American Family Association

American Family Association

The American Family Association (AFA) has been a long-time promoter of "traditional moral values" in the media, particularly television. AFA built its reputation on organizing boycotts against sponsors of TV shows with "anti-Christian" messages and ideas, or against companies it claims support the so-called "homosexual agenda" or marriage equality.

Fischer: You'll Never 'Find A More Directly Demonic Energy Than When You Deal With The Homosexual Agenda'

As Peter noted in the analysis piece he wrote this morning about Gov. Bobby Jindal's recent prayer rally, "one of the biggest problems with treating politics as spiritual warfare is that you turn your political opponents into spiritual enemies. People who disagree with you on public policy issues are not just wrong, but evil, or even satanic."

As if to help prove this very point, Bryan Fischer said on his radio broadcast today that the people who were protesting Jindal's event were literally driven by demonic spirits.

Fischer — whose employer, the American Family Association, sponsored Jindal’s rally — took a call from a listener who attended the prayer rally and who asserted that "the Devil is mad [about Jindal's rally] and that's why he sent those protesters there" and Fischer, of course, agreed.

"I don't think you will ever find a more directly demonic energy than when you deal with the homosexual agenda," he said. "They're vicious. They are mean. You literally are staring into virtually the unvarnished energy of Satan himself when you come up against the forces that are pushing the homosexual agenda forward":

The Real Problems With Bobby Jindal And His Prayer Rally

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal skipped an Iowa stage crowded with Republican presidential wannabes on Saturday so he could host a prayer rally on the campus of Louisiana State University. Jindal and others have mischaracterized objections to the rally, suggesting that its critics were somehow out to silence people of faith. So let’s be clear about the real issue: Bobby Jindal used the power and prestige of his office to promote an event backed by some of the nation’s most religiously divisive and stridently anti-gay activists. And in a bid to boost his own political future, he sent a clear message of support for the Christian-nation views of the event’s extremist organizers.

Christians Only, Please

Let’s start with the invitation, sent on Jindal’s official state letterhead. “We are in need of spiritual and transforming revival,” he wrote, “if we are to recapture the vision of our early leaders who signed on the Mayflower, ‘In the name of God and for the advancement of the Christian faith.’” Leadership to solve the country’s problems “will not come from a politician or a movement for social change,” he wrote in this time civil rights movement anniversaries. So how will we solve our problems? “Jesus Christ, Son of God and the Lord of Life, is America’s only hope.” In a separate letter he wrote to the other 49 governors inviting them to his rally to pray for “spiritual revival” and “heaven’s intervention” over the country. “There will only be one name lifted up that day – Jesus!”

What does all this suggest to non-Christian Americans (including non-Christian governors) about how Jindal views their contributions? Jindal’s letters reflect the attitudes of rally organizer David Lane, a political strategist who believes America was founded by and for Christians. The event was paid for by the American Family Association, whose chief spokesman, radio host Bryan Fischer, believes the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections apply only to Christians.

The rally was also a showcase for the dominionist views of self-proclaimed “apostles” who promoted and spearheaded the event. One of those “apostles” was the event’s emcee. Doug Stringer has called the 9/11 attacks “a wake-up call” that happened because God was not around to defend America due to abortion, homosexuality, and kicking God out of public schools. While introducing Jindal, Stringer made a brief mention to “Seven Mountains” theology, which states that all the “mountains” in society – arenas like business, entertainment, and government – must be led by the right kind of Christian. A later speaker, Gene Mills of the Louisiana Family Forum, spent more time on the “Seven Mountains.” Mills said these spheres of influence belong to God, but are currently occupied by the “enemy.” They therefore need to be evangelized and “occupied by the body of Christ.”

Not Political? Not Credible

Jindal and organizer David Lane declared, unbelievably, that the rally was not political. Lane is a self-described political strategist who works to turn conservative evangelical churches into voter turnout machines for right-wing candidates and causes. Lane is trying to get 1,000 conservative evangelical pastors to run for public office, and he held a recruiting session the day before the prayer rally. Jindal and Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma were among the speakers. Another example of the disconnect between rhetoric and reality: Stringer made the claim that the rally was not meant to lift up any politicians while he was standing in front of a huge screen featuring a quote from Bobby Jindal.

The “not political” claim was hard to take seriously given the amount of time devoted to making abortion illegal and declarations that what will tip the scales will be the “the voice of the church in the voting booth.” Jim Garlow, who led church organizing for California’s anti-gay Proposition 8, and who believes the marriage equality movement is demonic, dropped all “nonpolitical” pretense, railing against marriage equality and IRS regulations that restrict the involvement of churches in electoral politics.

Opponents = Enemies

One of the biggest problems with treating politics as spiritual warfare is that you turn your political opponents into spiritual enemies. People who disagree with you on public policy issues are not just wrong, but evil, or even satanic. That makes it pretty hard to work together or find compromise.

