On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer made a passing remark asserting that God has limited the human lifespan to 70 or 80 years, as stipulated in Psalm 90, only to get some pushback from listeners who pointed out that figures in the Old Testament, such as Methuselah, routinely lived for hundreds of years.
Fischer, of course, had a logical way to explain all of this.
Echoing his theory that dinosaurs were really just 1,000-year-old lizards that existed prior to Noah's flood, Fischer explained that prior to the flood, there existed a "vapor canopy that surrounded the earth, this vapor canopy protected the surface of the earth and the people who lived on the surface of the earth from some of the harmful radiation that came from the sun and other sources."
During the flood, Fischer said, that vapor canopy "condensed and fell as rain" and "that protective shield dissipated and so now there were some genetic impacts, impacts on DNA from this radiation coming in with no protection" and "that began to impact the longevity of people."
On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer took a call from a listener who suggested that every lawyer that works for the federal government ought to be required to attend and pass a class taught by right-wingpseudo-historian David Barton before being hired.
Fischer, of course, thought that was a great idea and suggested that it ought to apply to every member of Congress as well.
"I like your idea," Fischer told the caller. "Everybody, before they take their seat in the halls of Congress, ought to pass an exam on the history of the United States and on the Constitution of the United States administered by David Barton and WallBuilders. I mean, that ought to be a minimum."
"Let's see to it," he declared, "that every congressman has to pass a test on the history of the United States and the Constitution administered by our good friends at WallBuilders."
As we have noted several times before, American Family Radio's Bryan Fischer subscribes to an entirelyincoherenttheory about the First Amendment, insisting that its prohibition against an establishment of religion only applies to Congress while also insisting that its prohibition against infringing upon the free exercise of religion applies to all levels of government.
The First Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," so if the establishment clause only applies to Congress, then logically so too does the free exercise clause. Conversely, if the free exercise clause applies to anything beyond Congress, then so too does the establishment clause.
But somehow, Fischer cannot seem to comprehend this simple concept and continues to promote his unique and baffling interpretation, as he did on his radio show today while discussing Todd Starnes' latest column alleging that NASA has banned mentions of Jesus in the Johnson Space Center newsletter.
"I cannot begin to even describe to you how much is wrong with that," Fischer said. "Number one, the First Amendment prohibits Congress and Congress alone. The first words of the First Amendment, 'Congress shall make no law.' That is the only entity that is restrained by the founder's Constitution. It's never been amended; it still says Congress. Congress shall make no law. Now, let me ask you this question: are employees of NASA, are they Congress? No! They cannot possibly, conceivably violate the First Amendment of the Constitution even if they wanted to because they're not Congress! Only Congress can do that."
After laying out his case that only Congress can violate the First Amendment's establishment clause, Fischer then immediately turned around and bizarrely attacked NASA for supposedly violating the First Amendment's free exercise clause.
"The other thing about the First Amendment," Fischer continued, "it says that no branch of the federal government, and you might consider NASA a branch of the federal government since it is part of the bureaucracy, they are not allowed to prohibit the free exercise of religion. That's right there in the First Amendment. Make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The federal government, not part of the federal government, no agency of the federal government, no bureaucracy of the federal government, no employee of the federal government is allowed to prohibit the free exercise of religion. This is exactly what NASA is doing, prohibiting the free exercise of religion. So it is wrong on so many counts, I can't even begin to tell you."
NASA, of course, is not Congress, so under the first half of Fischer's argument, the agency is not restricted by the Fist Amendment in any way. But, amazingly, that is not the position Fischer took as he then proceeded to insist that the First Amendment applies to every federal agency and employee!
Fischer spent the first half of his argument asserting that the First Amendment only applies to Congress and then spent the second half of that same argument asserting that the First Amendment applies to every part of the federal government.
In the span of a minute and a half, Fischer managed to promote two views of the First Amendment that are not only illogical but entirely contradictory.
On his program yesterday, notoriousanti-Muslim radio host Bryan Fischer criticized President Obama for speaking at a mosque, asserting that there is no such thing as an Islamic charity because all such organizations are nothing more than fronts for funding terrorism.
"There's no such thing as an Islamic charity," he said. "That's just a ruse. That is a terrorist fundraising organization. You see any Islamic organization with the word 'relief' or 'foundation' or 'charity' in it, you are looking at an organization that raises money for terror."
When Christians start a charity, Fischer asserted, the motivation is to "provide charitable relief to needy people" but when Muslims start a charity, the true "purpose is to finance jihad."
"That is it's mission," he said. "That's why it exists and this whole business about it being a charity, being a foundation, that's just a cover to try to avoid suspicion."
