FOX Sports may have fired a known homophobe in Craig James, but that does not mean that FOX News will follow suit. In fact, they are still giving a platform to Christianist Todd Starnes. The FOX News Radio host and columnist for FOXNews.com recently repeated his oft brought up claims that Christians in the military are being persecuted in the wake of the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Starnes loves to take any incident involving the firing of a member of the military and twist it into some form of Christian persecution. After going through a string of cause celebrate, Starnes has settled on Sergeant Phillip Monk, who claims to have been relieved of his duties in the Air Force after telling his openly lesbian commander that he is opposed to same-sex marriage.
Monk is now facing a formal investigation because, as it turns out, he was not relieved of his duties, nor was he punished by his wing commander. In fact, officials at Lackland AFB in San Antonio note that Monk and his commander simply agreed to disagree and that Monk was relieved of his duties because his assignment was over.
Monk, however, claimed in Starnes’ original report that “I was relieved of my position because I don’t agree with my commander’s position on gay marriage. We’ve been told that if you publicly say that homosexuality is wrong, you are in violation of Air Force policy.”
He later claimed that “I was essentially fired for not validating my commander’s position on having an opinion about homosexual marriage.” Starnes claims that “Monk said he is brokenhearted over the way the military has treated him.”
Monk also said that “The narrative is that you cannot say anything that contradicts Air Force policy,” and Starnes then added “He said in essence, Christians are trading places with homosexuals.”
In his latest report, Starnes claims that Monk said “Christians have to go into the closet. We are being robbed of our dignity and respect. We can’t be who we are.” Starnes went on to claim that “I asked Sgt. Monk why he just couldn’t keep quiet knowing that the Obama administration has staffed the Pentagon with anti-Christian civilians. Why risk getting booted out of the military?”
Starnes claims that Monk told him that “he decided to take a stand for his three teenage sons.”
Monk said “The Monk family will be strong in mind, strong in soul, they will have strong character and strong work ethic. That is the ethos of our family. That’s what I hope they see in me.” Starnes also claims that Monk “hopes his boys will see ‘a man who stands upright and stands for integrity.’” Starnes then added that “Sadly, those values are no longer seen as virtuous in a military that’s been turned into a social-engineering petri dish.”
Starnes, of course, never lets anything like facts get in the way of creating out of whole cloth any kind of story. By taking this story to Starnes and trying to make a controversy out of it, Monk may have contravened Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. That article prohibits service members from engaging in speech or action “of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.”
Monk’s attempts to become a martyr for the Cause of LGBT Persecution may jut end up with him drummed out of the military with a dishonorable discharge.
Despite trying desperately to find instances of Christian persecution in the Armed Forces, Starnes has been unable to come up with more than a handful of cases, and in those cases, not a single one of those service members were discharged for expressing an anti-gay sentiment. They have been drummed out of the service for holding unauthorized parties, badmouthing superior officers, and other breaches of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but not a single one of them has been discharged for saying something homophobic.