On his radio program today, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer floated his own theory as to why Robert Lewis Dear killed three people and injured nine more during a shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado last week: Maybe he was "just tanked up on pot."
Insisting that there is no reliable evidence as to what motivated Dear to carry out the attack, Fischer suggested that perhaps the legality of marijuana in the state played a role because "we do know that since he moved to Colorado, [Dear] was a pot-smoking nutcase."
Fischer said that "we have seen one story after another" of people "getting doped up or tanked up or high on pot and going off a doing brutal things," especially after ingesting marijuana edibles. So obviously "there is no question that the kind of pot that is available in Colorado today can drive you into psychotic episodes," he stated.
"I'm going to be interested to see what he had in his system," Fischer said, "and if maybe this was a guy that was just tanked up on pot."
More likely they’re just being respectful of the fact that all their customers or neighbors may not share the AFA’s religious beliefs. But that doesn’t keep Religious Right activists from turning “Merry Christmas” from a friendly greeting into some kind of statement of political defiance. For example, the latest Ted Cruz campaign email comes with the subject line “We Say Merry Christmas” and a p.s.:
Set an example for the "tolerant left," and while wearing your festive Cruz for President gear, or any gear for that matter, make sure to say Merry Christmas every chance you get!
In between, Cruz offers a chance to win the world’s ugliest-ever ugly Christmas sweater featuring his face in a Santa hat floating over the White House and flanked by Tea Party “Don’t Tread on Me" snakes.
Plenty of political content on that sweater, along with secular snowflakes, which are the kinds of things that usually set off the AFA’s alarm bells. Hey, AFA, doesn’t Cruz belong on your “naughty” list for not keeping Christ in Christmas?
Bryan Fischer kicked off his radio program yesterday by repeating the Religious Right's favoritemyth that the Pilgrims were a bunch of socialists who nearly starved to death until they discovered the wonders of capitalism as he made the case that the entire purpose of America is to spread the Gospel of Jesus throughout the world.
"I believe God's basic calling on this nation," Fischer said, "is to fulfill the Great Commission. That is what God has called the United States to do. So all of our machinery is to be harnessed toward that one great enterprise, the fulfillment of the Great Commission, to take the teaching of Christ to all the nations and teach them to do everything that Christ has commanded us to do, to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That is the calling of God on the United States."
"So this means the entire machinery of our country," he continued, "every bit of it is all designed by God. His intention is that every network, every component, every segment of this society would work together, work in harmony for the purpose of fulfilling the Great Commission."
Last week, the American Family Association released its "Naughty or Nice List," designed to let consumers "know which companies are Christmas-friendly" so they can patronize them this holiday season in an effort to fight back against the "secular forces in our country that hate Christmas because the word itself is a reminder of Jesus Christ."
Today, Liberty Counsel released its own "Naughty or Nice List," which likewise "applauds retailers who acknowledge the reason for the season, and exposes those who do not."
We have looked over both lists and realized that conservative Christians activists who intend to use them to plan their holiday shopping are going to find themselves very confused as to just which retailers are "naughty" and which are "nice," considering that several stores received opposite designations on the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel lists.
For instance, Liberty Counsel lists Barnes & Noble, Bath & Body Works, Best Buy, CVS and Staples as "nice," while the AFA lists those same stores as either "naughty" or "marginal":
Conversely, the AFA lists Dick's Sporting Goods, The Gap, Old Navy and TJ Maxx as "nice," while Liberty Counsel lists them all as "naughty":
End Times radio host Jan Markell was a guest on American Family Radio's "Today's Issues" program yesterday, where she told host Tim Wildmon that God has turned His back on America because liberals "hate God."
Wildmon declared that today's "secular progressives" are different than liberals of the past who were "still patriotic" and loved America, whereas secular progressives like President Obama "have such disdain for the traditions of our country."
Markell agreed, and blamed it on public schools, asserting that "they began to hate America and to hate capitalism in more recent years and, as a result, we've got a mess on our hands now, thanks to the secular progressives."
"The root is they hate God," Markell stated, "and once you hate God, then God turns on you and I'm afraid God has turned on America because the leftists so disdain Him. Why should He keep us in our favor, seeing as a progressive doesn't see Him in a positive light?"
On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer stated that he prays every night against the "plans that Satan is working" through President Obama.
While he insisted that he was not claiming that Obama is demon-possessed, Fischer said he is positive that Satan is planting thoughts in Obama's mind "that are contrary to the word and will of God" and convincing him to act upon them.
"I believe that Satan has an agenda that he is working through our current president," Fischer stated. "We don't pray against President Obama; we pray against the work and the strategy and the purposes that Satan is working through this president."