Bryan Fischer invited Peter LaBarbera on to his radio program today so that LaBarbera could share his "research" on which of the GOP presidential candidates are insufficiently anti-gay and therefore should not receive the support of conservative Christian voters this primary season.
Donald Trump was at the top of the list, LaBarbera explained, because he once attended a gay wedding and called it "beautiful."
"Trump went to a so-called gay wedding himself of a friend in New York," LaBarbera said, "and he was quoted as saying, 'It was a beautiful thing.' Trump said that the gay wedding, so-called, that he went to between two men was a beautiful thing. And you have to ask yourself, Bryan, how many Christians ... would say that a homosexual so-called marriage is a beautiful thing?"
Fischer, of course, totally agreed.
"If you have a biblical worldview, you'd be grieved for them," he said. "You'd be grieved for what they're heading into, grieved for the way in which homosexual behavior separates them from God, the risks that it's putting them at, the risk that it's going to put children to if they're adopted into that household. So the proper response would not be joy, it would not be celebration; the proper Christian response would grief and sorrow over what these two people are doing to themselves and also to others."
Bryan Fischer was "grossly disappointed" in Nikki Haley's Republican response to last night's State of the Union address and spent twosegments of his radio show today ripping the South Carolina governor as a feckless "toady" and a "lackey" for the Republican establishment.
Fischer was particularly outraged that Haley had dared to say that Republican "would respect differences in modern families, but we would also insist on respect for religious liberty as a cornerstone of our democracy."
"What does she mean by that?" Fischer asked. "She means that the Republican Party has officially embraced sodomy-based marriage. That's what that means. The Republican Party has officially embraced sodomy-based marriage and the entire homosexual agenda."
"You parse that," he continued to fume, "we're not going to invest one ounce of energy as a party, as ruling-class Republicans, we're not going to invest one ounce of energy in fighting to protect natural marriage. We're not going to invest one ounce of energy to try to preserve the right of children to be raised by a mom and a dad. We know from the research, it's a form of child abuse for a child to be raised in a same-sex household. It is a form of child abuse; all of the best in social research confirms that and here is Nikki Haley saying we're not going to fight for those children, we're not going to fight for the children that are subjected to a form of child abuse by being raised in a same-sex household."
In a column this week defending Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the country, Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio insisted that Japan has issued similar restrictions on Muslims, and that is why the country doesn’t face terrorism:
There is a simple reason we never read about jihadi attacks in Japan. There are no Muslims there. No Muslims, no terrorists.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar, writing in The Jewish Press, offers some of the details (emphasis mine throughout):
This country keeps a very low profile on all levels regarding the Muslim matter: On the diplomatic level, senior political figures from Islamic countries almost never visit Japan, and Japanese leaders rarely visit Muslim countries. The relations with Muslim countries are based on concerns such as oil and gas, which Japan imports from some Muslim countries. The official policy of Japan is not to give citizenship to Muslims who come to Japan, and even permits for permanent residency are given sparingly to Muslims.
Islamic proselytization is forbidden in Japan, it is very difficult to import Qur’ans into the country, and there are very few mosques. In Japan, Muslim men are expected to pray at home, not in mosques or in the middle of the street as they do in France. Islamic organizations are not allowed, so the Japanese do not have to deal with the incessant stream of propaganda coming from pro-jihadi groups like CAIR. There is only one imam in Tokyo, a city of over 13 million people.
Virtually the only Muslims who are in Japan come as employees of foreign companies. And even that is the exception rather than the rule. “The official policy of the Japanese authorities is to make every effort not to allow entry to Muslims, even if they are physicians, engineers and managers sent by foreign companies that are active in the region.”
As the myth-busting website PolitiFact notes, the claim that Japan imposes special restrictions on Muslims emerged in a right-wing meme that consisted of nothing but false claims.
"The chain email is nothing but malicious falsehood," said Kumiko Yagi, a professor at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies Graduate School who has written extensively about Islam and other religions.
Kamada Shigeru, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Tokyo, agreed, saying that all four of the claims we spotlighted are wrong.
He said Japan doesn’t discriminate in permanent residency on the basis of religion and that "propagation" of Islam is not banned. He added that the Koran or other religious books in Arabic can be imported.
Meanwhile, there is nothing in Japanese nationality law that prevents Muslims from becoming naturalized citizens. The requirements concern length of residency, age, a history of "upright conduct," the ability to support oneself and a willingness to give up other nationalities. There is no mention of religion.