In daily prayer calls leading up to the rally, organizers prayed for God to forgive students who were organizing protests, as if disagreeing with Bobby Jindal were a sin – or a form of anti-Christian persecution. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” prayed call leaders, comparing their pleas to Jesus asking God to forgive those who crucified him, and Saint Stephen asking for mercy for those who were stoning him to death. On one call, a prayer leader decreed a “no-go zone for demons” over the sports arena where the event was to be held. At the rally, one speaker talked of storming the gates of Hell. Bishop Harry Jackson finished his remarks by leading the crowd in a chant he has used at anti-gay rallies: “Let God arise and his enemies be scattered!”

Jindal Unplugged, Unhinged, and Unapologetic

Jindal seems to have decided that his best chance in a crowded Republican field is to plant himself at the far right of an already far-right group. In the days leading up to the rally, he drew criticism for comments denigrating Muslims and for repeating bogus charges about Muslim “no-go zones” that Fox News had already apologized for spreading. During a radio interview a few days before the rally, Jindal said liberals pretend that jihadist terrorism isn’t happening and pretend “it’s a good thing to kill journalists, to kill teenagers for watching soccer, to kill over 150 schoolchildren, to treat women as second-class citizens…” He decried political incorrectness and multiculturalism and said of immigrants who do not embrace American exceptionalism, “that’s not immigration, that’s invasion.”

On “This Week” on Sunday, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos noted that Jindal had declared at his prayer rally that “on the last page, our God wins,” and asked him if that was appropriate in a religiously diverse country. Jindal praised religious liberty but ducked the question.

On the same show, Jindal said he would back a push for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to allow states to discriminate against same-sex couples, all while saying “I am not for discrimination against anybody.” (Jindal describes himself as an “evangelical Catholic,” and his contradictory rhetoric parallels the language of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which says it opposes “unjust discrimination” against gay people, but defines the term “unjust discrimination” in a way that applies only to those people with “same-sex attraction” who remain celibate.)

Jindal has also promoted far-right policies as governor. As Brian has noted:

Jindal has reached out to the party’s increasingly extreme base by undermining the teaching of evolution in public schools; promoting wild conspiracy theories about Common Core, an effort to adjust school standards that he supported before it became the target of the Tea Party’s fury; and hyping the purported persecution of Christians in America, specifically citing the plight of Christians with reality television shows.

Whose Agenda?

Jindal’s rally was not an original idea. In fact Jindal’s “Response” recycled materials and themes from a similar event that Texas Gov. Rick Perry held in 2011 to launch his presidential bid. Here’s what I wrote about Perry’s event, which applies equally well to Jindal’s – not surprising since both were organized by the same groups of extremists:

Organizers argued (unconvincingly) that "The Response" was about prayer, not politics. But groups like the American Family Association (AFA), which paid for the rally and its webcast…are not designed to win souls but to change American law and culture through grassroots organizing and political power-building. They have a corrosive effect on our political culture by promoting religious bigotry and anti-gay extremism, by claiming that the United States was meant to be a Christian nation, and by fostering resentment among conservative evangelicals with repeated false assertions that liberal elites are out to destroy religious liberty and silence conservative religious voices.

Jindal, of course, has the right to talk about his faith. But it is wrong for him to use his public office to proselytize and denigrate the faith of others. Teaming up with anti-gay extremists and Christian-nation advocates gives them credibility they do not deserve. His actions speak volumes about his judgment, values, and commitment to religious pluralism and equality under the law.

Rachel Maddow Takes On 'Questionable Characters' At Jindal Prayer Rally

As we have been reporting, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has decided to hitch his apparent presidential hopes to a collection of Christian-nation extremists, teaming with the American Family Association, influential activist David Lane, and a collection of self-proclaimed prophets and apostles to host a prayer rally in Baton Rouge today meant to turn America “back to God.”

On her show last night, Rachel Maddow took a look at the array of “questionable characters” working with Jindal on his supposedly nonpolitical prayer rally:

Jindal For Christian Nation President?

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s upcoming prayer rally has been organized by David Lane, a Christian-nation absolutist who believes America was founded by and for Christians and demands that politicians make the Bible a primary textbook in public schools. The American Family Association, whose chief spokesperson believes the First Amendment’s religious freedom protections do not apply to non-Christians, is paying for the rally.

It’s clear that Jindal, a convert to Christianity, is positioning himself to win the support of conservative evangelicals for a potential presidential bid. (Lane for one has cheered Jindal’s recent remarks about Muslims.) But does Jindal see himself as a potential president for all Americans, or only American Christians?

Jindal’s initial letter inviting “friends and fellow patriots” to the eventon his official letterhead —declared, “We are in need of spiritual and transforming revival, if we are to recapture the vision of our early leaders who signed on the Mayflower, ‘In the name of God and for the advancement of the Christian faith.’” Jindal’s letter declared, “Jesus Christ, Son of God and the Lord of Life, is America’s only hope.” What does that say to non-Christian Americans about how Jindal views them and their contributions to America’s future?