Recently, a judge in Utah ordered that a foster child be removed from a home with two lesbian parents and placed with a heterosexual couple on the grounds that "kids in homosexual homes don’t do as well as they do in heterosexual homes."
Predictably, Bryan Fischer came rushing to that judge's defense on his radio program today, declaring that "no culture would ever want to adopt policies that are harmful, dangerous and risky to children."
"That means we should never countenance policies that place children in same-sex households, whether it's foster care or whether it is adoption," he said.
Fischer also came out against single-parent adoptions as well, before citing Mark Regnerus' repeatedlydebunked study to claim that children raised by lesbians are 10 times more likely to be sexually abused.
"The risk of sexual abuse, unwanted sexual touching, is 10 times higher in a lesbian household than in a heterosexual household," he said. "So if we care about the sexual purity, the sexual integrity of our children, which I do, then the last place we are going to want to put a child is in a lesbian household."
"So good for this judge," he concluded. "I am 100 percent standing behind him."
Rios told Mischenko how impressed she was by Putin’s embrace of “God’s way” and the “natural family,” even as President Obama is leading America “on a trajectory that many of us find extremely horrifying.”
“It’s interesting to me that your president, Vladimir Putin, of course was a high-ranking member of the KGB, thoroughly absorbed in the communist system,” Rios said. “And he, now, has emerged as one of the most strong proponents of this whole family movement, whether it’s that marriage is between one man and one woman, the sanctity of human life.”
“Well, whatever his motivation,” she later added, “I think on this stuff he’s got it right and he has been a good leader. These are strange times, that the American president would be leading America, I’ll just say to you, on a trajectory that many of us find extremely horrifying and that Vladimir Putin after Russia was officially, governmentally our enemy for so many years, and certainly on these issues, should now be leading his people to more of God’s way, the natural family. It really is one of the great ironies that I’ve lived to see in my lifetime.”
American Family Association official Sandy Rios took on the issue of criminal justice reform on her radio program on Thursday, saying that the Latino advocacy group National Council of La Raza is supporting reform as part of its goal of “destroying the country.”
This led Rios to speculate on which former presidents have criminal records, which she said might include Bill Clinton, a future President Hillary Clinton, and President Obama.
“I’ve heard many people say that if President Obama had had to go through an FBI background check, he would have never been president,” she declared.
Rios then returned to serious issues, saying that efforts to reform the criminal justice system are being supported by groups that want to destroy America.
“Well, guess who’s all about this criminal justice reform?” she asked. “It’s shocking, I know. But La Raza — you know what that is, right? It’s a leftist slash communist organization in America. ‘La Raza’ means ‘the race.’ And its goals for this country are pretty frightening. You know, they hate America, they think America, the land itself, should be turned back to … I think Mexico or people of Mexican descent. So, they are about the business of destroying the country, so they are all in favor of this.”
On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer declared that President Obama would toss all conservative Christians into prison if he could get away with it.
Responding to a caller who asserted that the Justice Department's plan to release 6,000 non-violent drug offenders from federal prisons was being done in order to make room for the imprisonment of Christians, Fischer said that he had no doubt that that is exactly what Obama would love to do.
"I think that is where we would go if he had his way," Fischer said. "I honestly do. I believe that is where we would wind up, if he could do what he wanted to do without any kind of restriction, he would lock people up who disagree with him, and that's us. Conservative Christians are the ones who have the biggest problem; he's pro-abortion, he is pro-sodomy and those are the great moral issues of our day. We're against them and he doesn't like our dissent, he doesn't like the disagreement and he would be perfectly willing to use incarceration as a tool to shut us up."
Today, the American Psychological Association released a series of papers reporting that "rates of military sexual trauma among men who served in the military may be as much as 15 times higher than has been previously reported, largely because of barriers associated with stigma, beliefs in myths about male rape, and feelings of helplessness."
Predictably, this has been seized upon by Bryan Fischer as proof that the small percentage of gay men in the military are responsible for tens of thousands of sexual assaults every year.
Ignoring clear statement from the reports themselves that it is a myth to claim "that male rape is homosexual sex and therefore, that only homosexual men get raped and only homosexual men perpetrate rape," Fischer insisted on his radio program today that gay men are committing these thousands of sexual assaults because they are inherently violent.
"One of the pathologies that is associated with the homosexual lifestyle is violence and sexual assault," he said. "It's a characteristic of sexual activity in that community."
Asserting that 14,000 men and 12,000 women the military were sexually assaulted in 2013, Fischer proclaimed that "despite the fact that homosexuals comprise just a tiny sliver of our population, maybe two per cent of the population," those "two per cent of the males in the military are responsible for more sexual assaults of males than all of the heterosexual men in the military."
