American Family Association

AFA Lunch at VVS: Call for 'Aggressive' and 'Offensive' Church in Culture War

The American Family Association hosted a luncheon on Friday at the Values Voter Summit. The featured speaker, Rep. Randy Forbes, was a no-show, though the audience was assured his non-appearance had nothing to do with ads being run in his district urging him to stay away.  Whatever was keeping Forbes so busy that he couldn’t break away didn’t prevent Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) from making it to the VVS hotel to give some opening remarks. Aderholt praised the activists, saying that the only way for America to be saved is for the country not to forget its founding values.  In Forbes’ absence we also heard from Jerry Boykin, the retired general who is now a VP at the Family Research Council, and Lea Carawan, the director of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation.

Boykin was his blunt self, asserting, “we are in a culture war today like America has never been” and complaining that the problem was with the church in general and with “Christians in name only” in particular.  “The majority of the Christians in America today are dead, asleep,” he groused. “They are not involved in what’s going on in our culture. They’re not engaged in this culture war. They are not putting their faith into action.”  He said it was the church that brought about the Revolutionary War and the abolition of slavery through the Civil War.  When he looks at America today, he said, “There is no other solution to our ills than for the church to wake up, get off your dead behinds and get in this culture war that we’re involved in.”

Carawan picked up on Boykin’s message, saying that members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus and affiliated members in state legislatures are disappointed that they aren’t getting more backup from churches.  For example, she said, members of the Maine legislature have had to do the organizing to get pastors involved in a push for a “religious liberty” bill.  Carawan said the caucus was committed to an “offensive strategy” – one example she gave was Pennsylvania legislation requiring the display of “In God We Trust” in all the state’s public schools. 

Carawan said the prayer caucus favors a neutral public square and religious liberty for all Americans, but in the next breath said “we are equally committed to advocate, aggressively engage the public for advocating that Judeo-Christian values be reflected in our laws and policy, because somebody’s values are going to be reflected in laws and policies.” The founding fathers, she said, fought “so that we could have Judeo-Christian values reflected in our government, laws, and policy.” The founders understood, she said, “that it is only Christianity, Judeo-Christian principles, that provides the only valid moral basis that will secure freedom for all Americans.”

Carawan warned that “the strategy of the secular progressive agenda is simple and dangerous:  use the limitless financial resources at their disposal and the power of government to overwhelm and bury religious freedom in the ash heap of history. And that’s their plan. Not on our watch. Not on our watch. We’ve relied on defending our freedom in the courts. But this isn’t sufficient. We have to go on the offensive. We have to be aggressive. We have to stand up. We have to be intentional and strategic.”

Rios: Gays Wanting To Become Scoutmasters, Big Brothers Proves They Seek To Abuse Children

American Family Association talk show host Sandy Rios this week once again connected the gay community to child abuse, this time telling Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality that the fact gay people want to serve as Scoutmasters or Big Brothers or Big Sisters is “big proof” they are pedophiles.

LaBarbera, whose upcoming AFTAH banquet will feature Rios as the keynote speaker, didn’t dispute her claim, and argued that “homosexuality itself is immoral behavior so we would expect one sin to have other sins lead to it, and that’s exactly what we find.”

LaBarbera: All these things: pedophilia; sadism; masochism, are overrepresented in the homosexual movement then it would be in the rest of culture.

Rios: I guess one big proof that we should have some concern, the activists’ hell-bent determination to make sure that Boy Scout leaders can be gay men and that Big Brothers and Big Sisters can be—well they’ve succeeded with that—Big Brothers and Big Sisters now has no — that’s fine with them, with that organization, that a person be gay or a lesbian and be a Big Brother or Big Sister. Now they are really determined to make sure they break down Boy Scouts completely, they’ve succeeded to some extent. But that to me indicates an interest of older people being with younger people. I don’t know, am I rushing to a conclusion on that Peter?

LaBarbera: First of all, homosexuality itself is immoral behavior so we would expect one sin to have other sins lead to it, and that’s exactly what we find. We both know, we’ve been around a long time and we know these stories of so-called gay men who had child abuse in their own past, their own upbringing, and incredibly they make no connection between the pedophilia they experienced as boys and girls, some of them, and their adult gay identity. Common sense would say that’s wrong but sadly there’s this thing in the movement.

Fischer: 'Our Commander In Chief Is Waging A War On Christ'

On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer asserted that a nation's military strength is intrinsically linked to its spiritual strength and, as such, America's military is growing weaker because President Obama is waging a war on Christ.

