On Friday, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer attempted to link the end of public school organized prayer to the Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre, arguing that state-sponsored religious education would have prevented the shooting (even though James Holmes belonged to a San Diego church for 10 years). Similarly, AFA News Director Fred Jackson connected the media and progressive, gay-affirming churches to the massacre. Today on Focal Point, Fischer specifically blamed liberals and opposition to posting the Ten Commandments in public schools for the shooting, lamenting, “we’ve tried it the liberals’ way for sixty years now and what do we got? We have massacres in Aurora.”
Not to be outdone by Jerry Newcombe, Bryan Fischer has also decided to weigh in on the tragic shooting in Colorado with a column citing none other than David Barton to make the case that it was the removal of prayer and the Ten Commandments from our public schools that is the cause of this shooting and everything else bad that is happening in America, so it is high time to stop letting "the left" destroy this nation:
With regard to students, SAT scores began to plummet almost immediately, starting in 1963, and have never recovered. The rate of premarital sex began to climb, as did the rate of sexually transmitted diseases. Teenage pregnancies and teen births began to skyrocket, again starting in 1963. The rate at which teens were arrested for rape, aggravated assault, and murder shot through the roof ... The consequences for “parents” and families have been equally severe. Since 1963, the rates of adultery, divorce, cohabitation and domestic abuse have risen dramatically, and the intact nuclear family is being ravaged perhaps beyond repair.
With regard to “teachers” and our educational system, SAT scores have fallen into the basement while rates of school violence are shooting through the ceiling and our armed forces are hampered by functionally illiterate recruits.
The consequences for “our Country” are equally catastrophic. Homicide rates are up; more Americans are being gunned down in cold blood this year in Chicago than in Afghanistan. The nuclear family is breaking apart at culture-destroying rates. One of out every five adults in America has a lifelong, incurable sexually transmitted disease.The sexual and physical abuse of children is out of control.
The Supreme Court compounded its godless and criminal misconduct by banning the Ten Commandments and its moral precepts from classrooms in 1980. Their reasoning was fantastically absurd when looked at in the light of last night’s massacre.
“[I]f the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments,” which, the Court said, is “not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause.”
So these black-robed miscreants said we cannot permit potential mass murderers like James Holmes to read or meditate on God’s prohibition “Thou shall not murder” as a part of their education, because someone like him just might be inclined to “venerate and obey” it and not go on a midnight shooting rampage leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake. No, we can’t be having that, now, can we?
It’s time for us to say to the left we’ve tried it your way for the past 60 years and our country is being destroyed before our very eyes. It’s time to try it our way for next 60 years. If we don’t like what we see in 2072, we can always drink again from the poisoned well of secular fundamentalism. Something tells me we won’t want to.
A few weeks ago, we posted a clip of Bryan Fischer rewriting American history in order to claim that the American Revolution was not a rebellion because, according to the Bible, rebellion against governing authorities is rebellion against God since Romans 13 says that all governing authorities have been established by God.
We see this sort of re-framing American history quite often from the Religious Right, mainly because their entire worldview depends on it. Since, in their view, America was founded by God and established for the propagation of Christianity, then everything good that has happened has been because Christians were following the Bible while everything bad was a result of not having Christians in charge and not following the Bible.
How a movement dominated by Southern conservative Christian fundamentalists has managed to convince itself that it is the modern-day bearer of MLK's legacy has always been something of a mystery to us. After all, if fundamentalist Christians were the ones championing the Civil Rights struggle, then who were the ones standing in the way and turning the fire hoses on the activists?
Ladies and gentlemen, who was it that abolished the institution of slavery? It was the Republican Party, it was a Republican President, it was a conservative who abolished the institution of slavery.
Who was it that filibustered the Civil Rights Acts in the Sixties? It was liberals, it was progressives. It was conservative Republicans that voted in greater percentages that voted for the Civil Rights Act then Democrats did.
Who where the ones that were standing hosing people off with fire hoses? Those were Democrats, those were liberals that were doing that.
Last week the Department of Health and Human Services announced a relaxation of some work requirement contained in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act in an effort to give "states and localities [more] flexibility administering it so they can experiment with ways to improve the number of people making the jump from government assistance to jobs."
