American Family Association

Sandy Rios Uses Edited Quotes To Claim Obama Is A Secret Muslim

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association kicked off her radio show earlier this week by telling her listeners that President Obama is a Muslim and alleging that the president’s secret Islamic faith is the reason why he didn’t attend the anti-terrorism unity rally in Paris last weekend.

As indisputable proof of the president’s deception, Rios cited then-candidate Obama’s 2008 statement that he had visited 57 states in his campaign. The tired candidate may have meant to say 47 or to refer to the fact there were 57 Democratic primary/caucus contests, but Rios is pretty sure “the reason he said 57 states is because there are 57 Islamic states, just saying.” Actually, as Snopes points out, while there are the 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, not all of them have a Muslim majority.

Rios also played a clip of an interview in which Obama referred to “my Muslim faith,” which in context, as Snopes explains was part of “a straightforward statement…acknowledging that Republican nominee John McCain had not specifically promulgated the false rumor that he (Obama) was a Muslim.”

“He really does not love this country enough to be its president,” she said.

Later, Rios played a compilation of Obama quotes that have already been criticized by FactCheck.org as severely edited and truncated — for example, one quote Rios used cuts out the line “I’m a Christian” from Obama’s statement, “I’m a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims” — while others are just Obama calling Iran the “Islamic Republic of Iran,” the country’s official name, and referring to the Quran as the “Holy Quran,” which President Bush also called the text.

She also played a clip from the president’s 2012 remarks at the United Nations, dropping his line about protecting images of Jesus Christ from desecration.

Rios also spoke with a caller who told her: “Obama is a lazy Muslim who hates America. He supports terrorism, he fancies himself as a dictator and I believe that he wants to turn us into a Third World Muslim nation under the iron fist of the United Nations.”

“There is no question that his sympathies are with Islam,” Rios responded. “That’s not a debatable issues…He’s putting the nation at risk and he is giving his allegiance more to the Islamic world and to the radicals than he is to his own people.”

Fischer: Duke Is 'Inviting The Demons Of The Abyss' Onto Campus By Allowing Muslim Prayer

Beginning tomorrow, members of the Muslim Students Association at Duke University will be allowed to use the campus chapel bell tower to issue the weekly call to prayer and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer is predictably alarmed.

After declaring on his radio program today that Muslim Students Associations are nothing more than terrorist sleeper cells, Fischer went on to warn that Muslim prayers "are like a power pill" for the "demonic counterfeit god" Allah and so, by allowing Muslim students at Duke to use the bell tower to issue the call to prayer, the school is "inviting the demons of the abyss onto that campus."

"When Muslim students go to prayer," he said, "they're appealing to Allah, this demonic counterfeit god, to manifest his presence on the campus of Duke and he will. That's what's dangerous about this. It's not harmless, it's not just a matter of innocent accommodation or innocent multiculturalism or innocent diversity. It is an extremely dangerous thing for Duke to do":

The Religious Right's Obsession With Beyoncé: It's Not Just Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee attracted a lot of attention this week when he criticized the president and first lady for letting their daughters listen to Beyoncé's music – which in his new book he calls “obnoxious and toxic mental poison” — and wrote that the singer’s husband, Jay-Z, is “arguably crossing the line from husband to pimp by exploiting his wife as a sex object.”

Of course, Huckabee didn’t seem to mind performing a sexually explicit song alongside conservative rock star Ted Nugent on his own Fox News program…but that’s different!

While even former President Jimmy Carter has weighed in on Huckabee’s comments, the “War on Beyoncé” is nothing new among Religious Right commentators. Only Madonna has attracted greater wrath from the pundits we follow.

From speculating that Beyoncé is possessed by demons to calling her a “poor excuse for a wife,” the Religious Right has struggled to pinpoint just what it is about the pop star that they don’t like.

1. Sasha Fierce is a “demonic spirit” living within Beyoncé

After Beyoncé's Super Bowl performance last year, American Family Association spokesman Brian Fischer theorized that the singer’s persona Sasha Fierce was “clearly a demonic spirit” dwelling within her:

2. Beyoncé should be taken to an “insane asylum” for “demonic possession”

Right-wing radio host Kevin Swanson has a similar theory:

Charisma magazine similarly speculated that Satan had “twisted” Beyoncé to “use for his kingdom.”

3. Beyoncé is leading young girls into sex trafficking and death

Christian Post columnist Larry Tomczak, who made waves this week when he accused Ellen DeGeneres of using Taylor Swift to lure girls into lesbianism, warned last year that Beyoncé’s “seductively swiveling hips” were “causing men to lust” and putting her young female listeners on a “dangerous path” into sex trafficking…and maybe even death.