"Our Commander in Chief is waging a war on Christ in the military," Fischer said. "Now you can disguise it, you can say 'well, he's going after Christianity or he's going after Christians,' but why is he going after them?  Well, because of the first syllable in those words. What's the first syllable in Christianity? It is Christ. What's the first syllable in Christian? It is Christ. What's the first syllable in Christmas? It is Christ. So make no mistake, when you've got an attack faith, on religious liberty, it is an attack on Christ. So we've got a President that is waging war against the King of King and the Lord of Lords. He's waging a war against Christ and his welcomed presence in the military and in all of our institutions":

Fischer Praises Putin, Calls Him A 'Lion of Christianity'

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer began his radio program yesterday by reading a series of quotes from a mystery public figure, asking his listeners to guess “what country do you think this guy is the president of?”

The big surprise is that the quotes – encompassing such topics as European rejection of “Christian values that underlie Western civilization,” the pursuit of policies that “put large families and same-sex partnerships in the same category” and “excesses of political correctness” – are from Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has escalated his crackdown on LGBT people in recent months.

“Who is it?” Fischer asked. “Which president is the lion of Christianity, the defender of Christian values, the president that’s calling his nation back to embracing its identity as a nation founded on Christian values? Those, ladies and gentlemen, are quotes from Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia.”

“The contrast between that president and our president could not possibly be more striking,” Fischer continued. “Just a bizarre day. To ever think we would get to the day that Russia would be more advanced spiritually than the United States. I mean, it’s just staggering to see what is happening to this country.”

Back in August, when Putin signed a ban on gay “propaganda,” Fischer gushed that “this is public policy that we’ve been advocating and here is a nation in the world that is actually putting it into practice.”

Fischer has not yet commented on reports that Putin’s increasing embrace of a theological hard line has also threatened the religious freedom of evangelical Christians.

Fischer Calls For The Use Of Corporal Punishment In Public Schools

Bryan Fischer spent a large portion of his radio program today hailing the effectiveness of spanking as a biblically-approved form of discipline and cackling as he recounted how he and his wife used a wooden spoon to spank their own children on their bare bottoms because "the bottom is just designed by God for that."

Eventually, Fischer got around to calling for the use of corporal punishment in public schools, saying failure to allow teachers to physically discipline children is why there are so many behavioral problems in school and why children today are getting such a poor education.

"I want to tell you," Fischer said, "we are not going to have a functional education system where kids are actually learning, you're not going to have an environment conducive to learning until we bring corporal discipline back into our elementary schools, into our public schools. That is the only way you're going to be able to maintain the kind of environment in a class room where kids can actually learn something":

AFA Falsely Claims Obama And Kerry Refuse To Condemn Attacks On Christians

In a press release last week, the American Family Association accused President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry of deliberately refusing to condemn anti-Christian attacks or extremist groups.

In the past two weeks, radical Islamists have murdered hundreds of Christians around the world.

Without question, Christians are being targeted for assassination solely because of their faith in Christ. Entire families, including children, are slaughtered in their homes, churches and public gatherings.

Ironically, while Christian lives are being silenced by radical jihadists, the United States White House is silent in its response. These killings have not been condemned by the president, his secretary of state, or his administration.

Below, we have summarized the senseless slaughter of Christians over the past two weeks. Join us in asking President Barak Obama [sic] and Secretary of State John Kerry to speak out and use the influence of the United States to halt the slaughter of Christians by radical jihadists.

At a time when even members of Congress are accusing Obama of supporting Al Qaeda, let’s see if the AFA’s claims that Obama refuses to condemn groups committing anti-Christian violence hold water:

Sunday, September 22 - Peshawar, PAKISTAN

Islamic suicide bombers mingled with Christians gathering after morning worship service at All Saints Church for dinner on the grounds. The Islamists blew themselves up, killing 90 Christians and injuring 120 more.

Obama condemned the attack during his speech at the United Nations [PDF].

Sunday, September 29 - Potiskum, NIGERIA

Members of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram shot 50 college students and burned the school as the students slept in their dorms. Although the victims included both Christians and Muslim students, the name of the assassins, Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden."

The State Department in its report on religious freedom in Nigeria condemned Boko Haram, including the group’s attacks on Christians and churches. Earlier this year, President Obama called Boko Haram “one of the most vicious terrorist organizations in the world,” and chief of staff Denis McDonough similarly denounced their attacks on Christians and Muslims.

Saturday, September 21 - Nairobi, KENYA

Jihadist members of Somalia's al-Shabab took hundreds of hostages and killed 67 Christians at the Westgate Mall, after people who identified themselves as Muslims, and who could give the name of Mohamed's mother to leave.

Obama condemned the Westgate Mall attack during his speech at the United Nations [PDF].

