Last year, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer created a bit of controversy when he wrote a piece claiming that the Native Americans deserved to be wiped out by European Christian settlers because they were “steeped in the basest forms of superstition, had been guilty of savagery in warfare for hundreds of years, and practiced the most debased forms of sexuality.”
The AFA quickly removed Fischer’s piece, with Fischer claiming that his critics were just “not mature enough” to handle the truth. In defending his view, Fischer offered a rather telling insight into his worldview when he warned that it was necessary to view the establishment of this nation and the related treatment of Native Americans as sanctioned by God, otherwise we are essentially admitting that “the entire American experiment is rooted in evil”:
A lot is at stake here. If Americans believe that the entire history of our nation rests on a horribly evil foundation, then there is nothing to be proud of in American history, and our president is correct to identify America as the source of all evil in the world and to make a career out of apologizing for her very existence.
If, however, there is a moral and ethical basis for our displacement of native American tribes, and if our westward expansion and settlement are in fact consistent with the laws of nature, nature’s God, and the law of nations, then Americans have much to be proud of.
This latter view certainly would not compel us to believe that Americans were never guilty of evil themselves. But saying that America was wrong here, or there, is certainly a different thing than saying that the entire American experiment is rooted in evil.
Since Fischer believes that America was established by God and founded by Christians for Christians, then everything that happened in establishing this nation must be fundamentally godly because to say otherwise is to believe that the nation was founded on evil.
This framework popped up again on Tuesday when Fischer discussed the American Revolution and claimed that it “was not a war of rebellion” because rebellion against governing authorities is a violation of Romans 13:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
Since Romans 13 says that all governing authorities have been established by God and that rebellion against them is rebellion against God, it was necessary for Fischer to explain why the American Revolution was not actually a rebellion. And he did that by claiming that once the colonies declared their independence from England, they had formed a new and sovereign government, meaning that the subsequent war that erupted was the result of a foreign power (i.e. England) invading our “sovereign, free, and independent territory”:
The next time you hear this sort of pseudo-historical foolishness spread by Fischer or David Barton or any other Religious Right figure and wonder to yourself “how can these people believe this nonense?,” just remember that they really have no choice but to believe it because their entire worldview hinges on it.