Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes Warns Gay Rights Will Lead To 'Cultural Armageddon'

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes is outraged that TV shows these days include “families with two mommies or two daddies or a mommy who identifies as a daddy,” arguing in a Charisma column today that the gay community is largely responsible for the rise of divorce and single parent households.

Starnes interviewed Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, who told him that marriage equality for same-sex couples “is having devastating sociological effects” because “when you counter something, you cheapen its value.”

“The traditional nuclear family is on the verge of disaster,” Starnes writes. “And once the nuclear family explodes, the United States should brace for a cultural Armageddon.”

I grew up in a time when father still knew best—when Mr. Cunningham was dispensing words of wisdom to Fonzie, when Andy took Opie fishing and when Cliff Huxtable declared that he brought his son into the world and he could take him out. It was a time when Hollywood reinforced the values of the traditional American family. Television shows like The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie and The Brady Bunch presented portraits of strong families where parents ruled the roost and children knew their place.

Those days are long gone. Nowadays, children know best and dads are portrayed as dithering dolts. Instead of a mom and dad and two kids, the cul-de-sac includes families with two mommies or two daddies or a mommy who identifies as a daddy—and they’ve been saddled with gender-neutral offspring.



Critics might argue that the nation’s divorce rate is actually declining. But [Robert] Jeffress believes that’s evidence of a much greater problem.

“Fewer and fewer people are getting married, so fewer people are getting divorced,” he says. “The overall health of the American family is in critical condition.”

Jeffress believes the legalization of same-sex marriage has “cheapened” traditional marriage.

“When you counter something, you cheapen its value,” he says. “When you say marriage is whatever you want it to be, people begin wondering—why bother getting married anyway? This counterfeit of marriage is having devastating sociological effects. More kids are being raised in one-parent homes. You simply cannot break God’s most basic moral law without serious ramifications.”

What Can We Do?

The solution is simultaneously simple yet challenging. Simple in that we must return to God’s pattern for the family. God is the one who created the family. Before the church, He created the family—the fundamental unit of community.

Yet re-establishing that unit as God intended it within our culture is easier said than done, obviously, because of the fervent opposition to biblical values.

The warning signs are all around us. The traditional nuclear family is on the verge of disaster. And once the nuclear family explodes, the United States should brace for a cultural Armageddon.

Can we prevent such a catastrophe by returning to God’s design for the family? Like it or not, answering that question begins with the church.

Paranoia-Rama: Satan's Gay Graham Crackers, Obama's 'Illegal Alien Hordes' & 'The Communist States Of America'

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

Every time we think we are tired and bored from hearing the constant complaints from far-right pundits about how President Obama is a communist tyrant, they always seem to find new ways to entertain us. Maybe they will eventually move on to more pressing issues, like Satan’s use of graham crackers to advance homosexuality.

5. Satanic Graham Crackers

Joining other anti-gay activists calling for a boycott of Honey Maid graham crackers because of a TV ad featuring a gay couple, the American Decency Association said this week that the company’s “This Is Wholesome” ad is proof of Satanic deception: “Satan wants us to see sin as normal and not so bad…. Honey Maid and others are putting two moms in a same-sex relationship. They are making two dads to seem normal. Both are wrong; both are unwholesome; both run contrary to the Word of God.”

The group adds:

It’s not a matter of acceptance; it’s a matter of an evil agenda which is being pushed upon America and around the world. Satan continues to attack God’s design and skew it to his own workings. He continues to take words like “wholesome” and “family” and twist them for his own purposes. He takes a symbol of God’s promise (the rainbow) and hijacks it, twisting it to his own design. Satan calls it normal; God calls it sin. We live in a day when “evil” is called “good” and “good” is called “evil.” That which is meant to glorify God (family, the church, etc) is being taken and bent out of shape until it is hardly recognizable.

Honey Maid offered this moving response to their critics:

4. Revolt Against Obama’s ‘Communist States Of America’

Liberty Counsel attorney Matt Barber’s weekly columns are so consistently ridiculous (and unintentionally hilarious) that they seem to be written by a liberal trying to make conservatives look bad. Barber didn’t disappoint with his latest commentary accusing President Obama of bringing communism to America.

“[N]early every adult who, at any time, was in any position of influence over a young, soon-to-be-radicalized Barry Soetoro was an avowed communist,” Barber writes. “To all this I say, if the jackboot fits, wear it. If it quacks like a commie and goose-steps like a commie, then a commie it is.”

He concludes by calling for a revolt against Obama: “We are no longer the United States of America. We have become The Communist States of America. Which means, for those who love liberty, revolution is once again at hand.”

3. Tea Party Group Embraces ‘Sandy Hook Truthers’

The National Liberty Foundation, a Florida-based Tea Party group, is now pushing the latest “Sandy Hook truther” conspiracy that President Obama orchestrated the school shooting in order to justify a crackdown on gun rights: “This my dear friends was all staged… we didn’t believe it at the time, but this is how far your president went to get your guns…. Don’t let anything he does surprise you… He wants to be a dictator, he doesn’t want to get out of the White House and he loves spending your money… Hmmm, I wonder where their off to next?”

The group posted an image of a the razed Sandy Hook elementary, which was demolished after the town voted to tear down the school, to claim that the administration is “destroying the evidence.” The group also advanced the conspiracy theory that the same female actress was photographed at the Sandy Hook, Aurora and Boston Marathon bombing aftermaths.

Raw Story notes that the Tea Party group also “questioned whether Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was hijacked and taken to a ‘secret U.S. military base on a remote island in the Indian Ocean.’”

2. Obama ‘Destabilizing’ America With ‘Hordes Of Dangerous Illegal Aliens’

Fox News has jumped on a misleading Center for Immigration Studies report that dishonestly accuses the Obama administration of releasing “68,000 convicted criminal aliens” last year.

