Bryan Fischer

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This article is about the U.S. sociopolitical commentator. For other people with a similar name, see Brian Fisher (disambiguation).
Bryan Fischer
Born (1951-04-08) April 8, 1951 (age 64)[1][2]
United States
Occupation Conservative radio host, blogger, political activist

Bryan Fischer is the former Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association (AFA). He hosts the talk radio program Focal Point on American Family Radio and posts on the AFA-run blog Instant Analysis (formerly Rightly Concerned).

Fischer opposes abortion, national health care, gay adoption,[3] and same-sex marriage.[4] Fischer's comments about homosexuality caused the AFA to be designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in November 2010.[5] To avoid being classified as a hate group, the AFA has officially repudiated Fischer's views on Muslims, Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, The Holocaust being caused by homosexuals, the outlawing of homosexuality, and that Hillary Clinton is a lesbian.[6][7]

Biography[edit]

Fischer has an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Stanford University, and holds a graduate degree in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Fischer served at the Cole Community Church in Boise, Idaho and founded the Cole Center for Biblical Studies and was the church's director for thirteen years. Fischer then founded Community Church of the Valley and was senior pastor for twelve years.

In 2004, he co-founded the Keep the Commandments Coalition, a group dedicated to keeping a Ten Commandments monument in Julia Davis Park in Boise. From 2000 to 2005, he served as a commissioner for the city's Park and Recreation Department.[4]

Fischer joined the American Family Association in 2009.[8]

Views and activities[edit]

Minorities[edit]

Fischer has said that welfare has "destroyed the African-American family"[9] by "offering financial rewards to women who have more children out of wedlock" thereby incentivizing "fornication rather than marriage" creating "disastrous social consequences of people who rut like rabbits."[10] The AFA has repudiated the characterisation of minorities as "people who rut like rabbits,"[6] as well as the view that "we need to clamp down on immigration because Hispanics are socialist by nature and vote Democratic because it allows them to "benefit from the plunder of the wealth of the United States."[11]

Fischer has argued that "Many of the tribal reservations today remain mired in poverty and alcoholism because many native Americans continue to cling to the darkness of indigenous superstition instead of coming into the light of Christianity and assimilating into Christian culture."[12][13] The AFA has repudiated his view that "Superstition, savagery and sexual immorality" morally disqualified Native Americans from "sovereign control of American soil."[14]

Religious exercise[edit]

Fischer has described Muslims as "Parasites Who Must Convert or Die,"[15] and stated that Muslims are worshipping a demon[16] and "every time we allow a mosque to go up in one of our communities, it’s like planting an improvised explosive device right in the heart of your city and we have no idea when one of these devices is going to go off.”[17] He stated that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects only the religious practice of Christianity, writing in a blog post “The real object of the amendment was, not to countenance, much less to advance [Islam], or Judaism, or infidelity... So the purpose of the First Amendment was most decidedly NOT to “approve, support, (or) accept” any “religion” other than Christianity."[18] Fischer has suggested Jews and Muslims are not included in religious freedom protections in the US, saying: “I have contended for years that the First Amendment, as given by the Founders, provides religious liberty protections for Christianity only.” He later wrote: “We are a Christian nation and not a Jewish or Muslim one.”[19]

MormonVoices, a group associated with Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research, included Fischer on its Top Ten Anti-Mormon Statements of 2011 list for saying "Mormonism is not an orthodox Christian faith. It just is not ... It's very clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend to preserve automatically religious liberty for non-Christian faiths."[20]

In a 2015 press release denouncing Fischer's views, the AFA stated "AFA rejects the idea expressed by Bryan Fischer that "Free exercise of religion" only applies to Christians. Consequently, AFA rejects Bryan's assertions that Muslims should not be granted permits to build mosques in the United States"[6]

Homosexuality and Nazism[edit]

In 2007, Fischer hosted an event with former American Family Association California leader Scott Lively[21][22] to promote the view that "homosexuality was at the heart of Nazism,"[23] a claim which is rejected by historians.[24]

In May 2010, Fischer wrote a blog post on the AFA website[25] and RenewAmerica[26][27] detailing purported allegations that Adolf Hitler was a homosexual, that "the Nazi Party began in a gay bar in Munich,"[28] and concluded by claiming that the Holocaust (which actually included gay victims of Nazi persecution) was caused by homosexuals in the Nazi German military: "Nazi Germany became the horror that it was because it rejected both Christianity and its clear teaching about human sexuality."[25] On American Family Talk radio, Fischer repeated the claim that Hitler was a homosexual , and stated that Hitler recruited homosexuals to be storm troopers, because "homosexual soldiers basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict"[29]

