In an effort to push Fox News' favorite narrative that Christmas is under attack, the network turned to former television star Chuck Norris and former President Ronald Reagan as ammunition for its latest attempt to attack President Obama by casting doubt on his dedication to Christian values and wrongly suggesting he has not spoken publicly about the religious foundations of the Christmas holiday season.
On the November 19 edition of Fox & Friends, hosts read excerpts from a "fiery" online op-ed penned by Chuck Norris, the former star of CBS' Walker: Texas Ranger, echoing Norris' outrage that President Obama has not made public comments on the subject of a Maryland school district's decision to end reference to Christian and Jewish holidays on the schools' vacation calendars rather than include additional vacation days for the observation of Muslim holidays.
"We haven't even hit Thanksgiving, and already the war on Christmas is underway," wrote Norris. Claiming that President Obama has deviated from "the America our Founding Fathers created," his column expressed nostalgia for a time when Republican President Ronald Reagan spoke freely about Christian values during a Christmas speech in 1981:
Let us never forget that there was once a time in the U.S. when people and even presidents weren't afraid to stand for traditional values and encourage others to do the same.
Case in point, President Ronald Reagan, in his 1981 Christmas address, televised and on the radio from the Oval Office for the entire nation and world to hear, said: "At this special time of year, we all renew our sense of wonder in recalling the story of the first Christmas in Bethlehem, nearly 2,000 years ago. Some celebrate Christmas as the birthday of a great and good philosopher and teacher. Others of us believe in the divinity of the child born in Bethlehem, that he was and is the promised Prince of Peace. ... Like the shepherds and wise men of that first Christmas, we Americans have always tried to follow a higher light, a star, if you will. At lonely campfire vigils along the frontier, in the darkest days of the Great Depression, through war and peace, the twin beacons of faith and freedom have brightened the American sky. At times, our footsteps may have faltered, but trusting in God's help, we've never lost our way. ... So let this holiday season be for us a time of rededication. ... Tonight, in millions of American homes, the glow of the Christmas tree is a reflection of the love (of) Jesus. ... Christmas means so much because of one special child."
The hosts of Fox & Friends parroted Norris' column saying "Chuck Norris' point was, remember the time when American presidents weren't afraid to talk about traditional values, as Ronald Reagan did back in 1981," and used the opportunity to highlight a clip of Reagan's speech.
But Norris and Fox's nostalgia omitted the current president's frequent expressions of his Christian faith. Earlier in 2014, President Obama's Easter address contained the following comments about the suffering of Jesus Christ:
OBAMA: For me, and for countless other Christians, Holy Week and Easter are times for reflection and renewal. We remember the grace of an awesome God, who loves us so deeply that He gave us his only Son, so that we might live through Him. We recall all that Jesus endured for us - the scorn of the crowds, the agony of the cross - all so that we might be forgiven our sins and granted everlasting life. And we recommit ourselves to following His example, to love and serve one another, particularly "the least of these" among us, just as He loves every one of us.
The federal government has alleged that four Georgia militia members who are accused of plotting to kill federal employees modeled their plan on right-wing blogger Mike Vanderboegh's online novel Absolved, which depicts underground militia fighters who declare war on the federal government over gun control laws and same-sex marriage, leading to a second American revolution. Vanderboegh is not alone in promoting such insurrectionism: several right-wing media figures, including other gun rights bloggers, have suggested the possibility of political violence or revolution as a means of responding to progressive policies.
Behind Chuck Norris' beard, there is only another fist. Behind his latest column are a variety of National Rifle Association (NRA) myths about gun trafficking between the United States and Mexico and the Obama administration's latest attempt to curb that problem.
Norris is a fervent supporter of the (NRA), cutting ads and serving as honorary chairman of their voter registration efforts in 2010. So it's no surprise that he devotes much of his column to echoing claims recently offered by his friend and the executive vice president of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre.
Norris' piece is filled with absurd hyperbole. He declares that President Obama is "trying to eliminate our Second Amendment rights" and "restricting the right to bear arms, "which he says "primarily ties the hands of good guys." Norris also accuses Obama of trying to "demonize good, law-abiding American gun dealers."
Norris' argument makes no sense at all, unless the goal is to enrage gun owners rather than inform them; the rule Norris is attacking will not prevent a single American from purchasing a gun. All it does is require gun dealers in the Southwest border states to inform the ATF when the same person purchases two or more certain types of rifles - including AK-variant assault weapons - in a five-day span. They can still buy as many of the guns as they want as quickly as existing law allows; gun dealers will just have to inform law enforcement, helping them establish patterns that can help detect trafficking.
Norris goes on to push LaPierre's claim that the Obama administration is disingenuous in trying to "disarm cartels with a form." But according to ATF agent and Fast and Furious whistleblower Peter Forcelli, whom the NRA has previously cited as an expert on tactics, these reports would be a "huge tool" for the ATF, providing them with an investigative tool that could help them crack down on gun traffickers who buy these weapons in large numbers and then turn around and sell them to Mexican drug cartels.
