Rachel Maddow: Bryan Fischer Has Been Fired As Spokeman By the American Family Association

Rachel Maddow reported earlier this evening:
[youtube]http://youtu.be/LzUTpe16y1E[/youtube]
May be (should be) more fall out from the GOP’s collaboration with the AFA. Perhaps Bryan Fischer’s foot has been in his mouth just a few too many times.
The AFA hasn’t gotten rid of him completely; he is still considered a “talk show host” and his twitter account has him as the host of the Focal Point show.
Apparently, Tim Wildmon has had a change of heart about Bryan Fischer’s platform. In 2012, Wildmon declined to address Fischer’s comments about HIV and AIDS because Fischer’s talk show did not represent the AFA’s position. Despite the fact that Fischer has two hours to opine and the blog site was maintained by the AFA, Wildmon told me that he didn’t believe he needed to address Fischer’s statements.
More posts to come looking at the statements by David Lane on behalf of the AFA about the purpose of America being a Christian nation.
A little while ago, Fischer tweeted that he will be on the air tomorrow.


If the AFA ever wants to be a player again, they probably can’t stop with demoting Fischer. While it is speculation on my part, I have a hunch Wildmon was told to do something with Fischer by someone at the RNC. I have a hard time believing that Tim Wildmon saw the light unless he felt the heat. He has backed Fischer for years.
The AFA has removed other shows from their network for lesser crimes, such as criticizing the network.
Watch the entire segment which includes an interview with the reporter for Haaretz, Debra Nussbaum Cohen (Her article is here).

Politifact Debunks Bryan Fischer's Christianity Only View of the First Amendment

Just as I did in 2011, yesterday Politifact debunked Bryan Fischer’s claim that the founders said religion but meant Christianity.
On his 12/10/13 Focal Point broadcast, Fischer said:

By the word religion in the First Amendment, the founders meant Christianity.

Not so.
Politifact’s Punditfact writers consulted Baylor’s Thomas Kidd, Rutger’s Jan Ellen Lewis and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Fellow John Ragosta to provide the complete picture. Fischer believes Muslims should not have the right to build any new mosques. His topic on the broadcast was claims for First Amendment protections by Satanists.
I doubt this comeuppance will distract Fischer from misleading his American Family Association audience. Such facts have come to light before. His own organization, the AFA, publicly disagreed with him in 2011 but he continues to preach his fictions. Fischer’s argument is an extension of David Barton’s Christian nationalist perspective. Barton has defended the view that the First Amendment only applies to monotheistic religions.

Weekend Roundup – Tanks, Government Lies, Anti-Gay Pride, Christian Persecution, Government Shut Down

These are some items of interest that I either didn’t get to or need no additional noise from me.
David Barton: Tanks A Lot – David Barton told his Wallbuilders audience that private citizens should be allowed to have whatever weapons the government has – tanks, fighter jets, whatever. Just like the founders had.
How Do You Know When The Government Is Lying? – That’s the burning question Michael Peroutka asks on his IOTC website. He claims that the government and the media conspire together ” to endanger you, impoverish you or otherwise to harm you.” I also learned that the media hyped up the dangers of Swine Flu in 2009 to “provide cover” for the government to meddle in health care.
Scott Lively and Bryan Fischer Celebrate Anti-Gay Pride –  At 10:25, Lively calls his indirect influence on Russia’s anti-gay law “one of the proudest achievements of my career.” Guess it is all downhill from there.
Christians are under attack all over the world and the Church seems silent – Kirsten Powers’ thought provoking editorial provoked me. I will return to this issue next week. My initial view is that most Christians in the pew are praying but don’t know what else to do. Our evangelical leaders are consumed with Values Voting and Culture Warring and Taking The Country Back.
Oh, and the government might shut down…

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.

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.

 

 

Bryan Fischer finds a gay he can like

Bryan Fischer is out for vindication. He was dismissed from a CNN broadcast by Carol Costello after ranting away at gays and failing to discuss the SPLC Mix It Up Day honestly. Now he has found himself a gay person who Fischer believes speaks the truth and thinks like he thinks. And as if to shout, “I told you so!” he presents this gay man as an authority in his most recent column. Fischer cites Johann Hari who penned what Hari portrays as an expose of sorts for Huffington Post on the subject of gay fascists. No matter that most gays aren’t fascists, or that most neo-Nazis, especially in the U.S., hate gays or that Johann Hari is just one gay person. Hari says some things Fischer can agree with, so Hari is an authority.

