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Bryan Fischer Clearly Doesn't Understand His Own Incoherent View Of The First Amendment

As we have noted several times before, American Family Radio's Bryan Fischer has an understanding of the First Amendment that makes absolutely no sense, as he regularly insists that it only applies to Congress ... except for all the times when he insists that it applies to all sorts of government entities.

Fischer's incoherence has been on full display regarding the case of Joe Kennedy, a high school football coach from Washington state who was fired after he refused to stop praying with players and students after games. Despite the fact that Fischer has repeatedly declared that "it is constitutionally and historically impossible for a school to violate the First Amendment ... [b]ecause a school is not Congress," he simultaneously insists that the school district has violated Kennedy's First Amendment rights by not allowing him to pray after games.

"Good for you, coach Joe Kennedy," Fischer declared. "He's taking the district to court for violating his First Amendment rights, which is exactly what they've done ... What does the First Amendment say? It says that Congress—and Bremerton [School District,] they interpret that to mean any governmental authority, that would include schools because they're government schools—is not allowed to prohibit the free exercise of religion. What did Bremerton School District do when they told Joe Kennedy, 'You can't pray at midfield after a game'? They prohibited his free exercise of religion! They told him, 'Your constitutional right—even though this is government property and the government is specifically prohibited from infringing on your free exercise rights—we are going to destroy the First Amendment here, doesn't apply in Bremerton, doesn't apply on a football field, you have lost that right. You have not only lost that right, you have lost your job.'"

Today, Fischer posted a column blasting a report recently released by the United States Commission on Civil Rights that further undermines his argument in the Kennedy case, as he explicitly states that a school district can never be guilty of violating the First Amendment:

The very first word in the First Amendment is “Congress.” The First Amendment was intended as a restraint on Congress and Congress alone. It is simply impossible for any other entity - be it a state, a county, a city, a school district, a school teacher, or a student - to violate the First Amendment for the simple reason that it wasn’t written to restrain them.

Only Congress can violate the Founders’ Constitution, and it can do so in only two ways. First, it can violate the Establishment Clause by picking one Christian denomination and making it the official church of the United States. As long as Congress doesn’t do that, it can do anything it wants with regard to religious expression. It can pay a chaplain to pray Christian prayers and proclaim as many national days of prayer as it would like.

States under the Founders’ Constitution are free to regulate religious expression in any way they would like without any interference from the federal government. States can even have an established religion if they want to, and at the time of the Founding, 10 of them did.

Secondly, only Congress can violate the Free Exercise clause because it applies specifically and exclusively to Congress. Congress - and by extension the entire federal government, including the judiciary - is flatly prohibited from interfering with the free exercise of the Christian religion in any way, shape or form. Any such effort on the part of any branch of the federal government, whether it’s the legislative branch, the executive branch, or the judicial branch, is flatly and permanently forbidden by the Founders’ Constitution.

The federal government has zero authority to tell schools what they may and may not do with regard to Bible reading in classrooms, prayer at assemblies and graduation ceremonies, or the posting of the Ten Commandments on school room walls. Those matters are for state and local authorities to decide. Period. 

Just last month, Fischer accused the Bremerton School District of violating the First Amendment, but today, he stated that it is "impossible" for a school district to ever violate the First Amendment.

Unless Fischer is arguing that he believes that local public schools are also "Congress," then his argument makes no sense, especially since he asserts in his latest piece that states are "free to regulate religious expression in any way they would like."

Under Fischer's own argument, any state would be free to prohibit Kennedy or anyone else from exercising their religion for any reason, or, for that matter, to restrict the freedom of speech, freedom of the press or the right to peaceably assemble, which are also protected by the First Amendment. 

Fischer's outrage over the Kennedy case proves that he clearly does't believe, or possibly doesn't even understand, his own stated position. 

Jesse Lee Peterson: Intellectuals Are 'Absolute Nutcases'

Right-wing activist Jesse Lee Peterson recently delivered a sermon in which he warned his congregation not to become intellectuals because intellectualism is responsible for foisting things like gay marriage upon America.

"I notice that the people who are really into the intellect are nutcases," Peterson said. "Absolute nutcases. Because of this intellectual thing taking over and the people rule us, we now have so-called same-sex marriage. That wouldn't happen if we weren't into the intellect. Common sense would dictate that is not going to happen and common sense wouldn't care what you thought about it because we would know that that's wrong." 

Intellectuals are also responsible for the fact that "we now have drag queens running around in the military," Peterson added.

"Can you imagine jumping down in a foxhole, running from bin Laden, and there is a man in there with a dress and lipstick on? It would shock you. You would rather be out with bin Laden," Peterson stated, apparently so dedicated to being anti-intellectual that he's totally unaware that Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011.

People simply need to rely "on the intellect of God," he recommended, because human intellect is a tool of the devil, which is why "all intellectual people are insecure people ... because their father is weak, their father Satan is a deceiver."

