Bryan Fischer and the Cultural Unity of the United States

As noted on Wednesday, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer said recently that European immigrants have been a benefit to the nation because they share “our values.” However, Hispanics are problematic because they are by nature socialists, and because they do not demonstrate the “Protestant work ethic.”

Fischer declared his stereotypes in the context of criticizing Sean Hannity and Charles Krauthammer over what Fischer believes is capitulation to calls within the Republican party to support some form of amnesty for illegal immigrants. However, in opposing the policy of amnesty, Fischer gave the world a look into his thinking about Hispanics and non-protestants. Largely ignored by Republican and evangelical leaders, Fischer’s stance has been lauded by at least one white nationalist group – the Virginia Dare Foundation.

The VDARE Foundation runs a website which is a one-stop shopping opportunity for those who want to know how white nationalists think (e.g., read this piece on the virtues of white nationalism). Last night, VDARE’s Allan Wall blasted Hannity for his evolution to amnesty, but then he held up Fischer for praise:

Here though is another talk show host who isn’t promoting amnesty. It’s Bryan Fischer , Director of Issue Analysis of the AFA, the American Family Association. The AFA is a conservative values Christian organization. Unlike Focus on the Family, AFA has not jumped on the amnesty bandwagon. In a recent discussion of the “Hispanic vote”, Fischer spoke forcefully against Hispandering.

Wall then cited Fischer’s offensive views on race and immigration.

Last night’s post was not the first time VDARE admired Fischer’s work. Back in 2008, when Fischer ran the Idaho Values Alliance, he opposed the establishment of a Mexican consulate in Idaho. At the time, Allan Wall wrote approvingly of Fischer’s claims of doom if the Mexican consulate was located in Boise. In a 2008 op-ed, Fischer exposed his concerns about the consulate. Note that he isn’t just worried about “the rule of law”:

All Idahoans who care about the rule of law and the preservation of the cultural unity of the United States have valid reasons for concern as the Mexican government proceeds with its plan to open a Mexican consulate in the state capitol. (emphasis added)

Just what is the “cultural unity of the United States?” Isn’t this just another way of saying white Protestant? As white nationalist Jared Taylor pointed out on the VDARE website, coded language is necessary to avoid sounding racist. Taylor wrote:

As for point 1, there would be no disagreement from the 60 to 80 percent of Americans who want less immigration, including me. Stopping mass immigration should be the number one priority for American whites.

Nevertheless, Mr. Sailer is probably right to argue that an open appeal to the interests of whites may not be the most successful way to sell immigration control. His point 2 is correct: White consciousness has been so thoroughly demonized that although whites do not want to live with blacks or Mexicans, they dare not admit it in public. No congressman would say we must guard the border because whites have the right to a country in which they are the majority.

Of course, there are plenty of good ways to oppose immigration and not sound “racist”The country is crowded; we already import too much oil; immigrants commit crime, push down wages, burdenschools, spread disease, go on welfare refuse to learn English, gather in indigestible clumps, etc. etc.

Or one could say that one wants to preserve the “cultural unity of the United States” or that Hispanics are by nature socialists and plunderers, or that only European Protestants are honest, hard workers.  Whatever code words are used, the message is clear.

Evangelicals and other conservatives who want to be taken seriously in the immigration debates need to recognize that words have power. It remains to be seen whether or not Catholic and Protestant leaders will stand clearly and forcefully again blatant stereotyping and xenophobia at the American Family Association.

Apparently, Fischer is glad VDARE cited him favorably:

Bryan Fischer: Hispanics are socialists by nature

Is there a non-white group that Bryan Fischer hasn’t stereotyped? If not, just give him time.

Fred Clark at Slacktivist says Evangelicals Have a Bryan Fischer Problem, and he sure is correct.

Here is the Focal Point program where Fischer goes off on Hispanics. Check him out at 2:21 where he rants that Hispanics are socialist by nature.

