Rick Santorum has demonstrated, yet again, his willingness to associate with people whose views are repugnant to most Americans. This afternoon he appeared on one of the most extreme Religious Right programs in the country – American Family Radio’s Focal Point with Bryan Fischer.
Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, has been accused of crossing the line against “decency and civility” and of using “poisonous language” – by none other than Mitt Romney at the Values Voters Summit, who was trying to cautiously distance himself from Fischer’s repeatedattacks on his Mormon faith while still courting the Religious Right. Later in January, Fischer claimed that a electing a Mormon president would threaten the “spiritual health” of the country.
That brings us to Rick Santorum, who is hoping today’s appearance on American Family Radio will help him reach right-wing voters in Alabama, Mississippi and Kansas – the next states to vote in the GOP primary. He even gave a shout-out to the Deep South at the top of the interview: “We spent yesterday in Mississippi and Kansas and today we’re in Alabama. I’ll tell ya, there’s just nothing friendlier than the Deep South. We’re just enjoying the heck out of it here.”
Santorum knew he would be warmly received, and the interview was nothing short of a lovefest. Fischer gushed that his wife was a Santorum supporter from back when “being a Rick Santorum fan wasn’t cool,” and Santorum responded in kind: “We appreciate all the help and support. We were in your home town there, Tupelo, yesterday, and had a great reception from folks.”
Listening to Fischer and Santorum talk, it was clear that both men have very similar world views. For instance, Santorum told Fischer that President Obama ignores the Constitution and “believes he is more of an emperor than a president.”
Their conversation reminded me of a compliment Fischer gave Santorum just two weeks ago on his show:
This ought to be a tremendous encouragement to all of us that the leading candidate for the GOP nomination sounds like he’s hosting a conservative talk radio program.
Ladies and gentlemen, where do you hear anybody on the campaign trail talk like Rick Santorum talks? He sounds much more like he’s hosting a program on AFR Talk.
On that point, I’m in full agreement with Fischer. Santorum does sound like a Religious Right talk show host, and while that may help him in the GOP Primary, it’s also why he’ll never be president of the United States.
You can watch the full Santorum interview on Focal Point here:
The majority of Bryan Fischer's interview with Rick Santorum on his radio program today revolved around a discussion of the fact that social issues and "the fact that you have been so unwavering in defending Judeo-Christian values" has been the key to his campaign's success.
Santorum spent most of his time asserting that East Coast liberal media elites "recoil" at anyone like him who not only talks about social issues and faith, but is willing to stand up for them and has "shown where my heart is." The media, Santorum says, seeks to portray him as someone who intends to impose his "deeply-held religious beliefs" on everyone else, when the reality is that it is "people who had my deeply-held religious beliefs who created the opportunity for freedom":
Just last month, Fischer was gushing over Rick Santorum and praising him for sounding just like the hosts on American Family Radio ... and so it was no surprise that today Santorum found the time to join Fischer for a discussion of his presidential campaign.
During the interview, Santorum declared that President Obama does not think that he is bound by the Constitution and "believes he is more of an emperor than a president":
On Monday, Bryan Fischer came to the defense of Rush Limbaugh, saying he was "lexically accurate" to call Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a "slut" on his radio program and that Limbaugh's apology was proof that we are now living under "secular Sharia."
Fischer returned to the topic on his radio program again today, during a segment in which proclaimed that all the misogyny, hatred, and vulgar attacks on women almost always comes from the Left because the Right respects women and treats them with dignity. In fact, explained Fischer, there is really no difference between the Left and Islamic Radicals, who see women as "something less than human."
Then, after proclaiming that the Right always treats women respectfully, he then proceeded to again attack Fluke as a someone who is "sleeping with so many guys she can’t keep track [and] doing it three times a day" while wondering if President Obama would be proud if his daughters turned out like that:
Bryan Fischer is quite fond of the line of argument that gays don't need marriage equality because they already have the right to marry anyone they want ... so long as the person they want to marry is of the opposite sex.
And it is a point he made again yesterday on his radio program, though this time he added a few remarks at the end that reveal the absurdity of his entire argument:
Notice, at the end, how Fischer claims that gays don't want marriage equality, they really want "special privileges, special treatment that is denied to other folks."
How exactly can letting people marry partners of the same sex be considered "special treatment that is denied to other folks"?
After all, using Fischer's own logic, if gay marriage is legal, then everyone is entitled to marry partners of the same sex.
If Fischer's opposition to marriage equality is rooted in concerns that it would grant to gays "special treatment that is denied to other folks," allow us to reassure him that is not the case and that when gay marrige is legalized, he will have the very same right to marry the man of his dreams as everyone else.
Former child star Kirk Cameron’s anti-gay tirade, calling homosexuality “unnatural” and “detrimental and ultimately destructive,” led to a backlash from some prominent actors, but Religious Right groups are more than happy to broadcast his claims. Tony Perkins of FRC Action defended Cameron from criticism by citing a poll by the anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund which tried to overstate the number of people who oppose marriage equality, as recentsurveysshow that more Americans favor marriage equality than oppose it and that support for legalizing same-sex marriage is on the rise.
