Fox News host Todd Starnes is outraged after an Army band said they couldn’t perform at his Fox Radio Christmas Show because the event is religious, the Daily Mail reports.
Starnes explained in an article for Fox News that he hosts a two-hour Christmas extravaganza every year in Memphis, which features special guest performers, celebrities, a full orchestra, and the Bellevue Baptist Church Singing Christmas Tree.
The conservative radio host said the event is a family-friendly celebration of Christmas that includes a salute to the military.
Because the event honors the military every year, he thought it would be a good idea to invite them to perform.
“I just knew they would bring down the house with their guitars, banjo and mandolin – especially knowing that our audience loves the military,” Starnes wrote.
The Army didn’t give him a commitment, but he said they seemed excited about the opportunity.
A few days later, Starnes received a reply from the Army declining his request.
“After reviewing your request, we have opined that the show is a religious event, and therefore we cannot provide official support based on restrictions in AR-360-1,” the letter read. “We value our relationship with you as well as FOX News and hope you understand our declination is guided by law and Army regulations.”
Starnes said the reason the Army rejected his offer was because he made it very clear that his show celebrated a Christian holiday.
“My Fox Christmas show unashamedly proclaims that Jesus is the reason for the season,” he wrote. “We are loud and proud.”
Starnes blamed the Obama administration for creating “anti-Christian hostility” in the United States.
“This is what President Obama’s fundamentally transformed nation looks like, folks. It’s a nation where men and women in uniform protect Constitutional rights they are not allowed to practice,” he wrote.
Hiram Sasser, director of litigation at First Liberty Institute, said under President Trump, the Army won’t have restrictions against playing religious events.
“Let’s hope the Trump administration is not faith-a-phobic and will restore simple religious liberty back to the United States and its military,” Fox contributor Mike Huckabee said.
Starnes said the event will still honor the U.S. military.