Todd Starnes

Rios Warns LGBT Rights Movement Is Transforming America into Soviet Russia

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association hosted Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes today where they discussed a brochure [PDF] from the group DOJPride, a group representing LGBT employees at the Department of Justice, which they said was a sign that the U.S. is turning into the Soviet Union.

The brochure was simply a list of tips on creating an LGBT-inclusive work environment and has no enforcement provisions, but those plain facts didn’t stop Starns from arguing that the DOJ now “require[s] managers to post a symbol, an emblem, showing that they are pro-gay in their office.”

“This makes it clear that it’s not enough to give so-called equality, any objections must be eradicated and this is our future if we allow this to continue,” Rios warned, while Starnes called the brochure “un-American.”

Rios even claimed the LGBT rights movement is transforming America into the USSR: “When I was a girl the Soviet Union was such a great threat to the world, the spread of Communism, and those of us that remember that era we have not forgotten, we just never thought it would happen in our country. I’ve had callers to the radio show who grew up in the Soviet Bloc countries, I’ve had them call weeping to see what’s happening to our loss of freedoms.”

Starnes: 'You Can Be Assured That I Am Sharing With You Accurate Information'

Last week, the Family Research Council hosted its annual Watchmen on the Wall conference and among the speakers was the Religious Right's favorite "journalist," Todd Starnes of Fox News.

Starnes' entire career appears to be built around presenting one-sided culture war stories designed to fire up the conservative base, so it was hilarious to hear him declare that he prides himself on his accuracy, assuring his audience that when they read his stories, they are "getting the most accurate information possible":

You mean like the time he reported that a high school runner was disqualified for thanking God, which turned out to be totally false?

Or his report that the military was blocking the Southern Baptist Convention's website as an act of hostility toward Christianity, which was likewise entirely wrong?

What about the time he claimed that "roving gangs of thugs" had taken over New York City in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy or when he falsely claimed that the Obama administration had not called for the release of Rev. Saeed Abedini from Iran?

Or how about his false report that two female middle school students were forced to ask one another for a kiss during an anti-bullying presentation?

And who can forget his article alleging that the military was going to court-martial soldiers for sharing their faith, which was entirely untrue?

Is that what Starnes meant when he said "you can read my stories and you can be assured that I am sharing with you accurate information"?

Because, ironically, that is not true.

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/13/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/8/13

Rick Perry, Fox News and Religious Right Activists Jump on Fabricated Case of Christian Persecution

Todd Starnes of Fox News has dedicated himself to finding cases of Christians facing persecution. Starnes recently reported that the military is deliberately blocking access to a Baptist website and may court-martial Christian soldiers, and alleged that a school in New York is forcing girls to kiss one another. However, these three incidents were all completely false.

On Sunday, Starnes filed another report on how a high school track team in Texas “was disqualified from competing in the state championships because one of the runners made a gesture thanking God after he crossed the finish line.”

“Derrick Hayes, the anchor of the Columbus High School 4×100 relay team had just crossed the finish line when he raised his finger to the sky,” Starnes writes, “thanking the Lord for winning the race that would send them to the state finals.

His article was based on the claims of the athlete’s father, and other outlets picked up the story as well.

Gov. Rick Perry wrote a letter to the University Interscholastic League demanding an investigation:

According to press reports, the student's father, K.C. Hayes, has been widely quoted as saying the student was pointing to the heavens to thank God.

In his letter, Perry said he would “not tolerate the suppression of religious freedom anywhere.”

“It is unconscionable that a student athlete could be punished for an expression of religious faith or that an act of faith could disqualify an athlete in a UIL competition,” Perry said.

He urged the UIL to “investigate this incident thoroughly and take whatever action is necessary to ensure protection of religious freedom and expression at UIL competitions.”

As the Texas Freedom Network has pointed out, Religious Right groups such as the Liberty Institute and Liberty Counsel both jumped on the story, as did Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Attorney General Greg Abbott.

But much like the student who was supposedly given detention for praying in school when he was actually disciplined for fighting, the Texas athlete wasn’t waving his finger to thank God and he wasn’t even disqualified for the gesture he made at the finish line.

