The American Family Association (AFA) has finally distanced itself from many of the bigoted comments made by Bryan Fischer. The AFA is keeping Fischer as a radio host, but his views are now officially his own and not to be confused with those of the AFA.
Fischer joined the AFA in 2009 as a spokesman, issue analyst, and radio host. Fischer had made a name for himself in Idaho. He served as a pastor and chaplain in the Idaho legislature. After he was fired from his church for being too rigid on not allowing women to serve in any leadership, he became a full-time activist, fighting for public displays of the Ten Commandments and a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage.
Shortly after joining AFA, Fischer started making headlines for his statements that were extreme even among social conservatives. In 2010, he said that Muslims should not be allowed to immigrate into the U.S. and that attending Mosques was a form of treason that should result in deportation and a stripping of a person’s citizenship. He also made statements that gay sex should be a crime and that gays caused the Holocaust.
By 2012, Fischer had become a national figure who was featured in both the New Yorker and NPR. Fischer had become an unofficial spokesman for the religious right in the presidential campaign. His only political victory, however, was to pressure Mitt Romney’s foreign policy spokesman, Richard Grenell, to resign. Grenell’s only disqualification? He was openly gay. And, according to Fischer, gays are Nazis who are leading us down the slippery slope to necrophilia.
Fischer and the AFA always stated that Fischer (as radio host) did not always speak for the organization, even though he was a spokesman for the AFA.
Last week, the AFA wrote the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC) to officially repudiate many of Fischer’s statements on gays, Muslims, immigrants, Native Americans, and minorities. The SPLC lists the AFA as a hate group.
On January 20, the SPLC sent letters to high-ranking Republicans who were invited to visit Israel on an AFA-sponsored trip. The letter listed some of Fischer’s statements. The SPLC said that while it admired a commitment to fight anti-Semitism and to support Israel, participating in an AFA-sponsored trip would “make a mockery of that commitment.”
The SPLC tactic apparently worked. On January 28, the AFA sent a letter to the SPLC that threw Fischer under the bus. The AFA not only said that Fischer no longer speaks for the organization; the AFA repudiated all of the statements the SPLC listed in its letter to Republican leaders.
AFA rejects the idea expressed by Bryan Fischer that “Free exercise of religion” only applies to Christians. Consequently, AFA rejects Bryan’s assertions that Muslims should not be granted permits to build mosques in the United States;
AFA rejects the ideas expressed by Bryan Fischer that the violent expulsion of Native Americans was divinely ordained and that, “Superstition, savagery and sexual immorality” morally disqualified Native Americans from “sovereign control of American soil.”
AFA rejects the ideas expressed by Bryan Fischer that “we” need to clamp down on immigration because Hispanics are socialist by nature and vote Democratic because it allows them to “benefit from the plunder of the wealth of the United States.”
AFA rejects Bryan Fischer’s characterization of minorities as “people who rut like rabbits.”
AFA rejects the statement by Bryan Fischer that, “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.”
AFA rejects the policy advocated by Bryan Fischer that homosexual conduct should be illegal
AFA rejects the notion advocated by Bryan Fischer that, “We need an underground railroad to protect innocent children from same-sex households.”
AFA rejects Bryan Fischer’s statement that, “If Hillary Clinton becomes president In 2016, she will not only be our first female president, she could be our first lesbian president.”
Fischer remains a radio host for American Family Radio. He will still have a big megaphone at the low end of your radio dial. But that is all he has. Even at the AFA, his views proved too extreme to defend any longer.