Todd Starnes, the consistently paranoid host of?Fox News & Commentary, recently reported on a field trip where students visited a mosque and were offered a free Koran. ?In fact, Mr. Starnes titles his article, “Students Take Field Trip to Mosque, Receive Koran.”
Of course, this title is supposed to shock the readership of Starnes, being that he is the Fox News go to “reporter” for anything that even slightly resembles religious discrimination. ?Except, Todd doesn’t report on?religious?discrimination. ?He only focuses on?Christian?discrimination, always starting with a preconceived notion that Christianity is a religion under attack, in lieu of all other religions or non-creeds.
The problem with the misleading title, is that this field trip was a religious studies class. ?Thus, the class took a field trip to the mosque and were?offered?a free Koran, which some students reportedly declined. ?But the headline, as all headlines are designed to do, was purposefully meant to grab the reader’s incredulous attention, which it did, judging by the comments, where reader after reader lamented over the idea that there is a plan underfoot to eliminate Christianity and replace it with Islam.
Starnes quotes Mike Connor, a parent of one of the students involved in the class…
?If you can’t go to all five [main religions], why are you going to any? We sent the principal an email and voiced our concerns. She sent back a reply and told us they could not afford to go to all five.?
For the rest of the article, Starnes worked to make the argument for equal representation of religions in a religious studies class. ?For the unassuming reader, he appears to be rightly concerned that equal representation did not happen, which is false, but his reporting on other religious discrimination contradicts that assertion. ?On June 30, 2013, he published an article?about a school that fired an employee for handing a Gideon Bible to a student in a lunch line. ?In that article, Starnes highlighted a statement by Hiram Sasser, of the Liberty Institute, which said…
“I thought it was absolutely outrageous. The school officials have no respect for religious liberty, no respect for the First Amendment, and they feel like they can get away with it because the Obama EEOC has their back.”
Starnes’ reporting on this incident wasn’t about equal representation, but about religious liberty, asserting that the teacher’s First Amendment rights to hand a Bible to a student were being violated. ?It would logically follow, that the mosque’s offering of a Koran would?also?receive the same treatment, but then, there would be no article. ?In fact, Starnes highlights the school district’s following statement…
“Our district has reviewed the practice and decided to eliminate field trips to religious venues from this class, as it does not provide equal representation to all the religions studied in the course unit. This decision was made due to the fact that equal representation in regards to field trips for all religions studied in the course is not feasible.”
Starnes should be outraged! ?Religious liberty is being barred here. ?The First Amendment rights of individuals to offer a free Koran to anyone and everyone is being violated. ?Outrageous!
Not so much. ?The statement is reported matter-of-factly, in agreement with the quote-mining from parents, a clear victory for the paranoid likes of Todd Starnes and his rabidly discriminatory followers.
What Starnes doesn’t realize is that school is a place to educate young minds. ?It isn’t a house of indoctrination. ?If your favorite religion is Christianity, that doesn’t dictate the content of an educational course. ?More importantly, if a student is studying calculus, having already mastered the subject of algebra, the expectation is that calculus would be the educational focus and not the previously mastered concepts. ?In Tennessee, the identified religious demographics are almost entirely Christian, causing the subject of Christianity to be less of an educational pursuit in a religious studies class, and more like indoctrination. ?It logically follows that more attention would be given to other religious ideologies.
Edited and published by CB