He also urged Michelle Obama to stop allowing her daughters to listen to Beyoncé’s music:

Now let's ask ourselves (not in any self-righteous manner but simply a prudent, mature approach): Is Beyoncé a role model? What message is she communicating to girls about relating to the opposite sex? Is she causing men to lust? Is the focus on virtue and inner beauty or seductively swiveling hips, championing a sensuality that can lead naive young girls on a dangerous path that could lead some even into sex trafficking?

Sex trafficking is a very serious problem in the United States. Remember, the average age of a young girl drawn in is 13, and scores are lured by pimps promising a glamorous life if girls will simply follow the seductive example of many celebrities whom they try to imitate. What follows leads to abuse, abortions and abasement-sometimes death. This is a national scandal in our generation. Proverbs 11:22 says, "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion."

4. How is Jay-Z “different from a pimp?”

Huckabee isn’t the first Religious Right commentator to liken Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s relationship to that of a pimp and a prostitute. After Beyoncé’s performance at the Grammy Awards last year, the Illinois Family Institute’s Laurie Higgins penned a blog post lamenting the singer’s “soft-core porn performance” and accused the singer’s husband of acting as her “pimp”:

This past Sunday night's Grammy awards was a tragic freak show that demonstrated the entertainment industry's arrogance, ignorance of marriage, and disregard for children. It was a gawdy spitball hurled in the all-seeing eye of a holy God.

The spectacle was bookended by a soft-core porn performance by the not-single lady Beyoncé who twerked and jerked her half-revealed derriere in a series of "dance" moves that simulated sex and stimulated sexual appetite, while the crowd cheered in puerile excitement.

Beyoncé was later joined by her husband Jay-Z who seems to revel in the lustings of strangers for his wife. What kind of man gets pleasure from his wife's flaunting of her sexuality and from the certain knowledge that men desire to do things to his wife because of her arousing dress and actions? Is it money that motivates his eager embrace of his wife's immodesty, or pride that he has access to her body when all other leering men do not? If it's money, how is he different from a pimp?

5. ‘Beyoncé a poor excuse for a wife,’ will never find ‘a quality husband’

Suzanne Venker, a conservative commentator and niece of Phyllis Schlafly, was similarly outraged by Beyoncé’s Grammy performance, writing on her blog that Beyoncé’s “slutty behavior” made her “a poor excuse for a wife,” suggesting that she would never be able to find a “quality husband” that way:

There’s no wondering, Ms. Riley. Women like Beyonce aren’t just contributing to the problem—they are the problem. This isn’t a chicken or egg scenario. If women didn’t do what they do in the first place, men like Jay Z would have no opportunity to respond—poorly or otherwise. Classy behavior begets classy behavior. Slutty behavior begets a smut reaction.

Indeed, which means women haven’t really progressed at all—at least not when it comes to their personal lives. On the contrary, they’ve simply traded one kind of power for another. They may know what it takes to be successful in the marketplace, but they are clueless about the power women wield in love. Behaving as Beyonce does, or anything close to it, will not produce men who are invested in women. It will merely produce more Jay Zs, or “poor excuses for a husband.”

If women want a quality husband, they might begin by being quality material themselves.

Not everyone on the Right agrees with Venker, of course. In June, the conservative Heritage Foundation praised Beyoncé and Jay-Z as an example of a stable marriage and strong family — conveniently leaving out the pair’s strong support for marriage equality.

Fischer: 'It Is Impossible To Blaspheme Muhammad' Because Allah Is A Demon God

On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer argued that countries like France have no need to pass laws outlawing blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad — not because of free speech, but because, Fischer argues, it is impossible to actually blaspheme him since Allah is a false demon God.

"It is impossible to blaspheme Muhammad," he said. "You cannot do it. Why? Because you can only blaspheme the True and Living God and Muhammad does not represent the True and Living God ... Blasphemy is something that you can only commit against the True and Living God and we know, from the biblical standpoint, that Allah is represents a demon god":

Right-Wing Radio Host Suggests GOP Congressman Is Inserting 'Islam Into Our Government'

As we’ve reported, an episode of the radio show “Fortress of Faith” that aired on American Family Radio this weekend alleged that President Obama is a secret member of the Muslim Brotherhood who tried to give billions of dollars to Hamas.