Wednesday, September 18 - Maaloula, SYRIA

Islamists arriving in this 2000-year-old village, which is one of the only places in the world where Aramaic is still spoken, announced, "We are from the Al-Nusra Front and have come to make lives miserable for the Crusaders"; (an Islamic slur meaning Christians). After many deaths, the town was retaken by the Syrian Army, but only about 20 families remain.

The State Department designated Al-Nusrah Front as a terrorist organization and denounced the group’s many attacks against civilians.

Saturday, September 21, 2013 - Dorawa, NIGERIA

Jihadists killed a pastor and his son and burned their church in the northern state of Yobe where Islamists are attempting to impose Sharia law.

The State Department in its report on religious freedom in Nigeria condemned attacks on Christians and churches.

Wednesday, September 25 - Derna District, LIBYA

Two Christian men, Waleed Saad Shaker, age 25, and Nash 'at Shenouda Ishaq, age 27, were traveling on a rural road when they were surrounded by a crowd of Muslim men. The Christians were robbed, tied up and beaten. Then the Muslims demanded that they recite the shahada, the declaration of conversion to Islam. When the Christians refused, they were shot. Shakar died before they were found by a shepherd. Ishaq died in hospital.

The State Department in its report on religious freedom in Nigeria condemned anti-Christian violence.

Maybe the AFA should do a simple Google search before sending out this statement, unless they are boycotting Google.

Fischer Claims Obama Will Use Future Shutdowns To Withhold Health Care From All But The Young and Loyal

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who last week claimed that President Obama wants to arrest veterans attempting to visit memorials during the government shutdown and “haul them off to jail,” is now warning that the Obama administration will use the Affordable Care Act to curtail health care services during future shutdowns.

On his radio show yesterday, Fischer read enthusiastically from a Rightwing News blog post that claims that the administration will withhold health care from all but “those who are young enough, correct enough or wealthy and powerful enough”:

And so it goes from nudge, to shove and very soon, to shoot. Surely Americans now see they are living under the iron fist of a dictator. They are using lands and monuments that belong to America against us – held hostage as wards of the State, not property of the free. What makes Americans think that with the government in control of healthcare that they won’t use the same tactics? Comply or no antibiotics for you… submit or no chemotherapy… kneel or no transplant. And even then, only those who we deem young enough, correct enough or wealthy and powerful enough will receive the benefits of the all-controlling Marxist State. America has become Russia’s protege thanks to the enemies within.

“If you’ve got a government that with a phone call can shut down a war memorial, can send orders to police to lock people up that go there, that can issue $100 fines for jogging in a national park, what makes us think they can be trusted with our health care?” Fischer said. “If they can do that to Americans when it comes to access to national parks, what are they going to do when we’re talking about access to health care?”
 

Civil Rights Groups Urge GOP Leaders to Skip Values Voter Summit

This weekend, Religious Right leaders and GOP politicians will gather in Washington for the Values Voter Summit, an annual event that highlights the cozy relationship between Republican elected officials and extreme right-wing groups.

The event is hosted by the Family Research Council, a group with a long record of pushing false anti-gay propaganda. And one of the event’s major sponsors is the American Family Association, whose extreme right-wing views are expressed on a daily basis by its spokesman Bryan Fischer.

On Friday, People For the American Way joined with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Faithful America, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza to send a letter to every public official scheduled to speak at this year’s Values Voter Summit, urging them to withdraw from the event.

Among the scheduled speakers are Sens. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Tim Scott and Reps. Paul Ryan, Randy Forbes, Michele Bachmann, Jim Bridenstine, Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Steve King, Steve Scalise and Scott Turner.

The letter [pdf] reads in part:

We understand that you’ve been invited to speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit being held in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 11-13. Given the demonizing lies about the LGBT community spread by the host, the Family Research Council (FRC), and another major sponsor of the event, the American Family Association (AFA), we urge you to not lend the prestige of your office to the summit.

The FRC has amassed an extensive record of vilifying gays and lesbians with falsehoods – portraying them as sick, evil, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation.  Perhaps its most insidious claim is that gay men molest children at a far higher rate than heterosexual men – a claim refuted by all credible scientific authorities, including the American Psychological Association. Yet the FRC has continued to smear gays and lesbians by claiming  that pedophilia, in the words of FRC President Tony Perkins, “is a homosexual problem.”

Perkins also says the “It Gets Better” campaign, an initiative designed to give LGBT students hope for a better tomorrow, is “disgusting” and part of a “concerted effort” to “recruit” children into the gay “lifestyle.” One senior FRC official has even argued that homosexuality should be illegal.

The AFA’s Bryan Fischer, who serves as the group’s spokesman and director of issue analysis, frequently blames homosexuality for the Holocaust and Nazi Party: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” He also promotes the views of the American architect of the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda.