Today on his radio program, Bryan Fischer absolutely flipped out over the change, claiming that it was an effort by President Obama to win re-elections by getting "more people helpless, abjectly dependent upon him as if he were the slave owner of a plantation and they were working in his cotton fields."
The move, Fischer declared, was illegal and unconstitutional, demonstrating that Obama is a "lawless president" who is like a "street thug" who takes a "perverse delight" in destroying America "just like juvenile delinquents just destroy stuff just for the sheer pleasure of destruction":
We have a lawless president. This guy, he reminds me of a juvenile delinquent is really what he reminds me of. He's like a street thug where there are no laws, there are no rules that apply to him. He feels like he can do whatever he wants, he can take whatever he wants, he can ignore whatever he wants. Really, he has the mindset of a juvenile delinquent. He is destroying America, he is dismantling the structure of America, he is dismantling and destroying American values and he seems to be taking a perverse delight in doing so just like juvenile delinquents just destroy stuff just for the sheer pleasure of destruction.
On his program yesterday, Bryan Fischer was discussing the study produced by professor Mark Regnerus purporting to show that children of same-sex parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents and the news that the University of Texas would be conducting an investigation into his study, seeing the latter as proof that "the homosexual lobby is vicious, they are venomous, [and] they are filled with hatred."
During the discussion, Fischer cited the study as evidence that children in same-sex homes are at a higher risk for sexual molestation, prompting him to declare that any parent "who goes into the homosexual lifestyle after siring children" should be denied custody and only allowed to have supervised visits with their children:
As Brian noted in the last post, the Religious Right is hard at work trying to link the abuse scandal at Penn State to homosexuality and it is no surprise to see the AFA's Bryan Fischer making the connection as well, declaring that the lesson to be taken from the Freeh Report is that gays must be kept out of the Boy Scouts:
During the discussion, Fischer ventured into David Barton territory when he claimed that Jesus preached the right to self-defense and therefore his teaching is "virtually the foundation of the Second Amendment":
We not only care about the First Amendment on Focal Point, we also care about the Second Amendment. And remember, the Second Amendment, this is basically the right to self defense, this is the right to protect yourself, it's the right to bear arms in your own defense, it's our surest guarantee against a tyrannical takeover by some occupying power or even by our own government. A government is stopped, they are stalled, they have to be mindful of the fact that the American citizens have arms, so there's a limit to what they can get away with under the use of force.
So the Second Amendment is very important to us. Jesus, his teaching [is] virtually the foundation of the Second Amendment because, remember, one time he told his disciples "look, the time is going to come when you're going to need a sword - if you don't have a sword, sell everything you've got and buy one, you're going to need one for your own protection." So Jesus [was] legitimizing the use of the right of self-defense, endorsing the right of self-defense, and that's what is enshrined in the Second Amendment.
He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
On yesterday's radio program, Bryan Fischer declared that there is "plenty of hatred in the debate over homosexuality," but it is all coming from gay activists and their supporters who are driven by a "heterophobic," "Christophobic," "dark, venomous, demonic hatred":
I am convinced that there is plenty of hatred in the debate over homosexuality, there's a lot of hatred, there's a lot of vitriol, there's a lot of venom - it is coming from homosexuals themselves. The real haters are homosexuals. The real venom is coming from those that support the homosexual agenda, either homosexual activists, homosexuals, or those that support the homosexual agenda. They are the real haters. There is a heterophobic hatred, there is a Christophobic hatred that is just seething, there's a dark, venomous, demonic hatred that is in the homosexual community.
Inspired by a suggestion from a listener, Bryan Fischer hit upon a brilliant idea on yesterday's radio program: using health care reform to mandate that everyone attend church and assess a tax on all those who don't.
As Fischer explained, "people who have an active, vibrant spiritual life are healthier" and since "Obamacare is all about improving the health of the American people," we ought to "mandate that you go to church for your own health and we are going to tax the atheists who don't go to church":
Last year, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer created a bit of controversy when he wrote a piece claiming that the Native Americans deserved to be wiped out by European Christian settlers because they were "steeped in the basest forms of superstition, had been guilty of savagery in warfare for hundreds of years, and practiced the most debased forms of sexuality."