During the same program, host Shahram Hadian claimed that Islamists are taking over the U.S. government by organizing groups such as the bipartisan Ahmadiyya Muslim Caucus. Ahmadis are a minority group in Islam who have faced tremendous persecution, and the caucus was created to try to find ways the U.S. government can help combat such threats.

Hadian, however, claimed that the caucus’s establishment is proof that “Islam is getting into our government” and represents an Islamist influence operation.

When the caucus was founded in 2014, it was co-chaired by Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier and Republican Rep. Frank Wolf, who did not run for re-election last year. Interestingly enough, Wolf was one of the favorite congressmen of Religious Right groups such as the Family Research Council. Another group, the National Religious Broadcasters, even gave Wolf its “Faith & Freedom Award.”

But now it seems he was an Islamist all along, which according to this paranoid thinking, implicates the many conservative groups that worked with Wolf in the Islamic conspiracy!

Religious Right Radio Show Promotes Anti-Semitic Newspaper's Wild Obama Conspiracy Theory

Over the weekend, the “Fortress of Faith” radio show, a program aired on the American Family Association’s radio network, dedicated an episode to discussing an article from an Egyptian newspaper, Al-Wafd, alleging that President Obama is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the show’s hosts, Al-Wafd, which has also depicted Obama as Satan, uncovered a supposed plot by Obama to give the Muslim Brotherhood $8 billion to transfer to Hamas, which would then use the funds to take over the Sinai peninsula.

Host Tom Wallace, who during the program got the name of Egypt’s president wrong, expressed disbelief that the U.S. media didn’t cover Obama’s (non-existent) ties to the group.

The Al-Wafd article has been widely mocked by experts as completely “ludicrous,” but the AFA hosts cited the article throughout the program as an “earth-shattering” report that could lead to Obama’s conviction for “high treason.”

As The Economist explains, the Egyptian media, dominated by allies of President Sisi, believes that the Muslim Brotherhood is a tool of the U.S. (to make matters more complicated, some Muslim Brotherhood supporters allege that Sisi and his supporters are themselves tools of the U.S.).

Not only is America calling the shots of the Muslim Brotherhood, their theory goes, but so is Israel, which several Egyptian media outlets have claimed is using the Muslim Brotherhood to divide and ultimately destroy Egypt. This conspiracy theory about a “Zionist-American-Muslim Brotherhood plot” and its “diabolical plan to divide and weaken Israel’s most powerful Arab neighbours, one by one,” has its roots in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about powerful Jews secretly steering world events.

The newspaper lauded by the “Fortress of Faith” hosts, Al-Wafd, pushed anti-Semitic claims, including the notorious anti-Semitic forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” in its Muslim Brotherhood-Obama exposé:

One manifestation of the current regime's de-legitimization campaign against the MB is comparing them to Jews and Zionists. The press associated with the regime has claimed that that the global MB resembles global Zionism, and that its schemes are the same as those of the Protocols. It has also claimed that MB founder Hassan Al-Bana was Jewish, as well as several other movement leaders. A number of Facebook pages depict MB members as Jews masquerading as Muslims, and feature images of [MB President Muhammad] Mursi in Jewish garb and MB symbols emblazoned with Stars of David.



In an “investigative report” in the daily Al-Wafd, Magdi Salama also argued that the MB was implementing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and cited a few examples. He wrote: "Whoever reads the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which were formulated by the priests of global Zionism 116 years ago, and then scrupulously examines what the MB is currently doing in Egypt, discovers something grave: The MB is implementing the Protocols to the letter!

"In their Protocols, the Zionists are mainly concerned with destroying governments in every country, sowing the seeds of strife and quarrel in all countries and changing the [atmosphere] in the countries from one of tolerance to one of political and religious radicalism. This is precisely what the MB has currently undertaken to do in Egypt. The leaders of global Zionism stress the need to control people the way one controls herds of lowly cattle, to use their expression, so they can be moved around like chess pieces. This is precisely what the MB are doing by [invoking their] principle of hearing and obeying the movement's [General] Guide.

"The Ninth Protocol talks about deceiving the public with mendacious slogans, and this is precisely what the MB does with its sit-down strikes, [like those it held] in Raba'a [Al-'Adawiya] and Al-Nahda [Square], when it emphasizes that these sit-down strikes are on behalf of Islam and the shari'a and [constitute] sacrificing oneself for the sake of Allah, while in actuality this is political activity that is completely unrelated to religion or self-sacrifice on Allah's behalf.

