Posts Tagged “fox news”
Earlier this month I blogged about some Fox News hosts who said that non-believers should leave the U.S. if they prefer not to be forced to say “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. One of them was Bob Beckel, who — as Politico reports — has since advocated that the religious freedoms of Muslims in this country be taken away (WebCite cached article):
Fox News co-host Bob Beckel went off on American Muslims on Monday, demanding that no more mosques be built until moderate Muslims “denounce” the recent mall attack in Kenya.
Islam is “not the religion of peace,” Beckel, the show’s relatively progressive co-host said. “They are the religion of Islamic [fundamentalism].”
“I will repeat what I said before: No Muslim students coming here with visas. No more mosques being built here until you stand up and denounce what’s happened in the name of your prophet,” Beckel continued.
Politico offers video of Beckel’s spew:
As I see it there are a couple of problems with Beckel’s position: First, and most importantly, it’s unconstitutional. Muslims have freedom of worship in this country, guaranteed by the First Amendment. Unless an individual Muslim, or group of them, is breaking the law, there are no grounds for preventing them from building any mosques. None. I’m sure Beckel would agree with a lot of Neocrusaders who think there is no freeedom of religion for Muslims, because (they argue) Islam is not a “religion” per se, but a “political philosophy” which (they further argue) can be banned. (Not that this distinction even matters very much, either: Political parties and organizations of all sorts are allowed to exist, and they have rights, too.)
Second, Beckel thinks “denunciations” by American Muslims will somehow do something about al-Shabab and other Islamofascist terror groups. I’m not convinced that mere words even matter much. What does matter, is action. Ultimately, it is up to Muslims to police their own religion and stamp out extremism within it. And mouthing denunciations isn’t going to do that. Even so, I’m not sure precisely what actions American Muslims can take to rein in al-Shabab. They’re half a world away and difficult to contact — it’s true they use Twitter (cached), but they keep changing their handle, so using it to reach them won’t work. Traveling there to confront them personally is difficult at best, and dangerously foolish at worst. What American Muslims can do, is to stop joining al-Shabab (cached), and not give them any money … but it goes without saying that the vast majority of American Muslims already are not doing either of those things.
So Beckel’s demand is not only unconstitutional, it’s useless. I’ll have to add him to the ranks of the unthinking, fierce Neocrusaders who actually believe that one form of irrational religionism (i.e. theirs) is superior to another (i.e. Muslims’). I’m not convinced this is the case. Rather, they’re two sides of the same coin … and therefore have no right to hurl stones (whether real or rhetorical) at each other.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
, bob beckel
, fox news
, islamist terror
, religious freedom
I recently blogged about how fundamentalist Christians are leaping for joy and rubbing their hands over the possibility that the US might attack Syria, as the so-called “Biblical prophecy” in Isaiah 17 coming true — a development that, they further think, will trigger “Armaggedon” and Jesus’ return. They are, as I explained then, absolutely fucking wrong about that: First, because any chance there had ever been of all of Isaiah 17 ever coming true, has already gone by, long ago; and because all Biblical prophecy is bullshit in the first place.
This hasn’t stopped the Religious Right from stomping around, declaring that the “prediction” of Isaiah 17 is about to come true — even though the proposed attack on Syria may not even materialize. They just can’t seem to let go of it. In fact, as the Raw Story explains, Neil Cavuto, of Fox News and Fox Business Channel has weighed in and is shilling for this bogus proposition (locally-cached article):
Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto on Monday devoted an entire segment to the possibility that a United States attack on Syria could be a sign of the End Times, a period in which Christians believe that Jesus Christ will return to face the emergence of the Antichrist.
“This Syria stuff is way old,” Cavuto explained. “I mean Old Testament old. That’s how old I’m talking about. Don’t laugh. Some biblical scholars say it’s all there in black and white.”
The Fox News host invited author Joel Rosenberg to weigh in on the link between the Syrian conflict and the Bible passages, which he said were “uncanny” and “kind of scary.”
“These are prophecies more than 2,700 years old, some of them, but they have not actually been fulfilled,” Rosenberg said. “But this prophecy, as you just pointed out, talks about the complete and utter destruction of Damascus. That’s an End Times or eschatological prophecy.”