Jindal also recorded a video promoting the event as the spark that would help bring the “spiritual revival” America needs.

This week the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody reported that Jindal sent a letter to the other 49 governors inviting them to attend. “We need an appeal to heaven for heaven’s intervention over us,” he wrote. “We need to pray to the Lord that He will send spiritual revival to our nation.”

“This gathering will be apolitical in nature,” Jindal writes unconvincingly to his fellow governors, adding, “There will only be one name lifted up that day – Jesus!”

Is Jindal unaware that not all his fellow governors are Christians, or does he just not care?

Jindal, of course, has the right as an American to participate in a rally like this. But it is wrong for him to use the power of his office to proselytize for his own faith and denigrate the faith of others. The critics of his prayer rally have the right, and good reason, to question what his promotion of this event says about Jindal’s judgment, values, and commitment to religious pluralism and other constitutional principles.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 1/22/15

  • Predictably, Jonathan Cahn thinks that President Obama's State of the Union speech is just another sign that God's judgment upon America is just around the corner.
  • Michael Ware explains that the government must give Christianity preferential treatment because "it is absurd to demand that all ideas or beliefs are equal, it leads to the absurd. Only truth from Scripture is valid and can save us from such absurdity."
  • The AFA's Buddy Smith is hopeful that cities across America will follow the lead of Starkville, Mississippi, and begin repealing their anti-discrimination laws protecting gays: "We're still a nation of people [that has] a core that shares a Christian worldview, a core of people who share this core of beliefs that a Christian worldview is what's best for our nation, and sin is still sin and it's okay to oppose it."
  • Erik Rush says that President Obama "has committed serial treason and is being shielded from the consequences of his actions by corrupt and compromised elected officials."
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer encourages churches to change their bylaws, as his church is doing, to declare that they will never accept gay marriage: "We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one's sex, or disagreement with one's biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God."

Jindal's Comments On Muslims Win Plaudits From Christian Nationalist Allies

As we have been reporting, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is currying favor with conservative evangelical voters by hosting “The Response,” a prayer rally at Louisiana State University on Saturday that has been organized by Christian-nation activist David Lane and paid for by the anti-gay American Family Association.  Yesterday, Lane’s American Renewal Project sent out an email rapturously praising Jindal for his recent comments about Muslims, in which Jindal insisted that it is not enough for Muslim leaders to denounce terrorist violence. They must, Jindal said, declare that those committing violence will go to hell.

“We need to understand the challenge we face in radical Islam...In many ways, you’re looking at folks who want to come, and in some ways, overturn our culture. They want to come in and almost colonize our countries. I think we’ve got to stop those people from coming into our country. But unfortunately, today the politically correct view is to say that anybody that says that is viewed as being culturally arrogant, as being insensitive, having a colonial perspective. I think that’s wrong.”

Lane was beside himself with excitement. “This is E-P-I-C,” he gushed. “Bobby Jindal speaks the truth.” Lane went on to complain that previous presidents have not been willing to say that Islam itself – not just radical or extremist Islam – “opposes Western values.”

Lane, who believes America was founded by and for Christians, goes on to slam both secularism and religious pluralism:

America’s predicament in 2015 is driven by the fact that we have “Forgotten the name of our God”, the first step toward apostasy; then we adore the false. Secularism is paganism clothed in tolerance, its ubiquitous chant, “We are a pluralistic society,” is not the same nation bequeathed to us by our Founders.

Jindal’s other prayer rally partner, the American Family Association, is also not big on religious pluralism. The AFA’s chief spokesman, radio host Bryan Fischer, insists that the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections apply only to people he considers Christians, not to Muslims, Hindus, or Mormons.

Jindal has also recently decried supposed Muslim-only “no-go zones” in Europe even after Fox News retracted and apologized for similar claims. 

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/21/15

Sandy Rios: Obama Used Islamic Subliminal Messages In The State Of The Union

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios enjoys promoting bizarre conspiracy theories to imply that President Obama is a secret Muslim, and today she even managed to find proof of Obama’s hidden faith in his State of the Union address.

On Rios’ radio program this morning, a listener called in to complain that Obama said he met the country’s “newest officers at West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs, and New London,” which the listener claimed was a lie because “Fort Collins is the Air Force Academy, not Colorado Springs.”

Actually, the caller is incorrect, as the Air Force Academy is indeed located just outside of Colorado Springs.

Rios didn’t pick up on the caller’s mistake, but she did use the opportunity to claim that Obama was spreading Muslim messages in his speech when he used the word “pillar” to describe the foundations of American leadership in the world: “The other thing he said that I caught, he has done this before, you know there are five pillars of Islam, and he used the term ‘pillars’ again in his speech last night.”

“It is just really interesting, language can actually give us some insight, choices of words,” she said.

Clearly, President Bush must also be an Islamist.

