American Family Association has apparently demoted their chief spokesman, Bryan Fischer. Warren Throckmorton has written that Fischer’s downfall is tied to AFA’s sponsorship of an RNC trip to Israel and the attention being paid to AFA as a certified anti-gay hate group. The title and subtitle of an article by Debra Nussbaum Cohen published this week in the Haaretz newspaper reads:
U.S. NGO: Evangelical ‘hate group’ funding Republican
Shame on the RNCNational Committee trip to Israel
Evangelical political operative planned 9-day freebie trip for national committee members, on behalf of the conservative Christian AFA group which blasts Muslims, gays. SPLC rights group staffer: Our issue is not with the trip, but with the ‘heinous beliefs’ of those sponsoring it.
AFA has not issued a press release regarding Mr. Fischer. Assuming that AFA is trying to distance itself from Fischer for political purposes, they have accomplished nothing! Aside from the fact that Fischer will retain his microphone on AFA radio, AFA has never distanced itself from any of Fischer’s most extreme beliefs. Aside from kill-the-gays, Fischer has asserted that the First Amendment only applies to Christians. The list of Fischer’s offensive and crackpot statements is enormous.
Furthermore, past president of AFA, Don Wildmon (who is the father of the current president), was a bigot long before Fischer was employed by AFA. In addition to his inflammatory anti-gay rhetoric, Wildmon claimed that Hollywood is controlled by Jews who are too accepting of homosexuals. Wildmon fails to appreciate just why such a statement is anti-Semitic.
If AFA wants to be accepted in polite society they need to distance themselves from certain beliefs — not the person at AFA who voices them. They could start by renouncing the notion that the Holocaust was orchestrated by gay people who, apparently, controlled the Third Reich. In addition to offending gay people and their families, using the Holocaust as sophistry is extremely offensive to Jews.
I wouldn’t expect AFA to be contrite. Nor do I expect them to renounce any of Fischer’s hate-speech. AFA is trying to look like they have changed with no change at all. After all their base has cheered Fischer on. Furthermore, shame on the RNC. They knew all about AFA long before the Haaretz article. They also know that AFA’s culture is derived from its leadership rather than their spokesman. We didn’t blame the Iraq war on any of Bush’s press secretaries (at least I don’t think so).