Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer Says That He Has Not Been Fired, Will Retain His Position As AFR Radio Host

Bryan Fischer kicked off his radio program today by refuting reports that he had been fired by the American Family Association, explaining that he has simply given up his role as an official AFA spokesman while retaining his role as a daily radio host for AFA's radio outlet, American Family Radio.

Fischer said that his designation as an AFA spokesman while he also served as a radio host was creating confusion and resulting in the personal opinions he expressed on the radio being unfairly attributed to the AFA. As such, Fischer will no longer serve as an official voice for AFA but will continue to spew his bigotry from the AFA's radio stations:

As we noted earlier today, this supposed change is utterly meaningless and does nothing to absolve the AFA of its responsibility for giving Fischer a national platform from which to spread his hate.

Of course, the AFA doesn't see it that way, having recently sent a letter to the Southern Poverty Law Center claiming that its radio network is "a free speech zone" and therefore AFA should not be held responsible for any of the things said on its programs. 

AFA nonetheless did explicitly repudiate an array of bigoted claims Fischer that has made over the years, thereby insisting that no longer can Fischer's views be attributed to the organization:

AFA rejects the idea expressed by Bryan Fischer that "Free exercise of religion" only applies to Christians. Consequently, AFA rejects Bryan's assertions that Muslims should not be granted permits to build mosques in the United States;

AFA rejects the ideas expressed by Bryan Fischer that the violent expulsion of Native Americans was divinely ordained and that, "Superstition, savagery and sexual immorality" morally disqualified Native Americans from "sovereign control of American soil."

AFA rejects the ideas expressed by Bryan Fischer that "we" need to clamp down on immigration because Hispanics are socialist by nature and vote Democratic because it allows them to "benefit from the plunder of the wealth of the United States."

AFA rejects Bryan Fischer's characterization of minorities as "people who rut like rabbits."

AFA rejects the statement by Bryan Fischer that, "Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews."

AFA rejects the policy advocated by Bryan Fischer that homosexual conduct should be illegal

AFA rejects the notion advocated by Bryan Fischer that, "We need an underground railroad to protect innocent children from same-sex households."

AFA rejects Bryan Fischer's statement that, "If Hillary Clinton becomes president In 2016, she will not only be our first female president, she could be our first lesbian president."

....

In light of this notice, do not continue to charge AFA with the statements by Bryan Fischer that we have repudiated. When identifying "hate groups" in the context of training military or law enforcement personnel, do not put AFA in a false light by quoting Mr. Fischer's statements that we have repudiated.

The AFA will continue to provide Fischer with the staff, resources, and national outlet through which to share the views that AFA reportedly finds abhorrent ... but wants to do so without having to answer for all of the hatred that it is responsible for producing and promoting.

Anti-LGBT Groups Cheer On Roy Moore's Standoff With Federal Courts

Earlier this week, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore sent a letter to Alabama’s governor urging him to ignore a federal court ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage because, he wrote, “the laws of our state have always recognized the Biblical admonition” against homosexuality.

Moore’s arguments may be legally questionable, but his stand against the federal courts seems to be catapulting him back into right-wing hero status that he hasn’t seen since he defied a court order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from his court’s rotunda.

Anti-LGBT groups have been praising the move by the viciously anti-gay judge.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins praised Moore for standing up against marriage equality, which he warned is a threat “not just to our nation’s stability, but to its very survival":

Federal judges may have the last word on marriage -- but they won’t have the final one. That’s becoming abundantly clear in Alabama, the latest state to feel the sting of a runaway court invalidating the will of the people on marriage. In a letter to Governor Robert Bentley (R-Ala.), Chief Justice Roy Moore made that quite clear -- explaining that this isn’t an issue that the federal courts will resolve. Rather, he said, it “raises serious, legitimate concerns about the propriety of federal court jurisdiction over the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment.”

Unelected judges and a handful of lawyers have been pushing state marriage amendments over like sleeping cows. Meanwhile, stunned Americans have struggled to make sense of a legal system that puts its own political agenda ahead of the expressed will of the people. Like most conservatives, FRC has watched in horror as the courts have robbed tens of millions of Americans of their voice on an issue of critical importance -- not just to our nation’s stability, but to its very survival.

Bryan Fischer, who at the time he made the comments was a spokesman for the American Family Association, also praised Moore for taking “a stand against judicial tyranny”:

State justices can, as Justice Moore has done, defy unconstitutional federal rulings which have overturned marriage amendments. Governors, such as Gov. Bentley, can defy unconstitutional federal rulings by forbidding county clerks to issue marriage licenses which would be in violation of the state constitution. (First Amendment law firms such as the Alliance Defending Freedom have pledged to defend pro bono any clerks who refuse to issue same-sex licenses on grounds of conscience.)

