American Culture

Bryan Fischer and the American Family Association: diabolical voices of un-Christian, un-American hate

Fischer: ‘Allah is a demon god of darkness, violence, death, and destruction’
Right Wing Watch
December 23, 2011

Considering Bryan Fischer makes so much hateful noise, is it any wonder that it’s relatively difficult to get in touch with him? More’s the pity. I had hoped to correct him for his error and apprise him of a little bit of his own scripture. Maybe this post or one like it will come to his attention, not that I think it will actually do any good. Meanwhile, this post is reaching you. That is what matters.

Disclosure: I, myself, am not an adherent of any faith. I am an agnostic. That said, while I may not share the beliefs of Christianity as a whole, I do hold many tenets of the Christian faith in high esteem, as well as tenets of various other faiths. More to the point, I am also a realist when it comes to the political power held by Christians in modern-day America. In particular, I am keenly aware of the disproportionate amount of influence wielded by a segment of Christianity, those of an evangelical persuasion, comprising approximately 26.3% of adults in America. As an astute observer, you will recognize that this is a minority position.

If claims from the evangelical right were of no direct social impact on the remaining ~75% of adults in America (to say nothing of the ~75.6 million children), I wouldn’t have sufficient reason to dispute the beliefs, claims, or demands of evangelical Christians. Since claims from the religious right in America do have such tremendous social impact, I hold it a patriotic duty to highlight the issues I have with their arrogation unto themselves of dogmatic authority and political influence. I do not hold any such authority or influence, so I humbly submit the following for your consideration.

  • Fischer makes the erroneous claim that the deity of Islam is not also the deity of Christianity (and thus, also not of Judaism).
  • Fischer, a putatively devout Christian, impugns (read: blasphemes) the spirit of the deity of Islam, ergo, the deity of Christianity and thus commits the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as widely understood by Christians on the scriptural authority of Matthew 12:31. See What is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost? by Tim Greenwood for an excellent analysis.

Before exploring each of those points in just a bit more detail, we need to ask ourselves why it even matters that Fischer espouses the views that he does. Consider, “Bryan Fischer is the Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association, where he provides expertise on a range of public policy topics.” Consider also, that on an unrelated issue, AFA has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. While the SPLC designation is unrelated to Islamophobia, it would seem that the underlying rationale for such labeling would apply here…for “propagation of known falsehoods” and “repeated, groundless name-calling.” Note, SPLC is not making that claim, I am. Consider also, that Fischer can hardly hide behind a veneer of stupidity. Educated at Stanford University and Dallas Theological Seminary, his intelligence is manifest. Consider also that, “he has been featured on media outlets such as Fox News, CBS News, NBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC, Russia Today television and the Associated Press, has been a frequent guest on talk radio to discuss cultural and religious issues, and has written op-eds for political websites such as The Hill.” Consider as well that, as of this writing, AFA enjoys 77,411 page likes at Facebook, a none-too-shabby indicator of their reach.

That said, let’s briefly investigate each of the claims I make above.

Erroneous claim that the deity of Islam is not also the deity of Christianity

In the video, Fischer makes the following case:

  • Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (II Corinthians 3:17)
  • The Lord indicated in II Cor. 3:17 is Yahweh, the spirit revealed in the Old and New Testaments
  • The spirit of the Lord indicated in II Cor. 3:17 is not the spirit of Allah

Ergo, according to Fischer, Allah is not the Lord of the Old and New Testaments.

The historical record does not support this claim. In The God of Abraham, Jesus, and Muhammad, Jack Miles has this to say:

That Jews, Christians, and Muslims have always assumed their differences to be about the character rather than the identity of God is abundantly witnessed centuries later in late medieval Spain where the three religions mingled freely and the best scholars were bi- or even trilingual in Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew. During that era, a number of famous theological debates took place in which all participants transparently assumed that all other participants were speaking of-—and, of course, disagreeing about—-the same divine subject.

As for Islamic scriptural authority on this point, consider the Qur’an, 4:15 (with my apologies for not being as well versed in citing scripture from the Qur’an:

And who is better in religion than one who submits himself to Allah while being a doer of good and follows the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth? And Allah took Abraham as an intimate friend.

For a further interesting take on whether or not the god of Islam is also the god of Christianity and/or Judaism, you may wish to read the debate at Throne & Altar entitled “Maverick Philosopher on whether Muslims worship the same God.” When one considers that the arguments for the identification for this shared deity are presented as a form of assault on Western secular/atheist thinking, it’s at least difficult to make the claim that the arguments are derived from any anti-Christian intent. Of note, one commenter there quotes para 841 of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” thusly:

“The Church’s relationship with the Muslims: The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

As one searches the Internet for sources on this topic, three things becomes quickly evident: that passions run high on both sides of the dispute, that citations to historical sources are as rare as humps on monkeys, and that the most strident arguments against such an identification stem from overwhelmingly sectarian evangelical Christian sources. As for me, I’ll go with the historical record, the claims inherent in Islam, and a majority position of Christianity and conclude that the god of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are one and the same with confidence that I have a much broader body of reference by way of support.

