Early last year American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer posted a column arguing that a "sensible and sane immigration policy" would model "ancient Israel" and require every immigrant to "convert to Christianity." Muslim immigrants in particular would be required to "drop his Islam and his Qur’an at Ellis Island." But in what has becoming a frequentoccurrence, Fischer later deleted both of the sentences, among other sentences, and altered the article to make it a tad less inflammatory.
But today on Focal Point, Fischer repeated his claim that Muslims should "convert to Christianity" in order to become American citizens, saying that immigrants must "got to embrace your God, they've got to embrace your faith."
Whenever we see the Religious Right collectively begin to cite some new tale of government overreach and/or Christian persecution at some public school, the name "Raymond Raines" comes to mind.
As we've explained before, back in the 1990's, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson and the entire conservative community were outraged about an incident in which a student named Raymond Raines had supposedly been sentenced to a week of detention for simply praying before eating his lunch in the cafeteria of an elementary school in St. Loius.
Of course, it was entirely untrue, as Raines had actually been disciplined for fighting.
So now, whenever we start seeing Religious Right groups cite a story like this one out of North Carolina about a four year-old preschool student who supposedly had her homemade lunch confiscated by a Department of Health and Human Services employee for not being healthy enough and was forced to eat school-approved chicken nuggets instead ... well, we get a little suspicious.
So far, the story has been promoted by the Eagle Forum and the Family Research Council, which sees it as proof that "the Left's goal is not just to control you. The goal is to control your children. And the more authority it can siphon away from parents, the better its chances are."
Gary Bauer also featured it in his daily email, declaring "welcome to Obama's brave new world. If the government can force us to buy specific products, force religious institutions to violate their values and send lunchbox inspectors to sort through our kids' food, Chinese-style 'commissars' are in our future."
School and state officials say a misunderstanding resulted in a West Hoke Elementary School preschooler's homemade lunch being replaced with chicken nuggets.
An agent from the Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Child Development and Early Education was at the school Jan. 30 assessing the pre-kindergarten program, said Bob Barnes, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Hoke County schools.
The agent examined the lunches for the six students in the class and believed one did not meet nutritional requirements spelled out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Barnes said.
According to the USDA, schools are required to provide lunches that include one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.
The 4-year-old, whose name was not released, brought a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, potato chips and apple juice.
The Department of Health and Human Services declined to say which requirement was not provided in the child's lunch.
The girl thought she had to go through the lunch line for a new meal, Barnes said.
The Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement that it is investigating. In the statement, the department denies that its employee inspected the lunch and denies instructing "any child to replace or remove any meal items."
Typically, if a teacher sees a student with a lunch that does not meet the nutritional requirements, he or she will offer the child the missing components free of charge, Barnes said.
In this instance, Barnes said, the girl misunderstood her instructor and believed she had to get a new lunch rather than receive an additional element.
Rule of thumb: The amount of outrage being generated among the Religious Right to any given story is generally inversely proportional to the truth of said story.
Last week, Rick Santorum explained that he was opposed to any plans by the Pentagon to place women in combat positions, asserting that the "types of emotions that are involved" would compromise combat effectiveness.
Santorum quickly "clarified," saying that he didn't mean that women were emotionally unsuited for serving in combat but rather that male soldiers would be protective of female soldiers and inclined to compromise the mission in order to defend them.
Not surprisingly, Bryan Fischer agrees with Santorum ... and is even willing to defend the view that Santorum himself rejected: that women are inherently emotionally unfit for combat:
But not only are women emotionally unfit for combat but also physically unfit because, as Fischer explained in his column today, "the average female soldier does not even have the arm strength to throw a grenade far enough to keep herself from getting blown up."
Once again, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer is accusing President Obama of “behaving like a dictatorial tyrant.” Yesterday on Focal Point, Fischer railed against Obama for supposedly supporting the First Amendment rights of Muslims, something Fischer believes Muslims should not have, while using “the jackbooted heel of fascism” against Christians. Later in the program Fischer likened Obama to Adolf Hitler and said that America is “no different” from Nazi Germany as both countries “elected their own tyrant.”
The only religion that President Obama has expressed any concern about is the Islamic faith that apparently is the only religion he wants to be sure has religious liberty protections. He’s gonna do that ‘we’re gonna go to court to protect the rights of Muslim women to wear these hijabs and we’re gonna punish anybody who gets in their way,’ now when it comes to evangelicals, when it comes to Christians, when it comes to Roman Catholics, ‘we’re gonna sue them if they try to exercise their religious liberty, we’re gonna come down on them with the jackbooted heel of fascism if they even so much as think about exercising their religious liberty.’
