The Unbearable Lightness of Bryan Fischer
Bill Berkowitz printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 01:46:37 PM EST
The American Family Association's Fischer is rapidly climbing up the ladder of dangerous hate-driven kookiness

If you haven't heard of Bryan Fischer, do not worry; read on and you'll find out just about all you need to know about someone you'd probably rather know little about. Consider this a brief introduction - a sort of Bryan Fischer 101 -- to the man that has become a major spokesperson for the American Family Association, and the person that "has proven himself to be among the most radically right-wing figures within the contemporary Religious Right movement," People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch recently pointed out.

"The most compassionate thing we can do for Muslims who have already immigrated here is to help repatriate them back to Muslim countries, where they can live in a culture which shares their values ...Why force them to chafe against the freedom, liberty and civil rights we cherish in the West?" --Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for government and public policy at the American Family Association, on the blog "Rightly Concerned."

Over the past few weeks, I've written two stories about the American Family Association's predilection for launching boycotts. I wrote about how the conservative Christian organization is currently boycotting Sears (http://blog.buzzflash.com/contributor/3567) - claiming that the venerable and vulnerable seller of almost everything is now peddling "smut" - and Home Depot (http://blog.buzzflash.com/contributor/3679) - for being just plain too gay-friendly.

While originally a mom and pop organization founded by the Rev. Donald Wildmon in 1977 as the National Federation for Decency, the AFA has grown considerably over the past three decades: It has a $20 million annual budget and employs more than 150 workers. It owns and manages 180 radio stations, publishes a monthly magazine with a circulation of 170,000, and it claims some 2.5 million supporters. It also sponsors OneNewsNow, a daily news service.  

These days, Don Wildmon is in semi-retirement, and his son Tim is the organization's president. Clearly the AFA would not have lasted (and thrived) some thirty-plus-years if it weren't serving up some hot button stuff to its followers. However, it's not all about corporate boycotts, porn and gays over at the Tupelo, Mississippi headquarters of the AFA. There is also some seriously dangerous politicking going on as well.

In addition to focusing on "smut" and The Gay, two other major issues driving the American Family Association's agenda are Islam and immigration. The AFA's point man -- although the organization has denied that Fischer speaks for it on all issues -- is Bryan Fischer (http://action.afa.net/detail.aspx?id=2147486648). A Stanford graduate and former executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance (the state affiliate of the AFA), Fischer is now director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy for the AFA. He is also the host of the daily "Focal Point" radio talk program on AFR Talk, a division of the AFA.  

While he doesn't have the standing within the conservative community - or near the number of listeners -- that Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or Michael Savage has, Fischer is rapidly ascending the ladder of hate-charged kookiness. As might be expected, the weirder Fischer gets, the more mainstream media coverage he garners. His name has recently surfaced in a number of mainstream newspapers - including the New York Times -- as well as an assortment of websites and blogs (Washington Post, The Atlantic).  

Taking Islamophobia to Mt. Kilimanjaro heights

Fischer recently took Islamophobia to Mt. Kilimanjaro-like heights by advocating that no more new mosques should be allowed to be built in this country. Chiming in on the controversy over the building of a mosque/community center two blocks from Ground Zero, Fischer, clearly opposed to that project, raised the ante by saying that "Permits should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of America, let alone the monstrosity planned for Ground Zero. This is for one simple reason: each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the American government."

To his credit, Fischer said that he was not advocating that existing mosques be torn down, only that no new mosques be built!

In an early August commentary published at the Renew America website and titled "If you don't build it, they won't come," Fischer wrote: "If this mosque is built, you can count on the fact that thousands of Muslims every week will go to this place to praise Allah for the glorious conquest of 9/11 and to thank him for the infidel blood shed by their heroes on that day. Cries of `Allahu Akhbar' will ring through this place every Friday during prayer."

Fischer went on to propose the mother of all boycotts:

"Let's make sure everybody in New York and America knows the name of every single architectural, electrical, plumbing, and construction firm that accepts blood money to have any part of this project. Put every framing contractor, every drywall contractor, every window installer, every painting contractor, every heating and air conditioning contractor on notice that, if they take this job, it will be the last job they ever get in New York.

"Flood their offices with phone calls of protest. Work to see that nobody in the city of New York or the United States of America ever hires them again. If they are so un-American as to invest their expertise in building an Islamic shrine to the cold-blooded murders of 3,000 of their fellow Americans, make sure they never work in this town again.

