ATLANTA — Todd Starnes, the Will Rogers of the 21st century, has become well known for his topical humor and political quips and quotes.
Although he lives in the borough of Brooklyn in the “Big Apple” he still has a hankering for sweet tea, cornbread, and collards. And if I had to guess, Cracker Barrel is his restaurant of choice.
I read his book God Less America and liked it so much I have now become the possessor of a personally autographed copy of his latest work, The Deplorables” Guide to Making America Great Again.
Starnes, who hosts a national radio show for Fox News and whose syndicated column is read by millions, was the keynote speaker for the Faith and Freedom Coalition luncheon at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot on Thursday.
Starnes immediately won the hearts of his audience on Thursday when he stated that the mayor of Atlanta lost the bet with the mayor of Boston/Foxboro in their bet on the Super Bowl. They mayor of the city of the losing team was, according to Starnes, obligated to name an animal at their city’s zoo after the winning quarterback. The Fox News commentator stated, “So, Atlanta now has a Madagascar hissing cockroach named Tom Brady.”
A proud deplorable
The Fox radio commentator declared, “I was born in Memphis, saved as a child, and I am now involved in my church in New York City. I am one of those people who clings to my guns and religion. I am one of the Hillary Clinton deplorables; and I am glad to share a foxhole with you in the fight for religious liberty.
“I believe Hillary Clinton lost the election when she called millions of us ‘an irredeemable basket of deplorables.'”
In his new book Starnes says, “Throughout the [Presidential] campaign we Christians were mocked by Hollywood and dismissed by academics. We were marginalized by the media – bullied and belittle by sex and gender revolutionaries.” He added, “But we cannot relax. There is much work to be done.”
Starnes then made reference to Barronelle Stutzman, the Christian florist in the state of Washington who was sued by a gay man – a friend and client for almost a decade – who was outraged by her refusal to do the flowers for his same-sex wedding.
Just moments before Starnes addressed his audience the nine Washington State Supreme Court justices ruled against Mrs. Stutzman, essentially stating that the state should be able to rob you of your home, life savings, and anything else of value just because you hold to a different political view or set of principles than the people in power. The justices, all of them, found the grandmother guilty of discrimination for daring to do what the First Amendment protects – living out her faith at work. Starnes declared, “This case is about crushing dissent in America.”
Starnes added, “I don’t think your Governor Deal likes me very much. Here in Georgia Dr. Eric Walsh was hired by the state government, then investigated and when it was discovered that his sermons contained material that was unacceptable to the state government leaders he was terminated. Now we might expect that in California, but not in Georgia.
“However, Dr. Walsh sued the government and won his case. Consequently, the Georgia state government must pay him $225,000 to settle the case – that is almost a quarter of a million dollars that is coming out of your pockets.
“My word to Governor Deal is this: Do the right thing and protect the religious liberty for the people in Georgia.”
A young example of opposition
Starnes then mentioned the problem encountered by the Brandon High School marching band. The band was ordered off the field at halftime because the Christian hymn “How Great Thou Art” was in violation of a federal court order.
However, at halftime in the absence of the band a cheerleader began to sing the forbidden song – “Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee.” One by one the people started to stand and sing – until there were hundreds of them singing together in the stadium.
“Thank goodness for the young cheerleader who dared to stand up and exercise her First Amendment rights.
“I enjoy going to movies,” exclaimed Starnes. “And one of my favorite films is ‘We Were Soldiers’ starring Mel Gibson. The movie is about American soldiers who were sent to a location that was near the base camp of a veteran North Vietnamese army division with several thousand men. After valiantly holding off the North Vietnamese for two days, they were being overrun by the enemy with no options left.
“At one point Sergeant Major Basil Plumley was in a foxhole with a war correspondent by the name of Joseph Galloway. Plumley said to Galloway who was crouched down in the foxhole, ‘You can’t take any pictures from down there, sonny.’
“Galloway gets up and is handed a rifle, but rejects it saying, ‘I’m a non-combatant.’”
With emphasis Starnes declares, “And Plumley responds by saying, ‘Ain’t no such thing today.’”
Starnes concluded, “There must be no such thing as sitting on the sidelines or hiding in the shadows. It is time for God’s people to stand up! Making America great again begins by us refusing to hide liberty’s light under a bushel! No! Hold it high! Let the light of freedom burn bright so all the world can see that we are once again that shining city on a hill.”