t be too surprised when Pat Robertson signs on to host his own primetime hour of worship, or Jesus & Friends premiers on Sunday morning with Fox’s resident pastor (and GOP presidential hopeful) Mike Huckabee.

Obama Condemns All Acts Of Barbarism Due To Perversion Of Faith – Fox News Freaks Out

In a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama acknowledged the “sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith,” and broadly condemned the use of religion to justify barbaric acts of terrorism. So leave it to Fox News to surgically extract a fragment of the speech in order to disparage the President.

Fox News

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The portion of the address that ruffled Fox’s fur was a snippet wherein Obama referenced the Crusades to remind the audience that “people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.” Fox News latched unto that phrase and, for much of the day, used it to distort the President’s meaning in order to denigrate him as anti-Christian. But the President’s remarks were much more inclusive of the evil done by all perpetrators of violence in the name of religion. Here are some more extended excerpts of what he actually had to say:

“From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism. […] We see sectarian war in Syria, the murder of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, religious war in the Central African Republic, a rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate crimes in Europe, so often perpetrated in the name of religion. […]

“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

Any reasonable person would have to agree with what was expressed in the whole of the speech. But, as usual, reasonableness was not in attendance at Fox News. As a representative example of the departure from reason and fair discourse, Fox’s Neil Cavuto brought in Catholic League extremist Bill Donohue to rant feverishly about Obama’s alleged insult to the world’s Christians (video below):

Donohue: Had he said just said that, that people have killed in the name of their God and it’s not unique to one religion, who could argue with that? But he didn’t do that, did he? He spoke with specificity. he singled out the Crusades and the Inquisition.

Actually, Obama did not single out anyone. Quite the opposite. He specifically identified numerous religions that have all had issues with violent extremism. But the only thing that Donohue heard was the bit about the Crusades. The same is true for Cavuto who later demonstrated the essence of a loaded question by asking “Do you think [Obama] is dismissive of religion in the aggregate?” Huh? Did Cavuto even bother to listen to the speech which was dripping with piety and deference to God? The ludicrous question gave Donohue the opportunity to further slander Obama’s commitment to faith by excitedly responding that Obama is “a thoroughgoing secularist. I don’t think he believe’s in anything.”

This is typical of the Fox News editorial mission to cherry-pick Obama’s remarks and present them in the most negative way possible. It furthers their criticism of the President for his reluctance to associate the terrorists of ISIL with Islam. In that regard, he got some support today from Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, who said that “If there was any doubt that this is an organization that has anything to do with any religion on the face of this planet, that doubt is gone.”

Judeh’s comments are additional proof that the world’s Muslims are united in rejecting the violence of terrorism and the false accusation that it is inherently connected to the Muslim faith. In fact, the only people who are determined to make that link are the terrorists themselves and Fox News, which has the disturbing effect of putting Fox squarely on the side of the terrorists.

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To top it off, the following morning Fox’s Gregg Jarrett made the wholly delusional statement that “It struck some people in an odd way that the President was justifying ISIS.” Really? Which people? Jarrett doesn’t say. And how could these imaginary people reach that insane conclusion? Jarrett doesn’t say. But just to keep things fair and balanced, Joe Scarborough on MSNBC also took up the criticism of Obama for telling the truth about religion’s bad actors.

American Sniping II: The Hypocritical Right-Wing Attack On Jesus

Last week News Corpse published an article exposing the conservative guardians of virtue as hypocrites for their surreal denunciation of Hollywood as contemptuous of the film American Sniper. What makes their criticism absurd is that the movie was produced and distributed by Warner Bros., a big Hollywood film studio, and all of its major creative participants are familiar Hollywood figures. How conservatives can bash Hollywood for not appreciating this film is puzzling since Hollywood appreciated it enough to award it six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The absurdity is continuing this week as a Fox News host doubles down on the Tinseltown bashing (video below), but escalates the animus by adding a bit of deranged sermonizing into the mix.

Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes is Fox’s resident pearl-clutcher every time he imagines that some slight has been directed at Christianity, which he is convinced is the biggest victim of oppression since the Third Reich. His most recent remarks on American Sniper were incited by Michael Moore’s tweet:

“What Would Jesus Do? Oh, I know what he’d do — hide on top of a roof and shoot people in the back!”