Fox pundit Todd Starnes called the report “indisputable proof that the Obama Administration is destabilizing the nation by allowing hordes of dangerous illegal aliens to invade the country,” telling listeners of his radio bulletin to “be prepared to take whatever measures necessary to protect your family and your home.

This is not a time to be politically correct so here’s the cold hard reality - the United States is being invaded. And the Obama administration has been complicit in the invasion. Instead of repelling the invasion, the Obama administration is welcoming the invaders with open arms and providing them food stamps, driver’s licenses and health insurance.

Now we know how the Ukrainians feel.

It’s beyond frightening to imagine that our own government as unleashed this kind of evil on our streets. And heaven forbid, these illegals harm our wives and children. Should that happen, their blood is on the Obama Administration’s hands.

As Media Matters has documented, Starnes was not the only Fox commentator to use the report to promote anti-immigrant views.

However, Fox News Latino pointed out the serious flaws in the report, which unfortunately will go unnoticed by most Fox viewers.

1. Celebrating Health Insurance Enrollments Proves Obama’s A Dictator

Glenn Beck is so outraged that the “sociopath” President Obama organized a press conference to hail the millions of people who enrolled in health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, that he insisted he is “not going to pay attention” to Obama anymore… but nonetheless went on an epic rant where he criticized the “rat bastards” in the media and attacked Obama as a “full-fledged dictator.”

The Amazing Coincidence Behind Todd Starnes' Latest Christian Victimization Column

Earlier today we wrote a post about a new Religious Right tale of supposed victimization emerging out of Florida involving a young girl who was allegedly told that she was not allowed to pray in the lunchroom before eating her lunch.

The whole thing seemed rather suspect, as these tales usually are, since it emerged from a video posted on YouTube by the girl's parents and was then immediately turned into a column by Todd Starnes, who is notorious for ginning up these sorts of one-sided, fake controversies:

A Florida school district is giving teachers a refresher course on religious liberty after the parents of a five-year-old kindergarten student said a teacher told their daughter that she was not allowed to pray before eating her lunch time meal.

Marcos Perez, of Oviedo, Fla., said the incident occurred earlier this month in the lunch room at Carillon Elementary School.

He said his daughter  was sitting at a table about to eat when she bowed her head and began to pray.

“A teacher saw her and told her, ‘you’re not allowed to do that,’” he said.

Perez said his little girl replied, “But it’s good to pray.” The teacher alleged replied, “It’s not good.”

He said his daughter tried to pray once more but was admonished by the teacher. The child was not formally punished, he said.

“She’s a really good girl and if there are rules, she follows them,” he said. “She knows the biblical values we are raising her with. She was really conflicted but she wanted to submit to the authority.”

Perez said he and his wife were so upset over the incident they sat down with a video camera and had their daughter recount what happened. They posted the video to YouTube. And they also tried to reassure their daughter that she had done nothing wrong.

As we noted this morning, school officials are denying the incident took place, but now that the story is gaining some national attention, local media outlets have begun reporting on it and revealing interesting things ... such as the fact that this young girl's father, Marcos Perez, just so happens to be the Vice President of Sales at the Christian publishing house that is publishing Todd Starnes' next book:

School officials have not interviewed the girl, who has been pulled from kindergarten at Carillon by her parents, who said they intend to home school her.

Her father is vice president of sales at Charisma House, a Lake Mary-based Christian book publisher. The company is currently promoting the book "God Less America: Real Stories from the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values," by Todd Starnes.

Just last month, Charisma House issued a press release that featured none other than Perez promoting Starnes' forthcoming book:

“We are highly anticipating the release of God Less America,” said Marcos Perez, vice president of sales at Charisma House. “From a sales standpoint, we believe this contest will engage our partnering bookstores and add to the momentum that is already building for this book release.”

FOX News commentator Todd Starnes’s highly anticipated book God Less America(FrontLine/Charisma House) uses both recent news stories and compelling interviews with today’s top conservative leaders to bring to light what is happening across our country. In his award-winning, satire-meets-serious writing style he strikes an important blow in today’s culture wars.

What are the chances that one month before Starnes' book, in which he seeks to catalog just how religious liberty is being squashed in America, is released, an incident like this takes place that perfectly exemplifies the very thing that Starnes' book claims to chronicle? 

Even more amazingly, it just happens to involve the daughter of the very man responsible for promoting Starnes' book!

What an amazing coincidence!

The Religious Right's Never-Ending Campaign To Gin Up Tales Of Victimization Rolls On

Last week, a video was posted on YouTube featuring a five year-old girl telling her parents that she was told by a "lunchroom teacher" at Carillon Elementary School in Oviedo, Florida that she was not allowed to pray before eating her lunch.

When the little girl responded that "it's good to pray," she claims that she was told "it's not good" and was prevented from praying.

Naturally, after the video was posted on-line, serial fabricator Todd Starnes picked it up and turned it into a column while the Family Research Council featured the story in its daily email. On top of that, attorneys from the Religious Right legal group Liberty Institute are now representing the parents and will hold a press conference today:

Liberty Institute Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys invites all working media to attend a press availability with Mr. Perez, Tuesday, April 1, at 3:30 PM ET on the sidewalk by the sign outside of Carillon Elementary School, 3200 Lockwood Blvd., Oviedo, FL. 

"Of course, students can pray at school!" said Dys.  "As the Supreme Court held over half a century ago: Students do not 'shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.'  The school is in violation of Department of Education guidelines that specifically protect this type of prayer, and thus could jeopardize its federal funding."

The Perez Family cited this offense to their daughter's religious liberty as the most immediate reason to remove their daughter from the public education system. "Mainly because of this incident, we have exercised our option as parents to teach our daughter at home," said Marcos Perez.  "We live in a very good school district, but we cannot, in good conscience, send our daughter to a school where her religious liberty has been compromised."