The student was actually disqualified for inappropriate behavior towards the referee, and he and his dad now admit that the incident had nothing to do with religious expression.

According to the UIL press release:

Over the course of the investigation, the UIL interviewed several eyewitnesses and reviewed video of the race. Additionally, the UIL spoke to the involved parties. The UIL has concluded the investigation and has found no evidence to suggest that the disqualification took place as a result of the student-athlete expressing religious beliefs. The basis for the disqualification was due to the student-athlete behaving disrespectfully, in the opinion of the local meet referee.

Based on the UIL’s investigation, the student athlete raised his hand and gestured forward at the conclusion of the 4x100-meter relay. The meet official approached the student-athlete in an effort to warn him of a possible disqualification should that behavior continue. In the opinion of the official, the student reacted disrespectfully. Based on his reaction, the student-athlete was subsequently disqualified. Any decision to disqualify a student-athlete at any track meet must be upheld by the head meet referee. The meet official and the meet referee conferred, and the disqualification was upheld on-site. At no point during the discussions surrounding the disqualification at the meet was the issue of religious expression raised by any parties.

The UIL’s investigation also revealed that all coaches involved were notified prior to the regional meet that any gestures in violation of the National Federation of State High School Associations track and field rule against unsporting behavior would be grounds for disqualification. Coaches were instructed to discuss this with their student-athletes prior to all races.

To assist the UIL in its investigation, the student-athlete’s parents submitted a letter stating that their son’s religious freedoms were not violated. “In looking back at the conclusion of the 4x100 race, we realize that Derrick could have handled the win in a different manner,” KC and Stacey Hayes said in the letter. “It was not our intention to force the issue that our son’s religious freedom was violated. Nor do we feel that way now. After discussing this with our son, we have come to the conclusion that his religious rights were not violated.”

The student-athlete who was disqualified also submitted a letter during the investigation stating: “Although I am very thankful for all God has given me and blessed me with, on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at the Regional Track Meet in Kingsville, TX, my actions upon winning the 4x100 relay were strictly the thrill of victory. With this being said, I do not feel my religious rights or freedoms were violated.”

Congressmen Scalise and Gohmert Fall for Debunked Fox News Story on Supposed Plan to Court Martial Christians

Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes likes to report on culture war issues and frequently highlights examples of supposed anti-Christian persecution. He plucks the examples from Religious Right media outlets, which then turn around and point to Starnes’ Fox News stories for validation.

Fox example, one recent Starnes story alleged that a New York school was forcing girls to kiss each other as part of an anti-bullying seminar. But the ‘forced lesbianism’ story was baseless [PDF], and the school superintendent had to write to Starnes to urge him to, you know, report stories accurately [PDF].

In another instance of shoddy journalism, Starnes claimed that the military was deliberately blocking access to a Southern Baptist website as part of a “Christian cleansing” of the armed forces by the Obama administration. Well, as it turns out, the website was automatically blocked over malware issues and the Southern Baptist Convention’s own director of information systems acknowledged that there was malware on the SBC website, not any anti-Christian animus in the military, was responsible for the mishap.

So it came as no surprise to learn that a new Starnes column about the military getting ready to court martial Christians, since picked up by organizations like the Family Research Council, was also completely groundless.

Starnes contends that Obama administration officials are working with church-state separation activists to begin kicking Christians out of the military and cracking down on their religious freedom.

As Warren Throckmorton points out, the Defense Department guidelines on proselytizing and religious bias that has so enraged Starnes and others was actually put in place in 2008 during the Bush administration and the language clearly “draws a distinction between simply speaking about one’s faith and coercion.” Throckmorton also notes that Starnes twisted a statement from a Pentagon spokesman “to make it seem as though the outcome of religious proselytizing cases would be court martial.”

The Tennessean and Stars and Stripes have also debunked the story, but don’t tell Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who in an interview with Starnes said that Obama is trying to make Christian service members leave their faith:

“Under President Obama’s military you are no longer allowed to share your faith,” he said – noting that the policy is putting Christians in a tough position. “Do you follow President Obama or do you follow God and the teachings of Jesus?”