"Those who were astounded by Muhammad Mursi's victory in the Egyptian presidential [elections] should read the Tenth Protocol of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, because it exposes the big secret behind Mursi's attaining the Egyptian presidency and also exposes the secret behind Israel's joy at Mursi’s victory. This Protocol says: 'We will prevent people with common sense from leading, keep them back, and never allow them to make plans of their own. The mob (so the Protocol says) has become accustomed to leaning our way [to the Jews]; we provide it with money in exchange for its obedience. By such means we will create a force so blind that it will never be able to reach any decision without the guidance of our representatives, whom we appointed to lead it'…"

Bryan Fischer Falsely Claims President Obama Blamed Charlie Hebdo Victims For Their Own Deaths

We don't know what world Bryan Fischer is living in, but he seems to inhabit some parallel universe in which President Obama blamed the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre for their own deaths.

On his radio program today, Fischer was discussing allegations from the Florida Family Association that the FBI and the FAA had conspired a few months ago to censor their efforts to fly an banner around MetLife stadium accusing AIG of sponsoring jihad by advertising on Al Jazeera.

Somehow that sent Fischer off on a tangent in which he declared that because a White House spokesman once said that Charlie Hebdo had the "right" to publish a cartoon mocking Islam and Muhammad but that it might not be good "judgment," President Obama was "essentially saying we think capital punishment is the appropriate punishment for blasphemy."

"This is, in essence, President Obama's words: 'They really, in essence, have nobody to blame but themselves,'" Fischer ridiculously declared:

This is especially absurd considering that, just last week, Fischer himself literally suggested that the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack brought it upon themselves since the massacre was God's punishment for their blasphemy.

As we have noted several times before, Bryan Fischer is a lot of things, but self-aware is not one of them.

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/12/15

Bryan Fischer's Incoherent Theory Of The First Amendment

For years now, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer has doggedly argued that the First Amendment only applies to Congress, meaning that no entity other than Congress could ever exceed its limitations or violate the rights it protects:

First, the amendment applies only to Congress. "Congress shall make no law..." No other entity is restrained by the First Amendment. Since the amendment applies only to Congress, it is legally, historically and constitutionally impossible for a state, a county commission, a city council, a school board, a school principal, a school teacher or a student to violate the First Amendment. This is for one simple reason: none of them is Congress. Violating the First Amendment is something only Congress can do.

Despite the fact that Fischer has time and again insisted that "the First Amendment applies only to Congress," he is now inexplicably fuming that the firing of Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran is somehow a violation of the First Amendment:

Cochran has been stripped of every right that is cherished and protected under the First Amendment. His freedom of religion, gone. His freedom of speech, gone. His freedom of the press, gone. His freedom of association, gone. When I say that homosexuality is the enemy of freedom, the First Amendment, and virtually the entire Constitution, this is what I’m talking about.

...

Cochran is considering legal action, as well he should. Either the First Amendment means what it says, in which case Cochran has an unassailable legal argument, or the Constitution doesn’t mean anything at all. It’s about time we found out the answer to that question.

As we have noted before, Fischer insists that "violating the First Amendment is something only Congress can do," and since local government is not Congress, he has no grounds to complain about any non-congressional entity supposedly violating the First Amendment.

According to Fischer's own well-established theory, his entire complaint that the city of Atlanda violated Cochran's First Amendment rights is utterly incoherent considering that the city of Atlanta is not Congress.

Sandy Rios Sees The Bright Side Of The Terrorist Attacks In France

After discussing the terrorist attacks in France on her radio show today, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios fielded calls from listeners, including one who suggested that the U.S. and Western European countries could prevent terrorist plots by imprisoning Muslim citizens in internment camps.

A caller who identified herself as “Shirley” said that Muslims “are trying to kill everybody and so what needs to happen is for America and for France and everybody else, kick them all out, do what was done in the early 1900s [sic] when we were facing threats by the Japanese, lock them up, kick them out and then make our country safe first.”

“When people declare war on you, you have to fight,” she added.

Rios, rather than address the caller’s remarks, used them as an opening to talk about what she sees as a possible bright side to the recent wave of violence: a religious revival in France. “God never wastes these things,” she said. “I have missionary friends to France, they just can’t crack the nut, and I’m telling you, this is when God does his best work, so stay tuned and watch that.”

Bryan Fischer Suggests The Charlie Hebdo Attack Was God's Punishment For Magazine's Blasphemy

On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer speculated that the attack by radical Muslim terrorists on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo that killed twelve people may have been God's retribution for the magazine's blasphemy.

Given that the magazine, in addition to mocking Islam and Muhammad, also had a long record of running satirical articles and cartoons about Christianity and Jesus, Fischer raised the possibility that this attack was punishment for the magazine's repeated violation of the commandment that "you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain."

