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.”