The graphic says that in Japan, "permanent residency is not given to Muslims," the "propagation of Islam" is banned, "one cannot import a Koran published in the Arabic language," and "Muslims cannot even rent a house."
Each of these four statements is incorrect, and the overall point of the graphic -- that Japan keeps itself free from radical Islam by discriminating against all Muslims -- is dramatically off-base. We rate these claims Pants on Fire.
Warren Throckmorton also points out that Japan’s own government claims that Muslims in Japan face less discrimination than they do in western nations.
In 2013, Fischer similarly relied on a right-wing meme to falsely claim that Japan has banned Muslims, the Quran, mosques and the teaching of Islam.
Apart from Fischer’s inaccurate description of Japan’s policies towards Islam, he also ignores the fact that Japan has indeed faced terrorist attacks ... but not from radical Muslims.
The extremist Aum Shinrikyo cult was behind a sarin attack on Tokyo’s subway system in 1995, an attack that “left 13 people dead, and more than 6,000 others suffering the effects of the nerve gas.” The group also conducted a deadly sarin gas attack in 1994.
The police found “hundreds of tons of chemicals in raids on Aum Shinri Kyo (Supreme Truth) doomsday cult,” including “extensive preparations for chemical and biological attacks.” The police also broke up other plots to conduct “guerrilla raids against parliament and prime minister's residence.” One subway cleaning woman later discovered bags in a subway station restroom with enough cyanide gas “to kill, in theory, 10,000 people.”
“Nearly 200 members of the cult were convicted in connection with the Tokyo sarin attack and a string of other terror attacks and assassinations,” the Huffington Post notes.
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is winning plaudits from Religious Right groups after he issued an administrative order directing probate judges in his state not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore was an anti-gay activist in his own right before returning to the court in 2013, founding the far-right Foundation for Moral Law, which has published yesterday’s order on its website.
Moore told the far-right site WorldNetDaily that the Obergefell case provides “a wonderful time to teach the people of our country about states’ rights,” explaining that his order reflects the fact that “states do have powers.”
Already, Moore is winning support from those who called on state and local officials, such as Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, to defy the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling.
This Order is both courageous and very well-reasoned. We need more federal and state officers like Chief Justice Moore who understand that the job of the Federal Judiciary is not to legislate from the bench, but rather to simply decide disputes between parties consistent with the text of the Constitution. Judicial opinions, like Obergefell v. Hodges, that purport to set policy for all of America are simply not supported by the Constitutional grant of powers given to the Judiciary.
Thank God for Chief Justice Moore! Please keep him, his family, and his staff in your prayers!
“I applaud Chief Justice Roy Moore for this order reaffirming the marriage law in Alabama,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The Alabama Supreme Court issued an order in March 2015 barring probate judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses after a federal court in January of last year overturned Alabama's voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman,” Staver explained. “In Alabama and across America, state judiciaries and legislatures are standing up against the federal judiciary or anyone else who wants to come up with some cockeyed view that somehow the Constitution now births some newfound notion of same-sex marriage."
“The opinion of five lawyers on the U.S. Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage is lawless and without legal or historical support," Staver concluded.
These legal developments are consistent with the developing resistance in America to the Supreme Court's attempt to legislate from the bench when it comes to marriage, ignoring the federal constitution in the process and inventing out of thin air a "right" to same-sex 'marriage.'
The American people reject judicial activism of the US Supreme Court and their attempt to redefine marriage. They continue to support marriage as it has existed throughout our nation's history, the union of one man and one woman.
Sanctity of Marriage Alabama applauds Chief Justice Roy Moore for doing his job and clarifying what is, in fact, the current law in Alabama. Chief Justice Moore has a constitutional duty (see Ala. Code 12-2-30) as head of the judicial system to "[take affirmative action to correct any] situation adversely affecting the administration of justice within the state." He has done this today. We expect that the associate justices of the Alabama Supreme Court will once again follow the line of duty before God and the Constitutions of the United States and Alabama as they did back in March."
Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio:
Judge Moore the only one upholding Constitution, which reserves marriage to the states. Civil obedience, not disobedience.
Don Feder knows what to expect at this year's Democratic National Convention: "An imam will give the opening prayer at this year’s nominating convention. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will place Hillary’s name in nomination and Donald Trump will be beheaded in effigy in the closing ceremony."
Alan Keyes will be headlining a fundraiser for Gordon Klingenschmitt's campaign for a state senate seat in Colorado.
Bryan Fischer says of President Obama that "wherever a human soul is supposed to be, there is just something dark and empty and soulless there at the center of his being."
Bill Donohue says that Hillary Clinton has been "endorsed by anti-Catholic bigots who advocate infanticide."