Where is the tolerance? You won't find any on display with homosexual activists who are determined to attack and silence anyone who dares to disagree or challenge their political or social agenda. Their latest target is actor Kirk Cameron. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is attacking Cameron for remarks he made in an interview with Piers Morgan last Friday, in which he said that the definition of marriage should be, "One man, one woman for life till death do you part." Cameron, a born-again Christian who starred in the movie Left Behind and the pro-marriage film Fireproof, also said he considers homosexuality to be "unnatural," "detrimental," and "destructive." Perhaps it's GLAAD, not the 1980s teen star, who's out of step, since a 2011 poll showed that 62% of Americans agree with the statement, "I believe marriage should be defined ONLY as a union between one man and one woman." Another 2011 poll found a substantial majority of Americans (56%) believe that "sex between two adults of the same gender" is "morally wrong."
Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families also weighed in, saying that the “radical left” is trying to expunge “faith” and “traditional values” and that conservatives need to fight back and make sure that there “will be no ‘truce’ in the culture war”:
The left went nuts. Homosexual rights groups blasted Cameron's alleged bigotry and intolerance. Liberal Hollywood types rushed to Tweet their condemnation of Cameron's values and to reaffirm their fidelity to the gay marriage cause.
Not long ago, virtually no one would have argued with Cameron's comments. But the cultural left is determined to impose its values on the rest of society. It began by purging faith from the public square and forcing it into the closet. Then abortion was forced on every state in the country. Now marriage is being redefined. The secularists want an America where traditional values cannot be spoken.
As the Democrat Party embraced the radical left, more and more values voters found a home in the Republican Party. They expect the GOP to unapologetically defend their cherished values. Increasingly, however, it seems only one party is committed to fighting and winning the culture war.
Yet I am bothered when I hear conservatives buy into this line of reasoning. There will be no "truce" in the culture war. The left fully intends to win it. It's absurd that many Republicans and even some conservatives are preemptively surrendering by refusing to bring up these issues!
Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality attacked the “Hollywood liberals and LGBT militants” who have criticized Cameron:
As you can see, this is not the tone of an “extremist” but a thoughtful Christian man who is smart enough to know that Hollywood liberals and LGBT militants will pounce on any statement he makes critical of homosexual behavior [sic], which God through the Bible condemns. (By the way, I think Kirk would have been better off just saying “yes” to Morgan’s question about whether he believes homosexuality is a sin.)
GLAAD is awarded unprecedented access and sway in Hollywood (and the media) to advocate for, essentially, one side of a controversial moral issue. Here it stokes anti-Christian bigotry against Cameron, as it does against anyone who voices politically incorrect beliefs about homosexuality through the media. Ultimately, GLAAD (while curiously extolling “diversity”) hopes to keep interviews like Morgan’s with Cameron out of the media altogether. (Otherwise, why would they previously have lobbied so hard against CNN for including Christian former homosexual Richard Cohen in a debate segment?) GLAAD is afraid of a fair debate, hence their demonizing name-calling against Cameron. Please help encourage him.
Of course, American Family Association Bryan Fischer praised Cameron on Focal Point for standing up to “anti-Christian, anti-morality bigot” Piers Morgan:
Recently, Fischer has become enamored with the idea that President Obama and the Left are instituting "secular Sharia" ... so naturally this phrase has quickly become he new favorite claim, which he broke out again today in defending Rush Limbaugh.
As Fischer sees it, Limbaugh probably should not have called Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a "slut," but only because the word is vulgar. Fischer explained that Fluke does in fact meet the textbook definition of "slut," so much so that she has no shame about telling the US Congress and the entire nation "about how much promiscuous sex she and her classmates are having."
Furthermore, the fact that Limbaugh has been forced to apologize for accurately calling Fluke a slut is proof that "secular fundamentalists" are just like "Islamic fundamentalists" because "leftists are pursuing their own caliphate in America with secular fundamentalism enshrined as their version of sharia law" for the purpose of destroying Christian morality:
Apparently, the word “slut” is only acceptable when it is used by a right-wing ally.
Concerned Women for America, which describes itself as committed to promoting “decency” in the media, has been completely silent about Limbaugh’s tirade. But the group is happy to post a statement regarding the talk show host’s praise for CWA, along with claims about the supposedly sexist treatment of Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin by the media.
Focus on the Family considers the word “slut” a profanity and blamed “hip-hop/rap culture” for making it “become acceptable and even in vogue to be called a ‘slut,’” and urged people to stop buying music with words like “slut” that “objectify women.” But the organization still hasn’t commented on Limbaugh’s misogynist rants. In 2009 the group defended Limbaugh with a video, “When the liberals came for Rush.”
While these so-called “pro-family” organizations love to claim that they promote decency and values on the airwaves, they are either unwilling or uninterested in criticizing a prominent conservative who spent four days straight calling a student a “slut” on national radio
Essentially what President Obama has done is he's issued a fatwa on behalf of secular Sharia, this religion of secular fundamentalism. There are fundamentalists who are followers of secular fundamentalism; it's every bit as much a religious view as Christianity is.
