Yesterday, NPR's "Morning Edition" ran a story about the practice, especially among conservatives, to use Biblical passages as justification for their right-wing economic agenda.
This is something we have been writing about fora while and our colleague Peter Montgomery was even quoted in the NPR piece, so it was pretty interesting to see Bryan Fischer suddenly join the movement today on his radio program when he declared that the "secret of capitalism" came right out of Mark 10:45, which says that "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
In fact, said Fischer, the entire concept of capitalism "is built on the teaching of Jesus himself" and this passage is even the source for the idea that the customer is always right:
Since today is Tax Day, Bryan Fischer apparently decided that it was as good a time as any to reveal that he happens to subscribe to the conspiracy theory that the Federal Government has no authority to collect income taxes and the only reason he even agrees to pay this "extortion money" is because he doesn't want to go to jail:
Last year, Bryan Fischer openly declared that Mitt Romney's Mormon faith "ought to be an issue in 2012" and that Romney should be forced to publicly declare whether he embraces Mormon teachings that conflict with the Bible so that voters can decide "whether they want somebody with those convictions sitting in the Oval Office."
Since then, Fischer has repeatedly attacked Romney over his faith, calling him a "spiritually-compromised candidate" and declaring that a Mormon president represents a threat to the "spiritual health" of the nation.
But Fischer has also realized that openly attacking Romney's faith in this manner might be problematic even at the American Family Association, so he has settled upon a trick whereby he continues to do so while pretending that is really the media which is attacking Romney's Mormon faith.
Fischer announced this trick a few months ago when wrote a piece claiming that if Romney became the Republican nominee, "the winger-left media" would not hesitate to highlight "the more unusual aspects of Mormon theology." And he has been using this framing ever since as he launches repeated attacks upon Mormonism while thinking he is avoiding responsibility simply because he is pretending that it is the media that is really attacking Romney's faith.
Yesterday, while discussing Hilary Rosen's comment about Ann Romney, Fischer demonstrated exactly how he does it, using the flap as cover to engage in a long attack on Mormon theology while saying that the media needs to ask Mitt and Ann Romney about it because the media once asked Michele Bachmann about her theology:
So, based on nothing more than a random comment made about Ann Romney, Fischer is now demanding that the Romney's publicly address the specific tenets of their faith ... while blaming it all on the media.
As we have said before, if Fischer actually thinks that he is fooling anyone with this pathetic charade, he is evenless self-aware than we ever could have imagined.
On yesterday's radio program, Bryan Fischer dedicated an absurd amount of time to railing against Hilary Rosen's comment that Ann Romney had "never worked a day in her life."
Fischer actually declared that this was the single most offensive and outrageous thing that he can recall anyone having said in the years he has been hosting his daily radio program ... which is pretty remarkable considering that Fischer says insanely bigoted and offensive things on almost a daily basis.
And, as if to prove that, he used the Rosen flap as an opportunity to make the case that it is Democrats who are waging a war on women by "protecting and defending the abortion industry," which means that "liberals in America are killing America's women before they are ever born":
During yesterday's program when Bryan Fischer was warning that electing a "spiritually-compromised" Mormon like Mitt Romney would weaken and endanger America, he was restating his theory that liberals and the media are now going to start attacking Romney's faith, claiming that if the media thinks that the beliefs of Evangelicals are odd, then "what Mormons believe is in coo-coo land."
That somehow sent him off on a tangent about science, during which he declared that he didn't believe in global warming or evolution because he is "committed to science." And since "evolution is completely irrational and scientifically bankrupt," the "most logical thing in the world" is to believe that God created the universe:
Sadly, Fischer never got around to explaining how the theory of evolution is even remotely related to the laws of thermodynamics or how the latter undermines the former, as he eventually got back and track and returned to his anti-Mormon diatribe.
As Brian noted in his last post, Religious Right leaders are starting to grudgingly coalesce behind Mitt Romney not that it appears all but certain that he is going to be the Republican presidential nominee.