Demonizing the LGBT community has consequences. As FBI data demonstrate, it is one of the groups most likely to be victimized by violent hate crimes. Defaming them publicly day after day – as the FRC and the AFA do – only throws fuel on the fire.

The bigotry of the FRC and the AFA is not limited to gays and lesbians. Fischer, for example, has said that African Americans “rut like rabbits” and argued that women should be kicked out of politics and the military. He’s also stated that Hispanics are “socialists by nature”  and come here to “plunder” our country. The FRC’s executive vice president, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, has said Jews must be converted to Christianity and has argued that “Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections” – a statement that is antithetical to American ideals.

In 2011, we urged Mitt Romney not to share a stage with the extremists, and particularly Fischer, at that year’s Values Voter Summit. Although Romney still attended, he also made a point of calling out Fischer’s “poisonous language." This year, Fischer was noticeably not listed as a speaker at the summit, although his employer remains a sponsor.
 

Fischer: Obama Wishes He Could Arrest WWII Veterans And Throw Them In Jail

Even though House Republicans blocked funding for the National Park Service by shutting down the government, the right-wing media knows that President Obama is the one to blame for park closures and that he is personally trying to harm and maybe even kill veterans trying to see the World War II memorial.

In fact, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer said that President Obama would like nothing more than to “arrest these vets, haul them off to jail, handcuff them to a cot.”

“He sent more guards to the Mall to stop veterans than he sent to Benghazi to stop Muslims,” Fischer falsely claimed, “which gives you an indication of his priorities.”

Watch:

What Happens When You Get All Of Your News From Bryan Fischer

Today on Focal Point, Bryan Fischer took a call from Ricky from Baton Rouge, who told the American Family Association spokesman that he gets “80-90%” of his news from Fischer...and the rest from David Barton and Tony Perkins.

Ricky urged Fischer to stop treating President Obama as a legitimate president since “George Soros and the ungodly Demon-crat Party” used fraud to help President Obama and Harry Reid win re-election.

“You’re exactly right,” Fischer said.

Fischer agreed and demanded that Obama’s “election ought to have an asterisk by it” because he used voter fraud to increase Democratic votes and the IRS to repress conservatives.

We don’t expect Ricky to see that claims of 2012 voter fraud and Tea Party persecution by the IRS have been wholly discredited, but will sadly continue to get all of his news from disreputable sources like Fischer, Perkins and Barton.

American Family Association Takes Aim at Public Art in Kansas

The American Family Association of Kansas and Missouri, the state-level chapter of the national AFA led by the husband and wife team Phillip and Cathy Cosby, lists as its number one priority: “Promoting sexual integrity and confronting the pornification of our culture in all venues, secular and sacred.”

As part of this mission, the Cosbys have taken it upon themselves to wage a years-long campaign to remove one statue owned and publicly displayed by the city of Overland Park, Kansas – a campaign that has included multiple public petitions and a change in state law, and has forced the city of Overland Park to rack up $35,000 in legal fees.

Now, the Cosbys are starting the process all over again, hoping to force the city to once again pay thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend its right to display the art in its collection.

The statue in question, called “Accept or Reject,” was given to the city in 2011 by a Chinese artist as part of a cultural exchange and is currently on display in the town’s arboretum. I’ll let Phil Cosby describe it: "It is a nine-foot-tall bronze statue of a totally nude woman. Her arm is extended, and she's taking a picture of herself, in essence sexting herself."

Here’s a picture of Phillip Cosby with the sculpture in question (the signage is his):

Cosby contends that “Accept or Reject” is not only “toxic,” but that it violates Kansas’ anti-obscenity statute and should therefore be removed from the public park.

Last year, Cosby used a novel tactic to try to get the statue removed. Kansas is one of six states that allows for “citizens grand juries” – grand juries called by a petition of citizens rather than a prosecutor. The 1887 Kansas law has been revived in the last several years by right-wing activists to go after abortion providers and pornography.” In 2006 and again in 2008, anti-choice activists gathered enough signatures to launch a grand jury investigation of Wichita abortion provider George Tiller. Tiller’s attorney described the process as “a perfect example of a system which has virtually become active vigilantism.” The year after the second investigation, Tiller was assassinated by an anti-choice extremist.

In the mid-2000s, Cosby used the law to launch grand jury investigations into 20 adult bookstores and a handful of strip clubs, which he claimed violated obscenity laws.

So last year, Cosby returned to the “citizens grand jury plan, gathering enough signatures on a petition to convene a grand jury to investigate whether “Accept or Reject” was criminally obscene. The grand jury dismissed the case within a day, but that didn’t stop Cosby’s crusade. Instead, he contended that the jury dismissed the case because prosecutors didn’t pursue it with adequate zeal.

