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 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.”