Fox News commentator Todd Starnes spoke at Germantown Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, recently, where he declared that that Christianity is under attack in America and so the fight for religious liberty will be "the civil rights issue of our generation."
"I believe there is a war on religious liberty in the United States of America," he stated. "And this war is not targeting people of the Muslim faith, it's not targeting people of the Jewish faith or the Hindu faith or the Buddhist faith. This war on religious liberty is targeting people of the Christian faith."
Starnes said that he recently watched the movie "Selma" and that it drove home for him the realization that conservative Christians today are the face of the modern day civil rights movement.
"These are not just words," Starnes proclaimed. "The civil rights movement was not about just words, it was about action. And it was also about knowing that sometimes there is pain and there is suffering for doing the right thing":
Fox News commentator Todd Starnes was a guest on the "Hagee Hotline" yesterday where he warned host Matthew Hagee that Christian pastors could soon find themselves arrested and charged with a hate crime for preaching from the Bible if the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage.
"I do believe that if the Supreme Court does move forward and affirm this ruling," he said, "I suspect that it is going to open up the floodgates. And I believe, Pastor Matt, that you are going to see militant LGBT activists directly target churches and directly targeting pastors and I think that we, in the very near future, could see American pastors brought up on hate crime charges for preaching from the Bible":
Of course, this is exactly the same argument that anti-gay activists made before passage of hate crimes legislation back in 2009 and none of their fear-mongering warnings have come true. Nor has a single pastor faced this possibility in any of the 37 states where gay marriage is currently legal.
Fox News commentator Todd Starnes spoke with American Family Radio today about an Oregon judge’s proposal to fine Aaron and Melissa Klein, the bakers who were convicted of violating the state’s non-discrimination act when they denied service to a lesbian couple who wanted to order a wedding cake.
Furious, Starnes wondered if LGBT rights supporters will try to “force all of us out of our homes” and “destroy Christians.”
It really is frightening to know that you could just be minding your own business in your own store or shop and all of the sudden LGBT activists come in and you find yourself in the middle of some sort of a lawsuit. You know, the Kleins have already lost their bakery, they don’t have $135,000. And as a result of this fine they could lose this home. You really have to step back and ask yourself: What is it that the LGBT activists, what is it that these government officials want? Do they want to destroy Christians? Do they want to force all of us out of our homes? Do they want to say, ‘If you’re a Christian, if you follow Christ, the teachings of Christ, you are not qualified to own a business or run a shop in the state of Oregon?’ Is that what they are trying to say?
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes is joining his network colleagues in linking President Obama to a tourist who took a selfie at the site of an explosion in the East Village.
Because one of the women who took a selfie in the East Village worked as a field organizer for Obama’s 2008 campaign for four months, Starnes wondered during his radio bulletin today if she was simply taking a cue from the president.
“The self-absorbed generation, ladies and gentlemen,” Starnes said. “Maybe she was just emulating the man she helped get elected to the White House. I mean, how can we forget President Obama taking selfies during Nelson Mandela’s funeral — a funeral!”
Of course, the supposedly scandalous Obama selfies occurred at a celebratory memorial service, not during Mandela’s funeral.
As conservative pundits in the U.S. gush over the election victory of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, American Religious Right activists continue to conveniently ignore Netanyahu’s government’s support for taxpayer funding to cover abortion procedures, universal health care and gay rights.
In an appearance on the American Family Association’s radio network today, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes continued that trend, boasting to host Ed Vitagliaono that he “put out a tweet yesterday: ‘Netanyahu wins, Obama loses, praise be to God.’”
Starnes said the Obama administration has made the U.S. “BFFs with the Islamic Republic of Iran” and hostile to Israel and took issue with First Lady Michelle Obama’s appearance at an event marking the Persian New Year, or Nowruz.
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes dedicated his news bulletin today to discussing the case of University of Oklahoma students who reportedly led a racist chant for their fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon: “There will never be a ni**** SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me. There will never be a ni**** SAE.”
Starnes said that while the fraternity’s chant was “disgusting and racist” and clearly inappropriate, he believes that the university’s leadership is enforcing a double standard: “Oklahoma’s president says that ‘those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way’ are ‘disgraceful’ and I agree. And I hope he applies the same standard the next time a student plays racially offensive rap music. The same standard should apply to all.”