What this really is, this is no different, it’s really very little different than the government than the form of government you had in Nazi Germany. Remember, Adolf Hitler got elected, people elected him in 1933 in overwhelming majorities, they elected their own tyrant. We’ve essentially done the same thing here in the United States, we elected somebody at the ballot box who is behaving like a dictatorial tyrant, completely ignoring the constraints and the limits of the law and the Constitution and imposing his view of society on us. He just sees the Constitution as a nuisance, something that gets in his way, something that has to be overcome. Ladies and gentlemen you can’t reason with somebody who is moving like that, you just have to defeat him, that’s the only thing that you can do.
We often get asked why we pay attention to Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association and the relentless string of bigotry he produces on a daily basis; the assumption being that by highlighting his statements we are just giving him the attention he desires and that if we ignored him, he'd probably just go away.
Obviously, we disagree and try to explain that we pay attention to Fischer because he is an influential leader within the Religious Right movement who is taken seriously by leading Republicans in Congress.
And today's program provided a perfect example of this, as Fischer spent ten minutes onceagain going after JC Penney for hiring a known sexual deviant like Ellen DeGeneres immediately before conducting an interview with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
First, Fischer dedicated a segment to blasting JC Penney for promoting sexually aberrant behavior while lamenting that behavior that was, just a generation ago, not only shameful but illegal is now being rewarded:
Immediately after Fischer returned from a commercial break following that segment, he then welcomed Sen. Mitch McConnell on to the program as a guest:
Bryan Fischer, who last week explained how Bill Clinton was responsible for the rise in oral cancer, is back with another attack on JC Penney for hiring Ellen DeGeneres, this time claiming it will lead to more depression, suicide, and breast cancer among women who become lesbians due to the store's choice of spokesperson:
Will America’s young women be just a bit more likely to experiment with lesbianism now that JCPenney is mainstreaming it? Too any objective observer, the answer must be yes. Is this a good thing? To any objective observer, the answer must be no.
Research has indicated that lesbians suffer from increased levels of depression, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, breast cancer and vaginal diseases compared to heterosexual women.
Thus what JCPenney has done, by increasing, even if ever so slightly, the chances that young women will experiment with this behavior will turn out to be a tragic thing for some. JCPenney will have to share some culpability for that.
On yesterday's program Bryan Fischer interviewed Dr. Georgia Purdom of the Creationist organization Answers in Genesis where the two discussed the direct line that connects Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution to Adolph Hitler and the Holocaust.
The two things are directly related, explained Purdom, because once you start to start compromising on the Biblical account of creation, it is a step down the path toward full-blown genocide:
Fischer: It seems to me that you can draw pretty much of a straight line from Darwinian Evolution to Social Darwinianism - I mean, if it's survival of the fittest and let's get rid of the weakest members of our society, it makes absolutely logical sense if you believe in Darwinianism, this is how all of life develops, this is how we get increasingly complex lifeforms. So it seems like you can draw almost a straight line between Charles Darwin, Margaret Sanger, Eugenics movement, and Adolph Hitler. In other words, you've got pretty much a broken (sic) line from the theory of evolution to Hitler's Germany. Is that an over-exaggeration?
Purdom: Not it's not, it's absolutely and that's one of the things I will show in the presentation that I'll be doing for the Life Series to sort of show that building, so to speak, from Charles Darwin to Francis Galton to Margaret Sanger to Nazi Germany and all those others in this one big continuum, so to speak. One thing leads to another. When we start compromising on the Bible in one part, like with the ideas of evolution, it's just another step to compromising on other parts, like the sanctity of life.
Once upon a time, Bryan Fischer believed that trying to get someone fired from their job was a hate crime. But that is apparently only the case if the person getting fired is a Christian and the people urging the firing are gay because Fischer and the American Family Association are now trying to get JC Penney to fire Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson solely because she is gay.
On his radio program today, Fischer discussed the effort with Monica Cole of the AFA subgroup One Million Moms, which is responsible for the campaign to pressure JC Penney to fire DeGeneres. Both Fischer and Cole agreed that the decision by JC Penney to hire a sexual deviant like DeGeneres was an intentional affront to Christians, especially since there were countless heterosexuals that the company could have hired to fill this position instead.
It seems like all we ever hear from the Religious Right is how important it is for our political leaders to let their faith influence their public policy decisions. But apparently that only applies when it leads politicians to support the conservative political agenda because when President Obama cites Jesus, it seems to make the Right lose their minds.
And when I talk about shared responsibility, it’s because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income, or young people with student loans, or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone. And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense.