Religious Right Activist Admits That Marriage Equality Bans Are Like Anti-Miscegenation Laws

Brian Camenker of the anti-LGBT group MassResistance spoke to the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios this week about how same-sex marriage has wreaked havoc on Massachusetts since it became legal in 2004, declaring that ten years of marriage equality has been “terrible” for the Bay State.

“It is very, very scary. It has permeated the public school system, it has permeated the public health system, the legal system,” he said. “It has basically overwhelmed everything. It’s been a nightmare. It’s been very bad.”

Camenker’s remarks didn’t come as much of a surprise given that he once told The Daily Show that marriage equality would somehow contribute to homelessness, higher crime rates, and poorer air quality.

What did come as a surprise was Camenker conceding the point that bans on same-sex marriage are similar to laws banning interracial marriage ... and he did so by defending the constitutionality of anti-miscegenation laws!

On the face of it, the Fourteenth Amendment says that everybody will be treated equally, that the law will treat everyone equally. Well, the law treats everyone equally; everyone can only marry someone of the opposite sex. That’s it. There is no Fourteenth Amendment problem unless you stretch it to such ridiculous lengths and twist it around to claim there is. But yes, every person can only marry someone of the opposite sex. Now someone may say that it was the same issue with the miscegenation laws. And that’s true. The miscegenation laws were not a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment because they applied to everybody. As an aside, I was living in the South at the time when the miscegenation laws were struck down and the interesting thing about that was, nobody paid any attention to it, nobody cared, it was like page 25 in the newspaper, there weren’t these signature drives or meetings and gatherings. Nobody really cared at all. Here it is a much different thing because it really is a moral issue.

The Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia struck down anti-miscegenation laws on the basis that they violated the Fourteenth Amendment. It was indeed a “moral issue” at the time, as many religious conservatives frequently alleged that interracial marriages were contrary to biblical teachings and natural law.

Some Americans, disproportionately white, still oppose interracial relationships today.

Equally preposterous is Camenker’s claim that “nobody cared” about the Loving decision. Many states have attempted to keep their anti-miscegenation laws on the books, and interracial couples have faced a long history of violence and discrimination.

At least Camenker, unlike other Religious Right activists, is being consistent in his opposition to the reasoning behind the Loving ruling and court decisions in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples.

National Review Doesn't Get The Problem with Jindal's Political Prayer Pals

The National Review’s Eliana Johnson has taken note of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s hosting of this weekend’s “Response” prayer rally as well as the protests it has sparked on the campus of Louisiana State University. Johnson’s article accurately portrays the rally as part of presidential hopeful Jindal’s political outreach to evangelical voters, but it mischaracterizes the reason for the protests.

The event has already sparked controversy because the group underwriting it, the American Family Association, has organized boycotts against companies that do not use the word “Christmas” in their holiday advertising and communications as well as those that participate in gay-rights events or donate to gay-rights causes. That included a one-month boycott of PetSmart last November and a three-year boycott of Home Depot that ended in 2013.

People aren’t protesting Jindal’s partnership with the American Family Association because it has organized boycotts. Boycotts are the least of the problems with the intensely anti-gay AFA, whose chief spokesperson Bryan Fischer is a font of broadcast bigotry and has argued that only Christians — and certainly not Muslims, Hindus or Mormons (whom he does not consider Christian) — are covered by the First Amendment’s religious liberty guarantees. 

Jindal’s desire to position himself as the favored candidate with conservative evangelical primary voters means he is unconcerned about partnering with rally organizer David Lane, a Christian-nation advocate who believes the Bible must become a primary textbook in the nation’s public schools. Lane also organized the prayer rally – also called “The Response” – that launched Rick Perry’s doomed presidential bid.

Tim Wildmon Insists There Is Nothing In The Bible Calling For Infidels To Be Put To Death

On yesterday's broadcast of the "Today's Issues" radio program, American Family Association president Tim Wildmon voiced his displeasure with those "ignorant people" who claim that Islam and Christianity are both "peaceful religions."

As Wildmon sees it, Christianity is very obviously a peaceful religion while Islam very obviously is not and so anyone who attempts to equate the two does so either out of ignorance or intentional deceit because, unlike the Quran, there is nothing in the Bible that calls for non-believers to be put to death.

"The Quran has explicit admonitions or instructions for followers of Allah to do violence and harm against the infidel," Wildmon fumed. "There's nothing like that in the Bible, that tells the Christian to go out and decapitate the infidel":

This makes us wonder if Wildmon has ever read the Bible, especially Deuteronomy 13:

6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in 13 that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), 14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. 16 You are to gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. That town is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt.

Fischer: You Can't Support Gay Rights 'And Call Yourself A Follower Of Christ'

On Friday's radio broadcast, Bryan Fischer took a call from a listener who demanded to know why nobody on the American Family Radio network will declare that President Obama is not a Christian. We have no idea what programs this caller is listening to if he thinks that nobody on AFR is willing to say that Obama is not a Christian, because we hear the various hosts saying this exact thing all the time.