All the attention is now generating some local media coverage and, as usually happens in these sorts of cases where Religious Right activists gin up some tale of supposed anti-Christian persecution, school officials are saying the incident never happened:

Michael Lawrence told Local 6 that the principal spoke with staff members in the cafeteria at the time of the incident and said no one recalled having any contact with the child.

"The situation as stated by the parent has not occurred according to the school's investigation," said Michael Lawrence, communications officer for Seminole County Schools. "We're dealing with very young children here so there's quite a bit of an opportunity for miscommunication to occur. The timing and the issues were very odd considering that the first thing that happened was that a video was done, it was on YouTube."

...

Lawrence said the lunchroom is not under video surveillance and the alleged incident was not recorded. Lawrence also added that the school district allows children to pray on campus anytime.

"If a student wishes to pray at lunch to herself we do not have a policy against that," said Lawrence. He said the principal will remind staff members that prayer in school is OK.

...

School board member Amy Lockhart told Local 6 the incident cannot be confirmed.

"However, that being said I would be greatly disturbed to find that any Seminole County Public School student had their individual liberties infringed upon in this manner by one of our staff members," said Lockhart. "The freedom to pray when, where and how one chooses is a foundational freedom of our great nation."

If this seems familiar, that is probably because it sounds a lot like the tale of Raymond Raines, a two decade-old myth about a young boy who had supposedly been sentenced to a week of detention for simply praying before eating his lunch in the cafeteria of an elementary school in St. Louis that Religious Right activists still cite today even though it is totally false.

Update: In a totally unsurprising development, The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the girl's father, Marcos Perez, just so happens to be the VP of sales at the Christian publishing house that is publishing Todd Starnes' forthcoming book:

School officials have not interviewed the girl, who has been pulled from kindergarten at Carillon by her parents, who said they intend to home school her.

Her father is vice president of sales at Charisma House, a Lake Mary-based Christian book publisher. The company is currently promoting the book "God Less America: Real Stories from the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values," by Todd Starnes.

Todd Starnes Suggests God Opposes Obamacare

In a radio bulletin yesterday about today’s Supreme Court hearing on Hobby Lobby’s challenge to Obamacare’s contraception mandate, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes said that the case really presents a choice between Obamacare and God: “Obamacare takes on the Almighty tomorrow at the Supreme Court.”

Starnes said that the contraception mandate will “force” Christians to pay for “life-terminating drugs” and will let “Obamacare trump religious liberty.”

However, as Tiffany Stanely of The Daily Beast notes, “the contraceptives in question” are “not being used to terminate established pregnancies.”

Credit Where Due: Todd Starnes Ends Interview With End Times Fanatic Rick Wiles

Several times over the last few weeks, we have wondered why members of Congress and Religious Right activists continue to appear on the radio program hosted by conspiracy theorist and End Times fanatic Rick Wiles, given that Wiles is a bona fide crackpot and a loose cannon, which is something that Todd Starnes learned first-hand when he appeared on Wiles' program on Friday.

Starnes was on to discuss his recent column about a controversy at the Air Force Academy over cadets posting Bible verses on their dormitory white boards, which brought a complaint from Mikey Weinstein, the director of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Wiles announced that he was fed up with Weinstein and said that he needed to be met by a bunch of special forces commandos in a dark alley and "given an attitude adjustment." To his credit, Starnes took offense at that statement, denounced it, and ended the interview:

Wiles: You know what Mikey Weinstein needs? I'll say this on my radio show, I can get away with it: he really needs to be met in a dark alley by a couple of special forces commandos and given an attitude adjustment. You don't have to comment, Todd; I said it on my program. I'm fed up with that guy.

Starnes: I have to really incredibly object to that.

Wiles: I'm fed up with the guy. I'm fed up with the guy.

Starnes: Well, that may be the case but this is a free country and individuals are allowed to voice their opinions of whether or not they agree or disagree and they should be able to do so without any threat of violence or force ...

Wiles: Okay, but he doesn't just express his opinions ...

Starnes: It doesn't matter ...

Wiles: He's pursuing Christians. He is on a war against Christianity.

Starnes: Well, that is certainly his right. The issue here is not Mr. Weinstein and, again, we should live in a country where people can express their views without any threat of violence. The issue here is the Air Force Academy and this idea that they kowtow to ever single telephone call they receive from him.

Wiles: That's the point I'm making.

Starnes: And I do apologize, but I do have to end this interview. Again, we just strongly object to that comment you made, sir.

Wiles: I didn't mean to offend you, Todd. I'm just saying I think many Americans are just plain fed-up with this guy.

Starnes: Well, I'm sure they are and again, but we do have to end this interview. Thank you very much.

Wiles: Okay Todd, thank you. Good bye. Well, I tried to five years to get Todd Starnes on TruNews. I finally got him and he hung on me after five minutes.

After Starnes hung up, Wiles spent the remainder of the segment defending his comment and saying that he was sick of feckless Christians like Starnes who are more concerned about protecting their careers than they are with standing up to the "fat-mouthed atheists" and "Jesus-hating bigots" who are operating "under the spirit of Antichrist":

Republican Congressman Threatens Civil Disobedience On Romeike Case

The Home School Legal Defense Association announced today that the Romeike family, the German homeschoolers who lost their petition to have asylum in the US, will be granted “indefinite deferred status” by the Department of Homeland Security.

While Religious Right activists like HSLDA head Michael Farris blamed President Obama personally for the Board of Immigration Appeals decision not to grant the Romeikes asylum status, we aren’t holding our breaths for them to thank the Obama administration for the DHS’ decision.

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, for one, is still milking the case for all it’s worth.

The Fox pundit today published an interview with Republican congressman Phil Roe, who told Starnes that it may take “civil disobedience” to prevent the Romeikes from facing deportation. Roe added that he blames Attorney General Eric Holder for the initial Board of Immigration Appeals decision, calling Holder “one of the most dangerous people in the country.” The congressman also described the Obama administration’s stance as un-American.