But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.”
And now right-wing leaders and Republicans are outraged, with Sen. Orrin Hatch lashing out about it on the Senate floor and Rep. Phil Gingrey walking out in protest while Ralph Reed, of all people, is saying that Obama went "over the line":
Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition said that for the president to tie his tax policy to Jesus’s teachings “is theologically threadbare and straining credulity.”
“I felt like it was over the line and not the best use of the forum,” Reed said. “It showed insufficient level of respect for what the office of the president has historically brought to that moment.”
And of course Bryan Fischer, who thinks the Bible ought to be the foundation for all our public policy, including putting animals to death, was incensed that Obama would dare to claim that the teachings of Christ support his agenda when, in fact, his agenda "is in the spirit of Joseph Stalin" and Karl Marx:
As we have said before, it is amazing President Obama even bothers to talk about his Christian faith because nothing he says will ever be acceptable for the "real" Christians in the Religious Right.
After a fierce pressure campaign, the Religious Right is positively giddy about the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s move to stop funding breast exams and mammogram referrals at Planned Parenthood, which conducts approximately 750,000 breast exams every year.
Now, anti-choice activists are returning to the discredited charge that abortion causes breast cancer.
To be clear, the US National Cancer Institute found that both induced and spontaneous abortion “is not linked to an increase in breast cancer risk” and a study by Harvard professor Karin B. Michels of the Harvard Medical School similarly concluded that “neither induced nor spontaneous abortion was associated with the incidence of breast cancer.”
Furthermore, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists claim that the most recent and methodologically sound studies “demonstrate no causal relationship between induced abortion and a subsequent increase in breast cancer risk” and the American Cancer Society called the purported link a “false alarm” since “the scientific evidence does not support the notion that abortion of any kind raises the risk of breast cancer or any other type of cancer.”
Talk show host Janet Parshall appeared on Today’s Issues with Ed Vitagliano and claimed that Komen was in an “unholy alliance” with Planned Parenthood and said “might be a cause of some of the reasons why people are wearing pink ribbons, pink t-shirts and running in the race.” Vitagliano said that legal abortion “may very well be an explanation of why the incidence of breast cancer in this country is so staggeringly high”:
Bryan Fischer onFocal Pointtoday alleged that “early abortions are a risk factor, a huge risk factor, perhaps the main risk factor for breast cancer.” According to Fischer, “Planned Parenthood is out there causing breast cancer”:
Fischer also praised Karen Handel, the former Republican politician with a history of attacking Planned Parenthood who was recently named Komen’s Vice President for Public Policy, as a hero for “standing in the gap” against “the Enemy”:
The American Family Association’s spokesman and Director of Issues Analysis Bryan Fischer keeps finding that his own organization censors articles he posts to the AFA’s website, including one where he claimed that welfare encourages African Americans to “rut like rabbits” and one in which demanded that all immigrants must “convert to Christianity.”
Fischer, who is not one to apologize, began his radio show last month to by offering “my apologies for yesterday” for the “intensity” of his attacks on Gingrich over his marital affairs, and had his post labeling Gingrich “a serial adulterer” had been pulled off the AFA’s homepage.
For a radio host who constantly complains that Muslims, liberals and gays and lesbians are trying to suppress his views, it seems that the only one actually censoring Bryan Fischer is none other than his own employer.
Here’s the original article before the AFA took it off their website:
In a column, “Jesus explains the success of Fox News,” American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer claims that Fox News president Roger Ailes’s “leadership style is exactly the style that Jesus taught.” Fischer credits Ailes’s Jesus-like behavior for Fox’s success and says “the key to success in a capitalistic system is to do things Jesus’ way.”
An interesting story on Politico this morning, explaining the success of Fox News, which has double the audience of CNN and MSNBC. The brainchild of Fox is Roger Ailes, and the Politico piece quotes Shepard Smith about his leadership style:
“We have one dad in this family,” said Shepard Smith, a star anchor who was a correspondent in the Los Angeles bureau at launch. “He makes all the decisions, and you know exactly who you have to go to, and you know when to stop asking. If you get an answer from Mr. Ailes’s office, that’s the answer; it’s time to move on.”
Smith said that when he leaves Ailes’s office, “the last thing he asks me is, ‘What can I do for you?’ And the last thing he tells me is he loves me. That’s not going to work everywhere, and most people will hear that and go, ‘You are full of crap.’ That’s exactly how it is here, and I love it.”
In other words, whether Ailes realizes it or not, his leadership style is exactly the style that Jesus taught.