In 2013 Fischer claimed that "Homofascists" will treat Christians like Jews in the Holocaust[30] and later that year he repeated on American Family Talk that Hitler started the Nazi party "in a gay bar in Munich"[28] and that "[Adolf Hitler] couldn't get straights to be vicious enough in being his enforcers."[31]

The Southern Poverty Law Center, through its Teaching Tolerance program, has encouraged schools across the U.S. to hold a "Mix It Up at Lunch" day in order to encourage students to break up cliques and prevent bullying. In late 2012, the AFA called the project – begun 11 years earlier and held in more than 2,500 schools – "a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools", urging parents to keep their children home from school on October 30, 2012, and to call the schools to protest the event. "I was surprised that they completely lied about what Mix It Up Day is", Maureen Costello, the director of the center's Teaching Tolerance project, which organizes the program, told The New York Times. "It was a cynical, fear-mongering tactic."[32] In October, Fischer was taken off air during a CNN interview with Carol Costello for repeating his belief that "Hitler recruited homosexuals around him to make up his Stormtroopers".[33][34]

In 2012, as jury selection was to begin in a trial on charges of kidnapping of a lesbian couple's daughter, Fischer wrote on Twitter in support of kidnapping of children from same-sex households and smuggling them to what he calls "normal" homes.[35][36][37][38][39][40] Fischer also reiterated his views on his radio show, and on video.[37][38][41] In January 2013, he compared consensual sex between people of the same gender to pedophilia, incest and bestiality.[42] In January 2013, Fischer compared the Boy Scouts of America's change in views on gay scouts and scoutmasters to Jerry Sandusky, saying allowing gay scoutmasters was inviting pedophiles into the tents of children.[43] In March 2013, Fischer compared homosexuality to bank robbery when Senator Portman announced his views on same-sex marriage had changed due to having a gay son.[44] Fischer also stated that homosexuality should be banned like trans fats for being "a hazard to human health"[45][46][47] and likened homosexuals to thieves, murderers and child molesters.[48]

On January 28, 2015, Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association demoted Fischer from being a spokesperson.[49][50][51][52] Fischer went on to state that he will still be hosting the AFA's American Family Talk radio.[53] In order to avoid being categorised as a hate group by Israel, The AFA issued a press release denouncing some of Fischer's views, rejecting his claim that Hillary Clinton is a lesbian, and stating "AFA rejects the statement by Bryan Fischer that, "Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews." AFA rejects the policy advocated by Bryan Fischer that homosexual conduct should be illegal. AFA rejects the notion advocated by Bryan Fischer that, "We need an underground railroad to protect innocent children from same-sex households."[6][54]

Activities[edit]

In November 2010, the SPLC changed their listing of the AFA from a group that used hate speech to the more serious one of being designated a hate group.[55][56][57][58][59] The SPLC's Mark Potok said that the AFA's "propagation of known falsehoods and demonizing propaganda" was the basis for the change.[60][61] Fischer's anti-gay comments were given as an example by SPLC in support of the hate group designation.[5]

Fischer has voiced support for the AIDS denial movement. His guest on the January 3, 2012, edition of Focal Point was prominent AIDS denialist Peter Duesberg; Fischer strongly supported Duesberg's contention that AIDS is not caused by HIV, but by recreational drug use.[62][63] Fischer expanded on this further in a post on Rightly Concerned, saying that it isn't possible for a virus to remain dormant for a long period of time. He cited as an example Magic Johnson, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and has remained healthy for over 20 years. This is despite overwhelming scientific consensus that HIV can stay dormant for several years before the onset of AIDS.

In the June 18 issue of The New Yorker magazine ("Bully Pulpit"[23]), author Jane Mayer featured Fischer in an article describing his influence in the Republican Party and 2012 presidential election. On April 20, Fischer attacked Republican Party presidential candidate Mitt Romney's national security spokesman Richard Grenell for being openly gay. Other conservatives joined Fischer in calling for Grenell's ouster, and by May 1 Grenell resigned from the Romney campaign, in what Fischer described as a "huge win" for conservatives.[64] During the 2012 presidential primaries, Republican Party candidates Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty were guests on Fischer's show. Romney was not invited.[23]