Roe, ironically, is a vocal opponent of immigration reform and the DREAM Act.

Farris, for his part, told Starnes that Tennesseans will organize like Rosa Parks to defend Romeike family, and one Republican state lawmaker called the case an “attack” on “Christian values.”

Southern Baptist Convention spokesman Roger Oldham added that the Romeikes are only facing legal problems because “this family is the antithesis of this administration’s political agenda – a heterosexual married Christian couple desiring to teach their biblical values to well-grounded children.”

Christians in an east Tennessee community are vowing to engage in civil disobedience if the Obama administration initiates deportation proceedings against a Southern Baptist family from Germany who sought asylum in the United States so that they could home school their children.

“It may require civil disobedience with this bunch,” said Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), who represents the congressional district where the Romeike family lives.

“I am furious about this,” the congressman told me. “You’ve got law-abiding people who did everything right who simply want to home school their kids. We used to be that great shining city on a hill. There’s some rust on that city if we are doing free people this way.



Rep. Roe told me the Justice Department needs to “butt out.”

“I don’t know what the Germans are thinking, but we’re not Germany,” he said. “I don’t want to be Germany. I don’t want to be Europe. I want to be America. And right now we’re not acting very much like the America I know with the administration we have.”

Roe called Attorney General Eric Holder “one of the most dangerous people in the country” and called his department’s assault on the Romeike family “appalling and worrisome.”



“The Romeikes have become a part of our family,” said Dean Haun, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Morristown, where the family attends. “I don’t think there’s any question that there will be some people who will be willing to stand with them to the very end – even if it means our imprisonment.”

The Southern Baptist pastor said should that day come, he would be counted among the local residents willing to go to jail to save the family from deportation. “If that’s what it took, yes,” the pastor said. “This is an assault in the face of Christianity in America.”



Roger "Sing" Oldham, a spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, told me he was deep distressed by the Obama administration’s actions.

“I’m not sure what’s more chilling – that this administration views their presence in rural east Tennessee as a threat to our nation’s economic and political well being or that this administration lobbied to deport this family to a nation determined to coercively indoctrinate the children in government sanctioned ‘tolerance’ training,” Oldham said.

Oldham said the case is simply perplexing.

“This family is the antithesis of this administration’s political agenda – a heterosexual married Christian couple desiring to teach their biblical values to well-grounded children,” he said. “For whatever reason, our government does not want them in our nation.”

State Rep. Tillman Goins told me the community is “up in arms.”

“Everybody in Morristown knows the Romeike family,” he said. “You have a family who is doing it the legal way, taking every legal step they can to ask to come to this country and to participate as citizens in this country – only to be persecuted by the United States.”

Goins introduced a resolution calling on Tennessee’s congressional delegation to defend the family.

“I don’t know if all religious liberty is under attack in this country,” he said. “It seems like Christian values are under attack more than any other religion.”

Should the day come when the immigration agents show up to take the family away, Goins said he would meet them at the front door.

“Let’s hope that it doesn’t get to that point,” he said. “(But) should it come down to it – absolutely.”



Farris predicted that if the Romeikes are deported, it would spark a movement among religious liberty supporters.

“If they come for this family, it’s going to ignite a movement that’s going to be the same as when they told courageous Rosa Parks to go to the back of the bus and she wouldn’t go,” Farris said.

“I think we may be approaching a similar moment in our country.”

Farris: Obama Wants To 'Crush Religious Freedom,' Would Have Deported The Pilgrims

UPDATE: After trashing the Obama administration, Farris announced today that "a Supervisor with the Department of Homeland Security called a member of our legal team to inform us that the Romeike family has been granted 'indefinite deferred status.'"

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes is furious that the Romeike family, a family that left Germany for Tennessee over disagreements with German homeschooling laws, has lost its petition for asylum. And of course, Starnes and Michael Farris, who has been representing the Romeike family, blame President Obama.

The Supreme Court yesterday denied an appeal by the Romeikes of a Board of Immigration Appeals ruling that found that they are not eligible for asylum.

The Sixth Circuit ruled against the Romeike’s petition last year, with Judge Jeffrey Sutton — a George W. Bush appointee — finding that “the German authorities have not singled out the Romeikes in particular or homeschoolers in general for persecution.” Conservative legal commentator Eugene Volokh notes that a ruling in favor of the Romeike family would effectively give asylum to anyone who disagreed with their home countries’ laws.

But Farris isn’t having any of it, claiming that the Obama administration seeks “to crush religious freedom” and would have deported the pilgrims: “Had this administration been waiting at Plymouth Rock, they would’ve told the Pilgrims to go back home.”

Starnes, meanwhile, seems to think that undocumented immigrants in America, unlike the Romeike clan, do not want legal status in the US: “There are nearly 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. You’d think the Obama administration could find a place [sic] eight immigrants who want to live here legally.”

“I think this is a part of the Obama administration’s overall campaign to crush religious freedom in this country,” said Michael Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. His organization is representing family.

“The Obama administration’s attitude toward religious freedom, particularly religious freedom for Christians is shocking,” he told me in an exclusive telephone interview. “I have little doubt that if this family had been of some other faith that the decision would have never been appealed in the first place. They would have let this family stay.”

Had the family stayed in Germany, where homeschooling is illegal, they would have faced the prospect of losing their children. Like the Pilgrims, they fled their homeland yearning for a place where they could be free.

Farris said the religious bias perpetrated by the Obama administration is “palpable.”

“It’s a denial of the essence of America,” he said. “The Pilgrims left England to go to Holland to seek religious freedom. They came here to seek religious freedom and parental rights for their children. Had this administration been waiting at Plymouth Rock, they would’ve told the Pilgrims to go back home.”

There are nearly 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. You’d think the Obama administration could find a place eight immigrants who want to live here legally.

Farris said the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case sends a chilling message to Americans who currently home school their children.