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/22/16

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/22/16

  • ALIPAC's William Gheen warns that "the violence you are seeing in many cities is not a phase or just protests, but part of a socialist uprising and overthrow that will organize increasing violence from individuals and groups as election day approaches!"
  • David Whitney fumes about laws banning the use of "ex-gay" reparative therapy on minors and court rulings upholding them: "The court has essentially ruled that it is illegal to proclaim repentance to sodomites of a certain age, even if they might want help to rid themselves of that same sex bondage ... So proclaiming repentance has been declared illegal by the Legislature of California as well as by the Federal Circuit Court."
  • Erik Rush wants the government to "revoke the citizenship of each and every naturalized Muslim American and deport them to their native countries, save for giving them the opportunity to renounce Islam in order to escape this fate."
  • Michele Bachmann says that "we’ve lost our rights to free speech now because of what this one-world-order diversity plan has chosen for us, and we’re just supposed to lie down and take it."
  • Finally, FRC prays for North Carolina: "May God give Governor Pat McCrory, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest and the members of the entire North Carolina Legislature extraordinary wisdom, moral strength, courage, and steadfastness to stand and withstand what is nothing less than an onslaught of evil. May God protect his people and America from blind leaders who are destroying our nation from within! May our next president have the understanding, the grace, and the will to undo the evil transformation that has taken place in America during the past eight years. And may God snap millions of blinded men and women out of the delusion that moves them to elect and reelect men and women who advocate these things!"

Tom DeLay And J.D. Hayworth Worry Internet Transition Will Be Used To Hack The Election

Right-wing conspiracy theorists have been warning for years that President Obama is intent on giving away the internet, largely because they have no idea what they are talking about.

So naturally, it was only a matter of time before Donald Trump added his ignorant voice to the mix by declaring his opposition to "the President’s intent to cede control to international interests, including countries like China and Russia, which have a long track record of trying to impose online censorship" and called on Congress to stop the transition. 

Perhaps nothing quite demonstrates the rampant ignorance fueling this ill-informed right-wing freak-out like the discussion about this issue that occurred between J.D. Hayworth and Tom DeLay on "Newsmax Prime" yesterday, in which the two former congressmen wildly speculated that the move was part of some effort by Obama to allow foreign nations to hack our election through voter fraud.

"To have the international community take over the internet in late October, just prior to the first week in November," Hayworth said, "man, the timing of this is really suspect!"

DeLay, who admitted that he is so ignorant when it comes to technological issues that he can barely turn on his own computer, was nevertheless outraged by the transition, calling it "patently dangerous."

"It just boggles my mind that we would give up control of the internet, of all things," DeLay said. "I know that whatever agreement has been made by this administration is not going to benefit the United States and is not going to benefit the American people, so we have got to find a way to put this off until the next president is put into office."

Yesterday, three board members from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit organization that is at the center of this upcoming transition, published an op-ed in The Hill explaining that the fear mongering that is currently being whipped up around it is rooted in misinformation and ignorance:

IANA transition does not affect the security of your website, your email, or the Domain Name System.

The security of websites has been and remains the responsibility of the owners and operators of the websites - ICANN is not involved in protecting web sites or tracking down hackers. If websites are compromised, law enforcement agencies are responsible for enforcement actions. The IANA transition changes none of the roles and responsibilities of the various actors already engaged in protecting the security and stability of the Internet.

The statement that control of ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) would change hands as a result of the IANA transition is also wrong and misleading. The SSAC is not a “security guard” for the Internet. The SSAC has no enforcement power, and the value of its advice is based on the strength of the facts underlying such advice.

The Security and Stability Advisory Committee advises the ICANN community and Board on matters relating to the security and integrity of the Internet's naming and address allocation systems. Our recent work include advisories on a wide range of topics such as internationalized domain names, protecting domain name owners and operators, best practices for domain name registrars, analysis on the changing nature of IPv4 address semantics, and advice on matters pertaining to the correct and reliable operation of the root name system and other issues (see https://ssac.icann.org/ for more details). The SSAC neither operates as a security guard for the Internet, nor does it aspire to.

The IANA transition has no practical effect on the work and activities of the SSAC. Nor does the transition have any effect on the security and stability of website owners worldwide. The risk of compromise of a website owner does not increase as a result of the IANA transition, since ICANN and IANA do not control either the ownership of websites or the content on websites. Leading technical experts, industry associations, and civil society groups agree that allowing the IANA contract to expire is the best possible way to protect and promote the continued integrity of the Internet.

There is simply no relationship between ICANN and the current U.S. election process. Assertions of this sort are misleading and irresponsible. On the other hand, attempt to connect ICANN to the U.S. political process play directly into the hands of the enemies of an open Internet who would like to see ICANN and other Internet bodies put under the control of the United Nations or, worse yet, broken up into separate, government-controlled networks that do not interoperate smoothly around the world.