Remember socialist is not a compliment coming from Fischer. It gets worse. He claims that Hispanics want to plunder the U.S. and that “goodies” from government is all they want. Before we go on, with two minutes of thinking about Fischer’s stereotype of Mexico, we can dismiss his rant. If Mexico was giving out so many goodies and that is all Mexicans wanted, then why come here and work?

At 7:30, Fischer distinguishes between good immigrants and bad ones. Europeans are good and Hispanics are bad. The Europeans share American values and Hispanics don’t, according to Fischer. Fischer is barely able to conceal his stereotypes and it becomes obvious that, for him, white protestant is good and non-white, non-protestant is not (see especially after minute 8, if you can stand it).

Fischer reinforces many of the stereotypes about Hispanics that bigoted whites believe. It is amazing that he continues to have such a high profile with an organization that many Republicans and evangelicals support.

In his blog post, Fred Clark sets out a significant problem for evangelicals that is posed by Fischer and the AFA:

Just as everything Bryan Fischer has to say about “biblical values” gets outweighed by everything he has to say about people who aren’t white, so too everything mainstream evangelicals have to say about “biblical values” gets outweighed by everything they haven’t said about people like Bryan Fischer.

Or, put more directly: Until mainstream evangelicals denounce racists and bigots like Bryan Fischer — clearly and unambiguously — they will lack the moral credibility that might make anyone care what they have to say about any other moral issues.

In my view, Fred is correct, evangelicals have a problem and I see little effort being made to address it. In fact, those who say something are often dismissed as liberals. Note to any Christian leader who is reading: Do you agree with Fischer? If so, remain silent. If not, issue a press release expressing your disagreement.

Perhaps this group should lead the way.

Uganda Committee Chair on Anti-Homosexuality Bill: No Comment

Normally a “no comment” response is not very newsworthy, but in this case the reply might signal a more serious effort to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill over the next several days.

Today, I spoke briefly with Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee chair Stephen Tashobya who declined to comment on my questions about his committees report on the anti-gay bill. When asked other questions about the legislation, he said he was unable to comment in any way on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

This is a departure for Mr. Tashobya who told me several months ago that his committee had more important business than the anti-gay measure. Tashobya has always been willing to discuss the progress (or more often the lack of progress) of the bill in his committee. However, I suspect he has been instructed to decline requests for comment.

I then spoke briefly with Mohammed Katamba who is an information officer with Parliament. He indicated that the committee report has not been completed and there was no date set for debate on the bill.

Recall that, in recent weeks, Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has pledged to bring the bill to the floor of Parliament for a vote before Christmas. The bill has new life thanks to Kadaga and passage seems more probable now than ever.

 

 Text of the 2011 committee report on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This report changes some wording but leaves in the death penalty.

Full text of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.

David Barton: Where is the evidence?

Soon after Thomas Nelson pulled David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies, Barton went on Bryan Fischer’s radio show to sling ad hominem attacks at me. On that show, he promised to release proof that he was right in his claims about Thomas Jefferson. He said at 2:34 into the clip below that he was “releasing pieces now one at a time” which would refute the work we did in Getting Jefferson Right. Again at about 6:50, Barton promised to release information showing how “silly” our claims are. Then at 9:18, he said he is going to “poke him (me) in the eye” with this proof. He followed that threat with a promise to bring out piece after piece refuting my claims, saying “after you get to error number 107 from Throckmorton, people are going to go, golly, I endorsed his book?”

Roll the tape…

Where is the evidence? What is the proof? So far, Barton has engaged in ad hominem attacks and gone on Glenn Beck’s show with straw man distortions of our claims. In the three months since the interview with Fischer, Barton has not released multiple pieces refuting our claims and no one has backed off from their endorsement of our book.

We are waiting.

 

 

Uganda’s Speaker Promises Passage of Anti-Gay Bill Before the End of the Year

More promises to pass the bill from Rebecca Kadaga.

