Fox News’ Todd Starnes Falsely Claims: ‘Elderly Women Barred From Reading Christmas Stories To Children’
Fox News radio host Todd Starnes falsely claimed on his website that “elderly women” were “barred from reading Christmas stories to children.”
Starnes, who has a history of spreading dubious stories about the persecution of Christians, notes on his website that seniors at the Kalkaska Senior Living Center in Michigan were in trouble for simply reading the stories to kids visiting from the Kalkaska Memorial Health Center Child Development Center and Preschool.
Starnes notes in his article:
Wilma Wells chose to read a book about Christmas traditions and afterwards she asked the boys and girls if they knew why we celebrate the holiday.At that point an unidentified teacher rose up and stopped the elderly woman from proceeding.“We won’t go there, Wilma,” the teacher declared.
The law firm representing the seniors, First Liberty also said in a letter the trouble began AFTER Wells read the book:
Wilma Wells, another resident of the Assisted Living Center, read a book about Christmas traditions, and after reading the book, asked the children if they knew why we celebrate Christmas. At that point, an unidentified teacher accompanying the students interjected, stating “We won’t go there, Wilma.”
The Friendly Atheist caught the contradiction of facts:
In short, the women were allowed to read their stories. It was only when they started ad-libbing that the problems began. What was she going to do besides talk about Jesus? The teacher was right to prevent her from preaching to the captive audience.
Starnes accidentally revealed the truth in the second incident as well. It wasn’t the story that was objected to, but rather Joan Wilson’s attempt to “summarize” some Bible verses read by the character Linus in “A Charlie Brown Christmas”:
A similar incident happened when Mrs. Wilson began reading “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” While Mrs. Wilson noticed the children getting restless, she began to summarize Linus’s historical account of the Christmas story. During this time, the same employee interrupted her, abruptly cancelled the visit, and escorted children out before Mrs. Wilson could finish.
The Friendly Atheist caught that contradiction too:
So she wasn’t reading the story. She was paraphrasing a section where Linus quotes the Bible…There’s no indication anywhere that they were prevented from reading their books. The interruptions occurred, apparently, because they were using the opportunity to preach to kids and the teacher knew that was a problem.
In its defense of the seniors, First Liberty used this false headline: “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Censored at Senior Living Center.” and falsely claimed in its letter that even non-Christians celebrate Christmas:
… it should be noted that although Christmas may be a religious holiday for many, it is also the commemoration of a recorded historical event, celebrated even by non-Christians.