Such actions would most emphatically not represent civil disobedience, but rather the best in civil obedience. An elected official can hardly be charged with rebellion when he is simply fulfilling the oath he took before God to uphold both the federal constitution and the constitution of his own state.

Meanwhile, CitizenGo, a petition hub run in part by National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, asked supporters to sign a petition commending Moore for "standing up against the federal tyranny that seeks to impose gay ‘marriage’ on the state of Alabama":

Chief Justice Roy Moore,

Thank you for standing up against the federal tyranny that seeks to impose gay "marriage" upon the state of Alabama. Your bold stand against the redefinition of marriage and the erosion of our nation's moral foundations is an inspiration.

I want you to know that I stand with you as you resist the federal government's unconstitutional demands regarding homosexual "marriage."

I encourage you to fulfill your duty as a lesser magistrate to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the great state of Alabama by resisting these unjust demands.

Meanwhile, the Foundation for Moral Law, the group that Moore led before returning to the Alabama Supreme Court and which is now run by his wife, hasn't reacted to Moore's letter. But the group did respond to the judge’s ruling by acknowledging that “Jesus loves” gay people but “homosexual conduct is still sin, and we must stand firm for what is right.”

“Alabamians approved the 2006 Sanctity of Marriage Amendment by 81% of the vote,” she said, “and the will of the people should not be lightly discarded in favor of an alleged right that is found nowhere in the Constitution.” She added that the Foundation bears no animus toward the plaintiffs in this case or in any other: “Jesus loves them, and He died for their sins as well as for mine. But homosexual conduct is still sin, and we must stand firm for what is right.”

Meet David Lane: The Anti-Gay, Christian-Nation Extremist Of The RNC

Last night, Rachel Maddow reported that the American Family Association has fired Bryan Fischer as its official spokesman, while letting Fischer keep his radio show on the organization’s radio network. The move apparently came as a result of growing controversy surrounding a trip to Israel for Republican National Committee delegates bankrolled by the AFA.

It didn’t look good for the RNC that the group paying the tab for the trip to Israel has a spokesman and radio host who believes that gay people are modern-day Nazis who are responsible for the Holocaust, demands Jewish conversion to Christianity (and wants to require conversion for Jewish and other non-Christian immigrants), and insists that non-Christians have no First Amendment rights: “Counterfeit religions, alternative religions to Christianity, have no First Amendment right to the free exercise of the religion.”

However, the RNC trip’s chief organizer, David Lane of the American Renewal Project, which has close ties to the AFA, is no less radical than Fischer … but his extreme views haven’t stopped Republicans from embracing Lane.

lane

Priebus, center. Lane, far right. Via The Brody File.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has appeared at Lane’s political gatherings and praised his radical anti-LGBT activism. In fact, potential Republican presidential candidates like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry and Mike Pence have either appeared at Lane’s events, which typically take place in early primary states, or participated in election-themed advertisements for Lane’s group.

Bobby Jindal, who has participated in both ventures, even hosted a prayer rally last weekend that was organized by Lane and funded by the AFA.

Lane and the AFA also organized an earlier visit to Israel for Paul and Perry, and Lane also organized Huckabee’s recent trip to Europe.

Lane, who describes himself as a political operative who prefers working behind the scenes, shares Fischer’s view that God is preparing to violently punish America for its tolerance of homosexuality. Lane, like Fischer, also believes that gay Republicans and gay rights supporters in the GOP are dangerous figures who will help bring the country down. He has:

  • Feared that God might destroy the U.S. just as he punished Nazi Germany: “If we get judgment like Nazi Germany, I’m assuming we go to rebel, and God says ‘I’m done.’”
  • Favorably quoted a Christian author who said that “same-sex marriage practiced universally is suicide. To survive gays and lesbians are parasites, depending for their cultural survival on couples that birth the next generation.”
  • Explained why homosexuality is a threat to freedom: “Homosexuality is debauchery. God’s loyalty and fidelity — that guard the nation — make sustainable freedom dependent on seeking virtue.”
  • Predicted that homosexuality will lead to the destruction of America: “Homosexual desire and marriage is unnatural and — more so — is a symptom of advanced cultural decay and precursor to the collapse of the Republican Party and the nation.... The mark of a decadent society is the exaltation and normalization of sin — which leads to the death.”
  • Compared Republicans who support marriage equality to politicians who backed slavery in the run-up to the Civil War.

“What is our aim?” Lane asked in a 2013 op-ed. “One word only: victory, in spite of all intimidation and terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, America will ultimately collapse.”