Earlier this year, Cosby worked with anti-abortion groups, with the support of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, to change the citizen grand jury law to give more power to people who file the grand jury petitions, including letting the petition filer himself open the proceedings in the grand jury and let anybody who wants to apply to testify.

With the rules changed, Cosby’s now trying again to gather enough signatures to bring the sculpture before a new citizen grand jury, hoping that the new rules will produce a different outcome.

Cosby’s crusade is far from universally popular. Last year, Overland Park spent $35,000 defending the statue. And as the Kansas City Star’s editorial board pointed out last week, it’s far from the only nude sculpture publicly displayed in the area.

But Cosby claims that if allowed to call his own witnesses before a grand jury, he can present “a solid case on the harms to minors.” As part of his case, he’s been circulating this audio recording of a boy reacting to the sculpture with a  loud “Whoa!” and claiming that “a city agency putting in front of children an act, that if they mimicked, would be the illegal manufacture of child porn by children”

Cosby must gather about 4,000 signatures to convene the grand jury.
 

Globalizing Homophobia, Part 1: How The American Right Came to Embrace Russia’s Anti-Gay Crackdown

This is the first post in a four-part series exploring how American right-wing groups have supported Russia’s recent spate of anti-gay laws and its crackdown on LGBT citizens.

This summer, as part of a larger effort to channel political dissatisfaction by scapegoating minorities, the Russian government escalated its crackdown on the rights of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual citizens. President Vladimir Putin and his allies found support and guidance in their anti-gay efforts from a group eager for an opportunity to notch some victories in the battle against LGBT freedom and equality: the American right.

On June 11, the Russian Duma passed a law banning “propaganda” about homosexuality to minors, essentially a gag rule criminalizing any advocacy for LGBT equality. (Moscow had already instituted a 100-year ban on gay pride parades.) Weeks later, on July 3, Putin signed a bill banning the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples abroad and by single people in countries that allow marriage equality. Shortly afterward, a member of the Duma proposed a law that would revoke gay people’s custody of their biological children. The bill’s sponsor said in an interview that children would be better off in orphanages than with a gay mother or father.

Throughout this process, Russian gay rights groups reported a surge in anti-gay hate crimes. Journalist Julia Ioffe has documented some individual stories.

Russia’s crackdown on LGBT people comes amidst a broad crackdown on the rights of minorities and political dissenters or, in the words of one lawmaker, a campaign “to defend the rights of the majority.” On the same day the Duma passed its ban on gay “propaganda,” it also approved a harsh anti-blasphemy law promising jail time for “offending religious feelings.” The blasphemy measure was meant to strenghthen the laws that led to the political prosecution of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, whose members were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for a performance that was deemed to offend “religious sensibilities.”

Russia’s repression of LGBT people and the Pussy Riot case have provoked an international outcry, intensified by the  the country’s role as the host of next year’s winter Olympics.

But throughout all this, one group has cheered on Putin’s actions: the American Religious Right and its international allies.

Even as tensions have grown between Russia and the United States, several Religious Right leaders have spoken loudly in favor of Putin’s crackdowns on gay people and political dissenters:

  • Conservative commentator and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan praised Putin for “trying to re-establish the Orthodox Church as the moral compass of the nation” by going after gays and political dissent and suggested that the United States follow his lead.
  • The anti-feminist group Concerned Women for America hailed the Pussy Riot prosecution, saying that the band displayed an “utter lack of morality.”
  • Religious Right activist Bob Vander Plaats, whose Family Leader events in Iowa have become must-attends for Republican presidential candidates, praised Putin’s “decisive leadership” on anti-gay laws.
  • American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer declared that Russia’s gay “propaganda” ban was exactly the kind of “public policy that we’ve been advocating” and that, if anything, the ban didn’t go far enough.
  • Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality praised the propaganda law, writing, “Russians do not want to follow America’s reckless and decadent promotion of gender confusion, sexual perversion, and anti-biblical ideologies to youth.”
  • Scott Lively, an American activist linked to Uganda’s push for the death penalty for gays, wrote that under Putin’s leadership, Russia has become a “beacon of freedom” while the U.S. has descended into a “gay version of the Soviet Union.” Lively also gave himself credit for “indirectly” assisting the ban on “homosexual propaganda,” calling it “one of the proudest achievements of my career.”
  • Vision America’s Rick Scarborough suggested that God would rebuke President Obama over his condemnation of Russia’s anti-gay crackdown, saying that Obama’s criticism of the propaganda law “puts our country in a very precarious place.”
  • Radio host Linda Harvey, head of the group Mission: America, praised the gay “propaganda” ban, declaring that any “responsible adult” would support it.
  • Rush Limbaugh praised Putin for “putting [his] foot down” against gay peoples’ “full-frontal assault on what has always been considered normalcy.”
  • Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) called the Russian law a “good thing” and claimed that “most of the people in the United States” would support a similar measure.
  • Larry Jacobs of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families hailed the propaganda law for “preventing [LGBT people] from corrupting children" and declared  that "the Russians might be the Christian saviors to the world."
  • Six American Religious Right groups, including the World Congress of FamiliesMission: America and C-FAM , joined an international coalition of right-wing groups in signing a statement supporting the anti-gay crackdown and condemning the international outrage against it.