Carlson, who retired earlier this year from WCF’s parent organization, the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, was feeling reflective about his decades-long effort to fight the “sexual left” throughout the world.
“Family questions, family issues today, including same-sex marriage, abortion, the retreat from marriage more broadly, those have become international issues,” he told Rios. “It’s a situation, a set of problems found around the globe. And even in third-world countries, they’re facing an aggressive effort by the European Union and now the United States government to abandon their attachment to traditional marriage, to large families, and to embrace [what] we’ll call the Western sexual revolution.”
Rios recalled attending the United Nations Conference On Women in Beijing in 1996 and being shocked to find a “tent on lesbian love-making” and people who were saying that there are “five genders,” and being even more shocked that these things are now in “mainstream thought.”
“Well, you could see it coming,” Carlson said. “It plays on human weaknesses. It tells people that’ve made bad choices that they made good choices. It tells people that they may have hurt their children with bad choices but, no, it’s okay, you’re free, you’re open. So I always knew that there was some very diabolical message that preyed on the human heart here. So I’m not surprised it’s grown. What is an encouraging thing is that opposition has now risen up to it, to this false message of human liberation. And that’s what this event is about, and it’s just one example of hundreds, of thousands of events that are happening and I think are going to grow.”
“That’s an astonishing development,” he said. “And one of the reasons the Obama administration is so hostile to Russia today, I’m quite sure, it’s not just the Crimea, it’s also the fact that Russia has become a proponent — at least at the official level — of pro-family sentiments.”
“It is amazing,” Rios agreed. “And one of the strongest supporters of Israel. The whole world, really, in our lifetime has turned upside down, don’t you think, Allan?”
Turnout was small — about 50 during the day, a bit more in the evening — and the lunchtime press conference was delivered to a room devoid of press, but organizers filmed the speakers in hopes of turning the footage into a documentary or other resource for anti-gay activists.
Sprigg, who is also scheduled to speak at WCF on Wednesday, set the tone for the day by challenging the “gay identity paradigm” and urging social conservatives to avoid as much as possible using the words “gay” and “lesbian” because he said they refer to someone’s innate identity. Sprigg urged activists to separate sexual attraction, sexual behavior, and a person’s self-identification and instead to focus on gay relationships, which he called “objectively harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large.”
He was also one of many speakers who insisted that advocacy for anti-gay policies is not motivated by hate but by love. For example, Sprigg said that while he mourns the gay men who died of AIDS, “the reason they died is because they chose to have sex with men, not because conservatives told them not to. We do no one a kindness by denying the truth.”
Sprigg, who argued against legal nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people, was one of several speakers who spoke, directly or indirectly, in opposition to this year’s “Utah compromise,” in which the Mormon Church agreed to support passage of limited LGBT nondiscrimination protections in return for religious liberty exemptions. Sprigg warned that compromise with the LGBT rights movement is “unwise” and “unsustainable.”
Also arguing for an uncompromising stance and “zero affirmation of the gay rights paradigm” was Americans For Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera, who urged anti-gay activists to stop playing defense and go on the offense, reclaiming the moral high ground by always opposing homosexual behavior. One way to go on offense, he said, would be by proposing state bans on hormone therapy and surgery for transgender youth.
Other notable anti-gay activists who addressed the gathering included Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver (via video) and Brian Camenker of MassResistance. Camenker said he respectfully disagreed with those who called for always speaking the truth in love. “I think there is a place for being insulting and degrading, and I think I can back that up by scripture,” he said. “I think we have to look at this as a war, not as, you know, a church service.” Rios agreed, saying, “I do think that evangelicals have gotten a little bit soft and not understood warfare.”
Camenker said that in the Old Testament, “God has two sets of laws regarding how you treat your fellow man.” One is how you treat your neighbor, who you might work with and forgive. “There’s a whole different set of rules for people who want to tear down society, who want to push immorality, who want to tear down the moral structure of society.” That set of rules is “very brutal,” he said. “God says those people who want to do that must be destroyed.”
He said the LGBT movement is a “house of cards” that is “held together by force, intimidation, and propaganda” and can be destroyed by standing up to it, the way communism was. “We are in a war,” he repeated, saying of gay-rights advocates, “They would send us to concentration camps if they could.”