Remember that Jesus said, in Mark 10:45, “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.” Ailes is successful not because he can throw his weight around, but because he uses his weight to serve the people who work for him. By serving them rather than spending all day ordering them around, he gives them the opportunity to succeed and in turn he receives the considerable reward of their talent and effort.
Bottom line: the key to success in a capitalistic system is to do things Jesus’ way. Who knew?
Jerry Boykin appeared on American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer’s radio show Focal Point today to discuss his decision to withdraw from a prayer breakfast at West Point when his radical anti-Muslim views and conspiracy theories became a lightning rod for criticism. While Boykin said the decision to withdraw was his and his alone, he spent most of the time on Fischer’s show suggesting that the Obama administration is out to “destroy” the “Judeo-Christian base upon which we were founded” and has “denigrated both Christianity and Judaism.” Last year on Fischer’s show, Boykin called for the banning of mosques in America and said “Islam is a totalitarian way of life.”
Fischer: Your concern is about encroaching sharia law, grave concern that I have, a lot of Americans have, and it looks to me like sharia law now is being enshrined in the United States military kind of by default if guys like you, Tony Perkins, Franklin Graham can be disinvited from prayer events because of the truth that you have told about Islam, looks to me like sharia law is gaining a preferred place in the United States military. Your reaction?
Boykin: First of all remember one of the tenets of our form of government is civilian control of the military, so a lot of what you see coming out of the military in terms of policies and procedures are because of the influence of the administration. I don’t think there is any question that the administration has shown favor to Islam at the same time that they have denigrated both Christianity and Judaism, for example, having an Eid dinner in the White House in the same week that they would not have an event for the National Day of Prayer. So I think that the military reflects the leadership of the country.... It’s a bad situation now that we are seeing so much effort to not only destroy the identity of the roots of the nation which is the Judeo-Christian base upon which were founded, but also the growing influence of Islam.
While Fischer was correct in saying that Franklin Graham was disinvited from the Pentagon after calling Islam “a very evil and wicked religion,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins had his invitation rescinded to an event at the Andrews Air Force base not because of his anti-Muslim statements but as a result of his criticism of President Obama’s effort to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
Todd Starnes of Fox News talked to both Boykin and Perkins about the controversy, and Perkins accused the administration of trying “to sweep Christianity off the face of military bases.” The Fox News article also failed to mention any of Boykin’s anti-Muslim diatribes since leaving the military:
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, was outraged by the decision.
“This has gone too far,” Perkins told Fox News & Commentary. “This is a troubling trend that we are seeing under this administration.”
Under the Obama Administration both Perkins and Franklin Graham were disinvited from speaking at military prayer services.
“When you talk to military leaders on the base, they don’t like this,” Perkins said. “There seems to be pressure coming from within the administration to sweep Christianity off the face of military bases.”
Boykin said he doesn’t believe the Obama administration has stood with the traditional values of the nation and he said the incident at West Point should serve as a wakeup call to Christians.
“The message is that people of faith and conservative Americans are losing our voice to a very well-organized and very well-funded group of very passionate people – those being the atheists and the Muslims,” Boykin said. “They want to change the nature of our culture – and they are succeeding.”
Boykin accused the Obama administration of not standing with people of faith – “certainly not people of the Christian faith or Jewish faith.”
“If there has been support in this administration for faith it has been more skewed towards the Islamic faith than anything else,” Boykin said.
So it only stands to reason that he would also have some thoughts on how to get healthcare costs under control by allowing hospitals to refuse treatment to those who show up in the emergency room:
I submit that we will never get health care costs under control until the federal law is repealed that mandates - there's that word again - that emergency rooms treat everybody who shows up regardless of ability to pay.
Hospitals should be allowed to set their own policies for services just like all other businesses, none of whom are forced to sell cars, food, or clothes to people who can't pay for them. Hospitals can develop a fund to which generous members of the community can contribute to cover genuine health care emergencies for the indigent.
Many people are now using emergency rooms like corner medical clinics, for routine, non-emergency care, because they know they can get care that somebody else will be obligated to pay for.
A new study estimates that 7% of Americans carry the human papillomavirus (HPV) in their mouths which has been transmitted by oral sex and that this may be responsible for the rise in mouth and throat cancer over the last twenty five years.
As we have noted several times before, Bryan Fischer has essentially two modes of operation: bigotry and denial.
He fills hours of radio airtime every day with unrelenting bigotry but then, when he starts to get criticism for the things he has said, he claims that his critics are taking his words out of context and misrepresenting his views ... despite the fact that everything he says has been captured on video and in audio files.
