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Fox News falsely blames Obama for Pentagon rule against religious proselytizing in the military

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When they’re not peddling suspicions that Barack Obama is a Muslim, the right-wing media are eager to portray the president as godless and anti-religion — if not downright satanic.

Such has been the case of late, as we see HERE:

Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Todd Starnes portrayed restraints on [religious] proselytization as proof of the Obama administration’s purported “war on religious liberty in the military,” despite the fact that military policy has long prohibited unwanted proselytization.

On the May 2 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity claimed that a Pentagon statement reiterating the military’s longtime policy against proselytizing was proof of Obama’s “war on religious liberty.” Starnes added that Christians were “under significant attack” by the Obama administration, under which “we have seen a Christian cleansing of the United States military.”

In fact, the U.S. military’s anti-proselytization policy has been consistent among all religions, and it targets only disruptive activities. A statement released May 2 by Defense Department spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen clarified the military’s policy that “members of the military are free to share their faith as long as they don’t harass others.” Christensen continued:

“Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs (proselytization),” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman, in an email.

“If a service member harasses another member on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, then the commander takes action based on the gravity of the occurrence. Likewise, when religious harassment complaints are reported, commanders take action based on the gravity of the occurrence on a case-by-case basis.”

Christensen said there are no plans to single out evangelical Christians for punishment, despite claims of activists.

“The U.S. Department of Defense has never and will never single out a particular religious group for persecution or prosecution. The Department makes reasonable accommodations for all religions and celebrates the religious diversity of our service members,” he said.

——

Steve Benen adds THIS:

The more Fox News pushed this [religious persecution] line, the more others on the right took it seriously. Breitbart.com, true to form, told readers, “Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith.” Then the religious right movement got involved — AU’s Simon Brown reported, soon after, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins expressed outrage that the Obama administration is involved in an “anti-Christian offensive.” His colleague, FRC Executive Vice President Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin, added, “If this policy goes forward, Christians within the military who speak of their faith could now be prosecuted as enemies of the state.”

Seriously? Christians will be prosecuted as “enemies of the state” for talking about their faith? No, not in this reality.

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17 Comments

  1. Robert

    Frank Luntz singled out Rush Limbaugh as being a big factor in the deep divisions amongst the people in our country. Did he mention Fox News too, or is he on retainer with them and left them out of his rant? I’d venture to say Fox News and the likes of Hannity and O’reilly and their ilk, have played an equal role in the willful, deliberate and malicious distribution of half truths and blatant lies.

    PS – This it OT but I’m real happy that some arrest have made in those 2 recent home burglaries and attempted murders of the elderly couples in the NE Rockford and Rockton areas. These recent crimes and the 2 separate incidents of shooting people through windows while they were sleeping, were very alarming incidents. Rockford is being terrorized.

  2. John D. LeVan

    MAY I COPY AND PASTE ONE QUOTE FROM “ROBERT”, WHOEVER HE IS, AS HE LEFT NO LAST NAME, THUS THE FOLLOWING…. I’d venture to say Fox News and the likes of Hannity and O’reilly and their ilk, have played an equal role in the willful, deliberate and malicious distribution of half truths and blatant lies. LET ME VENTURE TO SAY, THAT YOU TO HAVE DONE JUST THAT WITH YOUR OWN BIASED OPINION, WHICH IS NOT JOURNALISM, BUT MERELY, YOUR OPINION. CHUCK FULL OF HALF TRUTHS AND BLATANT LIES FUELED BY YOUR OWN PERSONAL SOCIALIST DREAMS AND AGENDA, YOU HAVE COMMITTED EXACTLY THE SAME FOUL AS YOU DESCRIBED THEM HAVING DONE. DUH!

  3. John D. LeVan: We don’t allow shouting (all caps) here.

    If you have occasion to submit any more comments, lay off the caps.

  4. Robert

    John D,

    “Your personal socialist dreams and agenda”? Well, I do expect to draw Social Security and apply for Medicare in the future. Are there some other socialist benefits I paid for I should be aware of, that I’m not taking full advantage of?

  5. Robert

    Maybe John D would like to look into this lawsuit FOX News vs Akre in Florida.. the won the right to lie, distort, misinform… look for yourself.

    http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/11-the-media-can-legally-lie/

  6. John you might as well go for the other freebie’s. Do not forget the free cell phone.This one is always good for some votes.Throw in some food stamps and some money, a lie or two and wala you have
    won yourself a election.It’s called Obama magic.Maybe the republicans can top that magic and offer free Sirius Xm and a gas card.What do ya think? Got a winner? What’s a few more billion.

  7. Brian Opsahl

    Robert, Don’t let John play that game. Not one rant he said had any facts attached to it…just his rambling rant. I think we all know what the like’s of Hannity/O’Rielly/Fox and Lintball are very well paid entertainers,and the bigger the lie’s they tell the bigger there rating are.

  8. Robert

    Me thinks some right wingers on this board recruited a posse of new posters.

    By the way righties, there’s many people out there left and center that are just as disgusted by the abuses of the welfare programs as you all feign to be. But I suspect the difference between the left and the right and center on this issue is , the left and center are also disgusted by the abuses of big money and how they basically bought their way out of being prosecuted for the crimes of fraud and collusion., mainly in the banking arena. The right doesn’t want justice, the right wants their White supremacy and majority standing back.

  9. Steverino

    Free Sirius XM sounds good to me.

  10. Brian Opsahl

    The free stuff routine is just the big excuse they use because nobody was buying the Romney plan of free taxes for the wealthy, gutting all the programs that would help our struggling Americans by kicking them to the curb to fend for themselves.

    They can’t believe Americans are smarter than that.

  11. expdoc

    The back and forth commentary on this site has become so ridiculous as to be worthless.

  12. doc: Yeah, but my blog post is pretty nifty, right?

  13. Brian Opsahl

    Fox lying news spent all day on Thanksgiving saying how Mr.Obama was Godless for omitting God out of his speeches….which was a total lie,and proven so,but republicans spent the next 2 day’s talking about how Godless he was…increadable…how they play that gotcha game..!

  14. Q Jordon

    I find it pathetic that a National “News” organization can spout out half truths and lies without anyone checking into what the military policy has been all along.

    I was in the military between the years 1982 – 1985, and the rules on religious proselytizing were very restrictive and written out. There was no gray area to these policies.

    Now, because some tainted and bias “journalist” claims this is what the President has declared makes it new and his idea? Hardly. He is simply reminding the Pentagon what the policies are toward religious proselytizing during a time where many of various faiths are serving in our armed forces.

  15. Brian Opsahl

    well that about sums it up doesn’t it,Pat…

    I am always slamming fox because of how low they will go in making up absolute BS about the President, and especially before ,during and after the last elecion…when faced with the fact that they were so very wrong on all there rosey predictions on election night…they switched tactics and started this whole free stuff excuse…

  16. Robert

    expdoc, I agree. The comments of Ronald Marr and John D LeVan added absolutely nothing to the commentary and dialogue. A moment of contrition on your part. (pause here)… had to laugh out loud.

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