One premise of the #Stand4Truth gathering is that the LGBT movement and their allies in the media suppress evidence about the causes of homosexuality, the medical and mental health harms associated with it, and the possibility of change through “authentic” ex-gay therapy. The evening session began with a panel seemingly designed to portray LGBT people as lost and miserable: a few “ex-gays,” a person who experienced “transgender regret” and Canadian activist Dawn Stefanowicz, an author whose book “Out From Under” recounts growing up with a gay father and his many sex partners and is portrayed as a cautionary tale against gay parenting.
In case you needed any further evidence that the Benghazi Special Committee hearing with Hillary Clinton yesterday did not go well for the GOP, American Family Radio host Sandy Rios panned the performance of the House Republicans as a “disaster.”
After calling Clinton a “consummate professional at lying and covering-up,” Rios conceded today that the former secretary of state was “wonderful” and “looked great,” while Republicans on the committee appeared to be grandstanding and incompetent.
“They are not capable, they are lined up with a professional,” she said. The right-wing radio host was also upset that Democrats on the panel were even allowed to ask Clinton questions.
This is the second in a series of posts about the upcoming World Congress of Families in Salt Lake City, Utah. Read our introduction to the World Congress of Families here.
The World Congress of Families has been stung by intensecriticism over its promotion of anti-gay bias and policies around the world, and has mounted a public relations campaign portraying itself as interested in civil discourse and uninterested in slamming gay people. If only it were true.
WCF Executive Director Janet Shaw Crouse has said the group’s support for traditional notions of family “does not mean disrespect for anyone else.” Crouse says, “We do not and will not engage in ‘gay-bashing’ or ‘hate’ language." In its 2014 “Call for Civic Dialogue” WCF said:
In its history, the WCF has never taken a position for or against anti-sodomy laws, nor has it attempted to roll back the rights gained by these individuals and organizations…. The WCF never has and never will advocate for any policy that brings harm to innocent individuals….
These assertions are grossly disingenuous and deceptive. WCF depends on, and celebrates, its association with what it calls “exemplary”anti-gay groups like the Family Research Council, American Family Association, Alliance Defending Freedom, and many others who aggressively resist the advance of LGBT equality in the U.S. and overseas -- and promote policies that most definitely bring harm to innocent individuals. For example, WCF and its allies played a significant role in organizing the stridently anti-gay “pro-family” movement in Russia. And not taking a position on laws that subject LGBT people to long jail terms and worse is hardly something to brag about.
Sadly, Cruz is not an outlier. WCF and the speakers it provides with a platform have a long record of resisting protections for the rights of LGBT people. Last year WCF initiated a letter signed by 120 Religious Right figures from around the world in “vigorous protest” of the U.S. Embassy’s participation in a gay pride celebration in the Czech Republic. It refers to marriage equality as a “pseudo-right” that debases human freedom and dignity. The letter concludes, “We can not imagine a worse form of cultural imperialism than Washington trying to force approval of the ‘gay’ agenda on societies with traditional values.”
More to the point, WCF’s own Africa regional director, Theresa Okafor, who is being honored at the event, supported a harsh anti-gay law in Nigeria that not only provides for long jail sentences for gay sex, but also bans gay people from meeting in groups. Okafor has suggested that pro-equality groups from the west are allied with the violent Islamist Boko Haram in a conspiracy to silence Christians.
WCF Executive Director Crouse has her own track record. She has said children being raised by gay couples are being “used as guinea pigs.” She has praised Russia’s anti-gay right, saying approvingly, “I wouldn’t bet on the Russians capitulating to western LGBTIQ fascists without a fight.” At a 2013 Howard Center press conference, Crouse said American gay-rights activists are “turning into thugs who are destroying freedom of speech, destroying religious liberty.” She praised anti-gay activists in France, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and Nigeria. And while Crouse portrays American gays as enemies of free speech, she enthusiastically backed the prosecution and jailing of Pussy Riot activists over their anti-Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral.
Among other anti-gay speakers who will be given a platform at WCF:
Peter Sprigg represents the stridently anti-gay Family Research Council, whose leader Tony Perkins once defended Uganda’s notorious “kill the gays” bill as an effort to uphold morality. Sprigg, who once said he would like to “export” homosexuals from the U.S., complained this year about Randy Berry, Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons, for traveling to Uganda and Jamaica. Sprigg criticized the Obama administration for trying to “force this American-style homosexual agenda down the throats of other countries” like Uganda, “which is one of the countries that has been most bitterly attacked by homosexual activists around the world.”
Robert Knight, a Religious Right pundit and former FRC staffer, has argued that judges who rule in favor of marriage equality should be impeached.
Errol Naidoo received training from the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C before founding the Family Policy Institute in South Africa in response to the legalization of marriage equality, which he had lobbied against. He blames abortion and “the homosexual agenda” for creating a “culture of death” that is “slowly killing off the human family in Western civilization.”