"Make it so painful for anybody doing business with the Muslims behind this project that they'll be scared straight."

   

Playing the Hitler-was-gay card

People for the American Way's RightWingWatch noted that Fischer "was hating Muslims long before it was the cool conservative thing to do and has been calling for their mass deportation from the US for some time now."  

Apparently not wanting to be seen as a one-hit-wonder, Fischer has also aimed his bile at gays, undocumented workers, Elena Kagan (recently confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court), and California's Judge Vaughn Walker (his recent decision overturned California's Proposition 8).

Fischer even went so far as to agree with Texas Republican Congressman Joe Barton who branded the Obama Administration's negotiation with BP to set up a $20 billion fund to pay for the damage it caused in the Gulf, a "shakedown."

In a late-May broadcast, Fischer turned his attention to The Gay. He claimed that Hitler and his henchmen were gay: "Hitler himself was an active homosexual," Fischer said. "And some people wonder, didn't the Germans, didn't the Nazis, persecute homosexuals? And it is true they did; they persecuted effeminate homosexuals. But Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers, they were his enforcers, they were his thugs.

"And Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual solders basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after. So he surrounded himself, virtually all of the Stormtroopers, the Brownshirts, were male homosexuals."

In a recent interview with Talking Points Memo (TPM), Fischer "compared Muslims to the Hutaree militia, a Christian militia group in Michigan whose members were charged with plotting to attack police," TPM reported. "The fact that they were a Christian militia did not stop them from being locked up," Fischer said. And since "the Koran's entire purpose is subversive," religious protections should not necessarily extend to Muslims.

According to TPM, Fischer "pointed to a 1991 memo from the Muslim Brotherhood that is a favorite rallying point for right-wing terrorism analysts. As we've [TPM] reported, the memo is purportedly written by a `North American operative' of the group, and refers to a `Civilization-Jihadist' plan aimed at `eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.'

`We're talking about a movement that is dedicated to the overthrow' of American civilization, said Fischer. `Their work in America is a kind of grand jihad.'"

When asked by TPM if the AFA supported his position on stopping the building of mosques, Fischer said that the "American Family Association as an organization has taken no position on the building of mosques in America."

Next month, Fischer will be going big-time: He is listed as a "confirmed speaker" at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit (the AFA is an event sponsor), which is scheduled for September 17-19 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Other confirmed speakers include Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rep. Mike Pence, and Mike Huckabee. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets from the crowd if he goes full-bore Islamophobic. My guess is somewhere between shock and awe.  




Display:
I read his idiotic "Gay Nazi Stormtroopers" interview. (It is either a great alternative porn movie title or campy horror film) Whatever the Right doesn't like, Hitler was. He was gay. He was an Atheist. Fear, Fear, FEAR!

As far as the NYC-mosque thing goes. They should tear down the church that George Tiller was murdered in since there should be a 10 mile radius around any act of Fundamentalist Christian Terrorism where a church cannot stand.

by avant1963 on Wed Aug 18, 2010 at 02:17:04 PM EST


Bryan is a jewel in the AFA crown because he doesn't sound like he is from Mississippi (I am, so I can say that). He is a scrapper, a verbal bomb-thrower, and really does know what buttons to push for the AFA crowd.
I think that he will continue to rise in popularity, and one of these days we might see Bryan on FOX News, with charts and blackboards and hand puppets as he explains the dangers of all sorts that await the True Christian Believers® unless they buy gold, boycott, and send their money.

by COinMS on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 08:26:55 AM EST

(Full disclosure here--I am a walkaway from the very NAR-linked megachurch that is the effective headquarters of AFA-KY.  AFA-KY in fact pretty much acts as the de facto political wing of aforementioned NARasitised-from-birth Assemblies of God megachurch.)

I'm afraid Bryan Fischer is pretty much only now saying in public what the AFA (and in particular its state affiliates) have been saying for literally decades.

For example, the "Hitler was gay" thing is direct from Scott Lively's Holocaust-revisionist books "The Pink Swastika" and "The Poisoned Stream" (the latter, of note, actually claims--in a Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion-esque plot--that Islamist terrorists were actually a Gay Creation too).

This gets especially relevant, of note, when one realises Scott Lively was the founding head of AFA-CA--and also relevant when one considers "The Pink Swastika" and other Holocaust-revisionist material from Lively has been promoted by AFA state affiliates (I myself have documented how AFA-KY, via both its own literature and via frontgroup "Freedom's Heritage Forum", have been not only virulently anti-LGBT themselves but also have promoted Lively's Holocaust revisionism almost from its very publication date).