Fischer, of course, was more than happy to acquiesce to the caller's demand and declare that Obama "is not a sincerely devoted follower of Jesus Christ so, in my mind, that means he's not a Christian."

And Fischer knows this, he said, because "nobody can support and promote and celebrate homosexual behavior who is a sincerely devoted follower of Christ. It's impossible, because Christ and his apostles made it very clear that that's a sin. You can't celebrate that, can't promote that and call yourself a follower of Christ."

While Fischer was, for some reason, unwilling to declare that Obama is actually a Muslim, he nonetheless insisted that everyone in Washington, D.C. knows that he is.

"He walks like a Muslim. He talks like a Muslim. He sounds like a Muslim. He acts like a Muslim," Fischer said. "Jesus said 'by your fruits, you shall know them' and at some point people are going to start connecting those dots":

Fischer And Rios Are Outraged That A Muslim Congressman Is Allowed To Serve On The House Intelligence Committee

Earlier this week, Democratic Rep. André Carson of Indiana was named to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which has thrown the Right into a tizzy because Carson is Muslim.

On Bryan Fischer's radio program yesterday, he and Sandy Rios, both of the American Family Association, shared their disbelief over the appointment, with Rios voicing concern because Carson has received money from Muslim organizations while Fischer declared that it blows his mind that America would ever allow a Muslim to serve in such a position.

"We just had this Muslim terrorist attack in Paris," he said. "Everybody is saying we've got to ramp up our effort to stop the threat of Islam in our country, and now it's like putting a fox inside the hen house":

Sandy Rios Uses Edited Quotes To Claim Obama Is A Secret Muslim

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association kicked off her radio show earlier this week by telling her listeners that President Obama is a Muslim and alleging that the president’s secret Islamic faith is the reason why he didn’t attend the anti-terrorism unity rally in Paris last weekend.

As indisputable proof of the president’s deception, Rios cited then-candidate Obama’s 2008 statement that he had visited 57 states in his campaign. The tired candidate may have meant to say 47 or to refer to the fact there were 57 Democratic primary/caucus contests, but Rios is pretty sure “the reason he said 57 states is because there are 57 Islamic states, just saying.” Actually, as Snopes points out, while there are the 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, not all of them have a Muslim majority.

Rios also played a clip of an interview in which Obama referred to “my Muslim faith,” which in context, as Snopes explains was part of “a straightforward statement…acknowledging that Republican nominee John McCain had not specifically promulgated the false rumor that he (Obama) was a Muslim.”

“He really does not love this country enough to be its president,” she said.

Later, Rios played a compilation of Obama quotes that have already been criticized by FactCheck.org as severely edited and truncated — for example, one quote Rios used cuts out the line “I’m a Christian” from Obama’s statement, “I’m a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims” — while others are just Obama calling Iran the “Islamic Republic of Iran,” the country’s official name, and referring to the Quran as the “Holy Quran,” which President Bush also called the text.

She also played a clip from the president’s 2012 remarks at the United Nations, dropping his line about protecting images of Jesus Christ from desecration.

Rios also spoke with a caller who told her: “Obama is a lazy Muslim who hates America. He supports terrorism, he fancies himself as a dictator and I believe that he wants to turn us into a Third World Muslim nation under the iron fist of the United Nations.”

“There is no question that his sympathies are with Islam,” Rios responded. “That’s not a debatable issues…He’s putting the nation at risk and he is giving his allegiance more to the Islamic world and to the radicals than he is to his own people.”

Fischer: Duke Is 'Inviting The Demons Of The Abyss' Onto Campus By Allowing Muslim Prayer

Beginning tomorrow, members of the Muslim Students Association at Duke University will be allowed to use the campus chapel bell tower to issue the weekly call to prayer and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer is predictably alarmed.

After declaring on his radio program today that Muslim Students Associations are nothing more than terrorist sleeper cells, Fischer went on to warn that Muslim prayers "are like a power pill" for the "demonic counterfeit god" Allah and so, by allowing Muslim students at Duke to use the bell tower to issue the call to prayer, the school is "inviting the demons of the abyss onto that campus."

"When Muslim students go to prayer," he said, "they're appealing to Allah, this demonic counterfeit god, to manifest his presence on the campus of Duke and he will. That's what's dangerous about this. It's not harmless, it's not just a matter of innocent accommodation or innocent multiculturalism or innocent diversity. It is an extremely dangerous thing for Duke to do":

The Religious Right's Obsession With Beyoncé: It's Not Just Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee attracted a lot of attention this week when he criticized the president and first lady for letting their daughters listen to Beyoncé's music – which in his new book he calls “obnoxious and toxic mental poison” — and wrote that the singer’s husband, Jay-Z, is “arguably crossing the line from husband to pimp by exploiting his wife as a sex object.”

Of course, Huckabee didn’t seem to mind performing a sexually explicit song alongside conservative rock star Ted Nugent on his own Fox News program…but that’s different!