American conservative groups haven’t just praised Russia’s crackdown on gays. Working through several channels, American anti-gay activists quietly provided intellectual backing and international support that directly and indirectly fueled the resurgent anti-gay movement in Russia and in other former Soviet states like Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine.

In a series of posts today and tomorrow, we’ll look at how American activists influenced Russia’s anti-gay laws by funding anti-gay activism in Russia, testifying before the Duma, providing false research to fan the flames of anti-gay laws abroad, and building an international movement to back the harshest anti-gay laws around the world.

Rios: If Only Speaker Boehner Had The Courage Of Terrorists

American Family Association radio host Sandy Rios spoke to Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) yesterday about the government shutdown, and the congressman spent most of the time attacking President Obama for not capitulating to the GOP’s demands to derail Obamacare in order to keep the government running.

Stockman laced into Obama, calling him a “Machiavellian, amazing man that can call John Boehner a terrorist, it’s just beyond the pale.”

“It really is, oh that he did have the kind of courage that some of the—oh that’s kind of a dangerous statement I just made,” Rios replied, implying Boehner should have the same courage as terrorists. “I think many of us are praying that he will have more courage, there’s no question about that.”

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/1/13

  • The AFA's Tim Wildmon says that the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling is "frustrating the will of shareholders in private companies" because ExxonMobil started offering benefits to same-sex couples.
  • Peter LaBarbera complains that "the media now is practically part of the homosexual movement."
  • "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt insists that Syria's chemical weapons came from Iraq, which is why UN weapons inspectors could not find any WMDs.
  • Bryan Fischer says Washington, DC is like a caliphate and "we are dhimmis who must pay submission tax."
  • Finally, Russell Moore, head of the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, declares that Pope Francis' recent interview was "more than just confusing. It’s a theological wreck."

Fischer: Liberals Seek To 'Eliminate Us From Public Society'

Seizing upon a video of some guy telling anti-abortion activists that he wants to live in a world "where all your churches burn," Bryan Fischer repeated his warning that the Left will soon start forcing Christians to wear identifying patches and do to them exactly what the Nazis did to the Jews.

Asserting that liberals are "the most totalitarian, close-minded ... intolerant bigots that you can find," Fischer warned his listening audience today that "if secular fundamentalists ever get the power, they will eliminate us from public society" by requiring Christians to wear identification markers, forcing them into ghettos, and banning them from running businesses, voting, or holding any sort of public office:

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Bryan Fischer Relies On Chain Email To Praise Japan For Nonexistent Islam Policy

American Family Association radio hosts have a tendency to ignore real journalism and instead to rely on chain emails to back up their absurd conspiracy theories, including claims that Obamacare has a special exemption for Muslims and that President Obama wears a secret Muslim wedding ring.

Last week on Focal Point, AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer mentioned a right-wing chain email that says Japan bans mosques, Qurans and Muslim immigration — all of which are measures that Fischer supports wholeheartedly.

“Japan does not allow any Muslims to immigrate there,” Fischer said. “They cannot become Japanese citizens, the Quran is not permitted in the country of Japan, the teaching of Islam is not permitted in the country of Japan, no mosques are permitted in the country of Japan. If that information is correct, that’s one nation that’s got its eyes open.”

Watch:

A simple Google search will tell you that there are indeed mosques in Japan — seeing that the country has a century-old Muslim community — and Qurans and Islamic literature are not prohibited.

While Fischer claimed that Japan bans Muslim immigration, in fact the country has extremely strict immigration laws that make it difficult for anyone to become a citizen.

Of course, none of this matters to Fischer, who will likely continue to point to this chain email’s claims about Japan as a model for the United States to harshly curtail religious freedom and ban Islam.

Fischer: 'Islam Is Clearly The Religion That Satan Is Promoting' To Usher In The End Times

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who believes that Muslims worship “a demon God,” alleged today on Focal Point that Satan is using Islam to usher in the End Times. He corrected a caller who said he “thought about getting rid of Islam but it says in the Bible that if we get rid of Islam then the one-world government is going to move in and the bankers are backing up the one-world government,” telling him that, to the contrary, Islam is the “one-world counterfeit religion” prophesied in the Bible.