Finally, David Lane explains the true purpose of public education: "Once we return to God, He will then attend to the honor of His name. Public education and universities will again focus on the principal component of education: incorporating the character of the Father into our children, thus creating an exceptional and virtuous people. Test scores in education will soar for, 'The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.'"
Yesterday, Glenn Beck absurdly warned that President Obama's executive action on background checks for gun buyers would prohibit anyone who seeks mental health treatment from owning a gun. Today, American Family Radio's Bryan Fischer took this nonsense a step further on his radio program when he declared that Obama's action will prohibit anyone who doesn't believe in climate change from owning a gun.
As Fischer explained it, those who represent a danger to themselves or others due to mental illness are not allowed to possess a gun and since Obama thinks that climate change poses a serious threat, it only stands to reason that Obama believes that anyone who doesn't share his view about climate change is mentally ill and represents a threat to everyone else and therefore cannot be allowed to own a gun.
"If you are a danger to yourself or to others because of a mental health issue, then you can be denied the right to own a gun," Fischer said. "If you and I deny that man-caused global warming is anything to worry about, then that's going to make us a danger to others and unfit to own a gun."
On his radio program today, Bryan Fisher laid out his theory about where dinosaurs came from, explaining that they were simply lizards that grew very large because they lived for 1,000 years.
As Fischer explained, prior to Noah's flood, the average human lifespan was 912 years, so logically the lifespans of animals and reptiles and the like were also much longer during this period. And since reptiles continue to grow until they die, Fischer said, it stands to reason that a lizard that lived for 1,000 years would eventually grow to be the size of a dinosaur.
Asserting that there is "no reason to doubt" the Bible when it says that Methuselah lived for 969 years, Fischer declared that if some salamanders today can live for hundreds of years and grow to be several feet in length, then obviously lizards before the flood could live for a thousand years and grow even larger.
"I'm thinking that could be the explanation for dinosaurs," he said. "They were just like reptiles that just like grew for a 1,000 years, kept growing, kept growing, kept growing."
The fall of marriage equality bans in all 50 states following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision was a disaster for the conservative movement, whose leaders have spent years demonizing same-sex couples and warning that the legal recognition of their marriages will unleash a wave of terror on the nation.
Even the not-exactly-pious GOP presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, is activelycourting the anti-gay Right, although he has trouble explaining why he should be seen as a strong defender of “traditional marriage.”
In the eyes of many conservative activists, Obergefell was the product of a culture that had been slipping away for years, bringing America into an apocalyptic period where growing acceptance for homosexuality is ushering in disastrous consequences.
Weeks before the Supreme Court handed down its ruling, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah declared that if the court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage and conservative states didn’t seceded from the union in protest, anti-gay activists like himself would flee the country. “Are there any governors or legislatures out there among the 50 states willing to secede to offer a refuge for the God-fearing?” he asked, warning that if states were to stay in the U.S. following a pro-equality decision, the world should expect “a pilgrimage by millions of Americans.”
End Times radio host Rick Wiles told his listeners that the country would “be brought to its knees” if the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of marriage equality and that there would be “pain and suffering at a level we’ve never seen in this country,” caused by “riots or looting or war on American soil or a fireball from space.”
Texas pastors Robert Jeffress and Rick Scarborough also got in the mix. Jeffress said the ruling could pave the way for the Antichrist while Scarborough said conservatives must “fight until we die” and “push back with all our might” against a ruling in favor of gay marriage, which he said would “unleash the spirit of hell on the nation.” Scarborough even boasted that he was ready to go to jail and face death: “We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary, we will burn.”
As one might expect, the responses to the ruling were not much different from the predictions.
The day after the ruling, Wiles declared that he received a message from God, who asked him to tell the people to “flee” the country before God destroys it through economic ruin, food shortages, terrorism, disease and slavery. “America is over,” he declared. Later, Wiles predicted that America is “going to see gunfire” from people resisting the government over gay marriage. “Somebody’s going to jail, somebody’s going to die, somebody’s going to suffer,” he said.
Michael Bresciani of the Christian Post said Obergefell would lead to “an economic crash much more serious than the stock market crash of 29,” while WND’s Farah envisioned “more civil and racial strife” or “an attack on our country from foreign power or terrorist group.”
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said that “pastors who refuse to perform gay marriage and preach from the Bible should prepare for hate crime charges,” while Illinois pastor Erwin Lutzer told religious parents to prepare to “be diagnosed as culturally intolerant and personality intolerant,” as a result of which “their children will be taken away from them.” Perkins of the FRC claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision would threaten the freedom of speech and gun rights.
