On Monday, I wrote about the corrosive effect of the culture war on the real business of Christianity. In that post, I wrote
On the other hand, my great concern is that culture warring lulls people into feeling that that the cause justifies the considerable offense that comes with vilifying those the church yearns to reach.
As if to volunteer to be Exhibit A, Bryan Fischer helps define “vilifying” for us. On his American Family Radio program this week, Fischer, who erroneously believes the New Testament teaches criminalization of homosexuality) made the tired and discredited link between homosexuality and the WWII Nazis. He did not do this as an attempt at a lesson in history but as a part of his opposition to gays serving openly in the military. He did not simply comment on his moral opposition to homosexuality, teaching his view of the matter from the Bible. He vilified an entire group of people based on distortions of fact and the behavior of a few. Listen for yourself, transcript to follow:
So Hitler himself was an active homosexual. And some people wonder, didn’t the Germans, didn’t the Nazis, persecute homosexuals? And it is true they did; they persecuted effeminate homosexuals. But Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers, they were his enforcers, they were his thugs. And Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual solders basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after. So he surrounded himself, virtually all of the Stormtroopers, the Brownshirts, were male homosexuals.
When Fischer says that Hitler could not find straights to be savage enough, he goes beyond even Scott Lively’s imagination. This is one clear example of what I meant by vilifying.
He followed up his radio performance with a column defending his views by quoting books by Lothar Machtan and of course, Scott Lively. Machtan speculates that Hitler was homosexual, although other historians have explored this possibility and most of them are skeptical. I explored the matter in this post and you can get a more objective look at the matter via the documentary Men, Heroes and Gay Nazis. I have a clip here dealing with Machtan’s book on the question of Hitler’s sexuality:
Note that the historians other than Machtan point out that there is no proof, no eye witness account. When Fischer confidently says that Hitler was an active homosexual, he misleads his numerically substantial audience. And he does so make a far more sinister point which he makes explicit in a column out today. In that article, he extensively quotes Lively’s book The Pink Swastika and echoes Lively when he writes:
Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.
Regarding the specific claims of the Pink Swastika, I did a series of posts with the help of historian J.D. Wyneken. We found that The Pink Swastika took some historical facts, threw in a lot of wild speculation and simply overlooked disconfirming facts to create a false picture – one which Bryan Fischer summarized over this last week to support his culture war position.
Here are related posts in that series:
June 3 – Before The Pink Swastika
June 15 – Nazi movement rallies against gays in Springfield, MO (See this one regarding Fischer’s association of American Nazis with homosexuality)
June 17 – Does homosexuality lead to fascism?
July 6 – The Pink Swastika and Hate 2 Hope (See this one regarding Fischer’s association of American Nazis with homosexuality)
Factoid: Fischer is a confirmed speaker at the Values Voter Summit.