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday to chat with Tony Perkins about what they perceive as growing anti-Christian persecution in America, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent announcement that city schools will now close for the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha and al-Fitr.
The two right-wing commentators were outraged, claiming that New York City’s move somehow discriminates against Christians.
“But yet when it comes to Christmas and Easter, two very prominent Christian holidays, they’re not on the school calendar, they’re called ‘winter break’ and ‘spring break,’” Perkins said. Starnes concurred: “Oh yes. For the sake of tolerance and diversity, that normally means the Christians are going to be discriminated against or their holidays are going to be minimalized.”
Easter always falls on a Sunday, which would explain why it is not on a school vacation calendar, while Christmas does in fact appear on New York City’s list of school holidays [PDF]. The city’s schools are also closed for Good Friday, along with the Jewish holy days of Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Passover.
An anguished Perkins lamented that “when 85 percent of the population identifies as Christian but we can’t have a Christmas holiday because it’s religious but yet we can have Muslim holidays, something is not right there in New York City, ‘The Big Apple,’ something is rotten.”
Starnes responded by claiming that Islam is being elevated over Christianity, and it’s all Obama’s fault.
“You’re absolutely right Tony,” the Fox News pundit said. “How many times have we seen this, where the Islamic faith is being given accommodation and the Christian faith and other religious faiths are being marginalized, not just in the public workspace but also through the Obama administration.”
Perkins also managed to attack President Obama for de Blasio’s decision: “I think the Obama administration has created the environment for policies such as this.”
While Girl Scouts across the country spent this past weekend selling and distributing Girl Scout cookies, many right-wing activists will not be joining the rest of us in enjoying Thin Mints and Samoas.
For the past several years, conservative groups have urged their members not to touch the cookies, warning that doing so will support communism, abortion and homosexual indoctrination. The Girl Scouts’ right-wing detractors commonly cite the discredited myth that the group is funding Planned Parenthood, and the even stranger that it is turning children into lesbian, socialist activists.
Here are the three wildest claims that right-wing activists make about the girls’ empowerment organization:
1) Girl Scouts Push ‘Lesbianism’ On Children!
The Girl Scouts’ strong stance against discrimination has put the organization in the far right’s crosshairs, with anti-LGBT activists claiming that the Girl Scouts’ acceptance of lesbian and bisexual members really means that they are somehow pushing “lesbianism” on children.
Back in 2013, Mission America’s Linda Harvey accused the Scouts of teaching “homosexual lifestyles” to girls, along with “an attitude of suspicion toward males in general.” One right-wing columnist, Jane Chastain of WorldNetDaily, alleged last year that the Scouts not only promote legal “prostitution,” but send children home from camp telling “stories of lesbianism.”
Perhaps no one captures this particular paranoia better than Religious Right radio host Kevin Swanson, who once literally begged his listeners to not purchase Girl Scout cookies.
“I don’t want to support lesbianism, I don’t want to support Planned Parenthood and I don’t want to support abortion, and if that be the case I’m not buying Girl Scout cookies,” Swanson said on his “Generations Radio” program in 2013. “Please, I beg of you, do not buy Girl Scout cookies. Please, I beg of you, stop buying Girl Scout cookies. And if you do, take a big black magic marker and cross out all of the references to Girl Scouts of America on all of the signs and all of the boxes because we do not want to promote that organization.”
Swanson added that Girl Scouts will eventually become voters who will put “a communist in the White House in the year 2020.”
2) Girl Scouts Promote Abortion And ‘Promoscuity’!
Conservatives were incensed when Girl Scouts of the USA tweeted out a Huffington Post article on notable women of 2013, asking Twitter followers who they thought was the ‘woman of the year.’ The article mentioned people like Malala Yousafzai and Beyoncé, but also included a lengthy video chat during which Texas lawmaker Wendy Davis and her famous filibuster against an anti-abortion bill were mentioned. While the Scouts didn’t endorse anyone in the post, conservatives seized on the tweet to resurrect the myth that Girl Scout cookie sales fund Planned Parenthood.