“That’s pretty tough when your commander in chief puts you on the horn for that dilemma,” he added.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) similarly told Tony Perkins on Washington Watch earlier this week called the story “yet another attack on religious liberty that we’ve seen from the Obama administration.”

Perkins: The idea that members of the military who share their faith, directly or indirectly, could be potentially court martialed, is this stunning or what?

Scalise: It’s frightening and shocking. Unfortunately it is yet another attack on religious liberty that we’ve seen from the Obama administration and it’s just been an endless assault from so many different angles. Of course it comes off the heels of the FDA approving the morning-after pill. There are just so many things that this administration is doing that go against a lot of the Christian beliefs that this country was founded upon and I think it really needs to be pushed back hard on.

While the victimhood narrative of oppressed white straight evangelicals is beloved by the Religious Right and trumpeted by Fox News, conservative activists may want to at least try to find real incidents of persecution and real journalists if they want people to ever believe them.

Todd Starnes: Obama Administration Would Prefer Times Square Bombing to Losing 'Moral High Ground'

In his daily radio bulletin, Todd Starnes of Fox News said he is “beginning to wonder if the Obama administration thinks the moral high ground is having a bomb explode in the middle of Times Square” following the decision to read Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda Rights. Tsarnaev was questioned for sixteen hours before a magistrate judge read him his Miranda Rights once law enforcement officials determined there was no imminent danger to public safety.

According to Starnes, that decision showed that the Obama administration was not concerned with trying “to get information that might stop the attack” that Tsarnaev brothers planned for Times Square.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation waited more than 48 hours before telling New York City police that the Boston marathon bombers had picked the Big Apple as their next target. That decision put lives at unnecessary risk because we have no idea who else might have been involved in the attack. That’s because the Justice Department pulled the plug on the interrogation of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, he clammed up when they read him his Miranda Rights. I’m beginning to wonder if the Obama administration thinks the moral high ground is having a bomb explode in the middle of Times Square rather than interrogate a terrorist to get information that might stop the attack. And why did the FBI ignore warnings that the Tsarnaev brothers were radical Muslims? I think the FBI stands for the Federal Bureau of Incompetence.

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/26/13

Religious Right Conspiracy Theory on Military Blocking Baptist Website Completely False

The Religious Right went into a frenzy this week over charges that the military was deliberately blocking access to SBC.net, the official website of the Southern Baptist Convention’s, as part of an anti-Christian ploy.

“What we are seeing here, I want to be very clear here, we are seeing under the Obama administration a Christian cleansing underway in the United States military,” Fox News' Starnes maintained.

David Limbaugh accused the military of acting like a “thought police” who “selectively suppress[es] First Amendment freedoms” that “our armed forces are charged to protect,” and the SBC’s top ethicist Richard Land said it was an “outrageous” move and the person who blocked the website “needs to be fired.”

The American Family Association called the incident an example of the military’s “hostility towards faith and religious freedom” and its spokesman Bryan Fischer claimed it was part of an Islamist-secularist conspiracy to classify the entire denomination as a “hate group that spews nothing but ‘hostile content.’”

SBC.net was in fact blocked, but not as a result of anti-Christian bias, but because of malware on the SBC’s website.

Don’t just take our word for it, the Baptist Press, the news arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, reported that “the military's software filters detected malware at SBC.net and blocked the website.” Due to malware, not the content of the website, SBC.net was considered “hostile content.”

But don’t hold your breath for Land or Fischer to retract their inflammatory claims.

A military official says malware was to blame for the Southern Baptist Convention's website being blocked on some military bases.

Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a Defense Department spokesman, said the military's software filters detected malware at SBC.net and blocked the website. The malware since has been removed off the website, and the denomination's website unblocked, he said.

"The Department of Defense is not intentionally blocking access to this site," Pickart told The Tennessean in an email. "The Department of Defense strongly supports the religious rights of service members, to include their ability to access religious websites like that of the SBC."



Chris Chapman, the SBC Executive Committee's director of information systems, said SBC.net -- like the websites of many other organizations -- is a target for hackers. He also said the military's filters are at an "optimum level" in blocking content, not simply "recognizing invading viruses" but also blocking anything that possibly could be harmful.