Tom DeLay: Obama Will 'Go Down As The Worst President That Has Ever Served This Nation'

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay appeared on Newsmax Prime yesterday, where he declared that President Obama will go down as the worst president in American history.

"I have said it and said it publicly and I've said it proudly," DeLay stated, "this president is a Marxist, he believes in globalization, he believes in world order, he is a socialist from the get-go and we're getting what we deserve because we made him president of the United States."

"His legacy is going to go down as the worst president that has ever served this nation," he continued. "And when we start finding out what is going on and what has been going on as the years go by, we're going to be disgusted even more. January can't come too fast for me, that's for sure."

Gary Bauer: Donald Trump Might Be The Last Chance Conservative Christians Have To Save America

Gary Bauer of American Values was a guest on the "Point of View" radio program last week, where he repeated his analogy likening this election to Flight 93, the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11 after passengers fought back against the terrorists who had hijacked it.

This election is crucial, Bauer warned, because Donald Trump might just be the very last chance that conservatives ever have to elect a president who will promote their agenda.

"In some ways, America is like that plane," Bauer said. "We're careening out of control. We're on our way to crashing into something. We're abandoning Judeo-Christian values and traditions, government is becoming more and more powerful. If we get another four or eight years of left-wing judges on the courts, the First Amendment, our religious liberty rights, the Second Amendment rights, all these things will be up for grabs."

Like the passengers on Flight 93, Bauer said, Christians have to be willing to do everything they can to save the nation in this election because this might be the last chance they ever have.

"I can make a case that this may be the last election chance we have to actually win with somebody that is relatively close to our views on a variety of issues," he said. "The country could change so much in another four to eight years of these policies that we may not be able to elect another person on our side again to the presidency."

Scott Lively Hopes To See Passage Of Russian-Style Anti-Gay Laws In America Under President Trump

Earlier this month, anti-LGBT activist Mike Heath of MaineResistance interviewed fellow extremist Religious Right activist Scott Lively, who continued to heap praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin for his crackdown on LGBT rights and hoped that, under a President Trump, similar anti-gay laws could be enacted in America.

Lively, who has called the passage of laws banning the spread of gay "propaganda" in Russia "one of the proudest achievements of my career" and urged the implementation of similar bans all over the world, voiced his hope that President Trump would "delegate to the church the task of shaping the culture."

"I wish we would be able to duplicate that all over the world," Lively said of passing Russian-style anti-gay laws. "That would really solve the problem."

"Frankly, if Trump wins in November," he stated, "then he could turn out to be like Putin in Russia and push back Marxism like Putin did and invite the church to come back in an guide the culture, like Putin did. He delegates, that's his way of governing and his way of doing business and I think he is going to delegate to the church the task of shaping the culture."

"The culture war has always been a battle between cultural Marxists and Christians, always, especially homosexuals among the cultural Marxists," Lively continued, "and [Trump is] pushing the cultural Marxists back and that's his primary target, political correctness, you know, the whole slate of the hard left agenda, he's just pushing back. And that's going to create a vacuum that the church is naturally going to fill because we're the ones who were guiding the culture before the Marxists took it away from us."

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/20/16

  • Brian Tashman: Putin’s American Fans Cheer His Persecution Of Gays, Ignore His Persecution Of Christians.
  • Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: Creationist Ken Ham Just Lowered Attendance Estimates for the First Year of Ark Encounter.
  • Kevin Drum: Trump Foundation Involved in Yet More Corruption.
  • Andy Towle @ Towleroad: Kim Davis’ Anti-Gay Crusade Might Cost $233,058 if a Federal Court Agrees with the ACLU.
  • Brad Reed @ Raw Story: GOP lawmaker’s Facebook eruption: Round up Muslim sympathizers and run them out of our country.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/20/16

  • Sylvia Thompson states that she will not "listen to the garbage from the Left when they praise the 'LGBT community' as though it is a blessing to society. Donald Trump, as President, will certainly have to ensure protection for all Americans as he declared he would. True Christian leaders, however, must make it clear to him true believers will not succumb to the anarchists’ insistence that we be forced by law to accept their behavior."
  • Bryan Fischer seems to have taken to referring to us as the "alt-left."
  • Cindy Jacobs declares that "in order to see that righteousness exalts our nation, we have to vote. Prophetically, I believe we are at a tipping point ... We have to look at the candidates, even though there are flawed, and vote for the ones that will establish righteousness for the unborn, fight against poverty and racism and biblical, foundational truth. God is not for a political party. They are all flawed. However, there are certain candidates who will fight for our religious freedoms and biblical values such as life in the womb."
  • Gary Cass has released his latest video: "Reason #2 Why Hillary Clinton is NOT a Christian."
  • Finnaly, Wayne Allyn Root says that "liberals are sick people" and liberalism "is a mental illness."
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