“That’s part of the End Times mix is Satan is always working to form a one-world government but he’s also working at the same time to get the entire world devoted to a counterfeit religion,” he continued.

Fischer said that while he can’t say for sure if we are living in the Last Days, Islam will be the false, universal religion that will usher in the apocalypse: “If we are in the Last Days, then Islam is clearly the religion that Satan is promoting to be the counterfeit alternative to Christianity.”

Watch:

Irony Alert: The AFA Is The Epitome Of The 'Ugliness Of Christian Activism'

Is it possible that Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, has never heard AFA spokesperson Bryan Fischer’s radio show?  Of course not. But that leaves only less charitable explanations for the level of a) cluelessness and b) disingenuousness revealed in the October issue of AFA’s magazine.

In his column, Wildmon describes a disagreement he had with Christian author Os Guinness during a recent interview:

He said that Christian young people are leaving the faith because of the “ugliness of Christian activism.” I asked him for an example of what he was talking about, and he cited a video that went around the Internet a couple of years ago that included clips from President Obama’s comments which would lead the viewer to believe Obama is a Muslim. Os said basically that this video was slanderous.

I told him I believed his example to be weak because that video was not produced by an mainstream pro-family or Christian group. My personal opinion is it is Obama himself who has created the suspicion among one out of four Americans that he is a secret Muslim. I have no idea if he is or not. I just know that many of his statements and actions have been extremely positive and sympathetic toward Islam.

So, Wildmon has “no idea” if Obama is a secret Muslim, but says the idea that he might be was not put out there by a “mainstream pro-family or Christian group.” 

Now, where in the world would people get the idea that Obama might be Muslim? 

"Is President Obama ... taking advantage of that doctrine of taqiyya?" Fischer asked. "Is he pretending to be a Christian, falsely and taking cover under the doctrine of taqiyya because his role as the president is advancing the cause of Islam? I mean, who knows?"

Tim Wildmon, meet Bryan Fischer, who has told his listeners that he believes the discredited right-wing theory that Obama’s wedding ring contains an inscription reading “there is no God but Allah” which, Fischer says, the mainstream media has ignored because it could raise the possibility “that Barack Obama may, in fact, be a closeted Muslim.”

There’s more. Fischer  says President Obama is heading “the most virulently anti-Christian, anti-Christ, anti-God administration we’ve ever had in American history” and is leading “a purge of Christians from the military.”  Fischer has accused President Obama of having a “visceral dislike of America” and a desire to destroy America.  Fischer says “whether he’s a Muslim or not, we may not know that until it’s too late to matter, but he clearly has Muslim sympathies, far more sympathetic to Islam than he is to Christianity…”  In the same show, Fischer said an Egyptian foreign minister claims that Barack Obama confided that he is a secret Muslim. 

For good measure, Fischer has also accused CIA Director John Brennan of being a devout Muslim who is funding terrorism.

Back to Wildmon, who says later in his column,

To be fair to Os, his main point in our conversation was that as Christians we should be doing “the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way.” Meaning, we need to be honest and treat our philosophical and political detractors as the Bible commands us to treat any other person – with love and respect.

I agree with that.

Wildmon also asserts that “there is nothing ugly about the Christian activism that American Family Association engages in.”

Really? Honesty, love and respect are not exactly hallmarks of the Bryan Fischer oeuvre. In fact, as our in-depth report on Fischer and our ongoing coverage of his rantings document, AFA spokesman and radio host Fischer is one of the biggest purveyors of dishonest, divisive, disrespectful, and outright bigoted rhetoric in the public arena today. 

Doyle: LGBT Community The 'Oppressors' Of Straight People

After Ex-Gay Pride Month was a complete disaster, to say the least, ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle appeared yesterday on Sandy Rios In The Morning to promote his latest event: Ex-Gay Awareness Month.

Rios wanted to know why the White House held a meeting with bisexual leaders while leaving out ‘ex-gays’ like Doyle, who told the American Family Association radio host that it is another sign that straight people like himself are facing discrimination by their “powerful oppressors” in the LGBT community.

“I think that what is really going on is there’s an effort by the White House and by politicians in rank and charge to include and recognize every single sexual orientation, sexual deviance, sexual preference and sexual lifestyle out there except for heterosexuals and ex-gays,” Doyle said. “So the people who say they are oppressed are the ones that are now politically powerful oppressors.”