“It’s a very sobering thought to think that a judgment of a city or a country could happen in which an entire city could be wiped out, but that is, in fact, what the Bible is predicting,” he added. “I think it’s wrong for people who teach Bible prophecies to guess — I mean, in a sense try to say for certain it’s going to happen now.”
The Raw Story helpfully provides video of this little exchange:
I’d have thought someone like Cavuto would have better things to do … like scream and rant and whine and cry that Barack Obama and the other Democrats dare remain in office, insolently thwarting corporations’ efforts to disband the government, eliminate taxes on businesses and the wealthy, and relegate most of the country to indentured servitude … but like most of the rest of the folks on the Right, he seems committed to this erroneous “End Times” theology. Sigh.
Hat tip: Michael Shermer, via Twitter.
Tags: attack on syria
, bible worship
, biblical prophecy
, end times
, fox news
, isaiah 17
, neil cavuto
, syria attack
, syrian civil war
For a very long time, the Religious Right has contended (incorrectly, of course) that there’s no such thing as “separation of church and state” in the U.S. While they are correct when they say that phrase is not found in the Constitution or any of its amendments, they’re wrong when they claim it’s not even implied. No less an authority on the matter than the author of the First Amendment, James Madison, himself once explained this in writing:
Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.
So this contention is factually incorrect.
Put more bluntly, they are lying about the Constitution.
Even so, despite being as obviously wrong as they are, they aren’t holding back. In fact, they’re going even a bit further. Texas governor Rick Perry, for example, recently stated openly that there is no such thing as “freedom from religion.” In other words, it is perfectly legal, as far as he’s concerned, for government to force a non-believer to adopt a religion.
In that same vein, a Rightist pundit — who’d been G.W. Bush’s last press secretary — used her virtual podium on Fox News to declare that atheists ought to leave the country, as the Raw Story reports, and her colleague Bob Beckel agreed (WebCite cached article):
Fox News host Dana Perino this week suggested that atheists should leave the country instead of trying to maintain the separation of church and state.
In a case before the Massachusetts Supreme Court, atheist lawyer David Niose argued that the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance violates the Equal Rights Amendment of the state’s constitution.
“I’m tired of them,” Perino complained on Wedneday [sic].…
“If these people really don’t like it, they don’t have to live here,” she added.
“Yeah, that’s a good point,” co-host Bob Beckel agreed.
Here’s video of this pleasant little exchange, courtesy of the Raw Story:
I’m old enough to recall all the “love it or leave it” talk that was common back in the 1970s. It was hurled most often at Vietnam war protesters. The implication is that Americans are required either to support whatever the US does — whether right or wrong — or shut up and leave the country. It’s been 40 years or so since then, and I’d thought people had gotten over that sort of thinking. I guess they haven’t?
The bottom line is, we have two Rightist pundits averring that non-believers should be forced either to swear the Pledge of Allegiance, including the “under God” phrase, or else be thrown out of the country. I can’t think of many better examples of religiofascism than this. Can you?
Hat tip: mepper, via Reddit.
Photo credit: fredthompson, via Flickr.
Tags: america love it or leave it
, bob beckel
, christian right
, dana perino
, david niose
, establishment clause
, first amendment
, fox news
, freedom from religion
, freedom of religion
, love it or leave it
, pledge of allegiance
, religious right
, Separation of church and state
, under god
For the last month or so, the folks who make Sam Adams beers have been running a July 4th seasonal commercial that hearkens back to its namesake’s era. But as the Raw Story reports, some Christofascists on a Fox News show blustered and fumed because — heaven forbid! — the commercial didn’t mention God (WebCite cached article):
A Fox News guest host asserted on Friday that “the terrorists have won” because brewer Samuel Adams was not in invoking God in its television commercials to sell beer.
In the “Independence” television spot that began airing last month, an actor in a Samuel Adams Boston Lager commercial quotes from the Declaration of Independence.
“Why name a beer after Samuel Adams? Because Samuel Adams signed the Declaration of Independence,” the actor says. “He believed there was a better way to live: all men are created equal. They are endowed with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Smooth, flavorful, we bow to no kings. Samuel Adams Boston lager: declare your independence.”
On Friday, the three Fox & Friends guest hosts expressed outrage that the brewer had not included the phrase “endowed by their Creator” in the commercial.