Romney, for his part, actually called out Fischer for his bigotry during last year's Values Voter Summit, which only solidified Fischer's distrust and dislike of him.
So when Rick Santorum announced yesterday that he was finally dropping out of the race, Fischer dedicated much of his program to discussing developments and declaring that many Religious Right voters will not be able to support a "spiritually compromised candidate" like Romney ... and that this "is perfectly understandable" because worshiping false gods will weaken the nation:
The reality is that there are just a number of Evangelicals that just will not vote for Romney because they do not want to put somebody who believes in a different god in the White House, which is perfectly understandable. He's a spiritually compromised candidate; that's the only way to put it. If he goes into the Oval Office, he will be the first polytheist that we've ever had as a president. Mitt Romney would be the first non-Christian president that we've ever had; the first president that we've ever had that did not emerge from a stream of historic Christian orthodoxy.
So this would be unprecedented, and it would be unprecedented spiritually. You remember the prophets, this is one of the things that they were toughest on the kings about is departing the worship of the true and living God for alternative gods. This was something that weakened a nation and so we're looking at that, if Mitt Romney becomes the president, we have a spiritually-compromised president who will be the first polytheist to ever hold the Oval Office, the first president who has ever believed in a multiplicity of gods, the first president who has ever believe that man can become a god, and that God didn't used to be God, he used to be a man who progressed to godhood. So this would be completely uncharted waters for America.
Last year evangelical writer and WORLD Magazine associate publisher Warren Cole Smith created quite a stir with his column pledging not to vote for Mitt Romney if he wins the Republican nomination because of the boost his presidency would provide to Mormonism. “You can't say that his religious beliefs don't matter, but his ‘values’ do,” Smith explained, “If the beliefs are false, then the behavior will eventually—but inevitably—be warped.” He pointed to the Mormon doctrine of “continuing revelation” to explain Romney’s history of flip-flops and warned that a Romney presidency “would serve to normalize the false teachings of Mormonism the world over,” drawing more people into the LDS church and away from orthodox Christianity.
But it seems that few other prominent faces of the Religious Right are agreeing with Smith’s stance.
Televangelist James Robison on Daystar told a listener that she should favor a non-Christian over a Christian just as people favored Ronald Reagan, a Hollywood actor, over Jimmy Carter, a Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher, because Reagan better understood biblical principles:
Even Robert Jeffress, the preacher who attacked Mormonism as a “cult” at the Values Voters Summit and said Christians should prefer evangelical Rick Perry over Romney, made a similar case on Janet Parshall’s radio show in January when he said a “non-Christian who embraces biblical principles” is preferable to “a professing Christian who espouses unbiblical principles”:
American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer said he will vote for Romney even though he believes a Mormon president would undermine the “spiritual health” of the U.S., and Rick Scarborough of Vision America, repeated his antipathy towards Mormonism in an interview but made clear that “if the choice comes down for me between a Mormon and Barack Obama, I’d vote for the Mormon every time.”
But the acceptance of Romney as the leader of the GOP by the Religious Right’s leadership may not come as a great surprise, as the same people have largely embraced another high profile Mormon, Glenn Beck.
Beck has become a favorite of Religious Right figures, leading his religiously-infusedRestoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial and introducing his clerical Black Robe Regiment, promulgating ‘Christian nation’ history with David Barton and keynoting last year’s Values Voters Summit.
The turnaround when it comes to working with Mormons, who many evangelicals see as “cobelligerents” in the culture wars along with conservative Roman Catholics and Jews, can be seen in Kirk Cameron’s own about-face.
Beck’s appearance and discussion of his talks with God in Cameron’s Religious Right “documentary” may raise eyebrows since Cameron in 2006 co-hosted an anti-Mormon film with evangelist Ray Comfort. In the show, Cameron said that it was likely Satan who appeared to Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, as the Angel Moroni and led him to golden plates that became the Book of Mormon, and even said that Mormons are “following a false Jesus” and “will end up in Hell forever.” “If you’ve ever spoken to a Mormon, sometimes you know how frustrating it could when they use the same words you do but they mean something different and you’re not sure how to finish the conversation,” Cameron said.