The AFA quickly removed Fischer's piece, with Fischer claiming that his critics were just "not mature enough" to handle the truth. In defending his view, Fischer offered a rather telling insight into his worldview when he warned that it was necessary to view the establishment of this nation and the related treatment of Native Americans as sanctioned by God, otherwise we are essentially admitting that "the entire American experiment is rooted in evil":
A lot is at stake here. If Americans believe that the entire history of our nation rests on a horribly evil foundation, then there is nothing to be proud of in American history, and our president is correct to identify America as the source of all evil in the world and to make a career out of apologizing for her very existence.
If, however, there is a moral and ethical basis for our displacement of native American tribes, and if our westward expansion and settlement are in fact consistent with the laws of nature, nature’s God, and the law of nations, then Americans have much to be proud of.
This latter view certainly would not compel us to believe that Americans were never guilty of evil themselves. But saying that America was wrong here, or there, is certainly a different thing than saying that the entire American experiment is rooted in evil.
Since Fischer believes that America was established by God and founded by Christians for Christians, then everything that happened in establishing this nation must be fundamentally godly because to say otherwise is to believe that the nation was founded on evil.
This framework popped up again on Tuesday when Fischer discussed the American Revolution and claimed that it "was not a war of rebellion" because rebellion against governing authorities is a violation of Romans 13:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
Since Romans 13 says that all governing authorities have been established by God and that rebellion against them is rebellion against God, it was necessary for Fischer to explain why the American Revolution was not actually a rebellion. And he did that by claiming that once the colonies declared their independence from England, they had formed a new and sovereign government, meaning that the subsequent war that erupted was the result of a foreign power (i.e. England) invading our "sovereign, free, and independent territory":
The next time you hear this sort of pseudo-historical foolishness spread by Fischer or David Barton or any other Religious Right figure and wonder to yourself "how can these people believe this nonense?," just remember that they really have no choice but to believe it because their entire worldview hinges on it.
Bryan Fischer has dedicated almost every minute of his program since the Supreme Court upheld the health care reform legislation last week to railing against it and has been growing increasingly outraged and apocalyptic with every passing day.
The trend continued yesterday when Fischer seized upon an old Brietbart article about a survey conducted by a Tea Party-affiliated group called the Doctor Patient Medical Association Foundation that supposedly found that 83% of doctors are thinking about quitting the practice of medicine and nearly half would stop accepted Medicaid/Medicare patients because of the changes in legislation.
As such, Fischer declared, President Obama was going to have to create an army of "enforcers," "Stormtroopers," and "Medical Nazis" to go around forcing doctors to remain in business and ordering them to provide treatment to patients:
Bryan Fischer has not been reluctant to voice his hatred of the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the constitutionality of health care reform, calling it "legal garbage" and total gibberish that signals the end of America.
On Friday's radio program, Fischer continued the assault, declaring that the decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts was so fundamentally illogical and irrational that there must be something was wrong with his brain, perhaps rooted in the fact that Roberts takes medication for epilepsy:
Fischer has spent three days absolutely tearing apart this ruling and blasting it as utterly incoherent and unconstitutional, and then began attacking Chief Justice Roberts for supposedly changing sides at the last minute ... just like Justice Anthony Kennedy did during Roe v Wade:
[Roberts] ruling was absolutely irrational, it's absolutely illogical, it is absolutely unconstitutional, and it is so bad it will make your eyes water trying to make sense of it. And it's my position that ruling doesn't even make sense; you couldn't even imagine a world, you couldn't even create a parallel universe in which this ruling could make any kind of sense.
Now Roberts apparently switched his vote very late in the game. This happened on Roe v Wade, by the way - Anthony Kennedy originally was going to be against Roe v Wade [but] somebody got to him. So the first vote on Roe v Wade was to uphold the pro-life position, sanctity of life was going to be protected by the Court. But over the course of the month between when the first vote was taken and when the opinions were written, Anthony Kennedy switched teams, he went over to the dark side of the force. So they had to change and so the majority opinion became the one that struck down Roe v Wade and made abortion legal in all nine months of pregnancy.
Hmmm, apparently Fischer is such a scholar that he knows that Roberts' opinion is incoherent nonsense and totally unconstitutional .... but doesn't realize that Roe v Wade was decided in 1973 on a vote of 7-2 and that Kennedy didn't join the Court until 1988 or that there as never been a "majority opinion ... that struck down Roe v Wade."
While collecting reactions from the Religious Right to yesterday's ruling upholding health care reform legislation, one person we didn't include was Bryan Fischer since we were waiting until his radio program aired to see just how outraged he was over the ruling.