“This administration thinks it’s a privilege to home school – not a right,” he told me. “We’d better buckle down and be ready to fight them every step of the way.”



Please, Mr. President, have mercy on this Christian family. They came to our shores longing to be free. They left their homeland to escape religious persecution. Please, sir. Welcome them to our land with open arms. Bestow upon them a small measure of grace so they might be able to raise their children in the land of the free, the home of the brave.

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/26/14

  • A federal judge has declared Texas' ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.
  • Craig James, with the help of Liberty Institute, is suing Fox Sports for supposedly firing him for anti-gay statements that he made.
  • In a move that will surprise nobody, "Coach" Dave Daubenmire claims that he has been the victim of character assassination.
  • The National Organization for Marriage has endorsed the Coalition of African American Pastors call for the impeachment of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, which is not surprising since CAAP is basically a NOM front group.
  • A new "feature-length documentary revealing the truth about the cover-ups and the abuses of power at the Internal Revenue Service ... features interviews with Mike Huckabee, Glenn Beck, Ted Cruz, Michele Bachmann, David Barton, Grover Norquist, Louie Gohmert, John Linder, Carla Howell, Brian Brown and many more."
  • Finally, try not to laugh: Todd Starnes has receive the NRB Board of Directors Award, which "honors a Christian who demonstrates integrity, displays creativity, and makes a significant impact on society."

Starnes: Government Will Attempt To Criminalize The Bible 'Within Our Lifetime'

In was on Bryan Fischer's radio show last week where we first heard the absurd right-wing theory that the FCC was planning on stationing agents in newsrooms all over the country in order to "monitor" what sort of stories they ran. The entire thing turned out to be total nonsense, but the Right threw such a collective fit that the FCC pulled the plug on the study.

So naturally Fischer invited serial fabricator Todd Starnes on to his program today to talk about the issue. During the discussion, Fischer asked Starnes if he agreed with his conspiracy theory that the FCC will eventually start shutting down anti-gay radio programs and Starnes conceded that that was a very real possibility, adding his own prediction that the government will actually attempt to outlaw the Bible.

Since the opposition to homosexuality is rooted in the Bible, Starnes said that he suspects that "we are going to see, within our lifetime, an attempt to outlaw or criminalize parts of the Bible or even perhaps pulling out parts of the Bible that have to deal with those issues":

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/21/14

  • The FCC has pulled the plug on its press study after the right-wing ginned up a completely bogus freak-out over it.
  • Phil Burress says there is no way that Hillary Clinton will be elected president: "I just cannot see her being the next president of the United States knowing what we know about her."
  • "Coach" Dave Daubenmire asks "Is the Bible the New Porn?"
  • Phyllis Schlafly complains that gay rights are now trumping the First Amendment.
  • Finally, Todd Starnes can't even make it through a two minute book promo without lying, twice falsely claiming that Dan Savage is President Obama's "anti-bullying czar":

Anti-Boycott Crusader Todd Starnes Endorses Girl Scout Cookies Boycott

During the controversy over Chick-fil-A’s stance on gay rights issues, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said that people boycotting the restaurant chain are “un-American” and warned that “the days of persecution are upon us.”

But apparently boycotts aren’t “un-American” as long as Starnes supports them, as today he endorsed the Religious Right boycott of the Girl Scouts over bogus accusations that Girl Scout cookies fund Planned Parenthood:

The Girl Scouts make a great thin mint – but I’ve decided not to buy their cookies this year.

Pro-life groups around the nation have launched a boycott of their cookies because of the organization’s alleged ties to Planned Parenthood.



Lila Rose, the president of Live Action, is one of the nation’s leading pro-life voices. She urged parents to consider healthy, wholesome alternatives.

“No little girl – or her parents – should have anything to do with an organization that kills over 330,000 pre-born children a year, covers up sexual abuse, advocates for infanticide, and builds its entire business model on harming women,” Rose said in a prepared statement.

So that’s why I’ve decided to forego their peanut butter patties this year. If I knew that a single penny of Girl Scout money was helping to fund Planned Parenthood — Well – I’d just lose my cookies.

Todd Starnes Cites Martin Luther King Jr. To Attack Obama Over Minority Jobs Program

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes is upset that President Obama is working to reduce joblessness among people of color, who for decades have experienced a higher unemployment rate than whites.

Naturally, Starnes cites Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to suggest that the late civil rights leader would criticize the program as racist against white people.

I applaud the president’s initiative – but what about the young, white man looking for a job?

Where are the special programs designed to help him get a leg up in the world? Where are the mentoring and interning opportunities for white kids from impoverished neighborhoods?

The Rev. Martin Luther King Junior once had a dream that his children would one day live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Let’s hope in the future that President Obama applies that same standard when it comes time to helping all young men find jobs.

Or better yet – why not just hire the best person for the job – regardless of their skin color?

Perhaps Starnes should actually read some of Dr. King’s work, as he will find out that King supported a full employment economy and backed policies specifically addressing the black community:

We call our demonstration a campaign for jobs and income because we feel that the economic question is the most crucial that black people and poor people generally are confronting. There is a literal depression in the Negro community. When you have mass unemployment in the Negro community, it’s called a social problem; when you have mass unemployment in the white community, it’s called a depression. The fact is, there is a major depression in the Negro community. The unemployment rate is extremely high, and among Negro youth, it goes up as high as forty percent in some cities.

We need an economic bill of rights. This would guarantee a job to all people who want to work and are able to work. It would also guarantee an income for all who are not able to work. Some people are too young, some are too old, some are physically disabled, and yet in order to live, they need income . . . It would mean creating public-service jobs, and that could be done in a few weeks. A program that would really deal with jobs could minimize ---I don’t say stop---the number of riots that could take place this summer. Our whole campaign, therefore, will center on the job question, with other demands, like housing, that are closely tied to it. Much more building of housing for low-income people should be done. . .