American Family Radio host Sandy Rios, who also serves as the American Family Association’s governmental affairs director, said that homosexuality may have been “a factor” in the deadly Amtrak crash in May. She suggested that the engineer, who is gay, may have been having a breakdown as he experienced “some confusion” related to homosexuality.
Fellow AFR host Bryan Fischer specifically blamed flooding in Texas on God’s judgment for homosexuality, saying that “you can make a geographical connection” between flooding and homosexuality. (We wonder what that means for American Family Radio’s home town of Tupelo, Mississippi, which was hit by a tornado last year).
Huckabee also suggested that America is in “a dangerous place” because “if man believes that he can redefine marriage, it’s apparent that man believes he has become his own god,” and God will not protect such a nation.
The Religious Right has a long history of absurdly claiming that evangelical Christians are facing persecution in America, and the Obergefell ruling only amped up such rhetoric.
Huckabee warned that the gay rights movement “won’t stop until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel,” lamenting that too many Christians don’t realize “how close they are to losing all of their freedoms.” Huckabee’s fellow GOP presidential candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, also got in on the action, warning that a gay “jihad” is “going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
Glenn Beck predicted that Obergefell would result in serious repercussions for the media, claiming that “anybody on this show [who] says they’re for traditional marriage” will have their airtime in jeopardy as the ruling “could mean the end of radio broadcasts like mine.”
Nothing set off more persecution rhetoric than the Kim Davis saga, in which the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk blocked her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of a court order, citing “God’s authority.” She was temporarily placed in the custody of U.S. Marshals after she said she would continue to flout the courts and was only released after deputy clerks started to issue the licenses.
Even before the Davis case, many Republicans had been insisting that government officials may not have to treat court rulings on marriage as authoritative after all, and can simply flout the process of judicial review. Obergefell gave them the perfect opportunity to put these arguments into action.
Before quitting the presidential race, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal lambasted the decision, explaining that “no earthly court can change the definition of marriage.” Huckabee said that if elected president, he would tell the Supreme Court: “Thank you for your opinion, but we shall ignore it.” “It’s a matter of saving our republic to say that, as president, we’re not going to accept this decision, we will ignore it and we will not enforce it,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also claimed that when civil law conflicts with “God’s rules,” then government officials must choose the latter because “God’s rules always win.” Rubio, along with his fellow GOP presidential candidates Cruz, Huckabee, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum and Carly Fiorina, also pledged to sign legislation confronting the supposed discrimination faced by gay marriage opponents.
The “700 Club” host worried in September that gay marriage would trigger a perilous financial crisis, warning that “the rupture of the entire financial framework of our world” could occur because of the Obergefell ruling. He again alleged in November that “the wrath of God” is headed to America now that “it’s a constitutional right for sodomites to marry each other,” possibly in the form of “a massive financial collapse.”
“They’re going to make you conform to them,” he said of gay rights advocates. “You are going to say you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality, you like anything you can think of, whatever it is.”
“Christianity, the founding principle of this nation, is criminalized,” he said in response to the Davis controversy. “You go to jail if you believe in God and stand fast for your beliefs against the onslaught of secular humanism and the flood that comes about with it.” (Robertson, of course, has not been jailed).
Warning viewers that “the homosexuals don’t just want to be left alone, now they want to come out and stick it to the Christians,” Robertson said that gay rights laws are creating “absolute tyranny” and “it's high time we call it what it is and we stand up for freedom.”
The televangelist also offered his patented advice to people with gay children.
He told one mother to send her daughter, who is dating another woman, to a Christian summer camp and “pray that God will straighten her out.” He said that the girl was probably “pressured” into embracing a lesbian identity because “there’s so much lesbian stuff, I mean, lesbian this, lesbian the other, so much homosexual — the media is pushing this as hard as they can possibly push it.” He told another viewer who has a gay son to treat him like a drug addict, and advised yet another parent that God could change his gay son if only the son were to start “acting like a man.”
Donald Trump’s call to bar all Muslims from entering the country was widely recognized as an appeal for explicit religious discrimination and generated significant pushback. But many of Trump’s right-wing defenders have turned to an argument that has long bounced around Religious Right circles: that Muslims are not entitled to the religious liberty protections of the First Amendment because Islam is somehow not a religion. A few years ago, for example, retired Lt. Gen Jerry Boykin called Islam “a totalitarian way of life” that “should not be protected under the First Amendment.”
