Todd Starnes: My Hero






Who’s your hero?

In the days of my youth, it was not just Superman, but also Flash Gordon  and even Mighty Mouse. Mmm, okay. Maybe not Mighty Mouse, but I did like the Mighty Mouse cartoons. Oh, and of course there was Zorro, played on TV by Guy Williams. I only missed seeing one episode, and that was while we were traveling. I was SO upset…

But even as a kid I knew those characters weren’t real, although they often performed heroic deeds.

I suddenly grew up. Forgot those childish heroes. But whose courage inspired me then? Who did I want to be like?

Politicians? Oh, like Richard Nixon? I don’t think so. Business leaders? I couldn’t name one that impressed me as being true hero material. Same for sports figures. Not that I knew anything about any of them, as disinterested as I was in sports. Movie stars? Mighty Mouse was more worthy of admiration than many of them.

That was the Vietnam era of American history, and I have no doubt that many heroic Americans fought in that struggle to protect South Vietnam from communist North Vietnam. But because the war was unpopular and far too many Americans vilified the military who gave up everything to do what their country called on them to do, I didn’t know of specific heroes. (I wasn’t fond of the Vietnam war, but at least I didn’t hold our military responsible or treat them badly.)

As a Christian, it would make sense that I would have viewed someone like Dr. Billy Graham as a hero of sorts. I admired (and still admire) him greatly, but I’m not sure I would describe his accomplishments as heroic. And he would be the first to insist that they were God’s accomplishments.

I’m in the same dilemma today. It seems like too many people are just going their own way, doing their own thing, with too few being willing to go the extra mile to do something dangerously worthwhile. Everything that was true of the Vietnam era is even more true today. It’s no wonder American is, as the cliche goes, “going to hell in a hand-basket.”

Yet perhaps I do have a few heroes. People who stand up for what’s right without counting the cost. People who still believe in the Bible or at least in biblical principles. People who believe in the Constitution. People who hold toes to the fire of those who have strayed so far from everything that makes–or used to make–America the melting pot of the world rather than a society that is fragmented culturally, ethnically, religiously, politically, and philosophically. Even linguistically. That list could go on and on and on.

I could probably name a number of conservatives who stand up for what’s right without fear of retribution, but Todd Starnes is the person I most think of as my hero. And the fact that he would probably be very surprised to know that and begin listing dozens of other people he thinks worthier of my admiration is part of what makes me feel that way.

I’ve known Todd ever so slightly through writers conferences we’ve both attended–see the pictures above–and his table in the dining hall has always been full of admirers. After all, it’s not every conference that sports a popular Fox News commentator as one of it keynote speakers, especially one who recorded one of his commentaries with us as his live audience.

But that doesn’t make Todd heroic. What does is the fact that he doesn’t mince words in reporting incidents that the other networks wouldn’t even touch. Especially concerning people whose rights have been trampled on in the name of political correctness.

Todd has received death threats, but he continues to share the truth. People turn to him because he’s proven trustworthy under all circumstances. He’s articulate, and he gets to the heart of the matter.

If I define a hero as someone I want to be like because of those characteristics, then I have no choice but to put Todd Starnes at the top of my list .

What about you? Who’s your hero these days? And why? How about sharing a comment?


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4 thoughts on “Todd Starnes: My Hero

  1. Hero. It’s such an abused word. Our current society over-uses the term, almost frivolously, certainly diluting it’s impact and reverence. It should be reserved for people who have accomplished great acts, perhaps encountering fearsome trails, and overcoming them.
    Surely I have admired many people in my life, people who hail from disparate occupations. But HERO HERO?

    It is a term I limit to folks like Ulysses, the mythical figure with outsized humanity, or a very few rare individuals who beat back the odds and overcame substantial obstacles to perform awe-inspiring feats. David, in the bible, would be one of those. Samson. Paul. In modern times maybe Neil Armstrong could qualify. Teddy Roosevelt. Audie Murphy. People like that.

    I recognize my strict definition of hero would not pass muster under tight scrutiny. However, I think for myself. And I think the loose, easily attained stature of hero cheapens the status. Maybe the word idol would suffice in most cases, as in singing idol. I certainly idolize certain people for their accomplishments. Dylan Thomas for his Poetry. Peyton Manning for his Football prowess. Mark Spitz in swimmming, and so forth. But they are not heros to me.

    The thing is this: people misuse words like great, awesome, amazing, incredible. I am sometimes guilty due to mental laziness, at times atributing the word ”amazing” to a certain dish I ate. Nothing amazing about it. Tasty, delicious, unusual – yes. Amazing? Nah. Not even my food.

    This fellow you tab as your hero is someone I do not know of. If he does the things you say I would say he is an extraordinary, uncommon guy. But I’m a nit-picker. So don’t listen to me. As usual I rant when I should write and someties I just scribble. Thanks Teach! I know a correction is forthcoming.


  2. Tom, for the greater part I agree with you totally. My pet peeve is the way even Christians describe God as “awesome,” which I feel appropriate, and then describe lesser things using the same word. That goes for “divine” as well. I suppose the only truly appropriate word for God is “God.” Other things and people may be “gods,” but there is only one God.

    Yes, your definition of here is a bit strict. I tend to think of a hero as someone whose daring make him or her worthy of being a role model. And looking at the way Todd speaks out about issues the liberal media won’t even mention in spite of threats to his life qualifies him for MY way of defining hero.

    Feel free to keep nit-picking. It keeps me on my toes. *G*


  3. Well, although I agree folks could use hero in a broader sense, it hacks me when I hear so many superlatives plastered over everything. So I sometimes refuse to do it because it annoys me to hear how the pancakes were awesome, the cheese sandwich was amazing, she did a divine job of cleaning the kitchen. I’m complicated like that.


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