The problem for Fischer is that the consensus among historians is that the idea that gays are always at the center of fascism is inaccurate. In Fischer’s world, the majority has been co-opted by the gays whereas the few people who see a vital link between homosexuality and fascism are seeing the gospel truth. All it takes is one person, expert or not, saying what Fischer says and voilà, the man is a genius.

I think Hari fails to make any case other than gays as well as straights can be fascists. However, in his piece he makes some other points that Fischer leaves out. Hari suggests that extreme homophobia on the right may be a defense against latent homosexual urges. He writes:

At first glance, our Nazis seem militantly straight. They have tried to disrupt gay parades, describe gay people as “evil”, and BNP leader Nick Griffin reacted charmingly to the bombing of the Admiral Duncan pub in 1999 with a column saying, “The TV footage of gay demonstrators [outside the scene of carnage] flaunting their perversion in front of the world’s journalists showed just why so many ordinary people find these creatures repulsive.”

But scratch to homophobic surface and there’s a spandex swastika underneath.

Describe gay people as evil? People think gays are repulsive? Who says stuff like that? Mr. Fischer overlooked that theory from his new authority on the relationship between the negativity toward gays and homosexuality. Wonder why.

In the end, Hari presents a mish mash of theories, vignettes and fractured history that confuses more than it enlightens. He criticizes The Pink Swatiska but fails to recognize that he has used the same kind of hyperbole in his own piece. In the service of being sensational, he has played into the hands of the historical revisionists he criticizes.

Honestly, some gays are racial bigots. Some Christians are too. Does that make all Christians racial bigots? Or does the fact that some Christians are neo-Nazis mean that Christianity is the breeding ground of fascism? In his zeal to get vindication, Fischer throws logic out of the window and opens himself to the same charge he levels.

 

For more on The Pink Swastika by Scott Lively, see The Pink Swastika.

Why do they even bring Bryan Fischer on?

Bryan Fischer on CNN finds evil in the strangest places and then he won’t answer for his words about gays being Nazis.

 

Isn’t there some way to simply say no to the AFA? Conservatives might lament the title “conservative” applied to AFA and Fischer. However, I think it is up to conservatives to police ourselves. William Buckley did it with the John Birchers; why can’t conservatives today do it with the AFA?

Bryan Fischer responds to Rick and Kay Warren over AIDS-HIV link

In a column hosted on the American Family Association website, Bryan Fischer defended his denial of the HIV-AIDS link. On Monday, Rick and Kay Warren released a statement to me which condemned Fischer’s recent campaign to support the work of Peter Duesberg. Duesberg is a professor of biology at UC – Berkeley who claims that HIV is a harmless virus and does not cause AIDS.

In his rebuttal, Fischer restates arguments from his previous columns and at times, inadvertently argues against himself. For instance, Fischer chides the Warrens with Uganda as an illustration:

Warren knows for a fact that the only nation in Africa that has been able to dramatically reduce its AIDS rate is Uganda, which has done it by emphasizing abstinence before marriage and fidelity after. It makes perfect sense. If the cause is bad behavior, the cure is good behavior. Pastor Warren ought to be down with that, since that’s exactly what the Scriptures teach.

If you want to solve the AIDS crisis, the solution is simple, and it’s not found in a test tube. If you’re a man, stop using poppers, stop having sex with other men, and don’t shoot up. The beauty of that solution is that it doesn’t require billions and billions of dollars.

First of all, Uganda has reduced the AIDS rate by reducing HIV transmission among straights. According Harvard AIDS prevention expert, Edward Green, gays have a very small impact on the situation there. The ABC approach (abstinence, be faithful, condom use) has been quite helpful there, but this is not what Fischer suggests in his very next paragraph. Instead, Fischer’s advice to men in Uganda — “stop using poppers, stop having sex with other men and don’t shoot up” — would be nearly meaningless. Fischer and Duesberg’s Stop, Stop and Don’t Shoot won’t stop HIV but the ABC method does.

What Fischer does not do is confront the horrendous consequences of his campaign already realized in South Africa. As the Warrens pointed out, the South African government took Duesberg’s advice from 2000-2005 which led to thousands of babies being infected and over 330,000 deaths, as estimated by two follow up studies.

Yesterday, I wrote the AFA’s Tim Wildmon to ask if the AFA agrees with Fischer’s views. No reply has come as yet.

Related:

Rick and Kay Warren condemn the American Family Association’s denial of link between HIV and AIDS