You might say he’s an equal opportunity bigot.
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association (AFA), who has made hate-mongering remarks about the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, African Americans, Muslims, gays and grizzly bears revealed recently that he isn’t too fond of Mormons, either.
On a recent episode of his television show Focal Point, Fischer said that the First Amendment does not apply to Mormons and that the Church of Latter Day Saints still supports polygamy. But next week, Fischer will be sharing a stage with America’s most famous Mormon, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, TPM reports in a story headlined “Awkward: Mitt Romney Set to Share Stage with Anti-Mormon Shock Jock.” Despite the “inflammatory, hateful and occasionally just plain bizarre remarks” Fischer has made on his show, Republicans vying for the presidency, including Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee, Haley Barbour, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich all made appearances on Fischer’s show earlier this year, TPM reports.
Romney will be speaking in Washington on October 8 at this year’s Values Voters Summit, a social conservative conference sponsored by the AFA and other far rightwing organizations, including, FRC Action, American Values, the Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council, Liberty University and the Liberty Council. Fischer will follow him.
Awkward, indeed since a little more than a week ago Fischer asserted that the Founding Fathers really didn’t intend for the First Amendment to apply to Mormons, because, according to Fischer, it only applies to Christians and Mormons aren’t Christians.
“My argument all along has been that the purpose of the First Amendment is to protect the free exercise of the Christian religion,” he says in the video.
“One evidence that [the Founding Fathers] were not dealing … they weren’t even intending to deal with non-Christian religions is what they did with Mormonism in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Mormonism – they call themselves by the name of Christ, but it is not an orthodox Christian network of churches, it just is not. Mormonism is not an orthodox Christian faith. It just is not. They have a different Gospel, they have a completely different definition of who Christ is and so forth, I mean, the list could be multiplied endlessly,” he continues. “And it was very clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend to preserve automatically religious liberty for non-Christian faiths, so when Mormonism came along, they practiced polygamy, they believed in polygamy, just like Muslims do today.”
The editors at Right Wing Watch, which also posted Fischer’s Mormon video, said they are once again asking Republican leaders who will be attending the Values Voter Summit “to denounce Bryan Fischer’s long history of unmitigated bigotry” and focusing on Romney because of Fischer’s recent remarks. They’ve been unsuccessful so far. “Our efforts in the past to get someone, anyone within the GOP or Religious Right to condemn Fischer’s relentless bigotry have not amounted to much, mainly because nobody within the movement seems to be particularly bothered by it, which is why GOP leaders continue to appear on his radio program and on stage with him at Religious Right events.”
Mormons are only the latest target of Fischer’s unceasing bigotry and racism. He became notorious in Indian country early this year for his racist comments about the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island Fischer is perhaps best known for warning the people of America that President Obama “wants to give the entire land mass of the United States of America back to the Indians. He wants Indian tribes to be our new overlords.” But it was Fischer’s article “Native Americans Morally Disqualified Themselves from the Land” published last winter that has generated the harshest criticism for its blatant racism against the Indigenous Peoples here.
The article was removed from the AFA website but is archived as Text of Fischer’s Racist Screed on Newspaper Rock. In it, Fischer claims that “the superstition, savagery and sexual immorality of native (sic) Americans” made them “morally disqualified from sovereign control of American soil.” As a zealous Christian Zionist who dehumanizes Muslims, Fischer draws an analogy between the Indigenous Peoples of this country and the “Amorites, or Canaanite peoples” – the ancestors of today’s Palestinians – who “practiced one moral abomination after another, whether it was incest, adultery, sexually immorality, homosexuality, bestiality or child sacrifice, and God finally said ‘Enough’” – and gave the land to the ancient Israelites.
Similarly, “native (sic) American” tribes at the time of European settlement 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,” Fischer says. Furthermore, Fischer says, American Indians resisted “the appeal” of European Christianity and “resisted every attempt” at conversion, a claim that is belied by the presence of many historic churches on Indian lands and the large numbers of Christians among the Indigenous Peoples today. He draws further parallels between “missionaries murdered in cold blood” by the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island and “abominations of the indigenous Canaanites tribes” as the implicit reason why “God” gave the land of the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island to European Christians and land of the Canaanites – Palestine – to European Jews.
But there’s even more to Fischer’s hate list. Fischer said it’s time for America to get rid of “the curse” of grizzly bears. He’s argued that the Medal of Honor has been “feminized” because “we now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them.” He said Hitler used gay soldiers because straight soldiers were not “vicious and brutal and savage enough to carry out his orders.”
Focusing again in June on Indigenous Peoples, he expressed outrage that “Indian-Americans” are “dominating” so many spelling bees. “An Indian-American has won it for the third year in a row, and overall, Indian-Americans have won the trophy eight times in the last 12 years,” Fischer complained. He asked, perhaps rhetorically, whether Congressman Barney Frank, who is both progressive and openly gay, “and his fervid equality acolytes (will) intervene to stop this outrageous display of ethnic favoritism?” Envisioning a conspiracy to allow “ethnic favoritism” to take place, Fischer asks, “Will judges, who heretofore have been guided by objective criteria found in the dictionary, be forced to allow spellers of previously disfavored races to commit a certain number of mistakes just to keep things fair? Will standards be lowered to ensure that the group of ten finalists ‘look like America’?”
Finally, in a statement whose meaning remains obscure, he concludes that “[a]n anxious nation breathlessly awaits the appearance of an equality hero who will sweep aside objective standards and honors based on achievement, hard work and intelligence in favor of the classic American ideal of mediocre and bland outcomes based entirely on skin tones.”