"The recent situation impeding access to our website for some was aggravated by a misunderstanding of a term familiar to those in the information technology field. That term is 'hostile content.' To technical administrators, it simply means some sort of vulnerability or virus. It might not even be an actively harmful element, but simply an exploitable or potentially exploitable condition. We now live in an age where defending against or removing 'hostile content' is a daily undertaking, especially for any organization that maintains multiple Internet servers.

Starnes Accuses Obama Administration of 'Religious Cleansing of the Military'

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes has taken it in upon himself to chronicle what he sees as an “attack on Christianity” within the military under the Obama administration. So far, the main evidence he’s turned up is an email sent by an Army officer about anti-gay groups and an unauthorized slide in a training presentation listing Christianity as a possible source of religious extremism. These, however, are enough for Starnes to conclude that, as he put it to the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins yesterday, “politically correct Obama administration officials” are conducting a “sort of religious cleansing of the military”

Starnes told Perkins that his concerns are shared by Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who believes “there is an anti-Christian movement afoot at the Pentagon.”


Starnes: It should be shocking and surprising, but unfortunately, for me it’s not, because I’ve been covering this attack on Christianity that’s within the ranks of the military, not just the Army, since President Obama was inaugurated. And we have seen an onslaught of attacks, the sort of religious cleansing of the military at the hands of these politically correct Obama administration officials operating out of the Pentagon.

...

Perkins: This is a fundamental, this is our first freedom. We cannot lose it, we must defend it with our abilities through the political process. That’s how we do that. Todd, what’s the next step on this? What do you think is going to happen next?

Starnes: I think we are going to see some movement on Capitol Hill. We’ve got some lawmakers that are very upset. Congressman Steve King out of Iowa, I had a chance to talk to him, and he believes there is an anti-Christian movement afoot at the Pentagon. And I think we are going to see more people standing in the gap for our fighting men and women. These are folks putting their lives on the line so that we might have religious liberty, and their religious liberty is being denied? It’s just unconscionable.
 

Todd Starnes Warns the Military Will Begin Monitoring Personnel who Support Religious Right Groups

Fox News “culture war” correspondent Todd Starnes chatted with Buster Wilson of the American Family Association yesterday about an email that a lieutenant colonel in Kentucky reportedly sent to a handful of subordinates encouraging them to stand up to anti-gay organizations. This obviously irked the AFA since they are on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-gay hate groups.

Starnes asserted that if a military family subscribes to an AFA publication, the Pentagon “would be obligated at that point to monitor that family for suspicious activity.”

Wilson asked Starnes if individuals in the White House or the Pentagon who are “anti-pro-family groups, anti-Christian groups” were behind the emails.

“It appears that this administration is trying to secularize the United States military,” Starnes warned. Wilson added that the Obama administration is “dissing Christianity, traditional conservatism and what’s really American.”

Later, Starnes agreed with Wilson’s claim that the “liberally-controlled government” will use the power of the state to suppress hate groups.

Wilson: At what point does the liberally-controlled government start to say, you know what this hate group needs to be quieted, they need to be quiet, we need to shut them up, they are doing what they do because of what they say and what they say is dangerous. It’s the old shouting fire in the theatre thing, they need to be quiet.

Starnes: Once you start saying something long enough people start believing it and I suspect we’re on that trajectory. At this stage in the game I think Jerry Boykin from FRC says that it is time for Americans to stand up and it is time to start fighting back by contacting your lawmakers, contacting your representatives in Washington, not just on the phone but in person saying ‘this has to stop.’

Earlier in the program, Wilson used Melissa Harris-Perry’s commentary on the collective responsibility of raising children to warn that America is in decline. He said that he now understands why “they think that they have the right to teach them about homosexual sex and it’s okay to have feelings for someone of the same-sex in kindergarten.”

Wilson: I never thought I’d see the day when we would be talking about openly from once respected news brands like NBC saying that you don’t own your own children. I just got to tell you sometimes it breaks my heart and sometimes my wife and I will just be talking about this and we’ll just tear up, we’re like, what is going on in this country? You honestly are going to try to sell me the idea that my kids don’t belong to me, they belong to you and everybody else? No wonder they think that they have the right to teach them about homosexual sex and it’s okay to have feelings for someone of the same-sex in kindergarten, no wonder they think that because it’s their kids and that’s what they believe.

