Bryan Fischer, the most reprehensible human being on the planet and the man in charge of bigotry at the hate group known as the American Family Association, has been on a roll this year, continually topping his own ill-thought-out, outrageously obscene ideas, which include a ban on mosques in the United States and stripping Islam of its First Amendment protections. This is a man with a deep-seated hatred of anything not Christian (and then only his own brand of extremist Christianity).
In response to the results of a new Pew poll which shows “no evidence of rising support for Islamic extremism among Muslim Americans,” Fischer’s latest theory is based on ignoring that evidence and fixating on another question altogether: how do you think of yourself first? It turns out that 49 percent of Muslims think of themselves as Muslim first and only 26 percent as Americans first, with 18 percent saying both equally. Those numbers for Christians (not fundamentalist Christians mind you) are 46 percent Christian first and 46 percent American first with 6 percent saying both equally.
Fischer feels that Muslims should be Americans first and should self-identify that way, but that it’s okay for Christians to say they are Christians first and Americans second. If the logic escapes you (I think logic always escapes Bryan Fischer), read on from his comments on his radio broadcast on Tuesday:
Nearly half of Muslims in the US say that they think of themselves first as Muslims rather than Americans. Now that’s a problem.
We just saw that the percentages for Christians and Muslims are virtually identical among Christians in general and though Pew didn’t say we know the percentage must be higher among fundamentalists because that’s what fundamentalist Christians themselves are telling us, that the Ten Commandments or the Bible trump the Constitution (when they’re not trying to pretend the two are one in the same), or that they’re Christians first and Americans second.
Never mind that the New Testament is full of stern admonishments to obey the law of the land (1 Peter 2:13, Titus 3:1, Romans 13:1-5).
And Fischer actually admits to the poll results for Christians but for him it’s not a problem when Christians do it:
It’s not a problem when a Christian says that. For the Christian to say “I am a Christian first and an American second,” that’s what we all ought to say. Our ultimate allegiance is not to country, not to the Constitution, it’s to God and the Scripture. If you have to make a choice between the two, we must obey God rather than man.
WTF you say! Don’t give up now: This is where Fischer falls into the deep end and you’ll want to see the splash:
But when a Christian says “I’m a Christian first and an American second,” the fact that he is a Christian first, he’s got devotion and allegiance to Jesus Christ means he’s going to be a better American.
Because being devoted to Allah can’t make you a better American, somehow…
He’s going to be an asset to his country, he’s going to love his country, he’s going to become more fervent in his patriotism. His love for his country and for its traditions are going to deepen because those traditions are rooted in the soil of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
There are a number of problems with this statement, because, of course, the Founding Fathers did not base the United States or its institutions on anything remotely biblical. The Constitution is not based on the Ten Commandments. Pagan Rome was far more of a model for the Founders than ancient Israel. God doesn’t appear in that document. No god does. And that’s how the Founding Fathers wanted our government to be: secular. A secular government to prevent religious wars and persecutions like those they were so familiar with from their own time.
Somehow, this religiously-centered “force multiplier” that makes Christians better citizens doesn’t function for Muslims:
Now if you have a Muslim, on the other hand, that says that – “I am a Muslim first and an American second” – look out! Because that indicates his ultimate devotion is to the Quran, it’s to Allah, it’s to Muhammad. It’s not to Jesus Christ, it’s not to the Judeo-Christian tradition, it is not to American values and American tradition and American history and American heroes – it is to Allah and Allah tells him to slay the idolaters wherever you find them.
So the more devout a Muslim gets, the more of a threat he becomes to America’s nation security.
Here we run into more problems. The Judeo-Christian tradition has nothing to do with the American government, nor to the idea of E Pluribus Unum, our first national motto. Fischer wants to bring in American history on his side but the only American history that supports him is the invented American history of David Barton and other uneducated revisionists, which turn the actual historical record on its head. And some of our heroes weren’t even Christian.
And it’s outrageous for a fundamentalist like Fischer to talk about Islam slaying idolaters when his own religion spent the better part of 2000 years perfecting the practice through crusades, inquisitions, witch burnings and persecution up to and including genocide. Christianity had perfected the art of holy war long before Mohammed penned the Qur’an. The Great Commission has done more harm than anything written in the Qur’an and it is a rallying cry for dominionists like Fischer now, threatening two centuries of American democracy and the future existence of our nation.
Fischer was complaining about tyranny the other day. Tyranny is taking rights away, not granting them, and that’s what Fischer and his cronies are all about – stripping rights away from first this group and then that group, until only white fundamentalist Christians have rights. And Bryan Fischer, remember, and the organization he works for, has a voice in the halls of power now, backers of such people as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, potentially whispering in their ears in a new fundamentalist America. Unless we want to see the rise of an American Reich, it’s important for voters to connect the dots in 2012, and vote these people into obscurity where they belong, not establishing a new political mainstream of domestic terrorism.