The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

AFA’s Fischer Proposes a Promiscuity Solution

By Larry Keller on May 26, 2010 - 8:55 am, Posted in Anti-LGBT

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer seems to have come up with a solution to what he perceives to be sexual immorality in America: Kill the promiscuous offenders.

On his radio program last Friday, Fischer read a passage from Numbers 25 in the Bible — pointed out to him by his wife, he says — in which a man named Phineas kills an amorous man and woman of differing tribes at a time when “the nation had lapsed into rampant sexual immorality. “I don’t know if that sounds familiar to you — it certainly does to me — and Phineas … did something very decisive,” Fischer said. Phineas “found an Israelite in flagrante with a Philistine woman and he ran them both through with a spear, pinned them both to the ground inside their tent, ran his spear through both of them, right into the ground,” Fischer said. “And that shook up the nation, it got their attention and they transformed … they turned from that kind of behavior and renewed their commitment to follow God.”

That doesn’t seem extreme to Fischer. He declared that “God is obviously looking for more Phineases in our day.” Phineas, he added, “was able to turn back the wrath of God from his people, from his nation.  Fischer added his hope that “each one of us be a Phineas in our own world and in our own generation.”

Fischer isn’t the first to find inspiration in the story of Phineas. Some adherents of the Christian Identity religion called themselves Phineas Priests in the 1990s and took violent action against interracial couples, abortion providers and homosexuals who they said violated “Biblical Law.” Christian Identity tenets include the beliefs that Jews are descendants of Satan and that non-whites are “mud people.”

The Phineas Priesthood concept was first articulated in the 1990 book Vigilantes of Christendom by Richard Kelly Hoskins. Several men who said they were members of the Phineas Priesthood — although it’s not a membership organization — bombed an abortion clinic and a newspaper building, and robbed banks in the state of Washington in the 1990s.

The Phineas statements are but the latest bizarre commentary from Fischer, the AFA director of issues analysis. Hatewatch reported last November that, in the aftermath of 13 people being murdered at a Texas Army post by an American-born Muslim soldier, Fischer suggested all Muslims should be barred from joining the U.S. military. “The barbarians are no longer at the gate. They’re inside the fort, and it’s time for the insanity to stop.”

In another of his radio addresses, Fischer declared that Hitler was “an active homosexual” who persecuted effeminate gay men but recruited other homosexuals. “And Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but the homosexual soldiers basically had no limits on the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after. Supposedly gay Nazis have been a fascination of the vehemently anti-gay Scott Lively, a pastor who co-wrote a book on the subject, The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party.

Fischer has even managed to enrage animal lovers. After a Sea World trainer was killed in Orlando in February by a killer whale named Tilly, Fischer said the beast should have been dispatched back in 1991 when it killed a trainer at a British Columbia aquarium.  Fischer cited a Bible passage, “When an ox gores a man or woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner shall not be liable.”

Fischer was offended that some people took his comment to mean that Tilly should have been stoned. “I simply called for the animal to be euthanized, which can be done humanely and entirely without using rocks,” he wrote in a follow-up. But, he added, he was happy with the “mindless overreaction” anyway. “I’m happy to serve humanity by increasing biblical literacy, one passage at a time.”

  • amajorpain

    Evidently there is something lost in the words (that words you all read).

    As long as I know of Mr. Fischer has never been given to be a man of violence. What we see in this mans words are the following: GOD is Just. GOD will Act. For now, GOD is Patience. But it is written, GOD exacts vengeance upon whom HE wishes. GOD does not need to ask us what time it is.

    Peace yall.

    May the GOD of Angel Armies be with yall.
    themajorpain is back quiet

  • James Carlson

    My fondest hope is that Fischer’s children become gay atheists.

  • Jake

    To paraphrase a famous quote; Good people will do good, and evil people will do evil, but for good people to do evil — that takes religion. It’s no wonder that Isaac Asimov once said that the bible, properly read, is the most potent force for atheism in the world.

  • john

    Nice blog, but you totally misunderstood Brian’s meaning, or you purposefully misled your readers. Either way you are wrong in your blog.

  • Tezuka fan

    Judge: “How does the defendant plea?”
    Defendant: “Not guilty by reason of protecting the future of morality in this country.”

    Attorney: “My client pleads not guilty by reason of mental defect or disease.”

    Then somewhere along the line, Jack McCoy explodes in anger and makes witnesses and defendants cry.

  • Greg S

    Religious extremists aren’t the only ones to be inspired by the story of Phineas. It’s also a staple of slasher films. The “decisive” act described in Numbers 25:7-8 occurs in both Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) and in Bay of Blood, aka Twitch of the Death Nerve (1971).

  • WMDKitty

    The Christo-taliban is at it again…

  • beholder

    Sounds to me like the Taliban and the American Family Association are two peas in a pod.

  • IludiumPhosdex

    I don’t think the courts would buy into the “Phineas Priest/Priesthood” defence for hate crimes, nor should they, for that matter.

  • dogemperor

    This is very worrying–as the one group besides Christian Identity to regularly use “Phinehas Priesthood” imagery is none other than the Joel’s Army/New Apostolic Reformation groups that have been in SPLC’s radar. (As it is, AFA–particularly its state affiliates–has been particularly sympathetic to NAR arguments, and not only have state affiliates promoted “The Pink Swastika” for decades but Scott Lively was supposedly formerly involved with AFA-CA.)

    And yes, the “Phinehas” imagery has been specifically borrowed from Christian Identity (Rick Joyner used it in “The Harvest” after lifting the concept from the Christian Identity book where it first appeared) and has been used in contexts by Joel’s Army groups that could be supportive of domestic terrorism, including hate crimes against LGBT people (Army of God has used “Phinehas” imagery in describing its own terror attacks).

  • daemonesslisa

    I hope at some point he realizes that he has to stone himself. Trust me, somewhere in the bible is a passage condemning the likes of him. Because in the bible, for every law there is at least one contradiction.