Janet Mefferd: Anti-Gay Activists Will Be Treated 'Kind of Like the Jews in Nazi Germany'

This week, a Michigan high school canceled a planned speech by Rick Santorum after Santorum refused to provide school district officials with an advance copy of his remarks. But Religious Right activists think there is another explanation for the cancellation. Fox News commentator Todd Starnes reports that he spoke to a conservative youth group spokesman who said that Santorum’s speech was cancelled because of his well-known anti-gay remarks. In the past, Santorum has likened same-sex unions to “man on dog” and “man on child” marriages.

Talk show host Janet Mefferd posted a link to Starnes’ article on her Facebook page today, noting that she can soon see the “day when every Christian who supports real marriage might be made to wear a yellow patch on the sleeve, a ‘badge of shame’ to identify us as ‘anti-gay haters.’ Kind of like the Jews in Nazi Germany.”

The comparison of anti-gay activists to the Jews who suffered and died under the genocidal Nazi regime is deeply offensive and absurd on its face. And Mefferd should also remember that homosexuals in Nazi Germany were forced to wear pink triangle badges and were sent to concentration camps.

Starnes and Rios: Gay Rights Opponents 'Second-Class Citizens,' Face 'Punishment' and 'Persecution'

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes joined Sandy Rios on American Family Radio yesterday to discuss the marriage equality cases being argued at the Supreme Court this week. The two took a grim view of the proceedings: Starnes lamented that opponents of gay rights have become “second-class” citizens and Rios warned that a Supreme Court marriage equality victory would lead to “tremendous punishment” for anti-gay activists.

“We are in for persecution like we have never seen,” she said, to which Starnes replied, “Well, it’s already started.”

Starnes: People are, people are very concerned about, about culture and about values and where things are going in this country. What concerns me, though, Sandy, is the vitriol coming from those who support gay marriage. You know, I’m the kind of person that is more than happy to sit down and talk and debate and listen to what people have to say. I may not agree with it, but at least, you know, it’s their right to have their opinion under our Constitution.

And yet, there seems to be this opinion on the other side that says, you know what, you and I don’t deserve the same rights. You know, it’s as if we’re second-class citizens now because we support the traditional, Biblical definition of marriage, or perhaps we are pro-life, and that means we’re somehow second-class citizens who don’t deserve to be in the public marketplace of ideas.

Rios: Absolutely. In fact, it’ll be worse than that. You know there’s going to be punishment. There will be tremendous punishment. If gay marriage is embraced by the country, if the Supreme Court goes south this week in its hearings, we are in for – of course, we’re not going to hear about it until June – but we are in for persecution like we have never seen it.

Starnes: Well, it’s already started.
 

Fox News vs. Fox News on Imprisoned Pastor in Iran

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes claimed today in a Fox Nation blog post entitled “Why Won’t Obama Call for Iran to Release American Pastor?” that the Obama administration “has not done anything to help free” Rev. Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen who is being held in a notorious Iranian prison:

The wife of an American pastor held captive in an Iranian prison for nearly a year said the Obama Administration has not done anything to help free her husband – and the law firm representing the family believes it’s because the pastor is a Christian who converted from Islam.

However, this contrasts with what Fox News reported in January of this year:

Although the U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with Iran, National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said in a statement Sunday the administration is "deeply disappointed that Saeed Abedini has been sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran on a charge related to his religious beliefs.

"We condemn Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion and we call on the Iranian authorities to release Mr. Abedini."

Meehan added that the State Department remains in close contact with Abedini.

The State Department also called for Abedini's release.

"Mr. Abedini's attorney had only one day (January 21) to present his defense, so we remain deeply concerned about the fairness and transparency of Mr. Abedini's trial," spokesman Darby Holladay said in a statement.

State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said in a January press conference that Iran should “release” the pastor and condemned “Iran’s continued violation of the universal rights of freedom of religion.”