King also claimed that the anti-black racism is heavily ingrained in the US economy:

Depressed living standards for Negroes are not simply the consequence of neglect. Nor can they be explained by the myth of the Negro’s innate incapacities, or by more sophisticated rationalization of his acquired infirmities (family disorganization, poor education, etc.). They are a structural part of the economic system in the United States. Certain industries are based on a supply of low-paid, under-skilled and immobile nonwhite labor.

Starnes might also want to know that King advocated black solidarity in pursuing social and economic change.

The economic highway to power has few entry lanes for Negroes. Nothing so vividly reveals the crushing impact of discrimination and the heritage of exclusion as the limited dimensions of Negro business in the most powerful economy in the world.



We have many assets to facilitate organization. Negroes are almost instinctively cohesive. We band together readily, and against white hostility we have an intense and wholesome loyalty to each other. We are acutely conscious of the need, and sharply sensitive to the importance, of defending our own. Solidarity is a reality in Negro life, as it always has been among the oppressed.

But all of this will probably fall on deaf ears since it might get in the way of Starnes’ efforts to level attacks on Obama and distort King’s actual beliefs.

Another School District Forced To Clarify Todd Starnes' Misinformation

Yesterday, Todd Starnes published a new column in which he asserted that students at a Colorado high school had been banned from celebrating America:

Students and parents at a Colorado high school are outraged after administrators turned down their request for a spirit week day honoring America because it might offend non-Americans.

“They said they didn’t want to offend anyone from other countries or immigrants,” a 16-year-old member of the student council told me. “They just really did not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.”

The student council at Fort Collins High School had proposed having a day to celebrate the United States during next week’s Winter Spirit Week. The young people pitched “’Merica Monday” – and invited their classmates to dress in patriotic colors. Their proposal was promptly shot down by administrators.

As we noted last week, when it comes to anything written by Starnes, it is always wise to wait until the people being vilified in his column have had a chance to weigh in and explain their side of the story because it is usually quite different than the version presented by Starnes. 

And his latest column was no exception, as the school district became the focus on protests today and was forced to issue a statement asserting that Starnes' column "could not be further from the truth" and explaining that the suggested spirit day name was rejected because school officials felt the slag use of the word "'Merica" was disrespectful:

We regret that the recent decision regarding My Country Monday was viewed as not patriotic. This could not be further from the truth. The original intent of Spirit Week at Fort Collins High School was to unify the student body.

When students first proposed Merica Monday, building administrators felt that it was against this unifying theme and disrespectful to our country. Merica is a slang term that is often used in a negative, stereotypical way to describe life in the United States. This is what led administrators to discuss alternatives with students.

We were surprised that our community interpreted these actions as anti-American. Fort Collins High School is a proud public school in America and supports many activities to celebrate this great nation. Due to this outpouring of sentiment and misinterpretation of intentions, school administrators have decided to rename the first day of Spirit Week America Day as opposed to Merica Day.

We look forward to enjoying the creativity and energy of FCHS students as they celebrate their patriotism next week.

This is just one more example of Starnes' dedication to providing "the most accurate information possible":

Another Religious Right Tale Of Anti-Christian Victimization Gets Thoroughly Debunked

We have seen it happen time and again: some right-wing group issues a one-sided press release about a student supposedly being unfairly discriminated against in school simply for exercising their Christian faith and the entire Religious Right movement immediately flies into an outrage, spreading the story far and wide as undisputed truth. Then days or weeks later, the real story emerges once school officials are given an opportunity to investigate and explain what really happened and it inevitably reveals that the Religious Right version was completely false, by which point it is already too late because the fake version has already been accepted as gospel and just continues to spread forever.

The most recent example is the story of six-year old Brynn Williams, who was supposedly told that she was not allowed to deliver a presentation on her family's Christmas tradition because she brought the star that her family places atop its Christmas tree, which represents the Star of Bethlehem.

Serial fabricator Todd Starnes was among the first to blindly promote the story:

Brynn Williams decided to bring the Star of Bethlehem that adorned the top of her family’s Christmas tree. She also worked on a one minute presentation to explain that her family’s tradition is to remember the birth of Jesus at Christmas time.

“Our Christmas tradition is to put a star on top of our tree,” the little girl said. “The star is named the Star of Bethlehem. The three kings followed the star to find baby Jesus, the Savior of the world.”

Before the child could utter another word, the teacher intervened, according to Robert Tyler, the general counsel for Advocates for Faith & Freedom – the law firm representing the Williams family.

“Brynn’s teacher said, ‘Stop right there! Go take your seat,’” Tyler said. “Bryn was not allowed to finish her presentation by reciting the Bible verse, John 3:16.”

Tyler said the little girl was the only student in the class not allowed to finish her presentation.

“After Brynn took her seat, the teacher explained to Brynn in front of all the other students that she was not allowed to talk about the Bible or share its verses,” Tyler said.

The story was quickly picked up by just about every Religious Right news outlet and reported as truth, but now the school involved, which "withheld comment until district officials could finish an investigation into the matter," has released a statement from the teacher and school officials which completely debunks the Religious Right's version of the story.

The teacher, Tammy Williams, explained what really happened:

On Thursday, December 19th my class was getting our classroom ready for our holiday party that was to occur the next morning. We took longer than normal putting things away to ensure that the desks were clean and book boxes were put away so that tables could be used for our centers. This was normally something we did on Fridays. Because of this, we were running behind and I still had six students who needed to do their sharing. I had a very limited amount of time and needed to make sure all students had time to share. Now remember, this is sharing. They were not oral reports. Students were asked to share a family tradition. It could be anything, not just a Christmas tradition. During sharing, I work with students on looking at the audience and using clear voices. We also work on listening skills and asking questions.