While even former President Jimmy Carter has weighed in on Huckabee’s comments, the “War on Beyoncé” is nothing new among Religious Right commentators. Only Madonna has attracted greater wrath from the pundits we follow.

From speculating that Beyoncé is possessed by demons to calling her a “poor excuse for a wife,” the Religious Right has struggled to pinpoint just what it is about the pop star that they don’t like.

1. Sasha Fierce is a “demonic spirit” living within Beyoncé

After Beyoncé's Super Bowl performance last year, American Family Association spokesman Brian Fischer theorized that the singer’s persona Sasha Fierce was “clearly a demonic spirit” dwelling within her:

2. Beyoncé should be taken to an “insane asylum” for “demonic possession”

Right-wing radio host Kevin Swanson has a similar theory:

Charisma magazine similarly speculated that Satan had “twisted” Beyoncé to “use for his kingdom.”

3. Beyoncé is leading young girls into sex trafficking and death

Christian Post columnist Larry Tomczak, who made waves this week when he accused Ellen DeGeneres of using Taylor Swift to lure girls into lesbianism, warned last year that Beyoncé’s “seductively swiveling hips” were “causing men to lust” and putting her young female listeners on a “dangerous path” into sex trafficking…and maybe even death.

He also urged Michelle Obama to stop allowing her daughters to listen to Beyoncé’s music:

Now let's ask ourselves (not in any self-righteous manner but simply a prudent, mature approach): Is Beyoncé a role model? What message is she communicating to girls about relating to the opposite sex? Is she causing men to lust? Is the focus on virtue and inner beauty or seductively swiveling hips, championing a sensuality that can lead naive young girls on a dangerous path that could lead some even into sex trafficking?

Sex trafficking is a very serious problem in the United States. Remember, the average age of a young girl drawn in is 13, and scores are lured by pimps promising a glamorous life if girls will simply follow the seductive example of many celebrities whom they try to imitate. What follows leads to abuse, abortions and abasement-sometimes death. This is a national scandal in our generation. Proverbs 11:22 says, "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion."

4. How is Jay-Z “different from a pimp?”

Huckabee isn’t the first Religious Right commentator to liken Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s relationship to that of a pimp and a prostitute. After Beyoncé’s performance at the Grammy Awards last year, the Illinois Family Institute’s Laurie Higgins penned a blog post lamenting the singer’s “soft-core porn performance” and accused the singer’s husband of acting as her “pimp”:

This past Sunday night's Grammy awards was a tragic freak show that demonstrated the entertainment industry's arrogance, ignorance of marriage, and disregard for children. It was a gawdy spitball hurled in the all-seeing eye of a holy God.

The spectacle was bookended by a soft-core porn performance by the not-single lady Beyoncé who twerked and jerked her half-revealed derriere in a series of "dance" moves that simulated sex and stimulated sexual appetite, while the crowd cheered in puerile excitement.

Beyoncé was later joined by her husband Jay-Z who seems to revel in the lustings of strangers for his wife. What kind of man gets pleasure from his wife's flaunting of her sexuality and from the certain knowledge that men desire to do things to his wife because of her arousing dress and actions? Is it money that motivates his eager embrace of his wife's immodesty, or pride that he has access to her body when all other leering men do not? If it's money, how is he different from a pimp?

5. ‘Beyoncé a poor excuse for a wife,’ will never find ‘a quality husband’

Suzanne Venker, a conservative commentator and niece of Phyllis Schlafly, was similarly outraged by Beyoncé’s Grammy performance, writing on her blog that Beyoncé’s “slutty behavior” made her “a poor excuse for a wife,” suggesting that she would never be able to find a “quality husband” that way:

There’s no wondering, Ms. Riley. Women like Beyonce aren’t just contributing to the problem—they are the problem. This isn’t a chicken or egg scenario. If women didn’t do what they do in the first place, men like Jay Z would have no opportunity to respond—poorly or otherwise. Classy behavior begets classy behavior. Slutty behavior begets a smut reaction.

Indeed, which means women haven’t really progressed at all—at least not when it comes to their personal lives. On the contrary, they’ve simply traded one kind of power for another. They may know what it takes to be successful in the marketplace, but they are clueless about the power women wield in love. Behaving as Beyonce does, or anything close to it, will not produce men who are invested in women. It will merely produce more Jay Zs, or “poor excuses for a husband.”

If women want a quality husband, they might begin by being quality material themselves.

Not everyone on the Right agrees with Venker, of course. In June, the conservative Heritage Foundation praised Beyoncé and Jay-Z as an example of a stable marriage and strong family — conveniently leaving out the pair’s strong support for marriage equality.

Fischer: 'It Is Impossible To Blaspheme Muhammad' Because Allah Is A Demon God

On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer argued that countries like France have no need to pass laws outlawing blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad — not because of free speech, but because, Fischer argues, it is impossible to actually blaspheme him since Allah is a false demon God.