He has set his sights at the separation of church and state, warning that “America is lost, one has to think through and devise a strategy to recapture our Christian heritage and reestablish our Christian culture.” Lane has also outlined his strategy to further entrench his radical ideology in the Republican Party by holding prayer rallies like “The Response,” sponsoring events featuring GOP leaders, known as “restoration” and “renewal” events or “pastor policy briefings,” and recruiting 1,000 pastors to run for elected office.

Urging conservatives to “wage war for the Soul of America and trust the living God to deliver the pagan gods into our hands,” Lane wants conservatives to embrace his exclusionary Christian Nationalist beliefs and abolish the separation of church and state. Lane:

  • Called the separation of church and state a “lie” and a “fabricated whopper” used to stop “Christian America – the moral majority – from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning and pagan media.”
  • Claimed that while “America was a Christian nation” since its founding, now it must choose between being “a Christian nation or a pagan nation.”
  • Said America needs a “thorough cleaning from pornography, abortion, homosexuality, filth from TV and Hollywood, racism, and injustice.”
  • Congratulated a pastor for exposing Mitt Romney’s belief in the “false god of Mormonism” during the 2012 GOP primaries.
  • Lamented that the “‘religion of secularism’ has produced red ink as far as the eye can see, homosexuals praying at the Inauguration, tax-funded abortion, homosexual marriage in several States, Evangelicals held in contempt, and God expelled from the classrooms of America — and the public square.”
  • Warned that while America has “grovel to the false god of Islam,” “America, a Christian nation in heritage and culture, is being dismantled brick by brick.”

The AFA Cannot Wash Its Hands Of Bryan Fischer's Bigotry That Easily

Last night it was reported that the American Family Association had finally fired the Religious Right's most notorious bigot, Bryan Fischer. While that would be welcome news, if true, the AFA has a long history of trying to salvage its own reputation by distancing itself from Fischer's unrelenting bigotry and this latest effort appears to be simply yet another attempt to whitewash the AFA's façade without making any genuine changes.

Back in 2009, Bryan Fischer was an obscure state-level Religious Right activist with a history of getting fired for his radical views. From his position as head of the Idaho Values Alliance, Fischer was mostly known for launching boycotts against Hallmark stores for offering cards for gay weddings and celebrating a fatal plane crash as God's payback for abortion.

Fischer's radicalism and bigotry were obvious even back then, but that didn't stop the American Family Association from wooing Fischer away from Idaho with an offer to serve as the organization's "director of issues analysis" and host a daily radio program down in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Within months of his arrival at AFA, Fischer was already using his national platform to spread his unmitigated bigotry, starting with his demand that all Muslims be banned from serving in the U.S. military, a position that he continues to steadfastly promote to this day.

Within a year, Fischer was using his position at AFA to declare that homosexuality should be illegal and that gays should be treated like criminals and banned from serving in public office. While Fischer was advocating for the deportation of all Muslims and an end to the building of mosques in America, the AFA continued to provide him a platform, just as it did when he began calling for whales and bears to be put to death for biblical infractions and blaming the Holocaust on gays.

Finally, in 2010, the AFA made a half-hearted attempt to wash its hands of Fischer's vile views ... not by firing him, mind you, but simply by adding a disclaimer at the end of Fischer's blog posts and radio program insisting that the things Fischer was saying on the AFA's website and radio network should not be taken to reflect the views of the organization:

Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.

Obviously, this was nothing but a pathetic cop-out, as we have pointed out several times before. The AFA plucked Fischer from obscurity, gave him a salary and a national platform from which to regularly proclaim that gays are Satanic perverts but then tried to pretend that it was not in any way responsible for Fischer or his views, such as:

Not surprisingly, Fischer's outrageous views and statements have caused problems for the AFA and those with whom the AFA has partnered at events, most recently Gov. Bobby Jindal, who teamed up with the AFA for his "The Response" prayer rally last week. But through it all, the AFA has steadfastly insisted that Fischer does not speak for the organization while simultaneously standing by him and continuing to provide the platform from which he spreads his bigotry.

This weekend, some 60 members of the Republican National Committee are scheduled to go to Israel on a trip organized by Christian nationalist David Lane and funded by the American Family Association and it seems as if Fischer's radical views have suddenly become too much for the RNC and AFA to ignore, as last night Rachel Maddow reported that the AFA had fired Fischer:

From what we have been able to gather, Fischer has not actually been dismissed by AFA but has rather merely been stripped of his title as director of issues analysis and his role as spokesman for the organization. Fischer will reportedly continue to produce his daily radio program for the AFA's radio arm, American Family Radio.

If this is indeed the case, then the AFA has literally accomplished nothing with this stunt and has completely failed to distance itself from Fischer's utterly despicable views. The primary venues though which Fischer has managed to spread his bigotry for the last six years have always been owned, operated, and funded by the American Family Association and that relationship appears to remain intact. 