In the article (whose facts Mayer says "were ... all checked with Fischer, and where he had factual objections, his caveats were included"[65]), Mayer also quotes Fischer as saying that President Barack Obama "despises the constitution, ... nurtures a hatred for the white man", and aims to "destroy capitalism". Fischer strongly believes that sexual orientation is "always, always, always a matter of choice", and strongly opposes what he calls the "morally and intellectually bankrupt theory of evolution".[23][66]

On the issue of religion and tax policy, Fischer believes that the progressive income taxes and estate taxes violate the Eighth and Tenth Commandments, because (he feels) by taxing the income and estates of the well off, the government "steals and covets" their wealth.[67]

In April 2013, Fischer commented on the case of Carla Hale, a lesbian teacher fired from the Catholic school she worked for when her partner was named in her mother's obituary, saying that it was right for the school to fire her based on her "immoral sexual behavior". He argued that just as shoplifters are discriminated against, society should discriminate against those who engage in other forms of immorality or aberrant sexual behavior.[68][69]

In January 2014, Fischer commented on the gay weddings at the 2014 Grammy Awards as an abomination and said that same sex parenting is a form of child abuse.[70] The following month, Fischer, in comments about an Arizona bill [71] that would have allowed businesses asserting their religious beliefs to deny service to gay and lesbian customers, referred to those opposing the bill as "jack-booted homo-fascist thugs, who want to use the totalitarian and tyrannical power of the state to send men of faith to jail. That sounds far more like Nazi Germany than the United States of America."[72]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adler, Ben (January 18, 2011). "The Liberal Media's Conservative of the Month". Newsweek.
  2. ^ "The Story Behind the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer". Splcenter.org. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  3. ^ Fischer, Bryan (June 15, 2011). "Homosexual adoptions victimize children". 
  4. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  5. ^ a b Potok, Mark (December 15, 2010). "SPLC Responds to Attack by FRC, Conservative Republicans". Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d Kyle Mantyla (29 Jan 2015). "Bryan Fischer Says That He Has Not Been Fired, Will Retain His Position As AFR Radio Host". Right Wing Watch. People for the American Way. 
  7. ^ "American Family Association repudiates chief spokesman’s racist and anti-LGBT statements before hosting Israel trip for RNC members". SPLC News. Southern Poverty Law Center. 29 Jan 2015. 
  8. ^ Southern Poverty Law Center: "Extremist Files: Bryan Fischer". Accessed 2015-01-28.
  9. ^ Kyle Mantyle (5 April 2011). "Fischer: Welfare Just Gives Money To "People Who Rut Like Rabbits"". Right Wing Watch. People for the American Way. 
  10. ^ "GOP trip to Israel funded by ‘hate group,’ Southern Poverty Law Center says". JTA. 28 Jan 2015. 
  11. ^ "American Family Association repudiates chief spokesman’s racist and anti-LGBT statements before hosting Israel trip for RNC members". SPLC News. Southern Poverty Law Center. 29 Jan 2015. 
  12. ^ Kyle Mantyla (8 Feb 2011). "Fischer: Native Americans Are Mired In Poverty and Alcoholism Because They Refuse to Accept Christianity". Right Wing Watch. People for the American Way. 
  13. ^ Jack Stuef (8 Feb 2011). "AFA’s Bryan Fischer: Native Americans Have Never Had Morals". Wonkette.com. 
  14. ^ Ian Silverstonedate=11 July 2014. "Bryan Fischer Suggests Native Americans Were Justifiably Removed From Their Land". Right Wing Watch. People for the American Way. 
  15. ^ Hrafnkell Haraldsson (3 May 2011). "Bryan Fischer Says Muslims are Parasites Who Must Convert or Die". PoliticsUSA.com. 
  16. ^ David Edwards=date=26 Jul 2012. "Evangelical radio host: ‘Allah is a demon god’". Raw Story. 
  17. ^ "ISLAM'S TENTACLES ENVELOPING U.S.". wnd.com. 20 Sep 2010. 
    As quoted by Kyle Mantyla (21 Sep 2010). "Fischer: Every Mosque Is An IED and Every Muslim Is Guilty of Treason". Right Wing Watch. People for the American Way. 
  18. ^ Bryan Fischer (1 August 2014). "First Amendment, Christianity, & Satanism". AFA website. Archived from the original on 29 Jan 2015. 
  19. ^ "Bryan Fischer who blamed the Holocaust on gays sacked by the American Family Association". pinknews.co.uk. 29 Jan 2015. 