And was he ever outraged, kicking off his program by declaring that "America no longer exists as a constitutional republic," suggesting that the authors of the decision ought to be impeached, questioning Chief Justice John Roberts' sanity, and calling the decision "legal garbage" that should be tossed in a landfill and left to rot:
Ladies and gentlemen, today the Grim Reaper has visited the United States. Unless this Supreme Court decision from today is repealed, unless it is overturned, unless it is repealed, America no longer exists as a constitutional republic and Chief Justice John Roberts will do down in history as the man who shredded the Constitution beyond recognition. His ruling today is unconscionable, it's inexcusable for somebody who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States to issue a ruling like John Roberts issued today.
This is bad behavior. All five of the judges that participated in this ruling could be impeached, tried, convicted, and removed from office. This is a gross dereliction of duty on their part.
I mean, John Roberts, ladies and gentlemen, this is embarrassing. John Roberts today participated and wrote legal gobbledygook, it is legal gibberish, it is irrational, it makes absolutely no sense. Not only is it unconstitutional, it's not even rational what he wrote in his opinion that is going to take away the freedom of million and million and million of Americans. It actually makes you wonder if something has gone wrong with his brain. He's not thinking clearly, he's not writing clearly.
The main ruling is just garbage, I mean it is legal garbage, ladies and gentlemen. That's the most polite term I can use to describe what John Roberts has written. It is legal garbage. It belongs in a landfill somewhere where it can be left to rot and decompose and decay in peace. That's how bad it is.
On yesterday's program, Bryan Fischer dedicated a segment to discussing a 2009 newspaper article about bestiality advocates in order to bolster his case against marriage equality, saying that "once you allow sex between two people of the same-sex, there is no place to stop" and it will inevitably lead to the legalization of polygamy, pedophilia, and bestiality:
Last week we noted that Bryan Fischer's Bible study has taken him to the Book of Ephesians and a discussion of Satan, demons, and spiritual warfare, prompting him to declare that Satan is behind everything from gay rights to Planned Parenthood to environmentalism.
Yesterday, Fischer wrapped up his study of Ephesians by stating that it is Satan that is ultimately responsible for attacks on Christians who speak the truth and that "the average liberal in the United States" was just someone who had been duped by Satan:
Satan and his evil spirits are not just kind of these vague floating beings that are out there somewhere where they can't get to us, they can't touch us, they can't affect us, they can't influence us; we struggle against them.
Now, we do have people that are adversaries but the point that Paul is making here is that what's behind them, what's behind the work that they do, the things that they think, the things that they say, what's behind them if they oppose us when we stand for the truth, what's behind them ultimately is the Prince of the Power of the Air. And that's why ultimately our struggle is not against people, they're just dupes, they have been deceived, they have been fooled.
You look at the average liberal in the United States, they believe things that are folly. They believe things that are irrational. They believe things that make no sense, that cannot stand up to the test of reason and logic. Why do they believe that? Because they are dupes, they have been deceived and fooled by the Prince of Lies, the Father of Lies and that's why they believe and do what they do.
As is customary, Bryan Fischer began his radio program yesterday with a discussion of his current reading in the Bible, in this case a passage from the Book of Ephesians pertaining to Satan, demons, and spiritual warfare. The discussion prompted Fischer to declare that Satan's spiritual warfare is always at work in our culture and that Satan is behind everything from gay rights to Planned Parenthood to environmentalism:
Any time you see some kind of agenda that is anti-human being, it's anti-baby, it's anti-humanity, it's anti-population growth, you're looking at something that ultimately comes from Satan himself. He hates human beings. Why? Because we are made in the image of God. We remind Satan of the God that he hates and so he wants to stir up in human beings the same kind of hatred for humanity that he has. And he'll use Planned Parenthood to do it, he will use the pro-abortion movement to do it. He will use the pro-gay movement to do it because you can't get human beings out of the homosexual lifestyle; it's not possible so that's one way to slow population growth. He can get there through the environmental movement which is flatly opposed to population growth and actually proposes abortion policies as a way of reducing pressure on the environment. So anywhere you see that anti-human agenda, you are looking at the work of Satan himself.