Stripping Fischer of his title as AFA spokesman in no way alleviates the AFA of its responsibility for Fischer's toxic views given that the only reason Fischer even has a platform from which to spread those views is because AFA is providing it to him and paying him to spread them!

From the very start of Fischer's time at AFA, the organization has pathetically attempted to have it both ways: providing the very microphone from which Fischer speaks while simultaneously claiming that it bears no responsibility for the message that he sends.

The AFA's latest effort to rid itself of Fischer's rancid reputation is little more than a rhetorical accounting trick aimed at creating the false impression that the organization has wiped Fischer's bigotry off of its books.

PFAW: American Family Association Fires Bryan Fischer, Can't Hide Its Extremism Or His Connection To The GOP

WASHINGTON -- MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported last night that the American Family Association (AFA) has fired its longtime spokesman, Bryan Fischer, from his position as the organization’s director of issues analysis. However, AFA reportedly plans to keep Fischer as the host of a daily program on its radio network.

Fischer has a long record of bigotry and extremism, chronicled by People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch. He repeatedly blames gay men for the Holocaust, says that non-Christians have no right to First Amendment protections, has derided African American welfare recipients as “people who rut like rabbits,” and once attacked a Medal of Honor recipient for having “feminized” the honor.

"The AFA has for years tolerated Fischer's bigotry, and Republicans have for years been perfectly willing to associate themselves with Fischer and the AFA," said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. "What changed is not that they stopped agreeing with his views but that he finally became too great a political liability."

Fischer was removed from his position under apparent political pressure related to a trip to Israel that AFA is organizing for dozens of members of the Republican National Committee, which begins this weekend. The other organizer of the trip is David Lane, a Christian-nation activist whose views are just as troubling as Fischer’s.

"Bryan Fischer is one of the most colorful bigots in the game," said Keegan. "But changing Fischer's title can't hide the fact that the AFA remains an extreme group that was willing to tolerate his abhorrent statements until they became too politically inconvenient."

"The RNC is still partnering with a group that wants to send LGBT people back into the closet and claim the U.S. government for Christians and Christians only."

People For the American Way Resources on Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association, and David Lane:

Right Wing Watch’s archive of articles on Fischer
PFAW Report: The GOP’s Favorite Hate-Monger: How The Republican Party Came To Embrace Bryan Fischer
RWW Post: RNC Teams Up With Anti-Gay Extremist And Hate Group
RWW Post: David Lane: Republican Presidential Hopefuls’ Favorite ‘Christian Nation’ Extremist

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Bryan Fischer 'Clarifies': Gay Activists Are Satan's Prisoners of War

On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer sought to "clarify" the remarks he made on Monday when he asserted that gay activists are driven by "the unvarnished energy of Satan himself."

Laughably insisting that his liberal critics "cherry-pick" quotes from him which are then presented out of context, Fischer explained that gay activists are actually victims who have been captured by Satan and become his prisoners of war.

"They are actually captives," he said. "Prisoners of war, if you will, of the real ultimate enemy that we contending with ... Our real struggle is with the unseen forces that are pushing this agenda which is so contrary to the will of God. And so those human beings that are caught up in this agenda and are pushing this agenda and pressing this agenda, they too are victims of the energy and the forces that are behind the entire homosexual agenda. These individuals have been deceived. They have been taken captive by the same forces with which we contend and now he's manipulating them and using them to represent the agenda that he wants to accomplish":

Fischer: You'll Never 'Find A More Directly Demonic Energy Than When You Deal With The Homosexual Agenda'

As Peter noted in the analysis piece he wrote this morning about Gov. Bobby Jindal's recent prayer rally, "one of the biggest problems with treating politics as spiritual warfare is that you turn your political opponents into spiritual enemies. People who disagree with you on public policy issues are not just wrong, but evil, or even satanic."

As if to help prove this very point, Bryan Fischer said on his radio broadcast today that the people who were protesting Jindal's event were literally driven by demonic spirits.

Fischer — whose employer, the American Family Association, sponsored Jindal’s rally — took a call from a listener who attended the prayer rally and who asserted that "the Devil is mad [about Jindal's rally] and that's why he sent those protesters there" and Fischer, of course, agreed.

"I don't think you will ever find a more directly demonic energy than when you deal with the homosexual agenda," he said. "They're vicious. They are mean. You literally are staring into virtually the unvarnished energy of Satan himself when you come up against the forces that are pushing the homosexual agenda forward":

The Real Problems With Bobby Jindal And His Prayer Rally

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal skipped an Iowa stage crowded with Republican presidential wannabes on Saturday so he could host a prayer rally on the campus of Louisiana State University. Jindal and others have mischaracterized objections to the rally, suggesting that its critics were somehow out to silence people of faith. So let’s be clear about the real issue: Bobby Jindal used the power and prestige of his office to promote an event backed by some of the nation’s most religiously divisive and stridently anti-gay activists. And in a bid to boost his own political future, he sent a clear message of support for the Christian-nation views of the event’s extremist organizers.