Here’s the commercial that Fox News is furious about, courtesy of Youtube:
That’s right, it’s horrific that the brewers of Sam Adams failed to fully quote the Declaration of Independence so as to include its mention of God. One of the jabbering fools on the show, Bill O’Reilly producer Jesse Watters, knows what’s really going on here:
“When political correctness takes over the beer advertising industry, the terrorists have won,” said Watters, who is better known for his job as a producer on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News show. “I mean, this is absolutely outrageous!”
“You know, maybe it’s because Sam Adams was the tea party guy — he started the Boston Tea Party — maybe the tea party’s being targeted here,” he added.
Yes, that’s right. This God-defying abomination occurred because “political correctness” has taken over the brewing industry and handed “the terrorists” a “win” … and fired a vicious salvo at the Teabaggers as well as at the memory of the original Samuel Adams.
I can’t think of any better way for the cast and crew of Fox & Friends to celebrate the nation’s birthday, than to have uncovered this horrific conspiracy and exposed the Boston Beer Company as nefarious agents of the Evil Godless Leftist Terrorist conspiracy. I know what I’m doing about this … I’m stocking up on Sam Adams beers!
Hat tip: Rational Wiki.
Photo credit: Meme Generator.
Tags: beer commercial
, clayton morris
, declaration of independence
, fox & friends
, fox news
, independence day
, jesse watters
, july 4
, july 4th
, sam adams
, sam adams beer
, samuel adams
, tea baggers
, tea party
Bill O’Reilly is commander-in-chief in the so-called “war on Christmas.” His crying and bellyaching about the poor, put-upon Christians who’re insidiously being thwarted in their efforts to force all Americans — of whatever religion, or of none — to worship their Christ and his putative birth, is by now an annual feature of his Fox News show. He’s launched a salvo at Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, who insolently calls the foliage in his state capitol a “holiday tree” rather than a “Christmas tree” (WebCite cached article):
Anyway, there is obviously more Christmas chaos in Rhode Island and Governor Chafee is again behind it. Apparently he believes that Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island in 1636, would not want to call a Christmas tree “a Christmas tree” or something.
O’Reilly has some problems with semantics. Since “Christmas” is a “holiday,” then it is always correct to call a “‘Christmas’ tree” a “‘holiday’ tree.” There’s nothing wrong with doing so.
Also, the Billster conveniently forgets who Roger Williams was. He’s notable for having been the first major advocate of religious freedom in the American colonies. He was a Baptist preacher who was run out of the Massachusetts Bay colony by furious Calvinist Puritans who’d objected to his presence there, who took refuge among the Narragansett to the south, and then founded the colony (now state) of Rhode Island. Roger Williams understood sectarian persecution far better than Billy-boy ever will. He lived it! He even penned a work whose words have become part of the canon of the United States, an exhaustive treatise called The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience. This work — not Thomas Jefferson’s now-famous letter to the Baptists of Danbury, CT — is the true origin of the phrase “separation of church and state.”
(Yes, folks. That’s right. The Founding Fathers’ effort to prevent the state from encroaching on religion, and vice versa, was not even their own invention; a century before them, a man had been agitating for that exact same policy. They were, to put it bluntly, Williams’s students. For Billyo to dismiss Roger Williams’ work as blithely as he does, is not only an affront to his memory, it’s also an insult to theirs. So much for the Religious Right’s vaunted worship of the Founding Fathers!)
I concede that it’s fair to ask if Roger Williams would have objected to calling a “‘Christmas’ tree” a “‘holiday’ tree” … but as far as I can tell, it’s also fair to conclude he would likely not have cared. Most people in the colonies in his time didn’t really celebrate Christmas at all, much less put up Christmas trees. (You can thank those angry Puritans for that.) This complaint is a strictly modern concept, manufactured from whole cloth by Religious Rightists like Billy-boy and his ilk. It’s not a controversy that Williams would have even known existed, nor would he have understood it, had he been aware of it.
Having spewed such a laughable anachronism, though, Billy-baby doesn’t stop there. He charges happily on to even greater heights of ridiculousness:
Now, this is insane, of course. There is no reason to mess around with the word “Christmas”. As we reported, President Grant signed a law in 1870 making Christmas a federal holiday. So there really isn’t any controversy unless Congress revokes the holiday.