"They made a career out of taking the name of God, the God of the Bible, the father of the Lord Jesus," said Fischer, who has made the case in the past that instituting anti-blasphemy laws in America was entirely feasible.

Noting that Exodus 20 states that "the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain," Fischer theorized that just as God regularly sent "idolators" to attack Israel as a "rod of correction" in order to "discipline his own people" for their transgressions, so too had God used these radical Muslim attackers as retribution for against Charlie Hebdo for its anti-Christian blasphemy.

Absurdly, Fischer started this all off by attempting to distance himself from his own outrageous theory by laughably insisting that he was "not saying that this is what I believe" but was merely throwing the theory out there "just for your thinking":

Fischer: 'Being An Active Homosexual Should Disqualify You From Public Office'

Bryan Fischer is very upset that Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran was fired for violating city employment policies after distributing to co-workers an anti-gay book that he had self-published, responding on his radio program today by declaring that gay people ought to be disqualified from serving in public office.

The American Family Association spokesman reiterated his view that gay people should not be allowed to serve in office after learning that one of the city council members who objected to Cochran's book is gay.

"This is one of the reasons why, ladies and gentlemen," he said, "I believe being an active homosexual should disqualify you from public office because it's a form of sexual perversion and remember, we're going to have to choose between the gay agenda and Christianity. We can't have both. It's going to have to be one or the other and here's a case in point. An active homosexual gets a copy of the book, on the city council and he says, 'We've got to do something about this.' And he goes on a campaign, on a crusade to get this fire chief fired and he pulled it off."

Fischer then went on to declare that "the homosexual agenda is the single greatest threat Christianity, to Christian liberty, to religious liberty and to the First Amendment" that America has ever faced:

Ken Ham Demands Taxpayers Pay For 'One Of The Greatest Evangelist Outreaches Of Our Day'

Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis was a guest on American Family Radio today, where he discussed with Tim Wildmon his new project building a Noah’s Ark theme park in Kentucky. Ham insisted that the theme park, a complement to Ham's Creation Museum, has come under attack from “intolerant” liberals who want to deny it taxpayer funding.

Last month, Kentucky’s tourism board announced that the Noah’s Ark park wouldn’t be eligible for an $18 million tourism tax break because Answers In Genesis intends to use the site to proseletize and refuses to promise not to discriminate based on religion in its hiring. The board noted that “[s]tate tourism tax incentives cannot be used to fund religious indoctrination or otherwise be used to advance religion," but Ham cried persecution, complaining that Kentucky had violated his “fundamental rights” by witholding the tax break.

In the American Family Radio interview, Ham continued to portray himself as the victim of “intolerant” liberals (like Bill Nye) while also inadvertently bolstering the tourism board’s case by announcing that the Noah’s Ark park will be “one of the greatest evangelist outreaches of our day, of our period in history.”

Boykin: 'Defeat Islam' By Telling Muslims They're Sinning

Last week, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios interviewed Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin and self-proclaimed ex-terrorist Kamal Saleem about their new novel, “The Coalition.”

Boykin — who as a high-ranking Pentagon official was rebuked by President George W. Bush for giving speeches framing anti-terrorism efforts as a holy war between Christianity and Islam — told Rios that American Christians are God’s “warriors” in an effort to “defeat Islam” by “bringing the light of the Gospel to the Islamic world.”

He said that Christians have to tell Muslims that they are “sinning” just as one would tell a son living with his girlfriend that he is not “okay with God”:

“We have to stand against evil. It’s like when your neighbor is sinning and do you love him, do you love him enough to tell him he’s sinning? Do you love him enough, one of your children, to tell them that what they’re doing is wrong, living with his girlfriend is a sin? Do you love him that much or are you going to take the easy way out and not tell him and let him go on thinking that he’s okay with God because he really loves this girl he’s living with?”

“We’ve got to love the Muslims enough to stand up against the evil that we see them perpetrating in the name of Allah, but at the same time we’ve got to offer them the Gospel of Jesus Christ in one way or another,” he added.

AFA: Making Fun Of The 'War On Christmas' Is Part Of The War On Christmas

The American Family Association is displeased that not everyone is taking the “War on Christmas” seriously. The group, which issues “Naughty-and-Nice” lists to put pressure on companies to include the words “Merry Christmas” in their advertising, claims in this month’s AFA Journal that whoever doesn’t believe that the U.S. is witnessing an anti-Christmas onslaught is actually…waging war on Christmas.