Watch highlights of Cameron’s anti-Mormon film here:
Despite Cameron’s dogmatic warnings against Mormonism, he is now actively working with one of America’s leading Mormons. Similarly, just as many on the Religious Right once denounced the Mormon faith, they are now prepared to vote for Romney over President Obama.
As we have notedseveraltimes before, Bryan Fischer is a lot of things ... but self-aware is not one of them.
And nothing better demonstrates this fact than this clip from his program yesterday where he revisited a false claim that a caller had made during a debate the two had on the program the day before, with Fischer concluding that "people on the Left" never check their facts and simply repeat false information ... which is something he would never do:
Earlier this week, Brian posted audio of AFA 's Bryan Fischer proclaiming that President Obama does not believe that the Constitution has any "moral authority and therefore it does not need to be obeyed."
This is a theme that Fischer has been hammering away at all week and yesterday he played a radio interview Obama gave back in 2001 in which he said that while the Constitution is a remarkable document, it is also an "imperfect document" as it contained "an enormous blind spot" when it came to the issue of slavery.
Which, for Fischer, means that Obama "despises the Constitution":
Breitbart.com commentators boasted last month that they had uncovered a “smoking gun” that could take down President Obama once and for all. However, the much-hyped release of the video showing then-Harvard law student Barack Obama introducing Harvard professor Derrick Bell at a demonstration in 1991 fell flat and whatever “controversy” that ensued has since died down.
But Bryan Fischer at the American Family Association has been on the case, and yesterday on Focal Point maintained that President Obama thinks he can “utterly ignore the constraints of the Constitution” because, having been shaped by Bell, “he believes it’s a racist document, he believes therefore it is illegitimate and he can ignore it at will.” Of course this should come as no surprise as Fischer last year claimed that Obama “nurtures a hatred for the United States of America” and “nurtures a hatred for the white man.”
Fischer: In Derrick Bell’s view, and I believe Barack Obama shares this view, this is his mentor, this is his hero, this is a man he idolized, he opened his heart and his mind to the thinking of Derrick Bell, Derrick Bell said the Constitution is fatally illegitimate, it has no moral authority and therefore it does not need to be obeyed. This is why President Obama feels completely free, I believe, to utterly ignore the constraints of the Constitution, he believes it’s a racist document, he believes therefore it is illegitimate and he can ignore it at will. That’s where these recess appointments come from and obviously Eric Holder at the Department of Justice, he’s drunk deeply from the well of critical race theory.
These new commandments must be obeyed, and those who flout them will receive the most severe and unyielding punishments, including censure, excommunication, (say, from graduate counseling programs), and fines in the forms of legal fees to the secular imams at the ACLU.
Here, then, are the Ten Commandments of secular Sharia:
1. “Government, not Yahweh, is God.” Secular fundamentalists want us to look to government for everything we we [sic] were once taught to look for from God. Government is all knowing, all powerful, all wise, all caring. You know, all the things God used to be.
2. “You shall have no gods, period.” The goal of secular fundamentalists is the extermination of any and all mentions of God and Christ in the public arena. The only exceptions to the “no god” rule will be for Gaia and Allah. Gaia is to be worshiped, and any blasphemy against her, by plundering her for such things as the fuel on which the world runs, will be met with the severest punishment and condemnation.
3. “You shall not take the name of the homosexual agenda or Islam in vain.” If you do, we will land on you like a falling safe. Profanity, blasphemy, vulgarity, obscenity, pornography, all are fine. Criticize homosexual conduct, on the other hand, and we will cause the wrath of our god to descend upon you as a consuming fire. You will be silenced, marginalized and treated as a leper. We secularists have freedom of speech but you cretinous conservatives do not. If you have a problem with sexually deviant behavior, you are by definition a homophobic hatemonger and we don’t have to listen to you.