  20. ^ Walker, Joshua (January 8, 2012). "Group lists Top Ten Anti-Mormon Statements of 2011". Deseret News. 
  21. ^ Bagby, Dyana (June 3, 2005). "Efforts of 'anti-gay industry' chronicled in new report". Southern Voice. Archived from the original on February 13, 2007. Retrieved June 25, 2007. 
  22. ^ AFA Action Alert June 2001[dead link] Scott Lively, an attorney and president of Abiding Truth Ministries, began serving as the California state director for AFA in early April. '
  23. ^ a b c d Mayer, Jane (June 18, 2012). "Letter from Tupelo, Bully Pulpit". The New Yorker. In Idaho, Fischer attacked homosexuality with growing fervor. In 2007, he sponsored a summit where he hosted Scott Lively, the co-author of a widely criticized book, “The Pink Swastika,” which argues that homosexuality was at the heart of Nazism. (In fact, the Nazi regime persecuted gays.) More recently, Lively has expressed support for anti-gay initiatives in Uganda. He has been a guest on Fischer’s radio show, and Fischer often promotes Lively’s theories. “Hitler himself was an active homosexual,” Fischer has said. “Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Storm Troopers. . . . Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough.” On another occasion, Fischer declared that “homosexuality gave us Adolf Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine, and six million dead Jews.” 
  24. ^ Bob Moser (Spring 2005). "Making Myths". Intelligence Report (Southern Poverty Law Center) (117). Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b Bryan Fischer (2010-05-27). "Homosexuality, Hitler and Don't Ask, Don't Tell". AFA website. Archived from the original on 28 Jul 2014. 
  26. ^ Bryan Fischer (28 May 2010). "Homosexuality, Hitler, and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"". RenewAmerica blog. Archived from the original on 3 Aug 2014. 
  27. ^ Debra Nussbaum Cohen (29 Jan 2015). "U.S. NGO: Evangelical 'hate group' funding Republican National Committee trip to Israel". Haaretz. AFA's Fischer, in a 2010 essay slamming the end of the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay soldiers, blamed homosexuals for the Holocaust: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.” 
  28. ^ a b James Withers (4 Sep 2013). "Anti-gay US activist tells his radio listeners the Nazi Party began in a gay bar in Munich". Gay Star News. 
  29. ^ Kyle Mantyla (25 May 2010). "AFA's Fischer Outdoes Himself". Right Wing Watch. People for the American Way. 
  30. ^ David Edwards (12 April 2013). "Bryan Fischer: ‘Homofascists’ will treat Christians like Jews in the Holocaust". Raw Story. 
  31. ^ "Gay Rights Advocates Are 'Nazi Stormtroopers' Who Want To 'Eliminate' Opponents: Bryan Fischer". Huffington Post. 9 April 2013. 
  32. ^ Severson, Kim (2012-10-14). "Seeing a Homosexual Agenda, Christian Group Protests an Anti-Bullying Program". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  33. ^ Andrew Kirell (16 Oct 2012). "CNN Anchor Battles Anti-Gay Activist, Kicks Him Off After He Trashes ‘Toxic’ Homosexuality". Mediaite. 
  34. ^ Alexander Abad-Santos (16 Oct 2012). "Is Mix It Up at Lunch Day as Scary as Cyanide-Laced Candy?". Atlantic Wire. 
  35. ^ "U.S. pastor advocates abducting children from same-sex homes". Toronto Sun. August 9, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  36. ^ Olson, Walter (August 10, 2012). "The New Campaign Against Gay Parenting". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  37. ^ a b "Bryan Fischer: We Need ‘Underground Railroad’ To Save Kids From Gay Parents « CBS DC". Washington.cbslocal.com. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  38. ^ a b Edwards, David (August 8, 2012). "Fischer calls for 'Underground Railroad’ to kidnap children of LGBT parents". The Raw Story. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  39. ^ "Bryan Fischer Calls For 'Underground Railroad' Kidnapping To Save Gay Parents' Children". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  40. ^ Fischer, Bryan (August 5, 2012). "Only way to keep your own kids out of same-sex homes: use the Underground Railroad. Straights = slaves".
    "Trial nears in VT Civil Union Child Custody Case". Fox News. August 5, 2012.
    (August 7, 2012 ). "Head of Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households goes on trial". story
    (August 7, 2012). "Why we need an Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households: story. Twitter.com.