We remain very concerned about U.S. citizen Saeed Abedini, who is detained in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs. Mr. Abedini’s attorney had only one day to present his defense. And we remain deeply concerned about the fairness and the transparency of his trial. We condemn Iran’s continued violation of the universal rights of freedom of religion, and we call on the Iranian authorities to respect Mr. Abedini’s human rights and to release him. We are in close contact with his family as well and we’re actively engaged in the case.

Nuland reiterated the call for his release just last week:

[W]e remain concerned about Mr. Abedini. We raise this at regular intervals. We also remain deeply concerned that the Iranians have not yet granted access to him by our Swiss protecting power. We continue to believe he should be released immediately.

Brian Thorn of Media Matters points out that the American Center for Law and Justice’s Jordan Sekulow praised the White House and the State Deparmtnet for their “strong statements” to “secure the freedom of Pastor Saeed.” “Thanks to the State Department and White House for their statements today and involvement to secure Pastor Saeed’s freedom,” Sekulow said.

Thorn also notes that White House spokesman Jay Carney also condemned Abedini’s imprisonment.

Well, I can tell you a couple of things. One, that we remain concerned about Saeed Abedini, who is, as you mentioned, detained in Iran on a charge related to his religious beliefs. The State Department is in close contact with his family and is actively engaged on this case. As you know, Mr. Abedini's attorney had only one day to present his defense. And earlier this week, Mr. Abedini was not allowed to attend his own trial, so we remain deeply concerned about the fairness and transparency of that trial. We condemn Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom or religion, and we call on the Iranian authorities to release Mr. Abedini.

Tony Perkins Attacks DAR Moves Toward Religious Inclusion

The "War on Christmas" season is over, but the Religious Right's campaign to portray Christianity under attack in America continues.  You might be surprised which organization the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins is slamming as hostile to Christianity -- it's that notoriously radical group, the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Perkins' attack on the DAR makes it clear just how narrowly the Religious Right views the role of religion in our society -- and how they twist thoughtful efforts to promote respectful, inclusive religious language into an assault on Christians and Christianity.

In this week's Washington Update, Perkins promotes a breathless report from Fox News' Todd Starnes, which recycles complaints about 2011 changes the DAR made to its Ritual and Missal in order to make its prayers more inclusive of non-Christians who might be members of the group or participants at its events.  Starnes reported, incorrectly, that the DAR had directed members to refrain from praying in the name of Christ. Here's Perkins:

For the organization, which was established in 1890, this signals a dramatic change in the strong Judeo-Christian roots of the DAR. After all, this is a service group meant to perpetuate the memory of the American Revolution and the values for which we fought. Like it or not, those values and our nation's identity were rooted in the Christian tradition. And while society may have changed over the years, the intentions of our founders--to build a godly nation--has not.

Note Perkins' odd use of "Judeo-Christian" to complain about changes that removed prayers in the name of Jesus Christ (the materials are still full of hymns and prayers to God). The "Judeo" in Perkins' "Judeo-Christian" is a fig leaf the Religious Right uses to mask the fact that they are promoting the notion of a Christian nation.

The DAR's President General Merry Ann T. Wright, herself a Christian, addressed false charges that the group's revisions rendered organizational documents godless months ago in a series of blog posts. Here's part of what she had to say last April:

The Executive Officers believe that the new Ritual and Missal can be used by members of any faith, substituting words as they wish, changing the prayers to suit the needs of the meeting in which they are being used. At our Executive meetings, knowing that we are all Christian, we pray in the Name of Jesus. When those are present whose faith is unknown, we pray in God’s name. However, we all recognize that when Christians pray in God’s name we are, indeed, praying in Christ’s name because the Christian faith believes in the Trinity of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We also understand that our Jewish members know God as Jehovah or Yahweh, Muslim members use the name Allah for God and there are those whose spirituality may have a still different higher power or none at all.

We have in no way mandated that one must or must not use the name of Jesus Christ in the prayers. In our DAR rituals, prayers are included. Most of the prayers begin with “Our Father” or “Almighty God” and end “in Your Holy Name.” Christ’s prayer, known as The Lord’s Prayer, the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, Easter and Passover prayers and prayers for other religious observances are included.