You see, in Billy-boy’s mind, the fact that President Grant — whose presidential administration was, shall we say, somewhat underwhelming — made a proclamation about Christmas, appears to do all of the following:
- Requires all Americans, of whatever faith or of none at all, to worship Christmas along with all other Christians
- Mandates that nativities be planted on every town hall lawn, in front of every courthouse, etc., all around the country, every December
- Forces every American to say “Merry Christmas!” at each and every meeting — without fail, and without substitution or alteration of any kind
- Prevents Americans from ever referring to Christmas as a “holiday,” even if by every English dictionary definition, it is one
- It removes all of the sacredness from the holy day known as Christmas and makes it purely secular
- And on top of all that … Grant’s proclamation carries every bit as much authority now, as it did 142 years ago when he first signed it. The passage of time has only made it more compelling than it had been in the late 19th century.
I don’t know about you, but I find that quite a lot to ask of one simple presidential decree. Billy-boy must think Grant was a whole helluva lot more powerful — and everlasting — than he actually was.
Here’s my challenge to the Billster: If you really think that I, as an American, am obligated to celebrate Christmas alongside you; am obligated never, ever under any circumstances to refer to it as a “holiday” (even if it is one); and am obligated to wish “a Merry Christmas” to everyone I see, whenever I see him/her; then you just go right ahead and make me. I dare you. Please. I invite you to do everything in your power to compel me to obey your wishes. You deliver your copy of President Grant’s decree to me, slam it down, force me to read it, and then coerce me into celebrating Christmas. Go right ahead. If you’re truly convinced it’s my obligation as an American to do so, then why would you not do it?
Unless you’re willing to track me down and force me to do what you want me to, then you’re just another whiny coward who’s capable only of complaining, unwilling to put his own words into action.
Boo fucking hoo, Billy, you sniveling crybaby. Boo fucking hoo.
Photo credit: Christmas Stock Images.
, bill o'reilly
, christian right
, christmas tree
, fox news
, holiday tree
, lincoln chafee
, president grant
, providence RI
, religious right
, rhode island
, roger williams
, ulysses grant
, ulysses s grant
, war on christmas
, war on christmas 2012
Things apparently haven’t been looking too good for America’s favorite paranoid schizophrenic. Glenn Beck’s radio show is no longer aired on a number of stations, including WOR in New York and WDRC in Hartford, as I blogged just a short while ago. And now, Fox News has dropped his daily television show. The New York Times reports on what was behind this parting-of-the-ways (WebCite cached article):
The negotiations that led Glenn Beck to announce his departure from the Fox News Channel on Wednesday ended with an expression of “let’s part as friends,” according to several people with knowledge of the talks. But behind that moment was a torrent of acrimony that underscored just how fractious the relationship between Mr. Beck and the network had become during his three-year run on Fox. …
Notably, Mr. Beck became a daily broadcast platform for a libertarian strain of politics that is also evident in the Tea Party, a movement he embraced. Critics loudly condemned him for living with his own facts — but that only seemed to widen the conspiracy that he outlined each night, aided by a growing number of chalkboards in his studio.
But at that studio, he was unhappy from almost his first day on the job, which happened to be the day before Mr. Obama was inaugurated. Even in his first year, he was contemplating an exit from Fox and wondering if he could start his own channel.
In Glenn Beck’s world, you see, everything is all about “Glenn Beck” and to hell with everyone else — including the television network that hired him, aired his idiotic, insane drivel night after night, and even stuck up for him in the wake of criticism and an advertiser boycott:
As onerous as [the boycott] might have been to Fox financially, it did not seem to be an issue for Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of the News Corporation. In two recent comments to shareholders, Mr. Murdoch defended Mr. Beck. He said of the advertiser boycott, “They don’t boycott watching it. We’re getting incredible numbers.” He followed that by pointing out that even with his diminished ratings, Mr. Beck’s show provided a “terrific kickoff” to the lineup of Fox shows that followed.
Even so, it appears sliding ratings were the reason Fox News decided it wanted to be free of the egotistical Beck.