This student was not the last student to present as had been reported. I still had a couple of students after her (which was the Student of the Day and the Student of the Week). When she started her share, she pulled out her golden star that I held for her as she pulled out her prepared speech
written by one of her parents. This was unusual because rarely does a student have a prepared statement to read. As I held the star, the student began to read her statement. I helped her with a few words that she was having trouble with. I decided that I would have the student stop after sharing about Mary and Joseph. I felt that it would take too long and I still needed her to take her question and I had a few clarifying questions for her as well. At this point, I simply said the following, “Ok, stop here and you get one question.” She simply put her paper down and picked a student who asked her a question. I also asked her, “Who puts the star on the tree? Do you take turns?” I even suggested that her dad could lift her up to let her put it on the tree. After that, she put her star away and sat with the class while we finished with the other students. I monitor all students this way. She at no time complained or acted sad. She was as happy as always.

I want to be very clear about the following.

At no time did I ever tell the student that she could not read the bottom section because it was a Bible verse nor did she ask if she could finish. I never told her to “Stop right there!” or “Go take your seat!” or reprimand her in front of the class for sharing from the Bible. It just did not happen. This subject matter was never discussed. I decided to stop her at that point so the other students would get their share in before the bell rang. My students have always been free to share their ideas.

What saddens me is that this story was twisted into lies and brought to the media. I have never sat down and discussed this directly with the family or the student. I am instead being used to push an agenda for the Advocates for Faith and Freedom.

The school's principal, Ami Paradise, likewise released a statement declaring that the claims of anti-Christian bigotry made by Advocates of Faith and Freedom were entirely bogus:

Over the past week, I have received countless phone calls and 126 mean-spirited emails from across the country as a result of the claims that the Advocates of Faith and Freedom have made against one of my teachers, the school district, and myself.  These claims are simply not true.

When I met with the parent on December 20, 2013, she shared that she and her husband were upset that their child was unable to finish her presentation and that they thought it was because it contained a Bible verse. There were absolutely no claims of humiliation or bullying by the classroom teacher. No claims that their child was told to take her seat or that she could not talk about the Bible. These claims have been made in the midst of a media spotlight in order to sensationalize a story. The truth is, there were other students left to present before the end of the day, and there was just not enough time. 

Furthermore, when I met with this parent I never told her that her child may not share her beliefs aloud to other students nor did I try to stifle her freedom of speech in any way. I told the parent that I would follow up with the classroom teacher, and I sent her the results of my findings along with the copy of the board policy regarding religion on December 24th, 2013. I have not heard from her since. Not once to tell me that she did not agree with my findings, not once to ask for a classroom change for her child. In fact, with the exception of today, this student has attended school every day since this incident, in the same exact classroom where this alleged incident occurred.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not address the classroom teacher in the center of this controversy-- Mrs. Tammy Williams.  Mrs. Tammy Williams is one of the finest educators I have ever worked with. She is an AMAZING first grade teacher, taught my own son last year, and I would not hesitate to put my younger son in her class. She does not deserve the harassment or bullying that she has received, the questioning of her professional skills or judgment, or the claims that she harmed this child in any way. 

I stand behind Mrs. Tammy Williams 110% and find it extremely unfortunate that the Advocates for Faith and Freedom have irrevocably caused damage to her good name. The days will pass and this story will not be at the top of the news for long, but the damage that it has done to the good names of Helen Hunt Jackson Elementary School, Mrs. Tammy Williams, and myself will be difficult to repair.

We literally cannot even count the number of times we have seen this exact scenario play out over the years as Religious Right groups gin up an entirely fake controversy in order to play the victim, which then spreads far and wide before officials have even had an opportunity to comment. And we will undoubtedly continue to see it happen again and again so long as people like Starnes and others in the Religious Right grievance machine feel justified in pushing blatantly false stories because doing so helps them advance their agenda.

Conservatives Lash Out At 'Sick,' 'Despicable' & 'Disgusting' Grammy Awards

Anti-gay commentators were none too pleased with last night’s performance of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” at the Grammy Awards, which included a ceremony where thirty-four couples — including same-sex couples — were married. Unsurprisingly, many claimed that the show was evil and mean to anti-gay activists.

Here are five of the angriest anti-gay reactions to last night’s show:

5. Grammys Make Me Want To Vomit, Send Us To Hell

Conservative commentator Erik Rush admitted he didn’t actually watch the Grammy Awards last night, but still observed that the “Same Love” performance “makes you want to vomit.”

Rush said the performance was led by “a disgusting pack of subverts” who want America “shepherded down the path to Hell.”

4. Boycott Grammy Sponsors

Serial hoaxer/right-wing activist Jim Garrow insisted the people involved with the Grammys must repent for turning the event into “an excuse for some to dress up and celebrate their own perversity.”

Garrow also called on his Facebook followers to boycott companies that sponsored the Grammy’s, but didn’t name names: “Pick your sponsor and boycott them. It is the only language that they understand and will bow to. Profit.”

3. Grammys Are ‘Sick’

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes lashed out at the “sick” Grammy Awards on Twitter, accusing the event of “mocking marriage” and “cramming a social agenda down our throats.” “This was not about marriage,” he wrote. “This was about bashing god and the church.”

A very-non-self-aware Starnes said he found the performance “bigoted,” of course.

2. Rush Limbaugh Sad

Rush Limbaugh insists that no one watches the “horrible” and “despicable” Grammy Awards anyway…but he is still really, really upset about it: “Nobody watches, but because they have not strayed from the liberal path, they are still loved and adored and praised.”

1. Gays Run The World

Texas-based radio host Lynn Woolley reacted to the awards show in a post titled Gay Agenda takes over Grammys, writing that the “celebration of perversity” proves that “homosexuals have taken over the country.” Woolley added that he thinks being gay is just a fad: “I’ll bet it fades out with time as more and more men realize that women are pretty dang special.”