Christians Only, Please

Let’s start with the invitation, sent on Jindal’s official state letterhead. “We are in need of spiritual and transforming revival,” he wrote, “if we are to recapture the vision of our early leaders who signed on the Mayflower, ‘In the name of God and for the advancement of the Christian faith.’” Leadership to solve the country’s problems “will not come from a politician or a movement for social change,” he wrote in this time of civil rights movement anniversaries. So how will we solve our problems? “Jesus Christ, Son of God and the Lord of Life, is America’s only hope.” In a separate letter he wrote to the other 49 governors inviting them to his rally to pray for “spiritual revival” and “heaven’s intervention” over the country. “There will only be one name lifted up that day – Jesus!”

What does all this suggest to non-Christian Americans (including non-Christian governors) about how Jindal views their contributions? Jindal’s letters reflect the attitudes of rally organizer David Lane, a political strategist who believes America was founded by and for Christians. The event was paid for by the American Family Association, whose chief spokesman, radio host Bryan Fischer, believes the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections apply only to Christians.

The rally was also a showcase for the dominionist views of self-proclaimed “apostles” who promoted and spearheaded the event. One of those “apostles” was the event’s emcee. Doug Stringer has called the 9/11 attacks “a wake-up call” that happened because God was not around to defend America due to abortion, homosexuality, and kicking God out of public schools. While introducing Jindal, Stringer made a brief mention to “Seven Mountains” theology, which states that all the “mountains” in society – arenas like business, entertainment, and government – must be led by the right kind of Christian. A later speaker, Gene Mills of the Louisiana Family Forum, spent more time on the “Seven Mountains.” Mills said these spheres of influence belong to God, but are currently occupied by the “enemy.” They therefore need to be evangelized and “occupied by the body of Christ.”

Not Political? Not Credible

Jindal and organizer David Lane declared, unbelievably, that the rally was not political. Lane is a self-described political strategist who works to turn conservative evangelical churches into voter turnout machines for right-wing candidates and causes. Lane is trying to get 1,000 conservative evangelical pastors to run for public office, and he held a recruiting session the day before the prayer rally. Jindal and Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma were among the speakers. Another example of the disconnect between rhetoric and reality: Stringer made the claim that the rally was not meant to lift up any politicians while he was standing in front of a huge screen featuring a quote from Bobby Jindal.

The “not political” claim was hard to take seriously given the amount of time devoted to making abortion illegal and declarations that what will tip the scales will be the “the voice of the church in the voting booth.” Jim Garlow, who led church organizing for California’s anti-gay Proposition 8, and who believes the marriage equality movement is demonic, dropped all “nonpolitical” pretense, railing against marriage equality and IRS regulations that restrict the involvement of churches in electoral politics.

Opponents = Enemies

One of the biggest problems with treating politics as spiritual warfare is that you turn your political opponents into spiritual enemies. People who disagree with you on public policy issues are not just wrong, but evil, or even satanic. That makes it pretty hard to work together or find compromise.

In daily prayer calls leading up to the rally, organizers prayed for God to forgive students who were organizing protests, as if disagreeing with Bobby Jindal were a sin – or a form of anti-Christian persecution. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” prayed call leaders, comparing their pleas to Jesus asking God to forgive those who crucified him, and Saint Stephen asking for mercy for those who were stoning him to death. On one call, a prayer leader decreed a “no-go zone for demons” over the sports arena where the event was to be held. At the rally, one speaker talked of storming the gates of Hell. Bishop Harry Jackson finished his remarks by leading the crowd in a chant he has used at anti-gay rallies: “Let God arise and his enemies be scattered!”

Jindal Unplugged, Unhinged, and Unapologetic

Jindal seems to have decided that his best chance in a crowded Republican field is to plant himself at the far right of an already far-right group. In the days leading up to the rally, he drew criticism for comments denigrating Muslims and for repeating bogus charges about Muslim “no-go zones” that Fox News had already apologized for spreading. During a radio interview a few days before the rally, Jindal said liberals pretend that jihadist terrorism isn’t happening and pretend “it’s a good thing to kill journalists, to kill teenagers for watching soccer, to kill over 150 schoolchildren, to treat women as second-class citizens…” He decried political incorrectness and multiculturalism and said of immigrants who do not embrace American exceptionalism, “that’s not immigration, that’s invasion.”