The problem is, I shudder to think what sort of lying liar for Jesus Fox News is going to scare up and put on their soon-to-be-vacated 5 p.m. Eastern Time slot.
Photo credit: Politicol News.
, fox news
, glenn beck
, lying liar for jesus
, talk radio
, tea party
The nation’s most famous paranoid schizophrenic continues to spew his batshit-insane conspiracy theories. I’ve blogged about Glenn Beck’s sanctimonious insanity, towering rage, colossal stupidity, vast ignorance, and fact-deprivation. His latest spew involves “the New World Order” being launched out of Egypt, where a relatively-peaceful revolution recently toppled president Hosni Mubarak. The Los Angeles Times reports on this latest round of lunatic drivel from the Beckster (WebCite cached article):
We saw all the character traits from one figure looming over the Egypt story: the massive shows of emotion, the sketchy command of others’ views, the megalomaniacal refusal to recognize facts on the ground. And, as always, the willingness to say and do anything to command the stage for one more day.
We speak not of Hosni Mubarak, but of that other master of manipulation and misdirection, Glenn Beck. …
In the case of Egypt and its democracy movement, the Fox News performer sees not the energetic amalgam of students, shopkeepers, bureaucrats, intellectuals and professionals who virtually every real journalist in Cairo has described in recent days. Beck’s evening chalkboard talks instead fulminate endlessly about the shadowy forces that will surely bring “the coming insurrection.”
Beckie-boy is worried about something he calls “the Caliphate,” which — somehow — will plunge the entire world into a new Dark Age:
The menace that he envisions far outstrips that described even by other conservative commentators. Beck forecasts a wave of Muslim extremism sweeping from Egypt to the rest of the Mideast. He says this “caliphate,” or at least its revolutionary soul, could well darken Europe, if not our own shores.
But much worse than this nefarious Islamic conspiracy to destroy humanity, Beckie-boy claims the mass media are actually part of the conspiracy, actively working to prevent anyone from knowing about it:
Beck rolled out a battalion of bogeymen who he said willfully refused to recognize his vision. The crazy lefties in the press stood first among the accused. He belittled the New York Times, for one, because it identified “liberals, socialists and members of the Muslim Brotherhood” among the protesters, but did not recognize them as a) a mortal threat and b) part of a worldwide cabal. “Notice they don’t say communist yet,” he intoned darkly of the Times report.
But the media couldn’t cover up the looming catastrophe all by themselves, he suggested. No, that would take the collusion of the people Beck on Thursday called “the Harvard know-it-alls that have no clue.” And then there’s the Fellow Traveler in Chief, whose name Beck doesn’t even need to say. Instead, he merely compares those wild-eyed Tahrir Square maniacs to “community organizers.” We get the message.
Indeed we do! In Beckie-boy’s twisted universe, “community organizers” = “Barack Obama” = “ACORN” = “George Soros” = “fascism” = “communism.” Beckie-boy is pathologically incapable of separating things he dislikes or has subjectively determined to be bad. Everything he hates is equivalent to, and marches in lock-step with, everything else he hates. Conflation is his stock-in-trade.
For the record, Glennie, the reason the New York Times hasn’t mentioned “communism” yet, in conjunction with the Egyptian revolution, is because there is zero evidence that the protestors who finally got Mubarak to quit, are communists, or directed by them! The Times can’t report something for which there is no support.
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, I must observe that the Beckster himself is part and parcel of the very same mass media he claims is orchestrating this horrific scenario; he has a nationally-syndicated radio show, he’s published several books, he’s on Fox News nightly, and formerly had been on CNN Headline News. One must wonder why he’s biting the hand that feeds him. When Beckie-boy talks about the mass media, he is, by definition, also talking about himself and the rest of his furiously sanctimonious Religious Right colleagues at Fox News! Talk about hypocrisy! (By the way, Glenn … hypocrisy is something your own Jesus clearly, explicitly, and unambiguously forbid you to engage in. Christians such as yourself cannot ever be hypocritical. Period. So please, for the sake of your eternal soul, stop kvetching and griping about how horrific the “mass media.” Every time you condemn them, you condemn yourself.)
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore.
Tags: 2011 revolution
, conpsiracy theories
, conspiracy theory
, fox news
, glenn beck
, hosni mubarak
, mass media
, muslim brotherhood