After three years watching this situation, I am more concerned now than ever that the bill will pass.

If/when it passes, I hope it is immediately challenged in court.

Let’s remember that Museveni has no effective means to veto the bill and did not attempt this last Parliament. He can send bills back to Parliament but if that body is persistent, bills will become law.

Uganda’s Parliament May Pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill Soon

Within two weeks if this report is to be believed. While I cannot confirm that this source is trustworthy, the basic news that the Parliament is set to act on the bill is consistent with what I am hearing from sources in Uganda.

Here is an ominous aspect of the report.

The speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga has today committed herself that in two weeks time parliament will pass the Anti-Homo Bill. Kadaga says that the passing of the Anti-Homo bill will be a Christmas gift to Ugandans who have been on front line in the fight against homosexuality.

Speaker Kadaga committed herself during a meeting with a coalition of religious, political, cultural leaders held at parliament where she said that Uganda is an independent country which operates under its constitution. We should stop dancing on the tune of western countries. We have the right to reject any things which is against our culture.

“Am going to allow Hon Bahati to proceed with his bill and make sure that it is passed within the period of two weeks. As leaders we should listen to the voice of our people. It is our responsibility to protect our country against homosexuality ,our value, culture and character” Speaker Kadaga noted

Elsewhere religious, cultural and political leader said that all homosexual practitioners in Uganda should be killed because homosexual is not allowed in Uganda.

“It is an abomination in Uganda for a man to marry a fellow man and a woman to get married to her fellow woman. We strongly condemn and oppose the devil called homosexuality on our soil. As religious, cultural leaders we urge the Uganda’s brave (Kadaga) to be strong, farm and courageous while fighting Homosexual in Uganda. The Western world should take their moral behaviors away from Africa Uganda in particular” Religious leaders noted.

 

Spiritual hunches vs. math: How not to predict the outcome of an election

According to Glenn Beck and David Barton, those who are “spiritually attuned” were calling the race for Romney. Something was obviously off there. This is a great example of how wishful thinking can bias one’s attributions.

 

In addition to the outcome of the election, this helpful Christianity Today summary of evangelical/born again voters demonstrates that the hunches were off. Evangelical vote for the GOP moved up slightly in some states and declined in others. On balance, it doesn’t appear that all the effort made much difference. In the past, I have questioned the politicization of local churches on theological grounds; now I think there is reason to question it on pragmatic grounds.

On another note, David Barton compares his partnership with Mormon Glenn Beck to the George Whitefield revivals before the Revolutionary War. Somehow I can’t see Whitefield partnering with the heterodox beliefs which characterize the LDS church.  While he was kind in his criticisms, Whitefield clearly and publicly confronted what  he considered to be error (e.g., this letter to John Wesley).

In my view, Barton confuses political movements with spiritual movements. He compares the GOP coalition working for Romney to the religious revivals of years gone by. Those were spiritual events which had as their aim personal salvation. Any political benefits were secondary. What Barton works for is the use of the church for political ends.

Barton was right about one thing – he said at 9:45 into the clip that the night was not going to go long before calling a winner. However, Beck and Barton called it at 320 or 330 electoral votes for Romney. My point is not to fault them for being wrong. A lot of smart people were wrong. However, it is the way one makes attributions that I am highlighting. I got a lot closer to the correct outcome by following the math (polling data). Many others discounted the clear polling evidence and were biased by what they wanted to happen. Going forward, I hope those leading the GOP will look at the numbers (e.g., exit polls, electoral math, erosion of support for divisiveness on social issues) instead of engaging in wishful thinking.

 

Obama wins second term

This afternoon I made predictions regarding the election and it appears that I got it about right.

At this point, some states are still too close too call but it appears that the electoral math will not work out for Romney.

The discussion about what went wrong has already started. I think the GOP has significant problems which will be analyzed and spun.