Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-06-21
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Bryan Fischer: From jilted Idaho pastor to AFA's propagandist-in-chief
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jody May-Chang
2011-11-09

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Bryan Fischer's departure from Idaho in the summer of 2009 was cause for celebration among progressives and conservatives alike throughout our small red state. After 29 years of bigotry, hate and racism, Fischer was finally gone!

Out-of-state when Fischer made the announcement he would be leaving Idaho, I was tending to my seriously ill 74-year-old mother. Sitting by her bedside in a California hospital room, exhausted, grateful and relieved Mom had just made it through surgery, I got the call.

Idaho Press-Tribune reporter Mike Butts wanted a comment in reaction to the big news. Stunned, all I could think of to say was, "Great for Idaho! Too bad for Mississippi!" I told mom the news. In her groggy, post anesthesia haze she whispered, "Good riddance to that bastard!"

Looking back, we were both naïve. Mom had a good excuse but I did not. I was short-sighted. What I should have said was, "Great for Idaho! Too bad for the country!"

The lesson: never underestimate a well-educated, media-savvy bully with a microphone. Soon after Fischer's arrival in Tupelo, he took to the airwaves and almost immediately began making headlines as America's newest religious extremist shock jock.

In the American Family Association's ( AFA's ) 34-year history they have made their share of controversial statements about gays and Jews, but it was not until Fischer arrived that the AFA's rhetoric grew to the dishonest and inflammatory style which is now its hallmark.

In about a year's time, with Bryan Fischer front and center as the organization's bombastic mouthpiece, in 2010 the Southern Poverty Law Center had no choice but to add AFA to its hate-groups list.

AFA was anointed hate group status in large part because of Fischer who consistently made prolific false and demeaning statements about LGBTQ people.

Some of Fischer's more outrageous claims include blaming gays for the Holocaust declaring, "Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler…the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews."

Fischer also asserts homosexuality should be re-criminalized for a variety of reasons, one being, "an overwhelming correlation between homosexual preference and pedophilia," or accusations that gays molest children, "10 times the rate of heterosexual."

To the most of the country, Fischer seemed to have popped out of nowhere.

On Oct. 10, the SPLC released an in-depth report, "THE PROPAGANDISTS: Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association, & the Demonization of LGBT People," detailing Fischer's radical extremism, and how he spent almost three decades in Idaho.

In "THE PROPAGANDIST," my co-author, Jill Kuraitis, and I revealed Fischer's rise to the national spotlight. This in-depth investigative piece on Fischer's history in Idaho shows how mainstream Idahoans jump-started his controversial career.

Fischer's access to GOP power was cemented in 2001 when he was appointed chaplain to the Idaho State Senate by U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, then the state legislature's majority leader. The taxpayer-paid position provided Fischer access Idaho's GOP elite which served him well when he became a registered lobbyist for his "pro-family" non-profit the Idaho Values Alliance, an AFA affiliate.

Fischer's tenure as pastor of two churches ended on a low note when he abruptly left both congregations under duress and clouds of controversy over his increasingly radical views and language.

The first was Cole Community Church. After serving as associate pastor for 13 years, Fischer was passed over by his boss and mentor, Sr. Pastor David Roper. Roper kept Fisher from succeeding him because Fischer's personal theology was growing more dominionist, which suggests Christians should seek control over government and the spiritual matters.

Fischer left Cole and founded the second church, Community Church of the Valley. After 12 years as Sr. Pastor at CCV, Fischer had a contentious power struggle with the board of elders and he was gone. The subject of that battle remains unclear.

With an annual budget of $20 million, AFA has become one of the most powerful religious-right organizations in the country. Through their equally powerful media network, made up of 200 radios stations, two internet TV channels, a news website and blog, AFA "promotes traditional values" with the majority of their efforts dedicated to "combating the homosexual agenda."

To further the assertion that gays are perverted and evil, the anti-Queer movement has developed over the years a carefully calculated propaganda strategy that misinforms and inflames the public. The report's "The Myths: 10 Tall Tales Debunked," takes aim at such lies and distortions and provides the tools to effectively respond and counteract bigots.

Addressing hate crime in the report, "The Math: Anti-LGBT Hate Violence," the SPLC reveals their careful analysis of 14 years of hate crime statistics collected by the FBI noting that researchers concluded gays are more than twice as likely to be victims of hate crime as Jews and Blacks and four times as likely as Muslims.

Providing Fischer with a well-funded and unrestricted platform, the AFA is a part of the mechanism that contributes to hate crime statistics. Statements such as, "Homosexuals, as a group, are the single greatest perpetrators of hate crimes on the planet, outside the Muslim Religion. … It is their hatred for the Judeo-Christian values, and all who believe them that is driving this vitriolic hate crime spree," serve no other purpose than to incite hatred that often leads to violence.