Norris goes on to claim:
The facts are, as Wayne LaPierre points out, that cartels get their machine guns, grenades, missile launchers and tanks from Central and South America, Russia, China, international black markets and defections from the Mexican army. State Department cables, released by WikiLeaks, support those facts.
But the same cables show that while the cartels get their heavy arms (arms not generally available to U.S. civilians) from other countries, their handguns and many assault rifles come to Mexico through the U.S.
The former Walker, Texas Ranger even takes time to promote the NRA's lawsuit seeking to bar the enforcement of the rule, calling its implementation "just one more example of the feds exceeding their powers and averting congressional permission." In fact, such "congressional permission" exists, through the Gun Control Act of 1968, which requires licensed firearms dealers to submit such records as the Attorney General "may specify." According to the ATF, "courts had upheld similar regulations in the past -- including the rule requiring reports about bulk handgun sales."
Perhaps Norris should spend more time pushing the Earth down, and less time spouting NRA talking points.
work to install a Bible curriculum into your public school district. Yes, it's legal, constitutional and being placed right now in thousands of schools across the country. A brand-new electronic version of the curriculum is available this week. The National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools' curriculum has been voted into 572 school districts (2,086 high schools) in 38 states, from Alaska and California to Pennsylvania and Florida. Ninety-three percent of school boards that have been approached to date with the curriculum have voted to implement it because the course helps students understand the Bible's influence and impact on history, literature, our legal and educational systems, art, archaeology and other parts of civilization. In this elective class, students are required to read through their textbook -- the Bible.
According to a 2008 Austin American-Statesman article, the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools has been criticized by religious scholars for "sloppy work," factual errors, and for portraying conservative protestant Christianity as the "only true religion":
Legal issues aside, [University of Texas biblical studies professor Steven] Friesen said the National Council curriculum is "sloppy work" with factual, historical mistakes; dubious sources; and a shallow understanding of the academic discipline.
A review of the curriculum published in an academic journal last year found that it assumes that conservative Protestant Christianity is the "only true religion" and that the Bible is "infallible and thus historically accurate."
"As a whole, it does little to describe the Bible in literature, and it presents a particular view of biblical history that may push the bounds of what is acceptable in a public-school setting," wrote the authors, one of whom is Kent Richards, director of the Society of Biblical Literature.
And Chuck Norris claims this curriculum is a corrective to schools functioning as as "indoctrination camps."
Last week, Townhall columnist Chuck Norris compared teachers unions to the mafia. Now he's expanding his attacks on public education, complaining about "scientific paradigms" and calling public schools "indoctrination camps":
On Dec. 27, 1820, Thomas Jefferson wrote about his vision for the University of Virginia (chartered in 1819): "This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it."
But what should happen 200 years later when our public schools and universities avoid the testing of truths? Or suppress alternative opinions because they are unpopular or politically incorrect? Or no longer tolerate opinions now considered errors or obsolete by the elite? What happens when socio-political agendas or scientific paradigms dominate academic views to the exclusion of a minority's even being mentioned?
What happens when the political and public educational pendulum swings from concern for the tyranny of sectarianism in Jefferson's day to secularism in ours? What happens when U.S. public schools become progressive indoctrination camps?
Townhall columnist Chuck Norris insists: "I love teachers. I really do. … I applaud the hardworking teachers across this land." But Norris has a funny way of showing his appreciation: comparing teachers unions to the mafia and "gangsters":
[W]hen teachers unions muscle legislators like the Mafia and Democrats abandon their voting posts because they don't like projected outcomes, haven't we abandoned the very foundational principles of our republic?
The Wisconsin Education Association Council leads the pack of lobbyists, spending two times as much and five times the amount of time as its closest lobbying competitor in order to buy, bribe and bamboozle legislators to do as it wants.
What also chaps my hide is that a gigantic chunk of the WEAC's gangster money and time is used to lobby against alternative choices in schools (including charter schools) and against tuition tax credit programs, which aid parents in sending their children to private schools.
The fact is that teachers union-sponsored protests spreading the land are not primarily about the teachers or the students. They are about the unions and feds maintaining their Mafia-style rule over education and our kids and preventing people from choosing educational alternatives.
From the October 29 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Right-wing media figures including Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Chuck Norris have been running with debunked conspiracy theories that President Obama has ceded U.S. sovereignty and given Interpol the right to circumvent the U.S. Constitution and even to arrest U.S. citizens. In fact, as even some conservative commentators have noted in debunking the conspiracy theory, Interpol first received immunity under President Ronald Reagan, that Obama's action does not cede sovereignty, that Interpol has been given the same immunity as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Pacific Halibut Commission, and that Interpol has not gained the right to arrest U.S. citizens.
From the November 11 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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From the November 11 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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From Chuck Norris' October 27 column, "Obama's One-World Government":
Halloween just got scarier -- much scarier.
Flying deep under Washington's radar is an upcoming (December) global climate change conference in Copenhagen, the "United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change."
It all sounds pretty politically benign, doesn't it? Not according to Christopher Monckton, who was a science policy adviser to Margaret Thatcher. Monckton spoke to the Minnesota Free Market Institute.