4. “Observe Halloween, Labor Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as holy days. Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, on the other hand, must be wiped off school calendars as if they never existed.”
5. “Honor your father and mother - by which we mean liberal politicians, since they have turned government into your mommy and your daddy.” No husband, no problem: government will be the head of your home. No father, no problem: government will be your provider and raise your children for you.
6. “You shall not murder - unless it’s a defenseless baby in the womb.”
7. “You shall not commit adultery - unless it’s with another man’s wife. Fornication and sodomy without repercussions and penalty are okay too. And we’re working on polygamy and pedophilia.” Anyone who disagrees, and says anything remotely critical of such behaviors, will be subject to the wrath of the holy and righteous prophets of secular Sharia in the out-of-the-mainstream media, who will call down fire and brimstone on those who dare to challenge the sexual orthodoxy of leftist libertines.
8. “You shall not steal - unless it’s to plunder from the producers what they have earned to give to the non-producers what they have not earned.” Anyone who complains about this involuntary transfer of wealth will be judged by the secular mullahs as evil, greedy capitalists and silenced. Right after they have been ripped off.
9. “You shall not bear false witness - unless it is to tell blatant lies about the Constitution, American history, the economy, unemployment figures and drilling for oil.” As long as you are lying to advance the power and reach of government, or get a leftist politician reelected, it’s okay. Secularists have their own version of taqqiya, just like the Muslims do.
10. “You shall not covet anything - as long as it belongs to people who are poorer than you. If they have more money than you, they are evil oppressors who must be plundered of their ill-gotten wealth by our government overlords so it can be redistributed to the lazy, shiftless and irresponsible.”
Bryan Fischer generally begins every daily radio program with a reading from, discussion of, and prayer based on a few verses of the Bible. On Friday, as he was reading from the book of Deuteronomy, he explained that God preserved the books of the Old Testament so that we can understand on He deals with nations that have entered a covenantal relationship with Him, as the United States did with the Declaration of Independence and Constitution:
When we look at these books of history of the Old Testament, one of the things we need to recognize is God has preserved these for us because he wants us to understand how God deals with nations, nations that have entered into some kind of a covenantal relationship with Him and we have done that. We have done that in the United States of America. Our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution represents a covenantal relationship with God.
In the Declaration of Independence we told God, look we are building the entire foundation of this political experiment on you ... So our whole approach to government, our whole approach to our political life, our shared common life is rooted and grounded in the Bible. We have made a covenant relationship with God.
We even dated both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, we dated them to the year of the birth of Jesus Christ. In fact, when the Founders, when they dated the Constitution 'the year of our Lord, 1787,' they referred to Jesus as 'our Lord." Don't let people tell you that Christ is not in the Constitution; He's in there.
Bryan Fischer was on vacation last week when GLAAD unveiled its Commentator Accountability Project, so he didn't get a chance to officially weigh in on the project or his inclusion among the commentators GLAAD is tracking until he returned to the studio yesterday.
And responding was among the first things he did, calling it McCarthyism and a black list and proof that the AFR Talk is the most feared and most dangerous radio network in America because it represented the greatest threat to the "gay agenda."
Fischer eventually weighed in on some of the past statements he had made that got him included in the project in the first place, and defended them all, claiming that the project itself proves that he is right when he said that gay activists are exactly like Nazis:
Filling in as host for the "AFR Mornings" program today, Bryan Fischer brought on anti-gay activist Michael Brown to discuss his recent column defending Kirk Cameron from a tweet by Roseanne Barr in which she said Cameron was “an accomplice to murder with his hate speech” by claiming that Michelle Obama must then also be "complicit in the suicides of kids who were bullied because of their obesity."
Fischer loved that line of reasoning, adding that it was "just ridiculous on its face" to think that being mocked, ridiculed, and condemned would lead gay kids to commit suicide. After all, Fischer said, the AFA is "relentlessly hammered, condemned, criticized, [and] judged" every single day and nobody there is tempted to end their life just because they are being ridiculed:
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: