Bryan Fischer

Fischer: 'Being An Active Homosexual Should Disqualify You From Public Office'

Bryan Fischer is very upset that Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran was fired for violating city employment policies after distributing to co-workers an anti-gay book that he had self-published, responding on his radio program today by declaring that gay people ought to be disqualified from serving in public office.

The American Family Association spokesman reiterated his view that gay people should not be allowed to serve in office after learning that one of the city council members who objected to Cochran's book is gay.

"This is one of the reasons why, ladies and gentlemen," he said, "I believe being an active homosexual should disqualify you from public office because it's a form of sexual perversion and remember, we're going to have to choose between the gay agenda and Christianity. We can't have both. It's going to have to be one or the other and here's a case in point. An active homosexual gets a copy of the book, on the city council and he says, 'We've got to do something about this.' And he goes on a campaign, on a crusade to get this fire chief fired and he pulled it off."

Fischer then went on to declare that "the homosexual agenda is the single greatest threat Christianity, to Christian liberty, to religious liberty and to the First Amendment" that America has ever faced:

The Year In Paranoia: The Five Craziest Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories Of 2014

2014 was a great year for conspiracy theorists running for office, but these extreme politicians couldn’t do it without the help of a conservative media bent on pushing outlandish conspiracy theories from the fringe into the mainstream. Here, gleaned from our weekly Paranoia-Rama, are the conspiracy theories that shaped the year.

Immigration Insanity

While the temporary increase in unaccompanied child migrants coming to the southern border this summer has since subsided, the children fleeing violence in Central America provoked a year’s worth of fear mongering and conspiracy theories from conservative commentators and politicians.

One member of Republican National Committee speculated that the children were actually anti-American “warriors” who would soon “rise up against us,” an anti-immigrant activist suggested that they were child soldiers bent on waging war against the U.S., and Phyllis Schlafly and Alex Jones told their audiences to start worrying about becoming slaves to immigrants.

Republican members of Congress came up with their own conspiracy theories. Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama accused Democrats of using immigration as part of the party’s “war on whites,” Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said Democrats planned to turn the child migrants into illegal voters, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota warned that the government would use the immigrant children “to do medical experimentation” and a whole host of GOP politicians falsely claimed that the child migrants were carrying Ebola, a disease that has still not infected a single known person in Central America or Mexico.

Ebola Ebola Ebola

Is anyone surprised that conservatives cynically turned a disease ravaging West Africa into a political attack on Democrats and immigration from Latin America? Republican officials and conservative pundits went as far as to suggest that President Obama would deliberately infect Americans, including military service members, with the disease as part of his nefarious, Big Government agenda, or to further his purported goal of punishing America.

What Turned The Kids Gay This Year?

The right-wing adage that gay people “cannot reproduce so they must recruit” children is still alive and well, and this year many anti-gay conservatives continued to worked overtime to propagate the homosexual recruitment myth. Televangelist Pat Robertson warned that Hollywood is turning children gay through “girl-on-girl movies,” while radio host Kevin Swanson said movies like “Frozen” are trying to “indoctrinate my five-year-old to be a lesbian.”

Gordon Klingenschmitt, a televangelist who was recently elected to the Colorado state legislature, said a Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Al Franken would “require pedophilia in all public schools” and “require pro-gay child recruiting.” He even hosted a whole show about how parents should avoid interactions with “a gay” lest he “recruit” their kids. Conservatives also railed against Common Core and other education efforts by warning that they would turn kids gay.

Gay Nazism

Religious Right leaders who hope to criminalize homosexuality and strip LGBT people of marriage rights and antidiscrimination protections are pretty sure that conservatives are the real victims of oppression. And they not afraid to use absurd historical analogies to prove their point.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins charged that gay rights supporters are getting ready to “start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians” to concentration camps, Rick Santorum feared “reeducation camps” for gay rights opponents and pastor Scott Lively claimed gay people are using against conservatives “the same ‘blood libel’ used against the Jews by the Nazis.”

Others drew comparisons to slavery and Jim Crow, with Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association alleging that gay people have become “our new slave masters” who will “send us to the hole if we refuse the massa’s demands” and “Trunews” host Rick Wiles warning that Americans “will be saves” to the newly powerful “homosexuals and sodomites.” Wiles even said that gay people in America may soon realize Adolf Hitler’s dream of creating a “race of super gay male soldiers” who are determined to “slaughter” Christians.

Cliven Bundy Hysteria

Becoming vocal cheerleaders for Cliven Bundy — a Nevada rancher and anti-government extremist who refused to obey several court orders to pay decades of back grazing fees — may not have been the best idea for Republican politicians and Fox News pundits. Even Glenn Beck seemed horrified by the racist and violent messages coming from the Bundy ranch.

Bundy’s supporters, however, insisted that the government was using the Bundy standoff as a way to prepare for “civil war,” “mass graves,” “FEMA camps,” “tyranny” and “jihad.” After all, Bundy said that God was on his side.

The Year In Homophobia: Ten Of The Worst Anti-LGBT Stories Of 2014

Supporters of marriage equality made tremendous progress this year in striking down discriminatory bans on same-sex marriages while, on the local level, more municipalities have enacted legal protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Radical Right, however, sees these changes as a reason to find new strategies to fight what it believes is a tyrannical government bent on persecuting conservatives and inviting divine punishment. Facing losses in court and at the ballot box, many conservatives hope that their brand of anti-gay politics may find more success overseas.

Just in case you thought that the debate over gay rights was “over,” we decided to look back on some of the anti-gay Right’s worst moments of 2014.

10. Comparing LGBT Americans To Nazis And Terrorists

There’s nothing that Religious Right activists love more than to pretend they are being oppressed by the LGBT community. This year, Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel and Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association all said opponents of LGBT rights today are facing a situation reminiscent of the oppression African Americans endured under Jim Crow, while other anti-LGBT activists shamelessly compared themselves to Jewish people living in Nazi Germany. More recently, Religious Right activists compared supporters of gay rights to ISIS members bent on beheading Christians, and Pat Robertson described gay rights supporters as terrorists.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wondered when gay people and gay rights advocates would “start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians,” and “Trunews” host Rick Wiles even warned that LGBT rights activists in the U.S. are hoping to fulfill Adolf Hitler’s dream of creating “a race of super gay male soldiers.”

9. Civil Disobedience To Stop Gay Rights

While conservatives rail against civil disobedience to protest police brutality, they are hopeful that the anti-gay movement will launch its own civil disobedience campaigns. In 2014, Sen. Ted Cruz urged gay rights opponents to “disregard unjust edicts from the government” and Fox News pundit Todd Starnes predicted that conservatives would take part in acts of civil disobedience and marches reminiscent of the Civil Rights Movement. Pat BuchananLinda Harvey and Jeff Allen also joined calls for mass civil disobedience to protest LGBT equality, while Peter LaBarbera proposed protests to stop same-sex weddings.

Janet Mefferd hoped that an anti-gay Rosa Parks would soon emerge, while Matt Barber, who has pledged to bring back “some of the civil disobedience that we saw in the 60s during those civil rights struggles” to stop the “LGBT sexual orientation agenda,” said that anti-gay activists will be acting just like Martin Luther King Jr. by demonstrating against gay rights.

8. Breakaway Anti-Gay Nation

Upset over recent gay rights victories, former Reagan administration official Douglas MacKinnon seems ready to give up on America and start a new country composed of conservative Southern states that will secede from the U.S. as a way to preserve their bans on same-sex marriage. MacKinnon outlined his plan in his book, “The Secessionist States of America: The Blueprint for Creating a Traditional Values Country . . . Now,” and in an interview with right-wing talk show host Janet Mefferd, he defended the South’s original attempt at secession during the Civil War.

MacKinnon said that if the secession plan actually worked, he would name the country “Reagan.”

7. Dave Agema’s ‘Common Sense’

It wasn’t a good year for Dave Agema, the Michigan GOP politician and a member of the Republican National Committee. Not only did Agema lose his lawsuit against People For the American Way, the notoriously anti-gay activist made waves after he endorsed Russia’s criminalization of speech in favor of gay rights as a “common sense” measure and faced calls to resign from the RNC after attacking Muslim-Americans in a Facebook post. Last year, Agema posted a bizarre pseudo-scientific survey on how homosexuality is “filthy” on his Facebook page.

Agema became a right-wing martyr after people dared to criticize his bigoted statements, and he refused to step down despite statements from top GOP leaders urging him to leave his position. Instead, Agema only amped up the rhetoric, blasting people for “shoving this idea down our throat that we have to accept this homosexual lifestyle” and warning that gay rights will destroy America.

6. Duggars Show ‘Love’ For Gays By Fighting Gay Rights

While the Duggar family usually campaigns for Republican candidates across the country come election time, in 2014 they worked in their home state of Arkansas to repeal an ordinance in the city of Fayetteville that added the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity to existing bans on discrimination in areas such as commerce, housing and employment.

Michelle Duggar recorded a highly misleading robocall for the successful anti-LGBT campaign, suggesting that the ordinance would undermine public safety and empower “child predators.”

But Josh Duggar, who claims that God sent him to Washington D.C. to work with Family Research Council in opposing LGBT rights, defended their work to strip LGBT people of their rights and legal protections because it is done out of love for the LGBT community.

5. Rick Perry Goes There

As Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign flamed out after a series of poor debate performances, he used gay-baiting TV ads in one last desperate attempt to win the GOP nomination. Now, as Perry prepares for the 2016 campaign, it seems that by wearing new eyeglasses he is all of a sudden the new wonky candidate. He showed off this new-found knowledge during an appearance in California where he reacted to the news that the Texas GOP had adopted a resolution endorsing “reparative therapy and treatment” to help people “escape from the homosexual lifestyle” by comparing gay people to alcoholics.

“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” Perry told the Commonwealth Club of California to audible groans from the crowd. “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”

Of course it wasn’t the first time Perry made such a claim, and other potential presidential candidates such as Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have made similar arguments. 

4. Ted Cruz’s New DOMA

After the Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, marriage equality opponents looked to their allies in Washington D.C. to try to reverse the court’s decision. Sen. Ted Cruz was more than happy to help, and the Texas senator joined Mike Lee, Utah’s freshman senator, in introducing the State Marriage Defense Act. The bill’s stated purpose is to undercut federal recognition of married same-sex couples, and while it didn’t gain much traction in Congress, it did give Cruz an opportunity to grandstand about his dreams of curtailing gay rights. He told right-wing radio hosts that his “heart weeps” due to same-sex couples’ legal victories, calling rulings in favor of marriage equality “heartbreaking” and a sign “that our constitutional liberties are being eroded.”

After the Supreme Court recently refused to hear appeals in several cases involving same-sex marriage rights, Cruz decided to introduce a constitutional amendment to ensure that the 14th Amendment cannot be used in cases involving equal rights for gays and lesbians.

3. Still Angry About Repeal Of DADT

Anti-gay activists issued countless dire predictions about the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which officially ended in the summer of 2011, warning about everything from a return to the draft to a “virtual genocide” of Christian service members. None of their claims ever materialized, but conservatives are now just acting as if they did.

One American Family Association radio host blamed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the U.S. military’s “sissification,” and Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council linked the lifting of the ban on gay service members to what he called the “absolute destruction of our military readiness and our military morale.” Gordon Klingenschmitt read a statement on his “Pray In Jesus Name” program from a press release alleging that gay service members will soon be “taking breaks on the combat field to change diapers all because their treacherous sin causes them to lose control of their bowels.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, captured the mood best when he alleged that the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will make the U.S. more “vulnerable to terrorism” because gay soldiers will take after the ancient Greeks in bringing their lovers to the frontlines so they can “give them massages before they go into battle.”

2. ‘Forced’ To Watch Michael Sam’s Kiss

This year, the far Right leveled an all-out attack against openly gay athlete Michael Sam, who is apparently paving the way for the Antichristbrainwashing children, Satanic and part of a “plan to destroy black America” by “emasculating its men.” After ESPN aired footage of him kissing his boyfriend when he was notified that he was drafted into the NFL, right-wing activists denounced his “slobber-knocker of a kiss” as “sewer filth”; “yucky”; “gross”; “cringe-inducing” and “nauseating.”

Some conservatives claimed that they were actually forced to watch Sam kiss his boyfriend, while other conservatives vowed to boycott the NFL. Rush Limbaugh feared that Sam’s decision to come out of the closet is evidence that heterosexuals are “under assault,” and one right-wing outlet warned of “the gayification of professional sports.”

1. Cheering On Uganda And Russia

This year, Uganda’s president signed into law a new version of the country’s “Anti-Homosexuality Act” which imposed extreme penalties for the crime of being gay (though dropping its provision making homosexuality a death penalty offense in certain cases). American anti-gay activists mostly offered praise to the East African nation. At least one group thought that Uganda should have kept its death penalty plank.

While the country’s top court ultimately struck down the law on technical grounds, organizations such as Concerned Women for AmericaLiberty Counsel and the American Family Association defended Uganda, with the latter condemning criticisms of the law as Satanic. Pastor Scott Lively, who helped craft the original anti-gay bill, spoke out in favor of the new law.

Glenn Grothman, a Wisconsin lawmaker who last month won his race for an open seat in the U.S. House, also attacked opponents of Uganda’s anti-gay law, warning that people like Sec. John Kerry will bring about God’s judgment on America for his criticisms of Uganda.

The Uganda news came at a time when many U.S.-based activists were already pleased with new laws in Russia criminalizing speech in favor of gay rights and enthralled with Vladimir Putin, demanding that America enact similar laws.

Bryan Fischer Bonus

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer’s daily cascade of anti-gay bigotry is difficult to summarize, but rest assured that throughout 2014 he remained in “fine form” when it came to maliciously attacking the LGBT community. Insisting that his hostility to homosexuality is just something that he was born with, Fischer regularly uses his radio program to rail against gay rights as the “greatest threat” America has ever seen and a precursor to the End Times. Fischer has even suggested that God will uses ISIS terrorists to “discipline the United States” for supporting gay rights and urged the government to ban gay people from ever holding public office.

Fischer: Obama 'Just Doing A Solid' For His Fellow Communists By Restoring Ties With Cuba

On his radio broadcast on Friday, Bryan Fischer offered a rather straightforward explanation for why President Obama recently took steps to restore ties with Cuba: he is "just doing a solid" for his fellow communists.

Even though Fischer himself called for an end to the embargo after taking his own trip to Cuba earlier this year, he's pretty sure that Obama is only doing so because of his communist sympathies.

"I think, frankly, Barack Obama sees that he's in the same fraternity with Fidel Castro," Fischer said. "They are fellow communists. I think he envies Castro; Castro has an authority that he can only dream of possessing, so I think he is just doing a solid to another member of the communist dictator club, or communist dictator wannabe club."

Fischer then cited a column that appeared a few years ago in Pravda as proof that Obama is a communist, saying that Obama "is following in the footsteps of Marx, it's the Marxist ideology, the Marxist agenda that he is trying to implement, so let's be honest, this guy is a communist. No matter what you want to call him, he's just a communist":

Bryan Fischer Complains That People Who Oppose Gay Marriage Are Treated Like Ebola Carriers

A professor at Marquette University has been suspended after he wrote a blog post attacking a teaching assistant at the university for reportedly not allowing a student to argue against gay marriage during a classroom discussion, which prompted Bryan Fischer to complain on his radio program today that people who oppose marriage equality are now being treated like they are infected with the Ebola virus.

"If you are a conservative like you and me," Fischer said, "and you believe in natural marriage, you have the equivalent of the Ebola virus, according to the left. You must be shunned. You must be quarantined. You must be exiled from polite company":

The 2014 Equine Posterior Award: Vote For Your Favorite Right-Wing Extremist

It’s time to cast your vote for the winner of People For the American Way’s annual Equine Posterior Achievement Award, which recognizes the worst of the worst in right-wing extremism.

Our 2014 nominees outdid themselves this year in promoting conspiracy theories, inventing persecution myths and pushing bigotry, and now it’s your turn to decide who wins this year’s coveted award.

Ted Cruz: Last year's EPAA winner Ted Cruz didn’t run for office in 2014, but that didn’t stop him from rallying Religious Right voters. The possible 2016 presidential hopeful spent the year supporting anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy and helping to block the nomination of Debo Adegbile.

Cruz was an outspoken opponent of the proposed amendment to overturn Citizens United, claiming it would “repeal the First Amendment” and “muzzle” pastors. Also threatening the free speech of pastors, Cruz contended, are equal rights for LGBT people, to which he is as vehemently opposed as ever.

The Benham Brothers: After reporting on HGTV’s plans for a new home improvement reality show starring notorious anti-gay, anti-choice extremist David Benham and his brother Jason back in May, the Benham brothers have now taken their tale of "persecution!" throughout the Religious Right speaking circuit.

When HGTV dropped the show just hours after our first reporting on their anti-gay activism, including their claims that homosexuality is “destructive” and “demonic, Religious Right leaders from Pat Robertson to Bryan Fischer wasted no time in drumming up a “Christian persecution” narrative and declaring the Benhams modern-day martyrs. The Benhams enthusiastically embraced their new role, repeatedly likening themselves to ISIS beheading victims and making an appearance at the 2014 Values Voter Summit.

Gordon Klingenschmitt: What a year for Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt! Klingenschmitt, whose whole career has been based on a myth about his supposed religious persecution in the military, used his “Pray in Jesus Name” program this year to spread the word that it’s basically child abuse for a kid to be raised by gay parents, and that transgender people are just in need of an exorcism and a spanking. (Of course, this is a man who once tried to perform an exorcism on President Obama.)

But in between spouting anti-gay vitriol and denouncing Obamacare, Klingenschmitt somehow managed to run a campaign for a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives and won! Congratulations to Colorado’s new anti-gay, demon hunting state legislator.

Jody Hice: Jody Hice is a Georgia Republican who won a seat in the U.S. House this year despite saying that women should ask their husbands for permission before entering politics, that homosexuality “enslaves” people, and that Muslims shouldn’t have First Amendment rights. He blamed everything from the Sandy Hook School shooting to the Penn State abuse scandal on the separation of church and state. He’s a big believer in the power of “blood moons” and he thinks our public schools are a lot like Nazi Germany.

And, again, he will soon be a member of Congress.

Texas State Board of Education: This year, we nominate the Texas State Board of Education for an Equine Posterior Achievement Award for their approval of social studies textbooks that were more about the ideological beliefs of the board members than, you know, actual history.

While the approved textbooks were an improvement on the original proposed content, which included blatant denial of climate change and negative stereotypes of Islam as a violent religion, the final editions emphasize the biblical influence in America’s founding, even going so far as to reference Moses as an influence on the Constitution and the Old Testament as the root of democracy.

Glenn Beck: This year Glenn Beck assured his viewers that his many prophetic visions and predictions would finally, definitely come true. It’s hard to imagine where Beck found the time for all his clairvoyance and divine inspiration, what with everything else he accomplished this year including devising plans to fix the VA and destroy ISIS. But 2014 hasn’t been a banner year for Beck. In March, he was sued for defamation after falsely accusing one of the victims injured in the Boston Marathon bombing of being behind the attack. (Unfortunately for Beck, a federal judge recently allowed the lawsuit to move forward.)

Pat Robertson: This year, EPAA staple Pat Robertson kept up the HIV fear-mongering with his assertion that you can get AIDS from a towel -- you may remember last year, when he accused gay people of intentionally spreading HIV by cutting people with special rings.

There was hardly a news story this year that Robertson didn’t weigh in on, from Michael Brown’s death to marijuana legalization, and even Robin Williams’ suicide. He spread the word about the demonic threat posed by Ouija boards and the serious risk of fighting climate change. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Pat Robertson his show can cure the neck injuries and asthma of its viewers, after all.

Ben Carson: Right-wing activist and potential presidential candidate Ben Carson kicked off 2014 with a rousing CPAC speech denouncing “extra rights” like marriage equality for gay people. Despite repeatedly speaking out against marriage equality and calling it a Marxist plot, Carson believes that gay rights supporters are trying to inhibit his right to free speech. Carson also shared his many opinions on the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, blaming Michael Brown’s death on his lack of a father figure, and accusing protestors of being part of a “me generation” started by women’s libbers.

Bryan Fischer: Bryan Fischer spent a lot of 2014 being grossed out, horrified, and otherwise offended by openly gay football player Michael Sam. After that, he said that commemorating Harvey Milk is a lot like honoring Jeffrey Dahmer, asked Michelle Obama to start an anti-lesbian campaign, and expressed his preference for sharia law and displeasure with Pope Francis. Perennial EPAA nominee Fischer also chimed in on Ferguson, claiming that Michael Brown was possessed by a homicidal demon.

Kevin Swanson: Religious Right broadcaster Kevin Swanson took to the airwaves in 2014 to warn his audience about the sinister motives of “The Hunger Games” movies, the potential for LGBT nondiscrimination laws to protect murderers and rapists, and the threat of “Antichrist” Presbyterians. But maybe most memorable were Swanson’s ruminations on popular culture, including his speculation that Beyonce may be possessed by a demonic spirit, and his claim that the Disney movie “Frozen” is a Satanic movie that turns kids gay.

Jindal Rally Organizers Remove Controversial Prayer Guide, Still Think Gays Are Responsible For Natural Disasters

Last week, we reported that the anti-gay, Christian nationalist organizers of a supposedly nonpolitical prayer rally that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is hosting next month had reused some materials from a similar rally hosted by Texas Gov. Rick Perry back in 2011, including a prayer guide blaming LGBT rights and legal abortion for natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.

Blaming Hurricane Katrina on gay people and abortion, it turns out, didn’t go over so well in the state that was hardest hit by the 2005 storm, and after reporters in Louisiana started asking the organizers and Jindal’s office about the prayer guide, it was scrubbed from the rally’s website.

But disappearing one document can only do so much to hide the fact that Jindal is partnering with some pretty extreme organizations to put on his "The Response" event. In fact, the offending document was replaced on the event’s website by a letter from organizer Doug Stringer which only slightly more vaguely blames “earthquakes, floods, fires, and an escalation of natural disasters across the country and the world” on “the continued moral failures of our leaders.”

And when the New Orleans Times-Picayune approached Bryan Fischer, a spokesman for the event’s main funder the American Family Association, about the controversial prayer guide, he told them that his group stood by the original content. "We do know that natural disasters can be a form of God's judgment on an unrepentant nation,” Fischer told the Times-Picayune, before explaining that it’s “fitting that a part of the country that is obviously at risk for natural disasters would lead the nation in modeling repentance."

Still, the AFA initially issued a prayer guide that has offended many Louisiana residents. It implied legal abortion, same-sex marriage and pornography use contributed to Hurricane Katrina and other disasters. Though the prayer guide has been taken down, Fischer reiterated that sentiment on Wednesday. He said Louisiana should be especially concerned about the morality of the country, given its vulnerability to natural disasters.

"We do know that natural disasters can be a form of God's judgement on an unrepentant nation," Fischer said, "It's fitting that a part of the country that is obviously at risk for natural disasters would lead the nation in modeling repentance."

Bobby Jindal's Clueless Defense Of His AFA Prayer Rally

The controversy surrounding Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s prayer rally, which is scheduled to take place next month on LSU’s campus, continues to grow as some students have announced that they will protest the involvement of the rally’s chief funder, the American Family Association, an anti-gay hate group. A wide variety of anti-gay activists are promoting the prayer rally and have used promotional materials for the event to spread outrageous claims that natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina were the result of homosexuality and abortion.

Jindal has now been forced to personally address the issue, which he has predictably done by side-stepping criticism of the AFA's bigotry and instead accusing "the left" of attacking Christians:

"Let's be clear about what this is. This is an opportunity for people across denominational lines to come together to pray," Jindal said. "It's not a political event, it's a religious event."

He said that while he respects the rights of protesters, religious groups have the right to express their beliefs and should not be barred from being able to hold the event on the LSU campus. A protest is planned while the event is taking place at the campus's Pete Maravich Assembly Center, and critics are urging LSU not to allow the prayer rally to happen.

"Christians have the right to rent, to pay for a hall at a public university so they can come together and pray," Jindal told reporters at an economic development announcement in New Orleans.

Asked if he agreed with the American Family Association's agenda, Jindal sidestepped that question and said, "The left likes to try to divide and attack Christians."

Jindal said the protesters themselves should consider joining the prayer rally. He said they "might benefit from prayer."

Given that Jindal apparently has no qualms about partnering with the AFA for a "religious event," we feel that someone ought to ask him what he thinks of the fact that one the AFA's main spokesman, Bryan Fischer, has argued time and time again that the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment only apply to Christians.

Since Fischer has made no secret of his belief that non-Christian faiths are not entitled to any protection under the First Amendment whatsoever, one has to wonder how Jindal feels about partnering with his organization, considering that Jindal's own parents "are actively Hindu."

Not only does Fischer believe that Jindal's parents are not entitled to have their faith protected and treated equally under the Constitution, he declared just last year that Hinduism is a demonic religion when he totally freaked out because First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a Hindu event in the White House:

"This is a counterfeit religion," Fischer said. "It is an Eastern religion. It is, in essence, an occult religion.  It's a counterfeit, a false alternative to Christianity.  It ultimately represents the doctrine of demons, that is what you have with Hinduism and now this is being celebrated in the White House."

"Christians have the right to rent, to pay for a hall at a public university so they can come together and pray," Jindal says as he partners with an organization that regularly asserts that other religions do not have those very same rights.

It is truly amazing that Jindal dares to suggest that somehow Christians are being treated unfairly because people are criticizing the fact that he is quite willing to partner with an organization that openly declares that non-Christians are not entitled to equal treatment or protection under the First Amendment.

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/17/14

  • PFAW: Edit Memo: 2014 – A Year of Striking Success on Judicial Nominations.
  • Scott Kaufman @ Raw Story: GOP lawmaker: Women need man’s permission for abortion unless they can prove ‘legitimate rape.’
  • Rachel Ford @ Friendly Atheist: Torture is Okay, Because God Sanctioned Brutality in the Bible, Says Bryan Fischer.
  • Daniel Strauss @ TPM: Lawsuit: GOP Rep. Who Registered Blow-Me.org Had 'Wet Dreams' About Staffer.

  • Timothy Johnson @ Media Matters: NRA News Guest: Newtown Families Were "Extremely Irresponsible" To Sue NRA Corporate Donor That Made The Gun Used To Kill Their Family Members.

  • Charlie Joughin @ HRC Blog: Hypocrisy in Tallahassee: Twice-Divorced Pam Bondi Fights to Keep Same-Sex Couples from Marrying.

Religious Right Cheers On Vladimir Putin As Anti-LGBT Violence In Russia Surges

While most of the news on Russia this week has been focused on the country’s ongoing financial collapse, it is important to highlight a report released by Human Rights Watch on Monday documenting the rise of anti-LGBT violence in Russia along with the ways the government, which recently passed new laws curbing LGBT rights, has ensured virtual impunity for the perpetrators of such attacks. Following the report’s release, Russia added a LGBT legal aid group to a list of NGOs that must register as “foreign agents.”

The uptick in violence against LGBT Russians certainly won't discourage Religious Right activists from supporting Putin, many of whom also seem more than willing to ignore his deadly incursion into Ukraine , support for laws curbing the freedoms of Russian evangelical Christians and other human rights abuses.

Nothing, it seems, can dissuade many of Putin’s American supporters, several of whom recently attended an anti-LGBT conference at the Kremlin, from believing that the U.S. should adopt anti-gay laws modeled on Russia’s, such as a ban on gay “propaganda” and adoption by same-sex parents.

In fact, many Religious Right activists in the U.S. believe that Putin is on a mission from God to save Russia, and the world, from the LGBT community.

Crush on Putin

It is no secret that many conservatives have fallen under Putin’s spell.

Matt Drudge has called Putin the “leader of the free world.” Sarah Palin has fawned over the Russian leader’s wrestling abilities. Franklin Graham has hailed Putin for “protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda” and having “taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.” Larry Jacobs of the World Congress of Families, the group that helped organize the Kremlin meeting, praised Putin last year for “preventing [gay people] from corrupting children.”

Religious Right leader and Iowa GOP kingmaker Bob Vander Plaats has upheld Putin as a world leader in morality. Josh Craddock, who represents Personhood USA at the United Nations, came back from the Kremlin conference cheering on Russia as a “light to the world.” Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver expressed offense last year that Obama would dare criticize Putin.One Fox News host wished that Putin could be president of the United States, even for just 48 hours.

Any violence against Russian gays, one Religious Right group explained, is probably “provoked by homosexual activists.” Massachusetts-based pastor Scott Lively, who has taken credit for inspiring Russia’s “propaganda” law, dismissed anti-LGBT violence in Russia as a “hoax” and told right-wing radio show host Linda Harvey that if violent anti-gay incidents occur, other gay people were likely the perpetrators.

God Will Favor Russia Instead Of America, Thanks Obama

Anti-gay activists think that God has decided to bless Russia, thanks to Putin’s leadership, while punishing the U.S. for passing rebellious gay rights laws. Pat Buchanan clearly articulated this mindset in a column in April titled “Is God Now On Russia’s Side?,” in which he likened the U.S. and Western Europe to Sodom and Gomorrah and cheerfully proclaimed that “Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity.”

In a February column, Don Feder of the World Congress of Families gushed that Putin had become the new Ronald Reagan: “As my friend and Russian pro-family leader Alexey Komov likes to say: 'Under Reagan, America helped to save us from communism. We'd like to return the favor.'”

Lively made the case last year that Putin is “the only world leader capable of standing up to the West” and could “inspire all the morally conservative countries of the world to adopt a similar law that he just adopted.” In the same interview, Lively called Obama the Antichrist.

“The country that’s acting like it’s part of the kingdom of the Antichrist is the United States of America, and Russia is standing against homosexual marriage, they’re standing for traditional family values,” Religious Right radio host Rick Wiles said in September. “The United States is exporting its wickedness, we’re using our power and might to force nations to change their laws to accept abortion, to accept homosexual marriage and homosexual rights, so which country is part of the Antichrist system and which is not?”

Wiles even predicted that the U.S. would soon go to war against Russia “with an atheistic, Jesus-hating, pro-homosexual, pro-lesbian, pro-transgender military and we're going to go up against another military carrying a Christian cross.”

Bring Anti-Gay Laws To The U.S.

Anti-gay activist Matt Barber said earlier this year that it was “encouraging” to see more anti-gay measures coming out of Russia, adding that he would like to see laws that “stop this homosexual activist propaganda from corrupting children in our nation and we need to see that right here in the United States.”

Peter LaBarbera called Russia’s “propaganda” law an “acceptable” and necessary way to stop companies like Disney from “promoting lesbianism to kids,” while American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios said the speech-inhibiting law was just “common sense.”

One of Putin’s most vocal cheerleaders, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, has called him a “lion of Christianity” and repeatedly demanded that the U.S. enact similar bans on gay “propaganda.”

Since the U.S. hasn’t embrace such an anti-gay crackdown, Religious Right activist William Murray writes, Americans are now “fleeing” to Russia in order to avoid LGBT equality at home.

Fischer Doesn't Want His Bigotry 'To Distract' From Jindal's Prayer Event

Earlier today, we noted that Gov. Bobby Jindal's staff is not very eager to discuss the fact that he is partnering with the American Family Association for his upcoming "The Response" prayer rally, which is not very surprising considering that the AFA is an anti-gay hate group notorious for the unrelenting stream of bigotry that it produces.

Naturally, Bryan Fischer, the primary source of that bigotry, is angry that people are now trying to "torpedo" Jindal's prayer rally by highlighting the fact that the governor is partnering with the AFA and a bunch of other anti-gay activists, announcing on his radio program today that he will refuse to comment on his well-documented history of making outrageous statements until after the prayer event.

"If the media contacts us and it's in connection with this prayer event," Fischer said, "and we discover that the only reason they're talking to us is that it's in connection with this thing called 'The Response,' I think my response is going to be 'I'll be happy to talk to you this on January 26,'" which is the Monday after Jindal's prayer event.

"We don't want anything to distract from this event," he continued. "Our nation is in crisis. The need of the hour is prayer ... This event is about prayer and calling the nation to prayer [but the media's] only interest is in trying to stir up trouble and create some kind of outrage against this event by trying to make AFA look bad":

Of course, the only thing making the AFA "look bad" is Fischer and the AFA.

Fischer's reaction to this criticism of Jindal's rally is actually something of an improvement considering that when Gov. Rick Perry was getting hammered for partnering with the AFA for his "The Response" prayer rally back in 2011, Fischer responded by complaining that he was the victim of a hate crime.

Fischer: Gay Rights Are The 'Greatest Threat' To Liberty That America Has Ever Faced

On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer interviewed Caiden Cowger, a sixteen-year-old radio host who had his fifteen minutes of fame a couple of years ago when he claimed that "Obama is making kids gay." Cowger has been peddling a story to the right-wing media about an incident that occurred after a LGBT club was formed at his high school and Christian students were allegedly "forced to attend" a meeting.

In introducing Cowger, Fischer warned that the push for equality represents the "greatest threat" to liberty that America has ever faced.

"The homosexual agenda represents the greatest single threat to religious liberty we have ever seen in the history of our existence as a nation," he declared. "In fact, it's the greatest threat to liberty of all kinds, whether it is freedom of religion, whether it is freedom of speech, whether it is freedom of the press, whether it is freedom of association, all of the rights that are enshrined in the First Amendment are threatened by the active, aggressive homosexual lobby and the homosexual agenda":

Fischer: Jesus Would Support The Use Of Torture

The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer is continuing his defense of the CIA's use of torture, writing today that liberals "would drag the Bible’s heroes before the courts at Nuremberg and charge them with crimes against humanity" and suggesting on his radio program that Jesus would support the use of torture in a time of war.

Fischer argued on his radio program today that the Bible makes certain things permissible during times of war that would not be permissible during times of peace, adding that Jesus is a "warrior" who would probably approve of torture.

"Christianity is not a pacifist religion," Fischer said. "The God that we serve is described in Exodus 15 as a 'man of war.' Now we often think of gentle Jesus, meek and mild, but let's not forget, according to Romans 19:13, when he comes back ... he will be riding a white horse and wearing his own robe, dipped in blood. That is a robe that is worn by a warrior who is inflicting casualties on the foe. So this is gentle Jesus, meek and mild; when we comes back, his robe is going to be dipped in blood because he too is a warrior":

'No 9/11, No Rectal Rehydration': Bryan Fischer Explains Why Muslim Terrorists Are Responsible For The CIA's Use Of Torture

Bryan Fischer continued his vigorous defense of the CIA's use of torture on his radio program today, explaining quite succinctly that had Islamic terrorists not carried out the 9/11 attacks, the United States never would have been forced to engage in practices such as rectal rehydration.

"The culpability and the blame and the accountability for every last bit of the enhanced interrogation techniques rests on the Muslims who were responsible for 9/11," he said. "If you're looking for somebody to blame for waterboarding and sleep deprivation and rectal rehydration, look no further than the Muslims who were responsible for 9/11. They made those enhanced interrogation techniques necessary."

"No 9/11, no waterboarding," Fischer explained. "No 9/11, no Gitmo. No 9/11, no rectal rehydration":

Fischer: Terrorism Suspects Have No Right Not To Be Tortured

On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer once again defended the CIA's use of torture against terrorism suspects by arguing that the techniques utilized by the CIA do not actually constitute torture ... but even if they were it would still be acceptable because terrorism suspects have no legal right not to be tortured.

As Fischer explained, foreign terrorism suspects have no constitutional rights since they are not U.S. citizens, nor do they have any rights under the Geneva Conventions, which means that the U.S. faces no legal prohibition against torturing them.

"They have absolutely no legal rights that they can claim anywhere," Fischer said. "So whatever treatment we give them, if there is any mercy involved in it, they have no right to that; that is simply because we are a merciful people who are driven by Christian principles":

Bryan Fischer Wants Public Schools That Teach Gay History To Start With Sodom And Gomorrah

On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer was defending the "right" of the Creationist group Answers in Genesis to discriminate based on religion when hiring for its taxpayer-subsidized Noah's Ark theme park in Kentucky when he got sidetracked and began demanding that if public schools are going to teach about homosexuality, they should be required to start with Sodom and Gomorrah.

For some reason, Fischer brought up California's 2011 requirement that school districts include the contributions of gays and lesbians in their history curricula and then demanded that any such lesson plan begin with Sodom and Gomorrah.

"I will support you teaching homosexuality in California's public schools on the condition that you start with Sodom and Gomorrah," he said. "If you want to teach gay history in your public schools, then you've got to teach gay history. Gay history starts with Sodom and Gomorrah, so if you start there, you can teach all the gay history that you want":

Fischer: Release Of Torture Report Shows That Democrats Are 'Juvenile Delinquents'

The AFA's Bryan Fischer was predictably outraged by the release of the Senate report on the CIA's use of torture ... not by the torture itself, mind you, but rather by the release of the report detailing it, fuming on his radio program yesterday that the Democrats only released the report to be "petty" and "juvenile."

"They just got voted out of office," he said. "This was their last chance to poke a finger in the eye of President Bush. I mean, they're like juvenile delinquents; they've been occupying this house, sitting in this house, they've just been evicted from the house, they're going to have to vacate the house on January 1. They're going to have to get out of there January 1 and so they're like juvenile delinquents that decide we're going to trash this place on the way out the door. We don't like the fact that we're going to have to vacate the premises January 1 so we are going to do as much damage on the way out the door as we possibly can":

RNC Teams Up With Anti-Gay Extremist And Hate Group

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus insists that the GOP’s opposition to marriage equality must be “draped in the concepts of grace, love and respect” … and what better way to show it than partnering with two radical anti-gay groups to send 168 RNC members to Israel.

Priebus is working with David Lane, founder of the American Renewal Project, and the American Family Association to organize a week-long trip to Israel for committee members, paid for by Lane’s group and the AFA. Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Rick Perry have previously traveled to Israel on tours sponsored by Lane, who also joined Mike Huckabee’s recent European tour.

Proudly working “under the radar,” Lane is a conservative activist who assembles summits in key primary states where pastors and likely presidential candidates meet, including Paul, Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Mike Pence and Bobby Jindal, who is sponsoring a prayer rally with Lane early next year. Lane’s group announced a plan to recruit 1,000 pastors to run for elected office and produced election-themed ads featuring Cruz, Perry, Jindal and Huckabee.

Lane seeks to keep a low profile, in part, to conceal his extreme rhetoric, such as his claim that “homosexuals praying at [Obama’s] inauguration” would cause God to allow “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa,” his call for conservatives to “wage war” to stop “the pagan onslaught imposing homosexual marriage [and] homosexual scouts” and his attacks on Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.

Despite this track record, Priebus has praised Lane and his concerns about America’s dark future.

The other sponsor of the RNC trip, the American Family Association, also attacked Romney’s faith and has decried homosexuality in similar terms, insisting that homosexuality should be outlawed and praising draconian anti-gay laws in countries like Uganda and Gambia. The AFA’s chief spokesman, Bryan Fischer, has likened homosexuality to terrorism and blamed the Holocaust on gay people, and said that non-Christians have no First Amendment rights and non-Christian immigrants should be forced to convert to Christianity.

Fischer has repeatedly defended the massacres and expulsions of Native Americans from their lands as divine justice and once lamented that welfare makes African-American women “rut like rabbits.”

We look forward to Priebus explaining how David Lane and Bryan Fischer are simply trying to address key social issues with “grace, love and respect.”

Bryan Fischer Does Not Like/Understand The Phrase 'A Nation Of Immigrants'

Bryan Fischer spent a good portion of his radio program today voicing his opposition to "amnesty" and any effort to pass immigration reform legislation, at one point going off on an incoherent tangent to complain about the phrase "a nation of immigrants."

The phrase is generally used to make the point that most American citizens today are descendants of ancestors who immigrated to America in previous generations, but Fischer apparently doesn't understand that. 

"Eighty-five to 87% of the people that live in the United States were born here," Fischer argued. "You know what that makes us? That makes us native Americans. We are Americans by birth."

Things then became even more confusing when Fischer began to argue that the Native Americans who inhabited this land when the settlers arrived where themselves immigrants from Eurasia.

"It means that Native American tribes are immigrants too!" Fischer proclaimed. "If we're a nation of immigrants, to use their expression, that has to apply to the Indian Nations that were here when European settlers arrived. Everybody here is an immigrant. Everybody here is a descendant of those who immigrated to these shores."

Ummm, yes. That is exactly what the phrase "a nation of immigrants" means.

AFA Does Not Support Effort To Establish Christianity As Mississippi's Official Religion

Recently, a pro-Confederacy group in Mississippi launched an effort to get a measure on the ballot in 2016 that, if passed, will establish a "Confederate Heritage Month" in the state, as well as designate English as the official state language. Among the provisions contained in the measure are requirements that whenever an American flag is displayed on a public building, a state flag of the same size must also be displayed and "whenever the pledge of allegiance to the national flag is recited, the state flag salute shall be recited immediately thereafter." On top of that, "whenever the national anthem is played in a public venue or at a public event in Mississippi, either 'Dixie' or 'Go, Mississippi' shall be played immediately thereafter."

Perhaps the most controversial provision of the measure is the requirement that Christianity be recognized as the official state religion, which is just the sort of thing one would expect the Mississippi-based American Family Association to embrace and support. After all, the AFA's leading spokesman, Bryan Fischer, has repeatedly said that the Constitution was not designed to protect any religion other than Christianity and that states have every right to establish an official religion.

But, amazingly, Fischer and the AFA are not supporting the effort:

Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the American Family Association, told CP that he questioned the need for Initiative 46.

"I'm not clear who is behind this initiative or exactly what problems they're trying to solve," said Fischer of the AFA.

"I will be surprised if the organizers are able to get the number of signatures they need since most Mississippians aren't going to see the need for it. Mississippians like the state just fine as it is."

Fischer added that many "of the provisions in the initiative would be more appropriately handled at the state legislative level if they are to be handled at all."

"Constitutional remedies should be reserved for issues of primary importance. The issue of school mascots, for instance, doesn't rise to that level," said Fischer.

"Our main concern here at AFA is for religious liberty to be preserved in Mississippi, and we believe that our state constitution and the recently passed religious freedom restoration act provide adequate protection for religious freedom here in the Magnolia State."

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