"I have read that treaty," Monckton said, "and what it says is this: that a world government is going to be created. The word 'government' actually appears as the first of three purposes of the new entity. The second purpose is the transfer of wealth from the countries of the West to Third World countries in satisfaction of what is called, coyly, 'climate debt' -- because we've been burning CO2 and they haven't. And we've been screwing up the climate and they haven't. ... And the third purpose of this new entity, this government, is enforcement. How many of you think that the word 'election' or 'democracy' or 'vote' or 'ballot' occurs anywhere in the 200 pages of that treaty? Quite right, it doesn't appear once."
Monckton then warned that if Obama were to sign the treaty, he would be flushing U.S. sovereignty down the global toilet. He further pointed out that even though ratification of our president's signature on that treaty would need 67 votes in the Senate, it could pass via a simple majority as an amendment to the cap-and-trade bill.
PolitiFact (as well as many left-leaning blogs) quickly criticized Monckton's conclusions as conspiratorial and climate-skepticism rhetoric, based upon the notion that the treaty is a draft and not a finalized document. The apologetic of PolitiFact leaves the impression that the current draft is the roughest of cuts, but in reality, it is the result of seven sessions of deliberations and revisions from several subgroups, including representatives from developed and developing countries "with a view to modifying it in the direction of consolidation and convergence."
As I myself read through the latest draft of the 181-page treaty, I noticed many lines that could warrant Monckton's and others' concerns. Phrases such as "creation of new levels of cooperation," "a shift in global investment patterns," "adjust global economic growth patterns," "integrated system of financial and technology transfer mechanisms," "new agreed post-2012 institutional arrangement and legal framework," "new institutional arrangement will provide technical and financial support for developing countries," "global fund," etc., are messages that make one wonder how far this political body's arm would reach into our country and force our hands into others.
Then there are red-flag statements such as these:
--"Ensuring that global crises, such as the financial crisis, should not constitute an obstacle to the provision of financial and technical assistance to developing countries in accordance with the Convention." (Page 11)
--"The scheme for the new institutional arrangement under the Convention will be based on three basic pillars: government; facilitative mechanism; and financial mechanism, and the basic organization of which will include the following: ..." (Page 18)
--"Particular effort should be taken to enhance cooperation amongst intergovernmental organizations." (Page 47)
--"A special fund shall be established: (a) For the economic and social consequences of response measures. ... (b) To assist countries whose economies are highly dependent on income generated from the production, processing and export, and/or on consumption of fossil fuels." (Page 138)
Now, if that isn't one powerful intergovernmental or global-governmental group overseeing and manipulating America's and others' economic and political conditions, I don't know what is.
And does anyone doubt that our president, as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who believes he can negotiate with terrorists and dictators, has a global desire for international coalescence? Or should it not concern us that at the G-20 conference, he pushed for world leaders to reshape the global economy?
Continuing a trend of increasingly violent and revolutionary rhetoric advanced by conservative media figures, Newsmax columnist John Perry wrote that President Obama "is inviting" a military coup and detailed the reasons he said officers might support such a "[m]ilitary intervention" with the end result being one in which "[s]killed, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars." On the same day, radio host Jim Quinn told armed service members to "run for your life, get out," because Obama "is gonna get you killed."
From Chuck Norris' August 4 Creators Syndicate column:
Believe it or not, I'm not writing you to challenge whether or not you were born in America, though I see nothing wrong with the American public's voicing that constitutionally based grievance with someone in your esteemed position. As one blogger wrote, after all, "We aren't talking about a 12-year-old qualifying to play Little League here." Or as Ronald Reagan once said, "Trust but verify."
I must admit that I find it a bit of a groundless stretch not to believe in the birth announcements in two major Hawaiian newspapers in August 1961, in which Hawaii's Health Department would have been required to post information it received directly from hospitals: "Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama, 6085 Kalanianaole Hwy., son, Aug. 4." Nevertheless, that proof doesn't answer why you refuse to reveal your original birth certificate and end the growing tides of controversy.
I'm writing you because this is no longer a matter merely about proving you meet a presidential prerequisite in the Constitution. Refusing to post your original birth certificate is an unwise political and leadership decision that is enabling the "birther" controversy. The nation you are called to lead is experiencing a growing swell of conspirators who are convinced that you are covering up something. So why not just prove them wrong and shut them up?
I agree with CNN's Lou Dobbs, who was chastised by his own media outlet for demanding the release of your original birth certificate. Why was that such a bad request? We certainly know why Jon Klein, the president of CNN/U.S., thought it was a bad idea. He previously declared that CNN researchers had determined that your 1961 birth certificate no longer exists. But Hawaii officials confirmed again last week that they indeed have your original birth certificate on file.
Mr. President, as more and more people realize that you are refusing to release your original birth certificate, further questions will fuel the fires of debate or at least hinder the embers from ever being snuffed out. Questions such as, "Does it really contain the Hawaiian physician's name?" "Does it disclose something other than his birthplace that he wishes others not to see?"
Chuck Norris repeated the false claim that pedophiles could be protected under the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.