On “This Week” on Sunday, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos noted that Jindal had declared at his prayer rally that “on the last page, our God wins,” and asked him if that was appropriate in a religiously diverse country. Jindal praised religious liberty but ducked the question.

On the same show, Jindal said he would back a push for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to allow states to discriminate against same-sex couples, all while saying “I am not for discrimination against anybody.” (Jindal describes himself as an “evangelical Catholic,” and his contradictory rhetoric parallels the language of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which says it opposes “unjust discrimination” against gay people, but defines the term “unjust discrimination” in a way that applies only to those people with “same-sex attraction” who remain celibate.)

Jindal has also promoted far-right policies as governor. As Brian has noted:

Jindal has reached out to the party’s increasingly extreme base by undermining the teaching of evolution in public schools; promoting wild conspiracy theories about Common Core, an effort to adjust school standards that he supported before it became the target of the Tea Party’s fury; and hyping the purported persecution of Christians in America, specifically citing the plight of Christians with reality television shows.

Whose Agenda?

Jindal’s rally was not an original idea. In fact Jindal’s “Response” recycled materials and themes from a similar event that Texas Gov. Rick Perry held in 2011 to launch his presidential bid. Here’s what I wrote about Perry’s event, which applies equally well to Jindal’s – not surprising since both were organized by the same groups of extremists:

Organizers argued (unconvincingly) that "The Response" was about prayer, not politics. But groups like the American Family Association (AFA), which paid for the rally and its webcast…are not designed to win souls but to change American law and culture through grassroots organizing and political power-building. They have a corrosive effect on our political culture by promoting religious bigotry and anti-gay extremism, by claiming that the United States was meant to be a Christian nation, and by fostering resentment among conservative evangelicals with repeated false assertions that liberal elites are out to destroy religious liberty and silence conservative religious voices.

Jindal, of course, has the right to talk about his faith. But it is wrong for him to use his public office to proselytize and denigrate the faith of others. Teaming up with anti-gay extremists and Christian-nation advocates gives them credibility they do not deserve. His actions speak volumes about his judgment, values, and commitment to religious pluralism and equality under the law.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 1/22/15

  • Predictably, Jonathan Cahn thinks that President Obama's State of the Union speech is just another sign that God's judgment upon America is just around the corner.
  • Michael Ware explains that the government must give Christianity preferential treatment because "it is absurd to demand that all ideas or beliefs are equal, it leads to the absurd. Only truth from Scripture is valid and can save us from such absurdity."
  • The AFA's Buddy Smith is hopeful that cities across America will follow the lead of Starkville, Mississippi, and begin repealing their anti-discrimination laws protecting gays: "We're still a nation of people [that has] a core that shares a Christian worldview, a core of people who share this core of beliefs that a Christian worldview is what's best for our nation, and sin is still sin and it's okay to oppose it."
  • Erik Rush says that President Obama "has committed serial treason and is being shielded from the consequences of his actions by corrupt and compromised elected officials."
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer encourages churches to change their bylaws, as his church is doing, to declare that they will never accept gay marriage: "We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one's sex, or disagreement with one's biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God."

Jindal's Comments On Muslims Win Plaudits From Christian Nationalist Allies

As we have been reporting, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is currying favor with conservative evangelical voters by hosting “The Response,” a prayer rally at Louisiana State University on Saturday that has been organized by Christian-nation activist David Lane and paid for by the anti-gay American Family Association.  Yesterday, Lane’s American Renewal Project sent out an email rapturously praising Jindal for his recent comments about Muslims, in which Jindal insisted that it is not enough for Muslim leaders to denounce terrorist violence. They must, Jindal said, declare that those committing violence will go to hell.

“We need to understand the challenge we face in radical Islam...In many ways, you’re looking at folks who want to come, and in some ways, overturn our culture. They want to come in and almost colonize our countries. I think we’ve got to stop those people from coming into our country. But unfortunately, today the politically correct view is to say that anybody that says that is viewed as being culturally arrogant, as being insensitive, having a colonial perspective. I think that’s wrong.”

Lane was beside himself with excitement. “This is E-P-I-C,” he gushed. “Bobby Jindal speaks the truth.” Lane went on to complain that previous presidents have not been willing to say that Islam itself – not just radical or extremist Islam – “opposes Western values.”

Lane, who believes America was founded by and for Christians, goes on to slam both secularism and religious pluralism:

America’s predicament in 2015 is driven by the fact that we have “Forgotten the name of our God”, the first step toward apostasy; then we adore the false. Secularism is paganism clothed in tolerance, its ubiquitous chant, “We are a pluralistic society,” is not the same nation bequeathed to us by our Founders.