The fact of the matter is, Islam is different. I know this is going to come as a shock to a lot of people, and I mean this sincerely. Islam is not just a religion. It is also a political governing structure. The fact of the matter is, Islam is a religion, but it is also Sharia law, it is also a civil government, it is also a form of government. And, so, the idea that that is protected under the First Amendment is wrong.
Conservative columnist and radio host Andrew McCarthy has similarly defended Trump’s comments, saying that Islam is not merely a religion because it “has ambitions to be more than a religion, that is to say that it is an ideological, sweeping system that does not recognize a division between spiritual life on the one hand and political and civic life on the other.”
“Religious freedom and our liberty is ordered liberty under the Constitution,” Perkins said. “And as Dr. Caron pointed out, and I know this is driving the left crazy, that Islam is not just a religion, Islam is an economic system, it is a judicial system, it is a compressive system which is incompatible with the Constitution. That’s what Dr. Carson said and he happens to be correct.”
More recently, Perkins defended Trump with a dubiously specific statistic, saying that “only 16 percent of Islam is a religion — the rest is a combination of military, judicial, economic and political system.” Televangelist Pat Robertson also said this month that people should not view Islam as a religion but rather a “political system masquerading as a religion.”
Wait a minute. Aren’t these the same people who repeatedly insist that the Bible is the final authority on everything, from laws regulating personal relationships to economic and tax policy, and environmental protection? Anti-marriage-equality activists have insisted that the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling was in violation of “God’s law” and therefore “illegitimate.”
Government leaders are charged with wielding the Word of God as an instrument of Justice, promoting God’s moral law as the foundation of right and wrong, encouraging those who do well biblically, and executing judgment on those who break the law.
So, a thought for Religious Right leaders: If you are going to argue for stripping Muslims of their First Amendment religious liberty protections based on your interpretation of Islam as an enterprise that is more political and ideological than religious, you may have to trim your own political sails quite a bit. Either that, or quit pretending you are proponents of religious freedom, and admit that you, like Bryan Fischer, believe the First Amendment applies only to Christians, or, like Tony Perkins, that gay-supporting Christians don’t deserve the same legal protections because a “true religious freedom” has to “come forth from religious orthodoxy.” Just don’t try to pretend your definition of “religious freedom” owes anything to Thomas Jefferson or the First Amendment.
Earlier this week, extremist anti-gay activist Scott Lively released his list of the "Top Ten Pro-Family Heroes of 2015," highlighting anti-gay activists "who showed courage under fire or whose words and actions gave special encouragement to our movement."
As the "2015 Pro-Family Hero of the Year," Lively rewarded Brian Camenker of MassResistance with a $500 donation and urged his supporters to financially support these other "worthy organizations" to "help them in their work":
1) 2015 Pro-Family Hero of the Year
Brian Camenker, MassResistance, for consistent dogged determination, effective activism, and optimism in the face of overwhelming opposition in the most homosexual-controlled state in the union.
2) Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel, for his bold, principled defiance of the United States Supreme Court in the Obergefell “gay marriage” ruling, and his defense of conscientious objector Kim Davis who refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals in Kentucky.
3) Janet Folger, Faith 2 Action, for her tenacious “Restrain the Judges” campaign, culminating in a press conference on the steps of the Supreme Court asking Congress to remove jurisdiction over “gay marriage” from the United States Supreme Court, and for her subsequent valiant efforts to force SCOTUS to reconsider its Obergefell decision.
4) Arthur Goldberg, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) for standing firm through a terrible lawsuit brought against JONAH by the Southern Poverty Law Center claiming that offering recovery to homosexuals amounted to consumer fraud under New Jersey law.
5) Peter LaBarbera, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, for his consistently gracious and courageous cultural analysis, activism and journalism at great personal cost.
6) David Kupelian, WND.com, for his ongoing fearless publication of the truth and his newest book, “The Snapping of the American Mind.”
7) J. Matt Barber of Barbwire.com for establishing a wonderful new medium for Christian witness and defense of the truth.
8) Diane Gramley, American Family Association of PA, for her steady, persistent and unflappable defense of family values.
9) Dr. Michael Brown, Line of Fire Radio Ministry, for the encouragement he has provided to the movement with his fearless radio commentary and especially new book, Outlasting the Gay Revolution.
10) Dr. Don Welch: Center for Enriching Relationships, for being the first-named of three litigants against California’s SB1172 law preventing professional psychotherapists from helping gender identity confused adolescents who possess a biblical worldview.
In addition to these "heroes," Lively also provided a list of those who "deserve honorable mention" and one name, more than any other, jumped out at us:
Rev. Franklin Graham, for his many media appearances in which he courageously articulated the truth.