This gets even MORE relevant when one realises AFA-KY itself has linkage with Lively via "Second Billion", one of a number of "NARasitic neopentecostal" groups run by Alexey Ledyaev--who is also head of the violently anti-LGBT hategroup Watchmen At The Walls; Lively actually is a member of "Watchmen's" board).  AFA-KY is effectively a political wing of the church I escaped from, and has actively appeared at seminars held by Ledyaev (for that matter, there is a disturbing level of denomination-wide support in the Assemblies of God for Ledyaev and his anti-LGBT hategroup; another known board member is A/G Northwest District head Joseph Fuiten who has called for the mass denationalisation and deportation of non-dominionists and also promotes some pretty virulent anti-Islam hatespeech himself).

It would be extremely interesting, IMHO, to research whether Fischer himself may have links to NAR groups (particularly NARasitised Assemblies churches, similarly to both Lively and AFA-KY head Frank Simon).  At any rate, he's pretty much no longer keeping the stuff that (just for an example) AFA-KY openly promoted in church meetings and their own literature "under wraps" and is being out and open with it.  

(I will also be quite shocked if Southern Poverty Law Center doesn't formally list the AFA as a hategroup by the end of the year; I do know they've been monitoring them for a while, and Fischer is being unusually frank...)

by dogemperor on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 02:52:44 AM EST



WWW Talk To Action


Short Takes -- Taking Action Edition
Banned Books Week is being celebrated this year from Sept. 21-27.  Yes its time for the annual celebration of the Freedom to Read, sponsored......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Archbishop Schnurr Throws Cold Water on the Ice Bucket Challenge
The Ice Bucket Challenge has been an outstanding success in raising both awareness and research money needed to find a cure for Amyotrophic lateral......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)
The Secret Antigay U.S. Money Behind The WCF and the Global Evangelical War on LGBT Rights
[note to readers: this is an excerpt from my first installment in a Twocare.org/Center Against Religious Extremism series that will examine extensive ties -......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Race as Religion
Reading Edith Beer's book, The Nazi Officer's Wife, I ran across an interesting account of her fake marriage license.  She married a Nazi officer......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Dark Discussions on the Christian Right
The Neo-Confederate movement has been trying to jump start itself of late.  It has been an especially heady few months for the League of......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Oath Oaf: Religious Right Columnist Calls For Religious Tests In Military
Bryan Fischer, the director of issues analysis for the American Family Association (AFA) is like a demented, right-wing geyser: You can count on him......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Deeper Background on Dominionism -- Revisisted
In the Fall of 2011, there was an extraordinary -- and extraordinarily scurrilous -- wave of criticism aimed at those of us who had......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Fall From Grace: What The Religious Right Should Learn From The McDonnell Scandal
Leaders of Religious Right groups are fond of telling us that if we elect more fundamentalist Christians to office, we'll have less corruption. Biblical......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
A Visit To The Reality Community: Americans Have Sex. Americans Use Birth Control. Let's Move On.
Over the weekend, Americans United Senior Litigation Counsel Greg Lipper took part in a panel discussion about the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision at......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Thomas DiLorenzo's Rebel Yelling
I have written a great deal in the past few years about the odd phenomenon of Catholic Neo-Confederatism.  Let's add one more name to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Censorship Challenge: Texas Pastor Seeks Restrictions On `Dangerous' Library Books
Back in the 1990s, some Religious Right activists in Virginia got the bright idea to begin attacking America's public libraries. The idea was to......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Suspended St. Louis County Officer Dan Page Made Rounds on Rightwing Radio Shows
St. Louis Police Officer Dan Page drew national attention when he shoved CNN's Don Lemon during a broadcast of the protests in Ferguson, and......
By Rachel Tabachnick (1 comment)
Cop Who Shoved CNN Host Don Lemon Lassoed in Another Conspiracy Rodeo
Rachel Tabachnick broke an important story this evening showing that the rant by Officer Dan Page that got him suspended from the St.Louis County......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Exile Excitement: Some Fundamentalists Seek Escape From Decadent Society
OK, now we've done it. Those of us who advocate things like separation of church and state, secular government, LGBT rights and self-determination when......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Controversy Over White Nationalist GOP Candidate Still White Hot
The 2004 Constitution Party candidate for president Michael Peroutka's current race for County Council in Maryland -- as a Republican -- it is still......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)

Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (3 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.