One Family Research Council official, Cathy Ruse, said in 2012 that the “radicals” leading the Girl Scouts seek to “promote abortion” and “push for same-sex marriage,” alleging that Scout leaders believe that “abortion and sex-ed and promiscuity for very young girls is a good thing.”
FRC president Tony Perkins warned on the same 2012 radio program that the people behind the Scouts’ “liberal indoctrination” efforts are “not having kids so they want to make sure they can get our kids.” He said that by encouraging “promiscuity,” future Scouts will need to go to Planned Parenthood clinics: “[I]t makes sense for Planned Parenthood to want to be teamed up with the Girl Scouts because that’s a client base for them if they can get this information into their hands to encourage promiscuity and behavior that would lead them into Planned Parenthood clinics.”
The even group went so far as to target the Girl Scouts in a prayer alert.
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes has also called on his fans to boycott the cookie drives, saying last year that cookie-buyers should seek out more “wholesome alternatives” since “Girl Scout money was helping to fund Planned Parenthood.” American Family Association president Tim Wildmon also called for a cookie boycott last year, saying that “buying Girl Scout cookies serves only to further facilitate a very liberal pro-abortion agenda.”
Dan Gainor of the conservative Media Research Center was boycotting Girl Scout cookies as early as 2012, boasting that his entire office had sworn off the cookies since they were “destroying young women in America.”
3) Girl Scouts Commit ‘Child Abuse’ By Accepting Transgender Girls!
The far-right lit into the Girl Scouts in 2012 after one troop in Colorado decided to accept a 7-year-old transgender girl, citing its chapter’s policy that “if a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”
Perkins urged FRC members to boycott the Scouts since they “decided to admit boys who dress as girls” and Ruse said that the organization’s inclusive policy amounted to child abuse: “You’ve got a cross-dresser in the front office, you’ve got little boys admitted as little girls and those poor little girls in those troops have to pretend this is a girl? That’s child abuse in some people’s estimation.”
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said on his daily radio commentary today that he is offended by President Obama’s plan to tax the top 1 percent of earners to help make tuition-free community college available to students who maintain over a 2.5 GPA, because real Americans “work their way through school” and think it is “shameful to ask for a handout.”
But in “Obama’s America,” according to Starnes, now taxpayers will be funding not just higher education for certain students but also “free condoms and cell phones and medicinal marijuana bongs.”
By now we all know that President Obama wants universal community college: free tuition for every person in America. But I’m having a hard time finding where the Constitution mandates that every American is entitled to an associate’s degree. We are now six years into the Obama presidency and they have a reputation for being less than truthful. Take for example this notion of free community college.
It turns out that free education is going to cost American taxpayers $60 billion over the next decade, and that doesn’t even include all of the free condoms and cell phones and medicinal marijuana bongs. You know, back when I was growing up, college kids were expect to work their way through school, it was considered shameful to ask for a handout. But this is Obama’s America and the entitlement crowd thinks that they are entitled to our money.
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes was riled up during President Obama’s State of the Union, taking to Twitter to call the address “verbal water boarding” and joke that Obama will probably offer “free marijuana” to college students.
Starnes was also very displeased that Obama didn’t mention an Iranian-American pastor, Saeed Abedini, who is in Iranian jail, which Starnes wrote was evidence that Iran’s leaders are Obama’s “Muslim BFFs”:
Obama: :Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran.” Ah yes, where his Muslim BFFs are torturing an American Christian pastor. #sotu— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) January 21, 2015
Rather shocking that there are people following this feed who don’t have a problem with Iran torturing an American Christian pastor.— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) January 21, 2015
Starnes may have missed his own network’s reporting that Obama will be meeting today with Abedini’s wife and children in Boise, Idaho, to discuss the pastor’s imprisonment.
This isn’t the first time Starnes has used the Abedini case to claim that Obama doesn’t care about imprisoned Christians.
The Fox News commentator falsely claimed during a 2013 Values Voter Summit speech that the president had refused to make a phone call to Iran’s president to urge the pastor’s release. “He cannot utter the words ‘Saeed Abedini’ from his lips,” he said of the president.
Just days beforehand, however, Fox News reported that Obama had in fact addressed the jailing of Abedini and other U.S. citizens in the country in a rare phone call with the Iranian president.