Jennifer Roback Morse, president of the Ruth Institute, formerly affiliated with the National Organization for Marriage, says the “sexual revolution” is a “totalitarian” movement” and “a pagan ideology” that Christians should refuse to compromise with. She says “the only reason we’re dealing with gay marriage now is because we never faced up to the harms that have already been inflicted by feminism.”
Frank Schubert is a political communications strategist notorious as the mastermind of the strategy to ground the campaign for California’s Prop 8 in fear-mongering about gay people and couples being a threat to children. Schubert was paid handsomely to take that destructive strategy to other states.
On Friday, Ted Cruz's presidential campaign proudly announced that it had received the endorsement of Sandy Rios, a radio host and director of governmental affairs for the anti-gay hate group the American Family Association.
Along with endorsements from Lori Roma, the former executive director of the American Legislative Exchange Council, and Susan Carleson, the Chairman and CEO of the American Civil Rights Union, Cruz welcomed Rios' endorsement:
“I am thrilled to have the support of three of the conservative movement’s strongest voices for families, religious liberty and the unborn,” said Sen. Cruz. “We are running an aggressive grassroots campaign and their help engaging and motivating conservative voters gives our effort a great advantage.”
Sandy Rios is the Director of Governmental Affairs for the American Family Association, one of America’s largest, pro-family grassroots organizations, and host of “Sandy Rios in the Morning on AFR Talk” which can be heard on nearly 200 stations through the American Family Radio Network.
In her capacity as a radio host for the AFA, Rios has repeatedly attacked gays, Muslims and Jews while promoting conspiracy theories and issuing repeated warnings that God's judgment will soon fall upon this nation:
American Family Radio, the radio network operated by the American Family Association, held a fundraising drive today during which AFA President Tim Wildmon called up Mike Huckabee to ask for his words of support.
The GOP presidential candidate hailed Wildmon’s media outlet for promoting the “voice of Christian America,” gushing that the network offers information that people “are not going to get on NPR.”
Of course, American Family Radio is the home of some of the most virulent radio commentators out there, including Bryan Fischer, who was so extreme and bigoted that he was denounced by the GOP’s last presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, for his “poisonous language.”
In the past, Huckabee has been a guest on Fischer’s show, “Focal Point,” where he suggested that President Obama’s youth was infused with anti-American and Islamic teachings. In a previous appearance on Wildmon’s program, the former Arkansas governor threatened to quit the Republican Party if it didn’t condemn gay marriage more passionately.
It would be odd if Huckabee wasn’t aware of all of the insane conspiracy theories and bigoted statements made by hosts such as Fischer, Wildmon and Sandy Rios, who anchors the network’s morning program.
On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer interviewed Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker, a former Religious Right activist and aide to Chief Justice Roy Moore who has become a radical justice in his own right, for two segments about the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling earlier this year.
After making the case that the Obergefell decision does not even apply to Alabama, Parker absurdly asserted that the Supreme Court had no grounds upon which to issue the decision in the first place because gays are not being denied equal treatment under the law since everyone is free to marry someone of the opposite sex.
As such, Parker said, it is imperative that state supreme courts stand up to the U.S. Supreme Court in defiance of its ruling in this case in order to foment a "revival" that will return this nation to its founding principles.
"The states should be a check on the federal government," he said, "and the proper organ within a state to do that versus the U.S. Supreme Court would be a state supreme court. Now, I doubt that it would be a blanket defiance of all jurisdiction on the U.S. Supreme Court, but in regards to the Obergefell decision where it's clear that they jumped outside of the precedents in order to impose their will on this country, that yes, resisting that decision could maybe start a revival of what we need in this country and return to our original founding principles."
On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer continued to complain about the fact that the Vatican has distanced itself from Kim Davis after the controversial Kentucky county clerk met with Pope Francis when both were in Washington, D.C., last month.
Fischer blamed the "low-information media" for supposedly trying to destroy Davis' reputation and asserted that it is just this sort of thing that is causing the institution to collapse.
"Nobody is watching the low-information media anymore," he said. "Their rating are going through the basement. Newspapers are closing down, they're shutting down, they can't sell subscriptions, they can't sell advertising space. Why is that? It's become of stuff like this, because of what the low-information media does, they way they turn on good-hearted, ordinary decent people like Kim Davis. Demonize her, vilify her, mock her, ridicule her and the American people say, 'No, I'm not down with that. That's not an American thing to do. That's not fair. There's nothing kind about that.'"
"They want to harpoon this woman," he stated, "and that's why people are turned to the low-information media."