So it was interesting to see Fischer addressthe statement that President Obama issued on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade earlier this week by flagrantly lying about what it said.
Obama's statement concluded by saying that "we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams." But to Fischer, what Obama really meant was that "unless women kill their babies in the womb, they cannot realize their destinies" as he also warned that God was going to punish this nation with a massive shedding of blood unless we repent for the sin of abortion:
God's design is one sexual partner for life. Now, in the homosexual community, the average homosexual has hundreds of sexual partners over the course of a lifetime. Hundreds. Some of them have between 500 and 1000 and there are any number of homosexuals, and they admit this in their own literature, have more then a 1000 sexual partners.
Now they're talking about numerous sexual encounters on the same night. Now, in order to do that, they've got to take drugs to enhance the experience and to make it possible to have numerous encounters on the same night. These drugs are called "poppers," is the street name for them. They're amyl nitrites, alkyl nitrites ... they inhale these things and they dilate the blood vessels, increase blood flow and all that kind of thing - they're real tough on the heart, in fact, you'll find homosexuals frequently dying at early ages of heart attacks. Why? Because they've just overstimulated their heart with these nitrites because of the kind of sexual behavior that they engage in.
And we know, [Peter] Duesberg say, look we know, we can demonstrate in the lab the way these nitrites, the way these inhalants break down the immune system. And the research indicates that 96% of the people who engage actively in homosexuality, homosexual behavior, use these nitrites. The inhalants are very common.
So he suggests that this is the cause of AIDS: it's the rampant promiscuity, coupled with this drug use. That's what causes the human immune system to break down.
Ever since Mitt Romney called out Bryan Fischer for his relentless bigotry at the Values Voter Summit, Fischer has been on a mission to ensure that Romney does not win the Republican nomination and has been increasingly willing to attackRomney'sMormonfaith as part of this effort.
[Mormonism] is not a Christian faith. It is, as Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas says, a false religion. So it's kind of a striking things and I know it concerns a number of spiritual leaders, and I count myself among them, is what this would mean for the spiritual health of the United States of America is a worshiper of a false god occupied the White House. You know, what that would mean for the spiritual future of America and what it might reveal about the spiritual weakness of America if the American people, particularly the so-called conservatives, the people of faith in America, would promote someone to the highest office in the land who is a follower of a counterfeit faith, a false religion.
A few weeks ago, we posted a video of Bryan Fischer denying that HIV causes AIDS and claiming it is all a scheme concocted by scientists in order to get research grants.
Since then, Fischer has continued to promote this position and earlier this week, Warren Throckmorton got Rick Warren to issue a statement decrying people like Fischer (and the "expert" he cites, Peter Duesberg) for promoting "quack science."
Fischer, of course, is standing by his claims, asserting that "it is the folks who have been propagating this scam for almost three decades who are the ones in fact putting millions of additional lives at risk" and saying that the solution to the AIDS crisis is simple:
If you’re a man, stop using poppers, stop having sex with other men, and don’t shoot up. The beauty of that solution is that it doesn’t require billions and billions of dollars.
He also discussed the issue on his radio program today, where he said we need to stop spending so much money on AIDS research and instead focus it on how to rehabilitate the human immune system because, as Fischer sees it, if gay men will just stop having sex, God will heal them:
Bryan Fischer just cannot understand how any evangelical could possibly support Mitt Romney for president, but he does have a theory: Romney is "preying on evangelical weaknesses."
As Fischer sees it, the only logical explanation is that evangelicals are so darned nice that they will believe anything anybody tells them and so Romney can lie to them with impunity because he knows they are so "dull" and "uninformed" that they will never figure it out:
Mitt Romney is actually preying on evangelical weaknesses. He is taking advantage of the inherent niceness in evangelicals. Evangelicals are portrayed as these people who are these flaming bigots, these hardliners, these Victorian prudes, these bluenoses, they're just angry at everybody and they walk around judging and condemning everybody. Evangelicals are not like that; they are the nicest people that you can meet, they're kind, they want to give people the benefit of the doubt, they're willing to take people at their word, they're willing to bend over backwards to accommodate other people and Mitt Romney knows that.
So he knows that evangelicals are nice people and he can take advantage of that niceness by telling them what they want to hear. And they lack enough discernment that they'll believe what he tells them. Mitt Romney tells them he's a champion on the sanctity of life, they'll believe him just because they heard him say it and they want to give him the benefit of the doubt ... Governor Romney is more responsible for the fact that we have same-sex marriage in the united States then anybody else on the planet, yet evangelicals are dull enough, uninformed enough, undiscerning enough that they are supporting him.