UPDATE: It seems Starnes has caught up on the news.
Very glad to hear that POTUS will take time in Idaho to visit with Mrs. Abedini! Pray for Pastor Saeed's release!— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) January 21, 2015
Finally! Obama to meet with Mrs. Abedini! Thank you, Mr. President!— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) January 21, 2015
The decision to fire Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran for violating city employment policies by distributing his self-published book, which included denunciations of homosexuality, to employees has turned into the latest Religious Right persecution story.
Yesterday Erick Erickson of Fox News and RedState compared the LGBT community to the terrorists behind the Charlie Hebdo attack and groups such as the Georgia Baptist Convention, Faith 2 Action and the Faith and Freedom Coalition came out strongly against Atlanta’s mayor.
Fox News commentator Todd Starnes used his daily radio segment today to accuse the gay rights movement of “cultural cleansing” over the incident, suggesting that “Christians need not apply to public sector jobs” in Atlanta.
“Chief Cochran is just the latest victim in the ongoing cultural cleansing of American society,” Starnes said.
Starnes has previously warned of “ethnic cleansing” targeting white students on college campuses and has accused the Obama administration of conducting a “Christian cleansing” in the military when service members were temporarily unable to access a Southern Baptist website after their software filters found malware on the site.
He made a similar cry of “cultural cleansing” on his Facebook page:
It is time for action, friends. We must stand with Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, our brother in the Lord. We must send a resounding message to City Hall and their anti-Christian mayor.
The Georgia Baptist Convention has launched a petition drive. Follow the link to gain access to the petition - along with contact information for City Hall and the mayor's office.
Equal rights for ALL Americans! The cultural cleansing of our nation must stop!
Fox News commentator Todd Starnes is outraged that the recent Newsweek cover story on the Bible poked holes in the many ways right-wing activists use scripture to try and push their political agenda.
Since the Religious Right often frames criticisms of their political and social views as direct assaults on religion and God, it came as no surprise that Starnes told American Family Radio host Kevin McCullough last week that the magazine is actually attacking the Bible.
“They’ve got a 16-page diatribe blasting the Bible and evangelical Christians, it is the most repugnant, repulsive thing I have ever read,” Starnes said. “This is exegesis excrement.”
Starnes wrote in his Fox News column last week that he’s outraged that the magazine “portrays Evangelical Christians as homophobic, right-wing fundamentalist hypocrites” and seems to take joy in “bashing the Baby Jesus and Sarah Palin.”
Over the weekend, Todd Starnes received a message on Facebook from a mother in North Carolina who claimed that the Disney Channel's website had banned the word "God." The website, it seems, had asked people to list what they were thankful for and her daughter had attempted to write that she was thankful for "God, my family, my church and my friends," only to have her message rejected.
So naturally, the mother complained to Starnes about this "discrimination" and Starnes, of course, turned the entire thing into another column about supposed anti-Christian persecution in America:
“We together figured out that the word God was the problem,” Julie said.
Sure enough, when they removed the word “God” from the post – the Disney Channel approved Lilly’s message. And then – Julie contacted me.
So, I gave it a try, too. I tried posting what I was thankful for on the Disney Channel website.
And just like Lilly and Julie, Disney prevented me from posting any message that included the word “God.”
Disney certainly seems to be implying that thanking God is not nice. Well, neither is blocking the Almighty from a website.
Julie said her daughter is a very loving and accepting child who was raised to understand that not everyone believes in God.
“We’ve always told her that inevitably there would come a day when she would be discriminated against for her faith but we never thought Disney would be the source,” she said.
I do wonder what sort of message the Disney Channel is sending when they tell children that mentioning God in public is bad manners.
Predictably, Fox News seized on the story and interviewed the mother and daughter about Disney's blatant hostility toward God, which eventually prompted Disney to issue an exasperated statement, which Starnes has now added to his column, pointing out that it was not bigotry at work, but simple filtering software:
Disney employs word filtering technology to prevent profanity from appearing on our websites. Unfortunately, because so many people attempt to abuse the system and use the word "God" in conjunction with profanity, in an abundance of caution our system is forced to catch and prevent any use of the word on our websites. The company would have been happy to explain our filtering technology to the inquiring family had they contacted us.