On Monday's program, Bryan Fischer dedicated a segment to reading and discussing a recent Maureen Down column on the Jerry Sandusky trial which prompted Fischer to longingly look back to previous generations when "our entire society said the same thing about homosexual behavior that we still say about pedophilia."
Not too long ago, Fischer said, homosexuality was called "the infamous crime against nature" and everyone looked upon it as we look upon pedophilia today. But, he lamented, that is no longer the case, which is proof that this nation needs to reaffirm the "time-honored moral standards of the Judeo-Christian tradition":
Last week we told you about an excellent profile of Bryan Fischer in the New Yorker and Fischer’s predictably over-the-top and inaccurate attacks on the article and author, Jane Mayer. In the wake of those attacks, Mayer has posted a follow-up blog post, “Have Not Love: How Bryan Fischer Turned on a Friend,” that sets the record straight and explores the twisted family values of Fischer, a so-called family values advocate:
As I worked on my profile of the influential conservative radio-host Bryan Fischer, I was struck by the difference between the “pro-family” values he espouses and some of the choices he has made in his own life. For example, Fischer has not seen his only sibling in something like a decade—a sister with serious health problems who lives on social security and welfare disability payments. Perhaps more revealing, though, is the broken friendship between Fischer and another conservative Christian activist, Dennis Mansfield.
After the article came out, Fischer accused me of misrepresenting an anecdote concerning his relationship with Mansfield. Since then, Mansfield has weighed in on his own blog to defend the accuracy of the New Yorker story, and expanded on what he calls Fischer’s “divisive” politics as a dead end for this country.
Mansfield, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress, parted ways with Fischer after his son was arrested for drug possession:
The public arrest torpedoed Mansfield’s congressional bid. More importantly, he says, the episode, and the subsequent humility he learned from his son’s struggle, caused him to reëxamine the way in which he was using his Christian faith as a cudgel in politics. As Mansfield told me, he concluded that “faith-based conservatives are either purposefully or inadvertently looking punitively at other people” rather than “lifting each other up.”
While Mansfield’s family crisis caused him to reassess his earlier self-righteousness, Fischer, he says, reacted to it heartlessly, and told Mansfield that he was no longer fit to be an elder at the church where Fischer was preaching, the Community Church of the Valley, in Boise, Idaho.
Pushing your own agenda using the veil of religion has been used all throughout history. Today is no exception, and individuals in the evangelical community do it as much as anyone else. When someone wraps their own hate speech in a "god blanket" it makes it easier for a subset of people to accept, and eventually it may even gather a following. The problem is that anyone outside of that subset is turned away from not only that particular subset, but from the entire religion.
Mayer sees echoes in the generational divide within the evangelical community of Fischer and Mansfield’s opposing outlooks:
The contrast between Mansfield’s message and Fischer’s in some ways captures a larger split within the evangelical Christian movement, concerning how much tolerance to show towards those who in the past may have been treated as outliers, including homosexuals. Polls of younger evangelicals, like those of younger voters of almost all stripes, show growing acceptance of gay rights, including same-sex marriage. Times, and attitudes, are changing.
Let’s hope she’s right about the younger generation being more like Mansfield than Fischer.
Recently it was reported that the national executive council of the Boy Scouts of America would be voting on a resolution next year that would change the organization's policy which bans gay Scouts and troop leaders.
On Friday's radio program, Bryan Fischer predicted that the Boy Scouts were not going to change the policy because doing so would "mean the end of the Boy Scouts" since parents would never allow their children to join unless they are positive that "homosexual pedophiles like this Jerry Sandusky" were being kept out of the organization:
The other day we posted a clip of AFA's Buster Wilson musing about whether the recent repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell might be playing some role in the rise in suicides among members of the Armed Services.
After we posted the video, Evan Hurst at Truth Wins Out picked it up and posted on their blog as well and his post caught the attention of Wilson, who then showed up in the comments to accuse them of deceptively editing the video and defend his remarks, which then set off a long debate in the comments.
Yesterday, Bryan Fisher cited the debate between Wilson and the folks over at TWO as proof that "you cannot reason with these people because they are impervious to facts, they are impervious to logic, they are impervious to reason, they are impervious to history, they are impervious to the truth." And the reason that gays and liberals and the like cannot be reasoned with is because God has given them over to a "depraved mind," so "their thinking is messed up [and] they don't process information the way normal people process information":