"It is impossible to blaspheme Muhammad," he said. "You cannot do it. Why? Because you can only blaspheme the True and Living God and Muhammad does not represent the True and Living God ... Blasphemy is something that you can only commit against the True and Living God and we know, from the biblical standpoint, that Allah is represents a demon god":

Right-Wing Radio Host Suggests GOP Congressman Is Inserting 'Islam Into Our Government'

As we’ve reported, an episode of the radio show “Fortress of Faith” that aired on American Family Radio this weekend alleged that President Obama is a secret member of the Muslim Brotherhood who tried to give billions of dollars to Hamas.

During the same program, host Shahram Hadian claimed that Islamists are taking over the U.S. government by organizing groups such as the bipartisan Ahmadiyya Muslim Caucus. Ahmadis are a minority group in Islam who have faced tremendous persecution, and the caucus was created to try to find ways the U.S. government can help combat such threats.

Hadian, however, claimed that the caucus’s establishment is proof that “Islam is getting into our government” and represents an Islamist influence operation.

When the caucus was founded in 2014, it was co-chaired by Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier and Republican Rep. Frank Wolf, who did not run for re-election last year. Interestingly enough, Wolf was one of the favorite congressmen of Religious Right groups such as the Family Research Council. Another group, the National Religious Broadcasters, even gave Wolf its “Faith & Freedom Award.”

But now it seems he was an Islamist all along, which according to this paranoid thinking, implicates the many conservative groups that worked with Wolf in the Islamic conspiracy!

Religious Right Radio Show Promotes Anti-Semitic Newspaper's Wild Obama Conspiracy Theory

Over the weekend, the “Fortress of Faith” radio show, a program aired on the American Family Association’s radio network, dedicated an episode to discussing an article from an Egyptian newspaper, Al-Wafd, alleging that President Obama is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the show’s hosts, Al-Wafd, which has also depicted Obama as Satan, uncovered a supposed plot by Obama to give the Muslim Brotherhood $8 billion to transfer to Hamas, which would then use the funds to take over the Sinai peninsula.

Host Tom Wallace, who during the program got the name of Egypt’s president wrong, expressed disbelief that the U.S. media didn’t cover Obama’s (non-existent) ties to the group.

The Al-Wafd article has been widely mocked by experts as completely “ludicrous,” but the AFA hosts cited the article throughout the program as an “earth-shattering” report that could lead to Obama’s conviction for “high treason.”

As The Economist explains, the Egyptian media, dominated by allies of President Sisi, believes that the Muslim Brotherhood is a tool of the U.S. (to make matters more complicated, some Muslim Brotherhood supporters allege that Sisi and his supporters are themselves tools of the U.S.).

Not only is America calling the shots of the Muslim Brotherhood, their theory goes, but so is Israel, which several Egyptian media outlets have claimed is using the Muslim Brotherhood to divide and ultimately destroy Egypt. This conspiracy theory about a “Zionist-American-Muslim Brotherhood plot” and its “diabolical plan to divide and weaken Israel’s most powerful Arab neighbours, one by one,” has its roots in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about powerful Jews secretly steering world events.

The newspaper lauded by the “Fortress of Faith” hosts, Al-Wafd, pushed anti-Semitic claims, including the notorious anti-Semitic forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” in its Muslim Brotherhood-Obama exposé:

One manifestation of the current regime's de-legitimization campaign against the MB is comparing them to Jews and Zionists. The press associated with the regime has claimed that that the global MB resembles global Zionism, and that its schemes are the same as those of the Protocols. It has also claimed that MB founder Hassan Al-Bana was Jewish, as well as several other movement leaders. A number of Facebook pages depict MB members as Jews masquerading as Muslims, and feature images of [MB President Muhammad] Mursi in Jewish garb and MB symbols emblazoned with Stars of David.



In an “investigative report” in the daily Al-Wafd, Magdi Salama also argued that the MB was implementing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and cited a few examples. He wrote: "Whoever reads the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which were formulated by the priests of global Zionism 116 years ago, and then scrupulously examines what the MB is currently doing in Egypt, discovers something grave: The MB is implementing the Protocols to the letter!

"In their Protocols, the Zionists are mainly concerned with destroying governments in every country, sowing the seeds of strife and quarrel in all countries and changing the [atmosphere] in the countries from one of tolerance to one of political and religious radicalism. This is precisely what the MB has currently undertaken to do in Egypt. The leaders of global Zionism stress the need to control people the way one controls herds of lowly cattle, to use their expression, so they can be moved around like chess pieces. This is precisely what the MB are doing by [invoking their] principle of hearing and obeying the movement's [General] Guide.

"The Ninth Protocol talks about deceiving the public with mendacious slogans, and this is precisely what the MB does with its sit-down strikes, [like those it held] in Raba'a [Al-'Adawiya] and Al-Nahda [Square], when it emphasizes that these sit-down strikes are on behalf of Islam and the shari'a and [constitute] sacrificing oneself for the sake of Allah, while in actuality this is political activity that is completely unrelated to religion or self-sacrifice on Allah's behalf.