Jindal’s other prayer rally partner, the American Family Association, is also not big on religious pluralism. The AFA’s chief spokesman, radio host Bryan Fischer, insists that the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections apply only to people he considers Christians, not to Muslims, Hindus, or Mormons.

Jindal has also recently decried supposed Muslim-only “no-go zones” in Europe even after Fox News retracted and apologized for similar claims. 

National Review Doesn't Get The Problem with Jindal's Political Prayer Pals

The National Review’s Eliana Johnson has taken note of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s hosting of this weekend’s “Response” prayer rally as well as the protests it has sparked on the campus of Louisiana State University. Johnson’s article accurately portrays the rally as part of presidential hopeful Jindal’s political outreach to evangelical voters, but it mischaracterizes the reason for the protests.

The event has already sparked controversy because the group underwriting it, the American Family Association, has organized boycotts against companies that do not use the word “Christmas” in their holiday advertising and communications as well as those that participate in gay-rights events or donate to gay-rights causes. That included a one-month boycott of PetSmart last November and a three-year boycott of Home Depot that ended in 2013.

People aren’t protesting Jindal’s partnership with the American Family Association because it has organized boycotts. Boycotts are the least of the problems with the intensely anti-gay AFA, whose chief spokesperson Bryan Fischer is a font of broadcast bigotry and has argued that only Christians — and certainly not Muslims, Hindus or Mormons (whom he does not consider Christian) — are covered by the First Amendment’s religious liberty guarantees. 

Jindal’s desire to position himself as the favored candidate with conservative evangelical primary voters means he is unconcerned about partnering with rally organizer David Lane, a Christian-nation advocate who believes the Bible must become a primary textbook in the nation’s public schools. Lane also organized the prayer rally – also called “The Response” – that launched Rick Perry’s doomed presidential bid.

Fischer: You Can't Support Gay Rights 'And Call Yourself A Follower Of Christ'

On Friday's radio broadcast, Bryan Fischer took a call from a listener who demanded to know why nobody on the American Family Radio network will declare that President Obama is not a Christian. We have no idea what programs this caller is listening to if he thinks that nobody on AFR is willing to say that Obama is not a Christian, because we hear the various hosts saying this exact thing all the time.

Fischer, of course, was more than happy to acquiesce to the caller's demand and declare that Obama "is not a sincerely devoted follower of Jesus Christ so, in my mind, that means he's not a Christian."

And Fischer knows this, he said, because "nobody can support and promote and celebrate homosexual behavior who is a sincerely devoted follower of Christ. It's impossible, because Christ and his apostles made it very clear that that's a sin. You can't celebrate that, can't promote that and call yourself a follower of Christ."

While Fischer was, for some reason, unwilling to declare that Obama is actually a Muslim, he nonetheless insisted that everyone in Washington, D.C. knows that he is.

"He walks like a Muslim. He talks like a Muslim. He sounds like a Muslim. He acts like a Muslim," Fischer said. "Jesus said 'by your fruits, you shall know them' and at some point people are going to start connecting those dots":

Fischer And Rios Are Outraged That A Muslim Congressman Is Allowed To Serve On The House Intelligence Committee

Earlier this week, Democratic Rep. André Carson of Indiana was named to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which has thrown the Right into a tizzy because Carson is Muslim.

On Bryan Fischer's radio program yesterday, he and Sandy Rios, both of the American Family Association, shared their disbelief over the appointment, with Rios voicing concern because Carson has received money from Muslim organizations while Fischer declared that it blows his mind that America would ever allow a Muslim to serve in such a position.

"We just had this Muslim terrorist attack in Paris," he said. "Everybody is saying we've got to ramp up our effort to stop the threat of Islam in our country, and now it's like putting a fox inside the hen house":

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":

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.

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.

Paranoia-Rama: Gays Ruining Television, Jim Bakker's Warning And Mike Huckabee's Biblical Health Care Solution

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

The Religious Right rang in 2015 with dark predictions about America’s imminent collapse and God’s judgment under President Obama’s second term. So if you want to survive the remainder of the Obama presidency, you’d better sign up for Mike Huckabee’s email list.

5) Stop Making Larry Tomczak Watch Gay People On TV!

Larry Tomczak knows that the gay community is bent on “targeting innocent and impressionable children,” and he knows just what to do to stop it: kick them off television. The Religious Right pundit is greatly disturbed that “home and remodeling reality shows regularly feature lesbians and gays in partnerships exploring homes” while “Ellen DeGeneres celebrates her lesbianism and ‘marriage’ in between appearances of guests like Taylor Swift to attract young girls.” Even “’Scandal’ has two gays,” Tomczak laments.