Moore has become a target of the right for expressing his antiwar views (which he shares with Clint Eastwood), despite his long support for veterans. In response to Moore’s tweet Starnes leveled a vile and poorly thought out assault on Moore that included this mangling of Christian doctrine:

“I suspect Jesus would tell that God-fearing, red-blooded American sniper, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant for dispatching another Godless jihadist to the lake of fire.'”

That is a sentiment that ought to make every good Christian wretch. In effect, Starnes is preaching that in order to win the praise of Jesus, one must enlist in battle and cause the deaths of other human beings. Since Jesus himself preached that “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God,” it’s hard to find any theological justification for Starnes’ war mongering. The example set by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and at Golgotha demonstrate just how far removed from the gospel Starnes is.

But let’s be clear, none of this is about God or faith. It is a blatantly political attempt to glorify war and celebrate a phony patriotism that exalts the militarization of society and the promotion of national (and religious and racial) supremacy. The purpose is to advance the agenda of the Republican Party and its Patriopathic obsessions. It’s an agenda of flag-waving, scripture-spewing, blood-lusting, Tea Partying, bigots who favor small government when it comes to meeting the basic needs of its citizens, but massively large government when it comes to imposing religious values and supporting wealthy corporatists, particularly in the defense industries.

Just as the wingnut critics knew nothing about Hollywood when throwing their puerile insults at an entire American industry (including thousands who voted to pay tribute to American Sniper), the same people know nothing about the religion they pretend to embrace. It’s as if they worship an image that might have been manufactured for a Hollywood horror film, rather than the teachings of a church that venerates peace and forgiveness.

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[Update:] A Facebook commenter, Faith Equality, pointed out this video of Starnes completely contradicting himself on Fox’s Hannity show saying “Jesus wants to be your Lord and Savior, He doesn’t want to blow you to Kingdom Come.”

Hateful “Real” Americans Protest Muslim Conference Against Hate And Terror

This weekend there was a conference held in Garland, Texas by a Muslim organization hoping to address the negative stereotypes disseminated by the media and racist politicians. The event was met with opposition by a small band of protesters whose vulgar behavior illustrated the need for the conference in the first place. Not surprisingly, Fox News offered coverage of sorts by posting a link on their Fox Nation website to an article in the ultra right-wing Washington Times. The piece led with the headline “‘Stand With Prophet’ Event In Texas Draws Thousands Of Protesters.”

Fox Nation

The first problem with the story is that there were not “thousands” of protesters. The attendance was reported by media at the scene as being a few hundred, and that included people who were supporting the event.

However, much worse was the tone of the protesters who were overtly hostile to a group whose purpose was to renounce terrorism, repudiate violence, and seek harmony with their fellow American citizens. The conferees stated mission was to make clear that terrorists like ISIS and Al Qaeda are “enemies of Islam who are hurting Muslims and neighborly relations toward the world.” They were met with angry accusations that “You are not Americans. Don’t fly our flag,” and demands that “If they want to live their life like the middle east, they can go back to the middle east.” It’s unlikely that these malcontents would make the same demands to banish orthodox Jews or the Amish.

It is notable that the photo chosen to represent the allegedly patriotic protesters included one carrying a sign that said “Go home and take Obama with you.” Not only was this an exclusionary sentiment that falsely implied that America was not their home, it also revived the idiotic delusions of birthers who still can’t accept that Obama was born in the U.S.

The purpose of the conference, as stated on its website, was to “develop effective responses to anti-Islamic attacks, as well as to train young Muslims in media.” Clearly that is a goal that has been validated as necessary if the coverage of this event is any indication. The story was carried with the same negative slant, and false attendance estimates, by much of the conservative media. And the wretched prejudices expressed by the protesters proves that there is still a great deal of work to be done.

Hopefully cooler, less intolerant heads will prevail and citizens of all races, religions, and origins will be able to come together to defeat bigotry in all its vile forms. But that will not happen until media outlets like Fox are shamed into abandoning their own biases that serve no purpose other than to inflame the ignorant and empower racist, political demagogues.