UPDATE (original report below)
Todd Starnes has produced a followup report where, despite an inaccurate and intentionally misleading headline, he exhibits a temporary bit of sanity by reporting exactly what I stated in my original report. Starnes admits that the Army did not categorize the AFA as a hate group and that the slideshow presentation was locally produced without input from official policy or higher leadership. Read for yourself here:
However, this temporary sanity didn’t last long – Starnes reports later in the same article that he believes the Army is trying to identify the soldier who notified him of the presentation so that the Army can retaliate.
Further, the AFA, deprived of their latest chance to fantasize about being a martyr to anti-Christian prosecution, has stated their intention to sue the Army for defamation.
Defamation? I think not. If anything, they should be writing the Army a thank-you note for all the free publicity.
Exhibiting a silly level of Christian-persecution paranoid fantasy is nothing new for Todd Starnes at Fox News and naturally he’s back at it. Today’s delusional fantasy has him reporting that the Army (yes, the entire Army) has labeled the American Family Association (AFA) as a hate group and that it’s the Obama administration’s fault. His basis for this belief? He recently learned that one tiny unit at Camp Shelby, MS , consisting of a dozen people at the most, was presented with a briefing that associated the AFA with the despicable folks at the Westboro Baptist Church.
Here’s why Starnes is paranoid and delusional. These small unit equal-opportunity presentations are almost always the creation of the person who’s giving the briefing which means they are not created as part of a giant Army, DOD, or federal government anti-Christian conspiracy. In fact, this existence and presentation of this slideshow is most certainly not evidence that:
“the Obama administration is separating the military from the American people – and planting seeds of doubt about Christians and some of our nation’s most prominent Christian ministries”
Naturally the AFA, which is eager for any chance to put forth the delusion that Christians are a persecuted minority in this country, takes a position that is even more laughable and ridiculous than Starnes’. According to an article off the front page of their web site, the military is apparently engaged in “demonizing Christians instead of fighting Al Qaeda”. Their basis for this claim? The same presentation presented to that tiny unit in Mississippi.
The sad and ironic thing is that the AFA really is a hate group since they espouse policies that are incompatible with military service and especially since they encourage service members to disobey regulations that require equal treatment of all service members. But, unfortunately for their delusion, the Army, the DOD, and most certainly the president hasn’t labeled them a hate group. Unfortunately for those of us who live in the real world instead of one driven by magical thinking, there is a significant percentage of Americans who belief this crap.