The AFA directed much of its anger towards Christians who have criticized or mocked the AFA’s “War on Christmas” campaign by pointing out the campaign’s absurd arguments about religious persecution and its focus on commercial activity as the most important part of the holiday. But the AFA wants you to know that if you don’t agree with them, you are probably an anti-Christmas belligerent, even if you don’t know it.

Another Christmas is upon us, and that means gifts under the tree, excited children, family travels and, of course, wars over Christmas itself.



Initially, criticisms aimed at AFA over this issue came mostly from left-leaning members of the media or people who simply hated everything the ministry did anyway.

In a New York Times op-ed piece last December, for example, Gail Collins derided AFA and others for embracing “a seasonal victimhood” that is meant to force stores to link corporate greed with the birth of Jesus Christ.

Nothing could be further from the truth, but we learned long ago that the secular news media sometimes cares little for the truth when it comes to evangelical Christians. A good smear is quicker and cheaper than actually trying to understand us.

However, over the last couple of years, AFA has found itself being targeted – either implicitly or explicitly – by other Christians. Whether it’s from Rachel Held Evans on the evangelical left or Russell Moore on the evangelical right, some Christians have chided and condemned AFA’s pro-Christmas campaigns.



AFA’s efforts in this arena have never existed in a vacuum. The ministry holds three propositions in tandem: (1) There has been an intentional effort for over 100 years to secularize the U.S. (2) The war on Christmas does exist, and it has been part of this wider effort. (3) The attempt to secularize the nation is bad for America and ultimately threatens the very existence of the Republic.



In the case of the secularization of our nation – and the danger it poses to our Republic – a whole lot more than Christmas is being stolen.

Fischer: Obama 'Just Doing A Solid' For His Fellow Communists By Restoring Ties With Cuba

On his radio broadcast on Friday, Bryan Fischer offered a rather straightforward explanation for why President Obama recently took steps to restore ties with Cuba: he is "just doing a solid" for his fellow communists.

Even though Fischer himself called for an end to the embargo after taking his own trip to Cuba earlier this year, he's pretty sure that Obama is only doing so because of his communist sympathies.

"I think, frankly, Barack Obama sees that he's in the same fraternity with Fidel Castro," Fischer said. "They are fellow communists. I think he envies Castro; Castro has an authority that he can only dream of possessing, so I think he is just doing a solid to another member of the communist dictator club, or communist dictator wannabe club."

Fischer then cited a column that appeared a few years ago in Pravda as proof that Obama is a communist, saying that Obama "is following in the footsteps of Marx, it's the Marxist ideology, the Marxist agenda that he is trying to implement, so let's be honest, this guy is a communist. No matter what you want to call him, he's just a communist":

Jindal Rally Organizers Remove Controversial Prayer Guide, Still Think Gays Are Responsible For Natural Disasters

Last week, we reported that the anti-gay, Christian nationalist organizers of a supposedly nonpolitical prayer rally that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is hosting next month had reused some materials from a similar rally hosted by Texas Gov. Rick Perry back in 2011, including a prayer guide blaming LGBT rights and legal abortion for natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.

Blaming Hurricane Katrina on gay people and abortion, it turns out, didn’t go over so well in the state that was hardest hit by the 2005 storm, and after reporters in Louisiana started asking the organizers and Jindal’s office about the prayer guide, it was scrubbed from the rally’s website.

But disappearing one document can only do so much to hide the fact that Jindal is partnering with some pretty extreme organizations to put on his "The Response" event. In fact, the offending document was replaced on the event’s website by a letter from organizer Doug Stringer which only slightly more vaguely blames “earthquakes, floods, fires, and an escalation of natural disasters across the country and the world” on “the continued moral failures of our leaders.”

And when the New Orleans Times-Picayune approached Bryan Fischer, a spokesman for the event’s main funder the American Family Association, about the controversial prayer guide, he told them that his group stood by the original content. "We do know that natural disasters can be a form of God's judgment on an unrepentant nation,” Fischer told the Times-Picayune, before explaining that it’s “fitting that a part of the country that is obviously at risk for natural disasters would lead the nation in modeling repentance."

Still, the AFA initially issued a prayer guide that has offended many Louisiana residents. It implied legal abortion, same-sex marriage and pornography use contributed to Hurricane Katrina and other disasters. Though the prayer guide has been taken down, Fischer reiterated that sentiment on Wednesday. He said Louisiana should be especially concerned about the morality of the country, given its vulnerability to natural disasters.

"We do know that natural disasters can be a form of God's judgement on an unrepentant nation," Fischer said, "It's fitting that a part of the country that is obviously at risk for natural disasters would lead the nation in modeling repentance."