  41. ^ Mantyla, Kyle (August 9, 2012). "Fischer Says Ex-Gay Mom had an Obligation to God to Kidnap Her Daughter and Flee". Right Wing Watch. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  42. ^ "Bryan Fischer: Obama ‘Ignorant About Homosexuality’ Because ‘Gays Have No Right To Sodomy’". Mediaite.com. January 22, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Bryan Fischer: Boy Scouts' Gay Policy Debate Is A 'Suicide Mission,' Compares Gays To Pedophiles". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  44. ^ Fischer, Bryan (March 15, 2013). "Bryan Fischer: On Sen. Portman's reversal on same-sex marriage". Instant Analysis. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  45. ^ Kyle Matnyla (7 Nov 2013). "Fischer: Ban Homosexuality As 'A Hazard To Human Health'". Right Wing Watch. People for the American Way. 
  46. ^ "10 Things You Might Not Know About the American Family Association". Human Rights Campaign. 
  47. ^ Tobin Grand (5 Feb 2010). "FRC, AFA Say Gay Sex Should Be a Crime". Christianity Today. 
  48. ^ Zack Ford (11 Feb 2013). "Bryan Fischer Openly Endorses Discrimination Against Homosexuals, Murderers, And Thieves". ThinkProgress. 
  49. ^ "AFA Fires Bryan Fischer After Hitler, Homosexuality Remarks". MSNBC. 28 Jan 2015. 
  50. ^ http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/bryan-fischer-fired-ahead-of-rnc-israel-trip-390575171843
  51. ^ http://www.mediaite.com/tv/evangelist-bryan-fischer-has-been-fired-maddow-reports/
  52. ^ "Rachel Maddow follows up on Haaretz report of RNC 'hate group' trip to Israel". Haaretz. 29 Jan 2015. 
  53. ^ Catherine Thompson (29 Jan 2015). "Bryan Fischer: Losing One Of My Jobs Means I Can Finally Speak My Mind". Talking Points Memo Livewire. 
  54. ^ Ross Murray (29 Jan 2015). "Bryan Fischer's statements prove a liability for American Family Association, cost him his high-profile job". Glaad.org. 
  55. ^ Schlatter, Evelyn (Winter 2010). "18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda | Southern Poverty Law Center". Splcenter.org. Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  56. ^ Waddington, Lynda (November 23, 2010). "Groups that Helped Oust Iowa Judges Earn 'Hate Group' Designation; SPLC Adds American Family Association, Family Research Council to List". Iowa Independent. Retrieved November 25, 2010. 
  57. ^ "SPLC's Anti-Gay Hate List Compiled With Diligence and Clear Standards | Southern Poverty Law Center". Splcenter.org. December 23, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2011. 
  58. ^ Eichler, Alex (November 23, 2010). "13 New Organizations Added to Anti-Gay 'Hate Groups' List". The Atlantic Wire. The Atlantic Monthly Group. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  59. ^ Benen, Steve (December 18, 2010). "This Week in God". Political Animal. Washington Monthly. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  60. ^ Banks, Adele M. (November 29, 2010). "Religion News Service: Hate group watchdog adds Family Research Council to its list". The Pew Forum. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  61. ^ Nelson, Josh (November 29, 2010). "Judge-ouster supporters blast 'hate' label". WCFCourier.com. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  62. ^ Part 1 of Fischer interview with Duesberg on YouTube from AFA channel
  63. ^ Part 2 of Fischer interview with Duesberg on YouTube from AFA channel
  64. ^ Metzler, Rebekah (May 2, 2012). "Conservative Radio Host High-Fives Romney Campaign for Canning Gay Adviser". U.S. News & World Report (Washington, DC). Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  65. ^ "Have Not Love: How Bryan Fischer Turned on a Friend". The New Yorker. June 15, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  66. ^ [2][dead link]
  67. ^ "Radio's Bryan Fischer Tries Pushing Romney Right". wbur. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  68. ^ "Bryan Fischer: Gays Should Face Job Discrimination, Are Like Shoplifters". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  69. ^ "Fischer: Gays Should Face Job Discrimination Just As 'We Discriminate Against Shoplifters'". Rightwingwatch.org. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  70. ^ "Gay Marriages On Grammys Slammed By Bryan Fischer Because Same-Sex Parenting Is 'Child Abuse'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  71. ^ Catherine E. Shoichet and Halimah Abdullah, CNN (February 26, 2014). "Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes controversial anti-gay bill, SB 1062 - CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  72. ^ "Gay Rights Advocates Are 'Jack-Booted, Homo-Fascist Thugs,' According To Bryan Fischer". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 

External links[edit]