I don’t know these people, but — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” gay anthem became the theme song for 33 newlyweds with Queen Latifah officiating the marriages. As the network, CBS was complicit in this celebration of perversity. WOULD SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME WHERE THIS COUNTY GOES FROM HERE? Homosexuals have taken over the country and I’m just curious to see what they do next. I guess they want a gay president. Maybe a gay Pope. (!)

I dunno. I didn’t see the gay stuff, but I got bored quickly by the crap that now passes as music and I decided to pop in a disk and watch an episode of THE MENTALIST. I love The Mentalist as it is all about logic. The Grammy Awards were all about perversion. So what can we do?

I suppose that a few years from now, same sex “marriage” will be as common as divorce is now. I’ll bet it fades out with time as more and more men realize that women are pretty dang special. I guess we’ll see. I wonder what Patrick Jane would say?

Right Wing Leftovers - 1/7/14

  • For $25, you can get a signed copy of Todd Starnes' forthcoming book, "God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values."
  • Speaking of Starnes, he doesn't seem to be available for comment in response to allegations that he is a liar.
  • We have no idea what this means: "I was saying it before the 2010 off-year elections, and I’ve been saying it since same. The ability to stop the transmogrification of our great nation into a socialist state where we are lorded over by Fabianistic, Neo-Leninist Mensheviks who are the equivalent of toxic pathogens intent on subjugating the minds and behavior of our populace lies with We the People."
  • Bryan Fischer thinks that a soldier suffering from PTSD might be the victim of demonic attacks sent out by a satanic coven.
  • The Freepers are turning on Glenn Beck.
  • Finally, the Government Is Not God PAC is not happy that the Obama administration cares about gay rights: "The Obama Administration seems determined to use its foreign policy influence to accomplish two objectives: Make the world safe for Islam and for sodomy, homosexuals, bisexuals, cross-dressers, transsexuals, drag queens and she-males. Is this really the purpose of American foreign policy?"

Terrible Fox News Correspondent Todd Starnes Is Still Terrible

Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes is just waiting for Bill de Blasio to go after him for loving God and America, which is now a crime in Comrade de Blasio’s New York.

This sort of anti-government paranoia is at the center of Starnes’s shtick and was in high-gear during the Fox News-trumped up War on Christmas.

And now Alan Noble of the Patheos blog Christ and Pop Culture is fed up with Starnes deliberately misleading readers about supposed attacks on Christmas and wrote a devastating piece exposing Starne's campaign of misinformation.

On Christmas, Starnes filed a report claiming that a VA hospital in Dallas, Texas, had rejected Christmas cards because they had a religious message, including the VA’s statement:

In order to be respectful of our veterans' religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.

But as Noble points out, Starnes removed key language from the statement — which notes that cards with religious messages will be distributed by the Chaplaincy Service —to make it appear as if the cards were banned:

In order to be respectful of our Veterans religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by Chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. After the review is complete, the holiday cards that reference religious and/or secular tones are then distributed by Chaplaincy Service on a one-on-one basis if the patient agrees to the religious reference in the holiday card donation. The holiday cards that do not contain religious and/or secular tones are distributed freely to patients across the Health Care System. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.

In another War on Christmas story, Starnes said that a group of high school carolers visiting a VA hospital in Augusta, Georgia were “banned from singing any religious themed-Christmas carols to patients.” But in reality, the hospital administrators actually offered the carolers “the option of performing in a private chapel or day room” if they wished to sing religious songs, but Starnes omitted that key detail from the story. Noble adds:

That’s the thing about sensationalism and exaggeration: it hurts real efforts to address real issues. But in this case, there’s more at risk. Starnes’ lies should remind us that for many people and companies, Christians are a market demographic. They know our fears, our values, and our desires.

Starnes sells us what we want to hear. We want to believe that we are the underdog. And Starnes sells us that story, wrapped in language of patriotism and faith. For our own good, we need to reject and denounce hucksters like Starnes. For our own wisdom, for the witness of the Church, and simply because lying is wrong. Starnes should not have a job as a journalist, but more importantly, we should not support him by sharing and promoting his deceptions.

But it doesn’t end there.

In a piece entitled, “Georgia School Confiscates Christmas Cards,” Starnes accused an elementary school of “Christmas card censorship” that “cracks down on religious expression in their schools.”

He encouraged readers to “let school officials have a piece of their mind” and quoted one resident of engaging in an “attack on Christianity.”

He eventually updated the post with a denial from the school, but even his update left out the school’s statement which completely discredits Starnes’s reporting.

Unfortunately, today the school was terrorized by an intentional and vicious dissemination of untrue information that disrupted the good work going on inside. Fox News Radio Commentary Host Todd Starnes, acting on misinformation that neither he, nor his media outlet corroborated with the school system or [Principal Marlin] Baker, misreported a story about student Christmas Cards being removed from the school. Baker did not receive any questions from the local community either.

The cards in question were not student Christmas cards, nor were they a student project or tradition. The cards are the personal family Christmas cards that faculty members share with one another. They are the personal cards from their homes that they would send to family and friends.

It has been a faculty tradition to post the cards on a small display board made of two pieces of red and green poster paper. The display in the past was posted in hallway outside the office workroom.

This year, due to a legitimate, personal privacy concern raised by one of the school's staff members, Baker moved the display to the opposite wall inside the office work room so that the staff member could still participate in the tradition. Baker wanted to respect the staff member's privacy and that of his/her children depicted in the Christmas card.

But filing false report after false report won’t stop Starnes from being a favorite among Religious Right commentators or impact his job at Fox News.

And it most certainly won’t stop Starnes from telling his audience, as he did at the Watchmen on the Wall summit for pastors, that “you can read my stories and you can be assured that I am sharing with you accurate information.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/19/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/18/13

Luke Brinker @ Equality Matters: Radio Host Janet Mefferd Applauds Jamaica's Anti-Homosexuality Law. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: ‘Openly hostile to American values.’
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