“The indoctrination and propaganda coming from those advocating a gay lifestyle in our country, classrooms and culture are increasing,” he writes, urging conservatives to act as “a bulwark against this tidal wave of unprecedented evil.”

He recommends that people turn off the TV and instead start watching “wholesome DVD series and streaming selected programs” such as “The Fugitive, Gunsmoke, Little House on the Prairie, I Love Lucy” and “Leave It to Beaver.”

4) Equating Gays With Charlie Hebdo Assailants

An Atlanta fire chief recently lost his post after distributing to colleagues copies of self-published book containing condemnations of homosexuality, which city officials thought was a violation of employment practices. Of course, he has since turned into a Religious Right martyr.

Erick Erickson, the Fox News contributor and RedState editor, used the controversy to compare gay people to the terrorists behind the massacre at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Another Fox News pundit, Todd Starnes, said that Christians are losing “equal rights” in the U.S. and experiencing a “cultural cleansing.” Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council even suggested that the actions taken by Atlanta’s mayor will spur the violent persecution of Christians in countries such as Iran and North Korea.

Unsurprisingly, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer also weighed in on the matter, and pointed to the fire chief’s firing as a reason that gay people should be “disqualified” from servicing in public office.

3) Who Needs Obamacare?

Mike Huckabee may have temporarily left Fox News to begin exploring a second run for the presidency, but he hasn’t stopped selling his email list to quacks and conspiracy theorists. Huckabee recently sent his fans a sponsored “special message from [the] Health Sciences Institute,” which describes a secret cancer cure found in the New Testament uncovered “by biblical researchers in Maryland.”

That’s right, “a mysterious healing message within ancient scripture” that has even “been verified by one of America’s top doctors.”

The email promoting a “cancer cure on the 859th page of an ancient Bible” that makes “‘untreatable’ late stage cancer disappear” with “zero painful side effects” is just the latest health-related email to be sent from Huckabee’s account; others have endorsed bunk treatments of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Another sponsored email sent out with Huckabee’s blessing give readers advice on how to be “darn sure your family won’t go hungry or get herded into a FEMA camp.”

2) Jim Bakker Has It All Figured Out

In his New Year’s message, televangelist Jim Bakker didn’t hold back about what God told him was in store for America in 2015. According to Bakker, God appeared to him while he was taking a bath, and gave him a morbid vision of the country’s future. Bakker revealed that it will be impossible for the U.S. military to ever win a war as a result of abortion rights, secular government and “taking God out of schools.”

1) What Awaits America In 2015

The Christian Post’s resident prophet Michael Bresciani has issued his predictions for 2015, and they don’t look good. America, Bresciani writes, will soon face a devastating economic meltdown, race riots and divine punishment for gay rights.

The U.S. economy is absolutely set to crash if not slide into its last hurrah. Jobs, new businesses and corporate profits will show declines. Obama's economic policy, started in 2008, will bear fruit in his lame duck years from which there will be little to no recovery. Racial distractions the promised new warfare with the newly elected republican congress and senate will fuel distraction, but provide little economic relief. The predictions are dire.

Even as markets and corporate earnings begin to show decline radicalism, rebellion and general lawlessness will take Obama's cue and begin its debut both at home and around the world. From Bush's drive to increase police and law enforcement to the recent cry of protestors in NYC to produce "dead cops" only someone living on a remote desert isle could not see the spirit of lawlessness beginning to flower.

Under the Obama administration we have gone from the petted slogan "don't let a good crisis go to waste' up the ladder to "why not just create our own crisis to keep the nation off balance."

We can analyze Obama's policies till the cows come home to see what they mean. A shorter route would be to examine what they are not.

For example, race riots and race baiting are not the protests of the sixties. Opening our borders to anyone at any time is not "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses." Bailouts and battles with coal and other energy companies are not free enterprise, but it is welfare for corporations. ObamaCare is not assurance against bad health it is a disease in its own right that promises to leave the nation in death and disarray if not thrown out or seriously modified.



Abortion, the eradication of DOMA and the gay agenda may seem like something debated and finally settled, but they will only settle the future of the nation and nothing less. Already conservatives are debating what will make their list of top priorities for the newly elected house and senate. The Keystone pipeline, immigration and the securitization of the borders are at the top, but so far no one has mentioned abortion or the restoration of DOMA. We may think Obama's policies are in place and unalterable, but God does not see it that way. If these mis-guided policies are left to stand we will continue to decline and suffer a full judgment as a nation.

Politicians, news organizations and pundits cannot decide the morality of our nation, only our citizenry can make that decision. In the old school of thought such changes were called repentance, revival, renewal and the end of backsliding. Can America wise up in time? That also is entirely up to us. We will soon see that if we don't return to some old school thinking that class will soon be let out and the school will close completely.

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":

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