Bobby Jindal's Clueless Defense Of His AFA Prayer Rally

The controversy surrounding Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s prayer rally, which is scheduled to take place next month on LSU’s campus, continues to grow as some students have announced that they will protest the involvement of the rally’s chief funder, the American Family Association, an anti-gay hate group. A wide variety of anti-gay activists are promoting the prayer rally and have used promotional materials for the event to spread outrageous claims that natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina were the result of homosexuality and abortion.

Jindal has now been forced to personally address the issue, which he has predictably done by side-stepping criticism of the AFA's bigotry and instead accusing "the left" of attacking Christians:

"Let's be clear about what this is. This is an opportunity for people across denominational lines to come together to pray," Jindal said. "It's not a political event, it's a religious event."

He said that while he respects the rights of protesters, religious groups have the right to express their beliefs and should not be barred from being able to hold the event on the LSU campus. A protest is planned while the event is taking place at the campus's Pete Maravich Assembly Center, and critics are urging LSU not to allow the prayer rally to happen.

"Christians have the right to rent, to pay for a hall at a public university so they can come together and pray," Jindal told reporters at an economic development announcement in New Orleans.

Asked if he agreed with the American Family Association's agenda, Jindal sidestepped that question and said, "The left likes to try to divide and attack Christians."

Jindal said the protesters themselves should consider joining the prayer rally. He said they "might benefit from prayer."

Given that Jindal apparently has no qualms about partnering with the AFA for a "religious event," we feel that someone ought to ask him what he thinks of the fact that one the AFA's main spokesman, Bryan Fischer, has argued time and time again that the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment only apply to Christians.

Since Fischer has made no secret of his belief that non-Christian faiths are not entitled to any protection under the First Amendment whatsoever, one has to wonder how Jindal feels about partnering with his organization, considering that Jindal's own parents "are actively Hindu."

Not only does Fischer believe that Jindal's parents are not entitled to have their faith protected and treated equally under the Constitution, he declared just last year that Hinduism is a demonic religion when he totally freaked out because First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a Hindu event in the White House:

"This is a counterfeit religion," Fischer said. "It is an Eastern religion. It is, in essence, an occult religion.  It's a counterfeit, a false alternative to Christianity.  It ultimately represents the doctrine of demons, that is what you have with Hinduism and now this is being celebrated in the White House."

"Christians have the right to rent, to pay for a hall at a public university so they can come together and pray," Jindal says as he partners with an organization that regularly asserts that other religions do not have those very same rights.

It is truly amazing that Jindal dares to suggest that somehow Christians are being treated unfairly because people are criticizing the fact that he is quite willing to partner with an organization that openly declares that non-Christians are not entitled to equal treatment or protection under the First Amendment.

Religious Right Cheers On Vladimir Putin As Anti-LGBT Violence In Russia Surges

While most of the news on Russia this week has been focused on the country’s ongoing financial collapse, it is important to highlight a report released by Human Rights Watch on Monday documenting the rise of anti-LGBT violence in Russia along with the ways the government, which recently passed new laws curbing LGBT rights, has ensured virtual impunity for the perpetrators of such attacks. Following the report’s release, Russia added a LGBT legal aid group to a list of NGOs that must register as “foreign agents.”

The uptick in violence against LGBT Russians certainly won't discourage Religious Right activists from supporting Putin, many of whom also seem more than willing to ignore his deadly incursion into Ukraine , support for laws curbing the freedoms of Russian evangelical Christians and other human rights abuses.

Nothing, it seems, can dissuade many of Putin’s American supporters, several of whom recently attended an anti-LGBT conference at the Kremlin, from believing that the U.S. should adopt anti-gay laws modeled on Russia’s, such as a ban on gay “propaganda” and adoption by same-sex parents.

In fact, many Religious Right activists in the U.S. believe that Putin is on a mission from God to save Russia, and the world, from the LGBT community.

Crush on Putin

It is no secret that many conservatives have fallen under Putin’s spell.

Matt Drudge has called Putin the “leader of the free world.” Sarah Palin has fawned over the Russian leader’s wrestling abilities. Franklin Graham has hailed Putin for “protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda” and having “taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.” Larry Jacobs of the World Congress of Families, the group that helped organize the Kremlin meeting, praised Putin last year for “preventing [gay people] from corrupting children.”

