While the American Family Association claims that one of its founding objectives is to defend “the rights of conscience and religious liberty from infringement by government,” its chief spokesman Bryan Fischer continues to show his contempt for religious freedom. Fischer, the AFA’s Director of Issues Analysis, repeatedly demanded that the US deport all Muslims and prohibit and purge Muslims from the military, and also called for the banning and destruction of mosques. Fischer today attempted to reconcile his ardent opposition to Muslim religious liberty with the Constitution’s First Amendment by claiming that the Constitution actually doesn’t apply to or protect Muslims at all:
Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam. Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy. While there certainly ought to be a presumption of religious liberty for non-Christian religious traditions in America, the Founders were not writing a suicide pact when they wrote the First Amendment.
Our government has no obligation to allow a treasonous ideology to receive special protections in America, but this is exactly what the Democrats are trying to do right now with Islam.
From a constitutional point of view, Muslims have no First Amendment right to build mosques in America. They have that privilege at the moment, but it is a privilege that can be revoked if, as is in fact the case, Islam is a totalitarian ideology dedicated to the destruction of the United States. The Constitution, it bears repeating, is not a suicide pact. For Muslims, patriotism is not the last refuge of a scoundrel, but the First Amendment is.
Of course, the founding fathers certainly did construct the First Amendment to protect all people, including non-Christian groups like Muslims. George Washington’s letter to the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island clearly demonstrates that non-Christians were intended to be protected by the Constitution, and the Treaty of Tripoli crafted under Washington and ratified by John Adams makes clear that the “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,” [Muslims].
But evidently, plain historical facts aren’t enough for Bryan Fischer.