Robert Reilly, for his outstanding book, “Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior is Changing Everything.”
Anne Paulk, executive director of Restored Hope Network for pulling the remnants of Exodus International back together and moving forward with grace, energy and truth.
Robert Oscar Lopez for his many articles, his brave stand, his amicus brief in the Obergefell case, and his book “Jephthah’s Daughters.”
Bryan Fischer and AFR radio for outstanding exposition of and defense of the truth.
Pastor Steve Branson, Village Parkway Baptist Church, San Antonio, TX for his strong public support of Master Sgt. Phillip Monk
The pastors who championed the HERO case in Houston, TX.
Dr. Steven Hotze, Conservative Republicans of Texas
Bill Wiesner, TCFamily.org, Michigan.
Aaron and Melissa Kline, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Oregon.
Last month, Donald Trump appeared on “The Alex Jones Show,” where he told the right-wing pundit that he has an “amazing” reputation, unlike other journalists, whom Trump commonlyrefers to as “scum.” Among Jones’ many wild conspiracy theories is his belief that the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which took place three years ago today, was “staged” by the Obama administration.
Trump has not faced any criticism from his fellow Republicans for going on Jones’ program or for touting his work, despite the fact that Jones has been instrumental in pushing the harmful Sandy Hook conspiracy theory.
A 2013 Fairleigh Dickinson University poll found that “a quarter (25%) of Americans think that facts about the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary last year are being hidden and an additional eleven percent are unsure” and that “Republicans are more likely to think that the truth about Sandy Hook is being suppressed, with 32 percent agreeing.”
Sandy Hook truthers, who largely believe that the attack was faked as part of a government plot to push strict gun laws, are not alone in delivering twisted responses to the mass shooting. Others have used the massacre to attack gay marriage, the separation of church and state and, of course, gun laws.
WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush said that Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza “positively reeked of what intelligence operatives I know would call the tell-tale signs of recruitment and conditioning,” and wondered if Lanza was the target of a government scheme to recruit “vulnerable individuals for psyops” to advance “their diabolical agenda.”
Renew America’s Austin Miles similarly suggested that the massacre was “purposely orchestrated” to “disarm all Americans to retard resistance,” writing that Lanza and others were “brainwashed into carrying out such deeds that would prove a point about private gun ownership and the threat to all families as a result.” Then, he said, there would be no opposition to Obama using an “Executive Order to declare himself president (dictator) for life.” Fellow Renew America pundit, Laurie Roth, claimed Obama “staged” the attack because he’s on a “mission to take assault weapons from the people.”
Radio host Rick Wiles stated that “Sandy Hook was timed to coincide with the political agenda of the socialist Democrats such as Barry Soetoro [Obama], Chuckie Schumer, and Dianne Feinstein to pass stringent federal gun control laws,” alleging that “the shooting event was timed to coincide with the gun control initiative.” Another conservative radio host, Bradlee Dean, likened the Sandy Hook killings to Adolf Hitler “attacking his own Reichstag to start a world war” and said that it was orchestrated to pass an arms control treaty.
The Tea Party-aligned National Liberty Foundation insisted that the “staged” massacre showed just “how far your president went to get your guns”: “He wants to be a dictator, he doesn’t want to get out of the White House and he loves spending your money.”
Many of their assertions relied heavily on discredited claims that “crisis actors” posed as grieving family members at the school and that one of the young victims later met with President Obama (she didn’t, it was her little sister).
One Republican congressman, Louie Gohmert, however, told a fan of his that he would watch a Sandy Hook conspiracy theory video because he’s “always learning new things.”
Religious Right’s Reaction
Several Religious Right activists responded to the Sandy Hook shooting by warning that the massacre was a sign that God is no longer protecting America, removing his hand of protection due to supposed societal ills such as gay marriage, abortion rights and the separation of church and state.
“Millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist, or he’s irrelevant to me and we have killed 54 million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition,” Focus on the Family founder James Dobson lamented. “Believe me, that is going to have consequences too. And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us.”
“We’ve taken God our of our school, we’ve taken him out of our government and now we seem shocked at all of these things,” Franklin Graham stated following the attack. “Why are we shocked? We shouldn’t be shocked. This is what happens when a society turns its back on God.” Author Joel Rosenberg said the shooting was one of the tragedies America is “reaping as a result of a society that increasingly ignores God,” specifically blaming comedian Jon Stewart for waging a “war on Christmas” and mocking conservatives.
One pastor said that a “gracious,” “merciful” and “loving” God decided not to intervene to prevent the shooting because it would “bring us back to our senses” and make people realize that God’s judgment “has really come by our turning away from the Lord.” Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio specifically blamed legal abortion and the lack of state-sponsored prayer for the attack, stating that God is a “gentleman” who “is not going to go where he is not wanted.”
Blocking background checks
Ted Cruz has proudly boasted of his role in successfully blocking a bipartisan Senate measure to expand background checks on gun purchases following the school shooting, bragging that unlike Republican “squishes,” he stood firm in opposing universal background checks. The Sandy Hook-affected families who supported the efforts, he said, were being used as “political props.”
National Rifle Association board member and musician Ted Nugent blamed the shooting on America’s “politically correct culture” and “‘anything goes’ value system” which “vilifies, condemns and mocks traditional societal values and customs at every opportunity,” while NRA executive director Wayne LaPierre delivered an unhinged speech against gun control measures, lashing out at the group’s critics, the entertainment industry, video games, the media and a lack of guns in schools.
But while nearly nine out of 10 Americans, including nine out of 10 gun owners, support more background checks, Republican lawmakers care more about the support they receive from groups like the NRA, and have done next to nothing to tackle the issue of gun violence in the wake of tragedies like Sandy Hook.
Instead, Republicans claimed that the government should focus on mental health and thentried to block access to mental health services.
Few if any of the GOP presidential candidates are offering any meaningful gun reform proposals, outside of their unwavering dogma: More guns.
On his radio program today, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer once again voiced his support for Donald Trump's call to ban all Muslims from entering the country, likening it to imposing a travel ban during the height of last year's Ebola outbreak.
"We have got to suspend Islamic immigration," Fischer said, "until we can figure out how to stop this toxic poison coming into this country. We're not saying all Muslims are carriers of this toxic poison, but the problem is we don't know who is a carrier and who is not. It's like the Ebola virus. Remember when the Ebola virus hit? We simply banned travel from any country where there was an Ebola outbreak. We just said we cannot take the risk. Well, Islam is the Ebola virus of culture."
Of course, Fischer's analogy might work better if the U.S. had actually imposed such a travel ban, but that never happened. Instead, the U.S. simply required travelers from affected West African countries to fly into one of five airports where enhanced screening Ebola protocols had been put into place.
As we noted yesterday, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer was years ahead of Donald Trump in calling for a ban on Muslim immigration to America, so he naturally took a bit of a victory lap on his radio program today in light of the fact that his radical position is now being championed by the Republican presidential frontrunner.
But Fischer took his position a step further, insisting that it is not enough to simply ban Muslims from entering the country and so the government should actually be paying Muslims who are already here to leave.
"Let's use American resources to help these people find a home in the Muslim world," Fischer said. "I suggest that we assist Muslims in America with repatriation costs. Let's help them find a home in the Muslim world. They can live in a place that shares the values, that shares their religious principles, that shares their religious practice, that shares their cultural customs. They can be at home, don't have to chafe against our religious liberty, don't have to chafe against our Judeo-Christian values system. They can be at home and I believe we ought to be content to use our resources to help them get there."
Gaffney, like Trump, promotes birther conspiracy theories along with bizarre claims that Muslim Brotherhood and Sharia law advocates are taking over the U.S. government and both political parties, touted his poll as “an insight into how the Muslims that we polled felt and it’s worrisome.”
“Fortunately, Donald Trump, like you, I’m not endorsing him, I’m not speaking of his fitness, I’m just saying that in response to events that have taken place in this country and elsewhere in recent months has recognized what I think most Americans recognize, that we don’t actually want more jihadists in this country,” he said, insisting that Americans “don’t think augmenting them willy-nilly in the name of some kind of sense that they are entitled to come here is a sound policy.”
He continued: “We have called for a moratorium on the introduction of still more Muslims, particularly from countries with a tradition of Islamic supremacism.”
Gaffney wasn’t alone. Fox News pundit Todd Starnes also defend the GOP presidential front-runner plan:
So the answer is to allow unfettered Muslim immigration — and just pray nothing happens?
Ted Cruz is vowing to fill the Supreme Court with hardline right-wing justices if he becomes president.
E.W. Jackson says that Christians should not support Donald Trump because "Trump's love affair is with himself, not with God."
Ben Carson continues to alienate right-wing anti-choice activists.
Larry Tomczak says that while the shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado "was a nightmare, so too is the fact that every child has the 'right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' yet scores are subject to domestic terrorism every day. "
Finally, Bryan Fischer declares that "liberalism, by definition, is kind of a mental disorder because you have to turn off your brain to believe half of what liberalism believes."