The Ritual and Missal is a guide and may be adapted to reflect the composition and thoughts of whoever is using it. There is always the option of writing other prayers or not using prayers at all. Our primary concern was to show our faithful love and respect to all who belong to DAR whatever their faith might be. We believe the current Ritual and Missal shows that respect and inclusiveness.

How does Tony Perkins respond to the DAR's goal of respect and inclusiveness? "This is blatant historical revisionism, and it's driven by the environment of hostility this administration has created toward every kind of Christian expression." Sure, Tony.

Starnes: Obama to Blame that 'Gangs of Roving Thugs' Have Taken Over New York in Storm Aftermath

Today on "Focal Point," Bryan Fischer welcomed Fox News' Todd Starnes to provide an update on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which Starnes insisted was Hurricane Katrina multiplied by five.  While Fischer asserted that the Red Cross "has been virtually useless," Starnes insisted that the Obama administration's response has likewise been an utter failure because New York is now a "jungle" overrun by lawlessness where people have to sleep with baseball bats and knives because they are terrified of "these gangs of roving thugs."

After Starnes declared that "this is a very clear example of Barack Obama's America; this is his Katrina," Fischer again wondered if this "lawlessness" was something the nation would see on a larger scale if President Obama does not win re-election, which prompted Starnes to assert that members of his family are fully prepared to defend themselves in such an event, which is all Obama's fault: 

Fox News Host Wants Federal Investigation into 'South Park' for Blasphemy

Fox News’s Todd Starnes is sick and tired of ‘South Park’ and Hollywood getting a free pass. The Fox News commentator participated in the Values Voter Summit panel on “Religious Hostility in America” over the weekend.

The panel featured the familiar argument that Christians in America are somehow a beleaguered minority that is under constant assault. Starnes claims to have a pile of stories stacked up on his desk about “instances of people who have been facing attack because of their faith in Jesus Christ.”
 
Speaking of the controversy surrounding the laughably bad “Innocence of Muslims,” Starnes asked why the federal government isn’t investigating “shows like ‘South Park,’ which has denigrated all faiths.” He also demanded to know why President Obama hasn’t denounced Hollywood.
 
We have the seen the administration come out and say, "we condemn anyone who denigrates religious faith." And they come out in regards to this anti-Muslim film.
 
Well, that's well and good, but my question is, when has the administration condemned the anti-Christian films that are coming out of Hollywood? Where are the federal investigations into shows like ‘South Park,’ which has denigrated all faiths?
 
Where is the outrage when people of the Christian faith are subjected to this humiliation that is coming out of Hollywood?
Religious Right activists have been the most vocal supporters of the filmmakers, if you can call them that, and have rightfully pointed out that the First Amendment protects their activities. Starnes, however, seems to have a double-standard when it comes to speech that he deems offensive to his religious views.
 
As it turns out, the only investigation going on around the “Innocence of Muslims” concerns whether one of the purported “filmmakers” violated the terms of his probation. Otherwise the government has no place policing speech, regardless of who is offended, and the president is not the film critic in chief. President Obama can be excused, however, for speaking out when Americans are being killed over an amateurish YouTube video.

 

Sex, Lies, and Bloodlust: What the Values Voter Summit Tells us About the Religious Right and the Republican Party

During this past weekend’s Values Voter Summit, the annual family reunion of the far right, RWW posted many memorable video highlights. What does it all tell us about the Religious Right and today’s Republican Party? First are foremost, Republican leaders are unwilling to distance themselves from the far-right fringes of their base, especially in an election year in which conservative evangelical voters are not tremendously excited about Mitt Romney. Romney took a pass this year, and it’s not hard to understand why. Last year, organizers maliciously put him on stage right before the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who had ridiculed Romney’s Mormonism. A supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry denounced Mormonism as a cult, and the flap over Romney’s faith was the dominant story coming out of the gathering. It was much safer to let Paul Ryan represent the ticket this year, and to have other speakers like Rick Santorum and Rick Scarborough ensure evangelicals that voting for Romney was in fact a good thing. Romney did send a tepidly-received video, which seemed almost an afterthought. What is motivating these activists is not enthusiasm for Romney but their hostility toward the Obama administration.
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