Bryan Fischer has been fired from the American Family Association!
Details are sketchy and we don't know what the firing entails, but it looks like the entire incident has to do with a trip to Israel which would have included 60 members of the Republican National Convention scheduled from Jan. 31 to Feb. 8. The trip was going to be paid for by the American Family Association.
And the trip probably would have flown under the radar except for the watchful eye of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
According to Media Edge Network:
In a letter dated January 14 to RNC offices across the country, SPLC President Richard Cohen reminded RNC members of the AFA's extremism and its demonizing attacks on minorities.
"Given the AFA's public statements - including the false contention that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust, an idea undoubtedly offensive to Israelis - political leaders should not lend the prestige of their office to this event or to this organization," Cohen wrote.
Cohen's letter goes on to outline several of Bryan Fischer's (director of issue analysis and spokesman for the hate group) more outrageous anti-LGBT and racist statements including his support of Uganda's "kill the gays" bill and his statement that African Americans "rut like rabbits."
"Given that the disease of anti-Semitism is flaring throughout the world, we certainly understand your desire to show your commitment to Israel at this time," Cohen wrote to RNC members. "But accepting funding from an extremist group like the AFA would make a mockery of that commitment and legitimize its extremism."
According to the Israeli news agency Haaretz , of the 168 RNC members invited, more than one-third accepted.
Haaretz also notes that Fischer and Tim Wildmom, president of the AFA, as well as the group's external public relations representative, did not reply to multiple requests for their response to SPLC's statements.
However, according to Maddow, AFA did respond today:
Maddow quoted AFA President Tim Wildmon as dismissing Fischer as “just a talk show host” who is no longer associated with the AFA. When asked specifically what bothered him about Fischer, he cited “the soundbite quotes, you know, the Hitler and the homosexuality one… we reject that.”
That would be a bizarre explanation by Wildmon, seeing that Fischer was, before today, AFA's Director of Issues Analysis. And as for AFA's "rejection of Fischer's rhetoric, just when did that begin? Fischer has been saying wildly inane things ever since he was hired by the organization (see video below)
In 2010, SPLC designated the AFA and several other religious right organizations as hate groups due to their dehumanizing and bigoted rhetoric against the lgbt community.
In the case of the AFA, SPLC has on several occasions pinpointed the rhetoric of Fischer as a main reason why it considered AFA to be a hate group:
Since joining the AFA as director of issue analysis for government and public policy, Fischer has used the group's website and its radio network to promote outrageous and false claims about LGBT people, Muslims, Native Americans and African Americans. Despite Fischer's extreme views – like blaming gay men for the Holocaust, calling for the criminalization of homosexuality, and calling for the banning of Muslim immigration to the U.S. – prominent conservatives continue to appear on Fischer's radio show.
In this particular case, it is beginning to sound as if SPLC was able to get the media in Israel buzzing about AFA and Fischer before the trip began, thus creating a possibly huge embarrassing incident not only for anti-gay group but also the Republican National Convention. And that may have been the thing which cost Fischer his job.
Headlines in several Jewish and Israeli newspapers read as such:
US NGO: 'Hate group' funding Republican National Committee trip to Israel
GOP Israel trip funded by 'hate group,' watchdog says
'Hate Group' Funds Republican Trip to Israel
Anti-Gay Group Funds US Politicians Visit to Israel
As I said before, details are very sketchy but until the entire story comes out, let's all take a look at the rhetoric of one Bryan Fischer when he WAS employed by the American Family Association:
UPDATE - According to The New Civil Rights Movement, Fischer's replacement isn't any better:
But, and there are many buts, there is much more involved in this story, including the fact that Fischer's de facto replacement is David Lane, the head of the American Renewal Project, which is housed in and funded by the American Family Association.
Lane is so toxic that an op-ed he wrote for World Net Daily, the same site that regularly claims President Barack Obama is gay, was so offensive it was actually removed from the site.