UPDATED: Delusions of Relevancy…

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:

Pentagon admits Christian ministry is not a hate group..

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.

ORIGINAL REPORT

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.

US Army defines Christian ministry as ‘domestic hate group’

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.

Attack on the AFA:  The military is demonizing Christians instead of fighting Al Qaeda. 

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.

 

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About Kathleen Johnson

Vice President and past military director for American Atheists

  • Jeff

    The only time I hear of some organization being called a “hate group” (and that label being taken seriously) is when the Southern Poverty Law Center does it. Obviously anyone could put that label anywhere for any reason, but do they? Is this a thing that people besides the SPLC do with regularity?

    • f_galton

      The SPLC is a hate group.

      • godlessveteran

        You’re a hate group.

    • Isaac42

      For what it’s worth, the SPLC does, indeed, name the AFA as a hate group.

  • Stev84

    Moreover, the AFA is not a “ministry”. That’s just some grandiose title they give themselves to cloak themselves in a mantle of respectability.

    • Fred Bailey

      Sadly, almost any jibroney who’s attached themselves to a church can get the congregation to ‘grant them a license to preach’ by a simple vote. Even that level of legitimation isn’t necessary, though. A ministry can pretty much declare itself. Southern Poverty Law Center says they’re a hate group, though.


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