And so President Obama has issued this fatwa, as Imam Obama, the head of secular Sharia, that Christians have the same choice as Christians have when Muslim armies come to town ... Muslims armies come into a land and they give Christians three choices: you convert, you submit, or you die; those are your choices.
Now President Obama has issued a secular version of the same thing because those are the choices now that Christians face.
During the course of his daily two-hour radio program, Bryan Fischer generally covers a variety of different topics but the underlying themes are always the same: the Left is ruining America.
And yesterday was no exception, as he held up the Senate vote against the Blunt Amendment as proof that Democrats hate Christianity and used the death of Andrew Breitbart as an opportunity to recount his opposition to the gay conservative group GOProud in order to declare that America cannot exist "half gay and half straight":
Do not misunderstand this, ladies and gentlemen, Democrats and liberals despise Judeo-Christian morality. They despise historic Christianity. The despise the truth claims of the Bible. They despise the truth claims of Jesus Christ. They despise the truth claims of the Judeo-Christian tradition and they will stand in its way any chance that they get.
We cannot exist half-gay and half-straight, as a nation. We can't do it any more than we could exist half-slave and half-free, as Abraham Lincoln said. We cannot do it. We cannot endure half-gay and half-straight. We're going to have to make a choice between the two because liberty and the homosexual agenda cannot exist.
Bryan Fischer traditionally begins every radio program with a reading from the Bible and a discussion about what the passage means for today.
Yesterday, Fischer was reading from Numbers 21 in which Israelites wandering in the desert began to complain because there was no food or water. In response, God sent venomous snakes to attack them, prompting the people to repent and turn to Moses, begging him to ask God to stop the attacks.
Fischer then explained that the meaning of this passage is that the President of the United States must be an "intercessor for his people" and that voters should elect a president based on who they believe is best suited to praying on behalf of the nation, as this the most important part of the President's job:
Republican presidential frontrunner Rick Santorum raised a lot of eyebrows this weekend when he attacked environmentalism as anti-Biblical and said that President Obama has a “phony theology” that sides with “radical environmentalists” over the Bible. While it was remarkable to hear these theories coming from a major presidential candidate, the theories themselves are nothing new. Instead, Santorum was drawing from a dual line of attack on environmentalists and progressive people of faith that has recently come into wide use among the Religious Right.
The Religious Right’s relatively new antipathy to environmentalism is largely the result of the hard work of E. Calvin Beisner, a purveyor of dominion theology and the leader of The Cornwall Alliance, a group with financial ties to the oil industry. The Cornwall Alliance’s sole purpose is to convince the Religious Right to buy into the Corporate Right’s climate change denialism and help them demonize environmentalists. The RWW report details the growing partnership:
The Cornwall Alliance is led by E. Calvin Beisner, who believes that since God granted humans “dominion” over the earth, humans have a right to exploit all natural resources. As Randall Balmer writes in Thy Kingdom Come, Beisner “asserts that God has placed all of nature at the disposal of humanity.” Balmer quotes Beisner’s own summary of his dominion theology: “All of our acquisitive activities should be undertaken with the purpose of extending godly rule, or dominion.” As Balmer notes, “the combination of dominion theology from the Religious Right and the wise use ideology of corporate and business interests has created a powerful coalition to oppose environmental protection.”
According to a report by Think Progress , the Cornwall Alliance is a front group for the shadowy James Partnership. Both the James Partnership and the Cornwall Alliance are closely linked to the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), an anti-environmental group that is “funded by at least $542,000 from ExxonMobil, $60,500 from Chevron, and $1,280,000 from Scaife family foundations, which are rooted in wealth from Gulf Oil and steel interests.” CFACT is also part of a climate change denialist network funded by the ExxonMobil-financed Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Beisner has been extraordinarily successful in convincing the Religious Right that environmentalism presents a threat to Christianity. Earlier this month, he told Fischer that the EPA is violating the separation of church and state by helping to promote the upcoming film version of “The Lorax.” Why? Because he claims that environmentalism is itself a religion. This is rhetoric that Santorum, in saying that Obama’s theology is influenced by “radical environmentalists,” has swallowed whole.
Also active in the effort to recruit the Religious Right to the Corporate Right’s view of environmentalism has been David Barton, self-proclaimed historian and all-purpose fake expert. In 2010, he appeared on the Glenn Beck show along with Beisner explain that environmentalists want us to “live in fear”:
Barton -- who is no more a historian than Beisner is a scientist – is a widely influential figure in the Right, cited by prominent figures including Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee, and who has even been invited to testify before the Senate about climate change.
Santorum’s remarks were so shocking because this is the first time they have been heard on the national political stage – but his talking points on environmentalism and progressive faith have already been polished and accepted as gospel by the movement the Religious Right.
On his radio program yesterday, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer dedicated severalsegments to discussing the remarks that Rick Santorum delivered at Ave Maria University in 2008, which we first posted last week.
Fischer was, not surprisingly, positively giddy over Santorum's statements and was likewise thrilled with his presidential campaign in general because, as he explained, there is no difference between what Santorum says on the campaign trail and what is said by the hosts of the programs that run on American Family Radio:
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.