"Those who were astounded by Muhammad Mursi's victory in the Egyptian presidential [elections] should read the Tenth Protocol of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, because it exposes the big secret behind Mursi's attaining the Egyptian presidency and also exposes the secret behind Israel's joy at Mursi’s victory. This Protocol says: 'We will prevent people with common sense from leading, keep them back, and never allow them to make plans of their own. The mob (so the Protocol says) has become accustomed to leaning our way [to the Jews]; we provide it with money in exchange for its obedience. By such means we will create a force so blind that it will never be able to reach any decision without the guidance of our representatives, whom we appointed to lead it'…"
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American Family Association Top Posts

The American Family Association (AFA) has been a long-time promoter of "traditional moral values" in the media, particularly television. AFA built its reputation on organizing boycotts against sponsors of TV shows with "anti-Christian" messages and ideas, or against companies it claims support the so-called "homosexual agenda" or marriage equality. MORE >

American Family Association Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Monday 01/26/2015, 4:12pm
As Peter noted in the analysis piece he wrote this morning about Gov. Bobby Jindal's recent prayer rally, "one of the biggest problems with treating politics as spiritual warfare is that you turn your political opponents into spiritual enemies. People who disagree with you on public policy issues are not just wrong, but evil, or even satanic." As if to help prove this very point, Bryan Fischer said on his radio broadcast today that the people who were protesting Jindal's event were literally driven by demonic spirits. Fischer — whose employer, the American Family... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Monday 01/26/2015, 1:12pm
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal skipped an Iowa stage crowded with Republican presidential wannabes on Saturday so he could host a prayer rally on the campus of Louisiana State University. Jindal and others have mischaracterized objections to the rally, suggesting that its critics were somehow out to silence people of faith. So let’s be clear about the real issue: Bobby Jindal used the power and prestige of his office to promote an event backed by some of the nation’s most religiously divisive and stridently anti-gay activists. And in a bid to boost his own political future, he sent a... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Saturday 01/24/2015, 12:27pm
As we have been reporting, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has decided to hitch his apparent presidential hopes to a collection of Christian-nation extremists, teaming with the American Family Association, influential activist David Lane, and a collection of self-proclaimed prophets and apostles to host a prayer rally in Baton Rouge today meant to turn America “back to God.” On her show last night, Rachel Maddow took a look at the array of “questionable characters” working with Jindal on his supposedly nonpolitical prayer rally: MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 01/23/2015, 10:42am
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s upcoming prayer rally has been organized by David Lane, a Christian-nation absolutist who believes America was founded by and for Christians and demands that politicians make the Bible a primary textbook in public schools. The American Family Association, whose chief spokesperson believes the First Amendment’s religious freedom protections do not apply to non-Christians, is paying for the rally. It’s clear that Jindal, a convert to Christianity, is positioning himself to win the support of conservative evangelicals for a potential presidential... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 01/22/2015, 5:31pm
Predictably, Jonathan Cahn thinks that President Obama's State of the Union speech is just another sign that God's judgment upon America is just around the corner. Michael Ware explains that the government must give Christianity preferential treatment because "it is absurd to demand that all ideas or beliefs are equal, it leads to the absurd. Only truth from Scripture is valid and can save us from such absurdity." The AFA's Buddy Smith is hopeful that cities across America will follow the lead of Starkville, Mississippi, and begin repealing their anti-... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 01/22/2015, 12:47pm
As we have been reporting, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is currying favor with conservative evangelical voters by hosting “The Response,” a prayer rally at Louisiana State University on Saturday that has been organized by Christian-nation activist David Lane and paid for by the anti-gay American Family Association.  Yesterday, Lane’s American Renewal Project sent out an email rapturously praising Jindal for his recent comments about Muslims, in which Jindal insisted that it is not enough for Muslim leaders to denounce terrorist violence. They must, Jindal said,... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 01/21/2015, 5:34pm
Heidi Beirich @ Hatewatch: RNC Turns Deaf Ear To Questions About Trip Funded by Hate Group. Zachary Pleat @ Media Matters: Bill O'Reilly Lies About His Role Pushing Debunked "No-Go Zones" Myth. Luke Brinker @ Salon: Uber-Catholic Rick Santorum: “It’s sometimes very difficult to listen to the Pope.” Travis Gettys @ Raw Story: The next right-wing folk hero? A tax-dodging creationist who thinks demons pilot UFOs. Alan Colmes: Huckabee On Giving Up TV To Run For President: ‘That’s Pretty Evident.’ Matt Wilstein @ Mediaite:... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 01/21/2015, 4:45pm
The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios enjoys promoting bizarre conspiracy theories to imply that President Obama is a secret Muslim, and today she even managed to find proof of Obama’s hidden faith in his State of the Union address. On Rios’ radio program this morning, a listener called in to complain that Obama said he met the country’s “newest officers at West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs, and New London,” which the listener claimed was a lie because “Fort Collins is the Air Force Academy, not Colorado Springs.... MORE >