For someone who declares to be a devout follower of Christ, Fischer's words are anything but Christ-like. Many Idaho Christians want desperately for the country to know not everyone subscribes to Fischer's radical views and say Fischer is misrepresenting true Christianity.

And Roper's careful dance around a question about Fischer' hate speech was revealing, "I don't want to be involved in this controversy at all," replied Roper, "Bryan and I were good friends. I'm not trying to disassociate myself from him per say, but I just don't want to be quoted about any of his present activities."

In a January 2001 letter in the Idaho Statesman, Boisean Jennifer Boyd objected to Fischer's appointment as Senate chaplain by saying, "Fischer removed me from his congregation after my divorce which he deemed unacceptable, non-biblical, and sinful … he spoke out of both sides of his mouth … he said one thing while he did another … he judges people and situations based on limited information and preconceived notions."

"The only difference between Fischer and Jesus Christ is that Jesus does not think he is Bryan Fischer."

A copy of the full report including the Fischer expose' is available on May-Chang's website and will be published in the Nov. issue of the SPLC's Intelligence Report.

Jody May-Chang is an independent journalist and public speaker on LGBT issues. She has been a regular contributor to the Boise Weekly and has been published in Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting's magazine Extra!, Religion Dispatches, Lesbian Connection and most recently the Southern Poverty Law Center magazine the Intelligence Report. May-Chang has interviewed the author of The Family, Jeff Sharlet; DADT repeal advocate Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach; Academy Award—winning documentary filmmaker Debra Chasnoff; "State of Belief" talk radio host and president of the National Interfaith Alliance Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy; and former Utah Mayor Rocky Anderson. May-Chang lives in Boise, Idaho, with her wife of 15 years and their son.

Website: May-Chang.com ~ Twitter: @JodyMayChang ~ Facebook: Jody.MayChang

�2011 for Windy City Times


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

HRC Opposes Senate GOP Proposal to Rip Health Coverage from Millions 2017-06-22
Chicago-area Constituents Protest TrumpCare with Mobile Billboards and Rallies 2017-06-22
LGBT-friendly Logan Square housing gets CHA approval 2017-06-21
Vancouver link to European court ruling against Russia's 'gay propaganda' law 2017-06-21
Serbia has first lesbian leader 2017-06-21
3rd District Rep. Lipinski faces another challenger 2017-06-21
Panel examines trans, GNC individuals of color and the police 2017-06-21
HRC releases buying guide 2017-06-21
VIEWS A sadder Pride because of Washington inaction 2017-06-21
Clerk David Orr announces he will not seek 2018 re-election 2017-06-21
Clinton to speak at ALA conference 2017-06-21
Sedaris, Ginsburg, Ailey dancers part of Auditorium's season 2017-06-21
Quigley makes statement on Pride 2017-06-21
National roundup: Blood-donor campaign, trans win in Va., Calif. honorees 2017-06-20
HIV/AIDS Council members resign after Trump inaction 2017-06-19
Coalition condemns administration's new instructions on transgender student discrimination 2017-06-16
Commerce Department Removes LGBTQ Employees From EEO Statement 2017-06-16
Panel talks LGBT politics and the workplace 2017-06-16
Oregon first U.S. state to offer third gender marker on state IDs 2017-06-15
Kitowit and advocates discuss hate crimes legislation 2017-06-15
Lesbian cop helps subdue Va. shooter 2017-06-15
Danica Roem poised to be the only out transgender state legislator in nation 2017-06-14
Shooting at Congressional baseball practice in Virginia, groups respond 2017-06-14
Foss-Eggemann named to Human Rights Commission 2017-06-14
National: Journalists' tribute, DADT, Texas governor, Chelsea Manning 2017-06-13
World: German visas, Scottish Church OKs marriage, G-A-Y incident 2017-06-13
Washington, D.C. Equality March rally attracts thousands 2017-06-11
Chicago Equality Rally unites Midsommarfest in defiance 2017-06-11
HRC to Trump administration: Leaving U.N. Human Rights Council could endanger lives 2017-06-09
Howard Brown Health Heads to Washington, DC in support of the Equality Act 2017-06-09
Sen. Kaine brings legislation to protect LGBTQs from housing discrimination 2017-06-09
LGBTQ Chicago Equality Rally June 11 2017-06-09
Quigley questions HUD Sec. Ben Carson on attacks on LGBTQ housing resources 2017-06-09
Court dismisses appeal in case finding downstate B&B discriminated against gay couple 2017-06-08
Civil and Human Rights Coalition: Senate Should Reject John K. Bush 2017-06-07
Equality Illinois kicks off Pride month with awards brunch 2017-06-07
Madigan launches immigration campaign 2017-06-07
Chicago Equality Rally on June 11 2017-06-07
Southwest suburban progressives to host equality march 2017-06-07
National: Edie Windsor, U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, iconic gay bar destroyed 2017-06-06
 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.