Fischer commits the unforgiveable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

Having established firmly, to my satisfaction, that the god of Christianity is one and the same as the god of Islam, while conceding the obvious differences in how they are understood, I have also established that to malign the spirit of one of those gods is to malign the other simultaneously, to wit, blasphemy against the spirit of the god of Islam is blasphemy against the spirit of God, i.e., the Holy Spirit, in Christianity. Christianity’s own deity-made-flesh, Jesus, had this to say on the subject when the Pharisees accused him of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul, ruler of demons:

27 If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

30 He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

As noted above, one Tim Greenwood provided an excellent analysis of what it means to commit such a blasphemy in his article, “What is Blasphemy Against the Holy Ghost?

Well it’s really pretty simple. “Blasphemy” is something slanderous and/or injurious to one’s good name. And the Greek word for “against” can mean “according to the case against” or “to the charge of” which is legal language. So what I believe this is saying is that “speaking blasphemy against” the Holy Spirit is like when someone one knowingly and deliberately as a legal witness attributes the works, operations and/or gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Devil or attributes the works, operations of the Devil to the Holy Spirit.

The Pharisees did this when Jesus was casting out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit. They proclaimed: “He cast out demon spirits by the power of Beelzebub!” 

Jesus stopped their mouths right then and there and straightened them out.

Now Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is NOT someone that is just parroting someone else or speaking out of ignorance. Paul in 1Tim 1:12-13 said that He had even blasphemed the Holy Spirit, but that he had done this out of ignorance.

This is also NOT just something stupid that someone casually says once or twice. This is something that is said deliberately – in abundance – from the heart. How do we know that? We know that from the context of the rest of this passage.

vs. 33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit
vs. 34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
vs. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
vs. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
vs. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Perhaps Fischer will find his own faith-based exoneration in the exemption for ignorance. As I read the above, according to the tenets of his own scripture, this would simply not be the case.

In keeping with its own deeply heretical views, views that run counter to the teachings of their own god-made-flesh, Fischer may well be the ideal mouthpiece for their particular brand of virulence and hate. For anyone else of any faith or lack thereof following the issue of hate group AFA’s influence on American culture, it should be dramatically clear that they have either chosen very poorly or have clearly aligned themselves with what others of faith, be it Christian, Islam, or otherwise, would rightly see as diabolical forces. Fischer and his malign cohort may enjoy the same freedoms of speech and religion as the rest of us, but we would all be better served if more voices were raised in a righteous lament over their undue influence.

My challenge to you: whenever you encounter news of AFA’s influence over government or private industry, contact those officials catering to their hateful, un-Christian, and un-American views and let them know very clearly that AFA does not speak for you or your faith. Further, make it abundantly clear that further concessions to the AFA and their ilk will result in accountability, either at the polls, the cash register, or the opening bell on Wall Street.

9 replies »

  1. His education aside, my assumption is that he’s playing the game so common with modern-American Christianity. Keep Yahweh for the fire and brimstone bits against unbelievers and “sinners” (realistically, the two are synonymous and sectarian), and discard Yahweh in favor of Jesus when it suits the purpose. It suits the purpose here, because neither Islam nor Judaism recognize Jesus in the manner that Christianity does.

    So, he’s not being blasphemous. He’s pointing out that the two other faiths of Abraham are wrong in not accepting Jesus as their Lord and savior.

    He sees no contradiction, and while your scripture is on point, he’s unconcerned with actual scripture or the theological interpretation of it. He’s only concerned with using select bits of scripture to buttress his own arguments, and he relies – rightly – on the fact the majority of American Christians don’t actually read and meditate on their holy book. They parrot what guys like him say and accept it as biblical truth.

    It’s a system so fascinatingly efficient that the Medieval Catholic Church probably couldn’t have done any better with a flock of illiterates. …or maybe there’s not much difference between then and now.

  2. Christianity and Islam both spawned from Judaism. Judaism, not the first type of monotheism, but definitely the longest running, is a hateful, monopoly religion against all non-Jews. Whereas Christianity has the “devil” character to blame “sin” on, the Jews regard all non-Jews as their “devil.” Monopolies are supposed to be illegal. Monotheism is the monopoly of the ownership of God, and therefore should be illegal. Humanity has had enough of the pain, strife, lies and wars caused by the idiot monotheists.

  3. why would you call them a hate group when their right about gays/perverts and moslems? i’m a christian to does that make me a hatefull person to? gays/perverts, and moslems are one in the same to me their all trash and this comes from 61 years of experience! you call yourselves scholars? then answer me this do you want gays/perverts or moslem living next to you? neither does any respectful christian! i say kill and let god sort them out!

    • You know, this is one of those moments where I can’t tell if a commenter is a complete moron or if it’s somebody pretending to be a complete moron.

  4. I figured this would be a lightning rod for a certain something. That was certainly something 😉 I’m only surprised that there’s not more of it.

  5. Essentially a Christian in denial and a Fundamentalist pissing on each other over Bible interpretations.

    Very funny. However, this keeps both of them busy and out of our children’s pants. Now if we could only devise a way to keep them off of our streets.

  6. to samuel, if your refering to me samuel then your either gay/ pervert or a moslem which is it? if your gay/pervert then you are every hetro sexuals enemy period! if your a moslem then your either a cold blooded killer, a bomber or just a stupid moslem which is it?

    • No, still can’t tell. Part of me thinks you’re real because wow, you’re so hateful and ignorant. But another part of me thinks no way, NOBODY is that hateful and ignorant.

  7. @john george…you are a very disturbed individual son. Your message doesn’t apply in a free society. I understand that any yesterday is better than tomorrow in your life. I believe that your enemies and targets of hate will only increase as you grow older.

    Your weight is 213 lbs.