Religious Right leader and Iowa GOP kingmaker Bob Vander Plaats has upheld Putin as a world leader in morality. Josh Craddock, who represents Personhood USA at the United Nations, came back from the Kremlin conference cheering on Russia as a “light to the world.” Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver expressed offense last year that Obama would dare criticize Putin.One Fox News host wished that Putin could be president of the United States, even for just 48 hours.

Any violence against Russian gays, one Religious Right group explained, is probably “provoked by homosexual activists.” Massachusetts-based pastor Scott Lively, who has taken credit for inspiring Russia’s “propaganda” law, dismissed anti-LGBT violence in Russia as a “hoax” and told right-wing radio show host Linda Harvey that if violent anti-gay incidents occur, other gay people were likely the perpetrators.

God Will Favor Russia Instead Of America, Thanks Obama

Anti-gay activists think that God has decided to bless Russia, thanks to Putin’s leadership, while punishing the U.S. for passing rebellious gay rights laws. Pat Buchanan clearly articulated this mindset in a column in April titled “Is God Now On Russia’s Side?,” in which he likened the U.S. and Western Europe to Sodom and Gomorrah and cheerfully proclaimed that “Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity.”

In a February column, Don Feder of the World Congress of Families gushed that Putin had become the new Ronald Reagan: “As my friend and Russian pro-family leader Alexey Komov likes to say: 'Under Reagan, America helped to save us from communism. We'd like to return the favor.'”

Lively made the case last year that Putin is “the only world leader capable of standing up to the West” and could “inspire all the morally conservative countries of the world to adopt a similar law that he just adopted.” In the same interview, Lively called Obama the Antichrist.

“The country that’s acting like it’s part of the kingdom of the Antichrist is the United States of America, and Russia is standing against homosexual marriage, they’re standing for traditional family values,” Religious Right radio host Rick Wiles said in September. “The United States is exporting its wickedness, we’re using our power and might to force nations to change their laws to accept abortion, to accept homosexual marriage and homosexual rights, so which country is part of the Antichrist system and which is not?”

Wiles even predicted that the U.S. would soon go to war against Russia “with an atheistic, Jesus-hating, pro-homosexual, pro-lesbian, pro-transgender military and we're going to go up against another military carrying a Christian cross.”

Bring Anti-Gay Laws To The U.S.

Anti-gay activist Matt Barber said earlier this year that it was “encouraging” to see more anti-gay measures coming out of Russia, adding that he would like to see laws that “stop this homosexual activist propaganda from corrupting children in our nation and we need to see that right here in the United States.”

Peter LaBarbera called Russia’s “propaganda” law an “acceptable” and necessary way to stop companies like Disney from “promoting lesbianism to kids,” while American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios said the speech-inhibiting law was just “common sense.”

One of Putin’s most vocal cheerleaders, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, has called him a “lion of Christianity” and repeatedly demanded that the U.S. enact similar bans on gay “propaganda.”

Since the U.S. hasn’t embrace such an anti-gay crackdown, Religious Right activist William Murray writes, Americans are now “fleeing” to Russia in order to avoid LGBT equality at home.

Fischer Doesn't Want His Bigotry 'To Distract' From Jindal's Prayer Event

Earlier today, we noted that Gov. Bobby Jindal's staff is not very eager to discuss the fact that he is partnering with the American Family Association for his upcoming "The Response" prayer rally, which is not very surprising considering that the AFA is an anti-gay hate group notorious for the unrelenting stream of bigotry that it produces.

Naturally, Bryan Fischer, the primary source of that bigotry, is angry that people are now trying to "torpedo" Jindal's prayer rally by highlighting the fact that the governor is partnering with the AFA and a bunch of other anti-gay activists, announcing on his radio program today that he will refuse to comment on his well-documented history of making outrageous statements until after the prayer event.

"If the media contacts us and it's in connection with this prayer event," Fischer said, "and we discover that the only reason they're talking to us is that it's in connection with this thing called 'The Response,' I think my response is going to be 'I'll be happy to talk to you this on January 26,'" which is the Monday after Jindal's prayer event.

"We don't want anything to distract from this event," he continued. "Our nation is in crisis. The need of the hour is prayer ... This event is about prayer and calling the nation to prayer [but the media's] only interest is in trying to stir up trouble and create some kind of outrage against this event by trying to make AFA look bad":

Of course, the only thing making the AFA "look bad" is Fischer and the AFA.

Fischer's reaction to this criticism of Jindal's rally is actually something of an improvement considering that when Gov. Rick Perry was getting hammered for partnering with the AFA for his "The Response" prayer rally back in 2011, Fischer responded by complaining that he was the victim of a hate crime.

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