Bryan Fischer Hails Ted Cruz As A Modern Day Elijah The Prophet

Bryan Fischer was so enraptured by Sen. Ted Cruz's self-aggrandizing faux filibuster against Obamacare that he is now literally comparing him to the Prophet Elijah.

Citing 1 Kings 18, where Elijah engaged in a showdown against the prophets of Baal, Fischer declared that "our Elijah today, confronting the prophets of Baal, is Ted Cruz and last night was his showdown on Mount Carmel."

Just like Elijah, who stood there "all day to defend the truth, to defend God, to stand for what is right," Fischer said, "last night was Ted Cruz's Elijah moment":

Fortunately for the other members of the Senate, Cruz didn't take his "Elijah moment" all the way to its Biblical conclusion:

And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.

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American Family Association Top Posts

David Lane is an extremely influential but notoriously media-shy Religious Right activist who regularly organizes secretive events at which leading Republican politicians speak to pastors in key swing states in an effort to mobilize conservative Christian voters. He is also a full-blown Christian nationalist who believes that the Bible should serve as "the principal textbook" for public education and has warned that the United States would see car bombings all over the nation as a result of God's judgment because "homosexuals [were] praying at the inauguration" of... MORE >
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, Thursday 05/22/2014, 11:17am
As we have noted before, Bryan Fischer seems to inhabit some bizarre parallel dimension in which innocuous episodes take on a profound significance that only he can understand. Take, for example, Fischer's response yesterday to Bill Clinton's statement last week that it took Hillary Clinton six months to fully recover from the concussion she suffered in 2012. He was discussing the initial claims that the former Secretary of State had "faked" her concussion in order to avoid testifying about Benghazi, but Fischer spun that off into a wild theory about how the former president... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/16/2014, 12:40pm
Sandy Rios of the American Family Association once again brought up Michael Sam’s kiss on her anti-gay radio show this week in order to warn that young people “are being brainwashed in public schools” into homosexuality. She then read a “great” and “encouraging” letter from a 19-year-old viewer who called Sam’s kiss “gross” and noted “the diseases and mental scarring that homosexuality causes.” The viewer said he has “given up on sports” due to the “liberal media,” pointing to Sam’s kiss as a... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 05/15/2014, 10:36am
Benham Brothers Reveal What Love and Liberty Mean To the Religious Right MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/14/2014, 11:25am
On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer took a call from Tom, a twenty-two year veteran of the Air Force, who wondered why he served in Vietnam and put his life on the line for a nation that now allows gays to serve in the military when God calls it an "abomination." "I question sometimes why I spent twenty-two years protecting what I was protecting," Tom said, "when we're willing to stand by and let it be washed away or given away by those in power." Fischer, of course, was entirely sympathetic, saying that America was once "worth bleeding and... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/13/2014, 2:50pm
Add Sandy Rios of the American Family Association to the growing list of anti-gay activists who are distraught over the TV footage of NFL recruit Michael Sam sharing a kiss with his boyfriend. Rios said on her radio show yesterday that “the Holy Spirit within me is revulsed” by the sight of two men kissing, insisting that most Americans “do not like this” and “don’t like what ESPN is doing and how they’re forcing this on the watchers, the guys, for the most part.” “I watched it once and it was enough, I couldn’t bear to watch it,... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 05/12/2014, 4:35pm
Last week on her radio show, Sandy Rios speculated that the only reason the State Department and feminists care about the kidnappings of hundreds of girls in Nigeria is because they don’t realize that many of the girls targeted by Boko Haram are Christians. Rios, the American Family Association’s government affairs director, said she was just asking the question about whether feminists would care about the kidnapped girls if they knew about their religion. The Department of State is offering a reward of up to $7 million leading to [Abubakar Shekau’s] location, of course... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 05/12/2014, 3:50pm
Bryan Fischer's love for young, black males has been well-established and it is precisely why he wants to see homosexuality made illegal. It was with this love in mind that Fischer spent two full segments of his radio broadcast today railing against the NFL for celebrating the drafting of Michael Sam instead of putting him into "ex-gay" reparative therapy. Calling Sam's drafting a "debacle," Fischer proclaimed that the NFL "is conducting itself in a horribly irresponsible fashion" by "celebrating something that could destroy Michael Sam's life.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 05/09/2014, 5:33pm
Why is Glenn Beck's network reporting about Malala Yousafzai? We thought it was laughable to even expect people to know or care who she was. This weekend, the Alaska Family Council will seek to explain how Christians can responsibly and gracefully engage a culture that has embraced homosexuality. The American Family Association is calling upon cities in Mississippi to stop adopting anti-discrimination ordinances. Gov. Bobby Jindal is scheduled to speak at Liberty University's graduation ceremony tomorrow where he will bravely criticize HGTV for canceling the Benham... MORE >