Politically incorrect FOX News commentator says it’s no longer ‘God bless America’ but ‘God Less America’
When FOX News & Commentary radio host and author Todd Starnes says he feels like “a Duck Dynasty guy living in a Miley Cyrus world,” he means it. The self-professed Bible-believing, sweet-tea-drinking conservative commentator believes that many Americans feel the same way—concerned about living in a culture that is turning away from God at record speed. In God Less America, his new FrontLine (Charisma House) book, in stores May 6, Starnes argues that there is an aggressive culture war on religious liberties, specifically against the Christian faith.
“In the book, I sort of likened myself to a modern-day Paul Revere,” Starnes said. “I don’t have a horse or a lantern, but I have a microphone and a laptop, and I can type at the top of my voice, shouting, ‘The secularists are coming! The secularists are coming!’ and they really do want to take away our right to worship God.”
Starnes’ FOX News & Commentary is heard daily on the FOX News Radio network. Throughout his career, he has covered a number of high-profile stories—taking him from Wall Street to the White House. He has made regular appearances on FOX & Friends and Hannity’s America. His work is heard on hundreds of radio stations around the nation, and his website, toddstarnes.com, is read by more than 2 million people monthly.
FOX News talk show host Mike Huckabee wrote the foreword to God Less America.
“We are seeing time and again the mainstream media assault people of faith for following Christian principles,” the former presidential candidate and governor told Christian Retailing. “Whether it be the Chick-fil-A boycott or Phil Robertson’s suspension from Duck Dynasty, those who stand on solid faith-based principles are being taken to task for not being politically correct.
“I wrote the foreword to Todd’s book because Americans need to recognize the important role God plays in all that is good about our great nation. We cannot become a nation that seeks to shame and condemn those who seek to live by God’s Word.”
Starnes uses real-life news stories as evidence of how the federal government has actively stripped individuals and organizations of their right to worship freely and maintain a public belief in Jesus. The book includes stories such as the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship ministry being kicked off a Florida college campus for holding a Bible study in a student’s dorm room (at the student’s invitation) and a North Carolina pastor being told he could not pray “in the name of Jesus” in a public invocation.
Another of Starnes’ stories centers on a ministry in Lake City, Fla., that feeds the poor. Christian Service Center was told it would no longer receive U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food if it did not remove religious information where government supplies were being distributed.
Starnes says the CSC story is just one of hundreds of examples of religious freedoms being taken away across the country by the government. The FOX host hopes God Less America will open the eyes of Christians to the ways their freedoms are in jeopardy and inspire readers to get involved politically and socially to preserve their right to worship and practice their faith.
“I’m laying out the evidence, saying, ‘Folks, this is what is happening in your country. What are you going to do about it?’ ” Starnes said. “These stories do not typically appear in the major newspapers or evening network newscasts. The mainstream media refuse to cover these. They are turning their backs on these stories.
“We live in a world where what was once wrong is now right and what was once right is now wrong,” he added. “Cultural agendas are being shoved down our throats, and it seems like there is this attitude that it is not even good enough to tolerate them. We must embrace and accept what people do and how they live their lives.”
Starnes said that when he told Rick Warren about this book project, the Saddleback Church pastor told him that he believes the war on religious liberty is going to be the civil rights fight of this generation. Starnes believes it already is.
“If you disagree with someone, you’re a racist or homophobic or xenophobic; that’s not it at all,” Starnes said. “I think when people read this book, they are going to be shocked at all these stories. And maybe someone is going to read this and say, ‘I need to run for the school board,’ or, ‘I need to bring my church youth group to the annual Walk for Life in Washington, D.C.’ We must pray, we must be on our knees, but it will also take men and women of faith becoming politically active, actively taking part in our government to make a change.”
Starnes is also the author of They Popped My Hood and Found Gravy on the Dipstick (Creation House) and Dispatches From Bitter America (B&H Books).
To promote his new book, he plans to launch a bus tour May 11-17, stopping in Spartanburg, S.C.; Atlanta; Nashville; Tulsa, Okla.; and Dallas for book signings, church speaking engagements and media appearances. The author is partnering with Christian Supply of Spartanburg, where Starnes will hold a book signing, and LifeWay Christian Stores for the tour.
Charisma House is supporting the release of the new book with an opportunity for bookstores to win cash prizes.
Participants must register for the contest and submit a photo of their in-store display of God Less America. Upon the determination of online votes for each photo, the winning store receives a cash prize. Two winning stores will receive $2,000 each, and each runner-up will receive $500.
“We are highly anticipating the release of God Less America,” said Marcos Perez vice president of sales at Charisma House. “From a sales standpoint, we believe this contest will engage our partnering bookstores and add to the momentum that is already building for this book release.”
Starnes is thankful for Christian stores that take a stand with the important message in his book and others like it, as well as making available other Christ-honoring products. He enjoys doing signings and meeting the people who believe in his message enough to the buy the book.
“I’m a people person, and if people are going to buy the book, I’m going to stick around to sign every one,” he said. “I think the Christian products industry is still massively important. Given the preference, I would always shop at a family-owned Christian bookstore or a chain like LifeWay rather than go somewhere else. I have paintings and sayings hanging in my office that were purchased at a Christian bookstore. Those items inspire me.”
Starnes encourages Christian retailers to stay in the fight, noting how hard it is to find a Christian store in New York City.
“It’s so important,” Starnes said. “We need you.”