Bryan Fischer, arguably America’s champion of publicly peddled hate, spent last week trying to convince the foolish and the gullible that gays — statistically the group most likely to be targeted by hate-related violence — are, in fact, the leading perpetrators of hate crimes.
Oh, and they’re Nazis, too.
Fischer, the director of issue analysis for government and public policy for the anti-gay hate group American Family Association, was riffing on the resignation of Peter Vidmar as the U.S. Olympic Committee’s chef de mission for the 2012 Olympic Games, following media reports that Vidmar had participated in two anti-gay marriage demonstrations and contributed money to support California’s Proposition 8, which overturned a state Supreme Court ruling permitting same-sex marriage. Vidmar, a Mormon, in October 2008 told the Orange County Register while attending one rally, “It's good for our society to have a traditional definition of marriage.” But within the USOC, there was concern that Vidmar’s activism on the issue would reflect badly on the organization’s commitment to equity for all people. Vidmar resigned rather than prolong a controversy that might draw attention away from the athletes.
In a post Friday on the AFA’s Rightly Concerned blog, Fischer wrote, “For his belief in the laws of nature and nature’s God, Peter Vidmar has become the victim of a hate crime, perpetrated by homosexuals. This criminal prejudice against Vidmar is criminal prejudice against his religious belief, the teaching of the LDS [Mormon] church that marriage is sacred and reserved for the union of one man and one woman. Due to intense pressure from the thugs in the homosexual movement, Vidmar was forced to resign his position.”
Fischer extended the theme on his webcast the same day. “I am convinced that the number-one group, the number-one class of people who are committing hate crimes today are homosexual activists. They are, by far, the most egregious perpetrators of hate crimes offenses in the United States of America, all the while trying to tell the public that we [Christians] are the hatemongers. It's a hate crime if it involves threats or harassment – harassment is part, meets the definition of a hate crime. … If you harass somebody because you are motivated by prejudice against that person's religion, that is a hate crime.”
Fischer’s take on hate crimes, of course, is legal malarkey. For a hate crime to be committed, there must first be a crime, such as murder, assault, arson or vandalism. Merely expressing the opinion that someone is unsuitable for a particular post is not criminal harassment, even if the weight of such opinion compels someone to resign that post. Indeed, Fischer and the AFA have taken such stands in the past, calling for the firing of Kevin Jennings, the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant deputy secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools, who is openly gay, and the impeachment of U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, whose ruling overturned Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. Since Fischer did not call for his own arrest on those occasions, it is a safe bet that he feels comfortable with the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression — at least, when he’s doing the expressing.
Further, Fischer’s claim that LGBT activists are the greatest perpetrators of hate crimes is especially shameful, given that this is the group most victimized by violent hate crimes. A report published by the Southern Poverty Law Center in November 2010, analyzing FBI data from 1995 to 2008, found that LGBT people are 2.6 times more likely to be attacked than blacks; 4.4 times more likely than Muslims; 13.8 times more likely than Latinos; and 41.5 times more likely than whites.
In addition, gay and lesbian youths are among the primary targets of bullying, which has led to numerous suicides. Many so-called “pro-family” organizations have fought anti-bullying efforts in schools because they fear such programs surreptitiously promote the so-called “homosexual agenda” to recruit young people.
As he has done in the past, on Wednesday Fischer once again linked LGBT people to Nazism. “Homosexual activists, when it comes to freedom of speech, are Nazis. When it comes to freedom of religion, they are Nazis. There is no room in their world for dissent, there is no room in their world for disagreement, there is no room in their world for criticism. You criticize homosexual behavior, they tag you as a bigot and a homophobe and then they go to work to silence you just like the Roman Catholic Church did in the days of Galileo – it’s no different; it’s the Spanish Inquisition all over again. … Do not be under any illusions about what homosexual activists will do with your freedoms and your religion if they have the opportunity. They’ll do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany.”
- Homosexuality should be criminalized (January 2010): “If you believe all Scripture is inspired, then you are compelled to accept that legal sanctions may appropriately be applied to those who engage in homosexual behavior.”
- Gays are anti-freedom (February 2010): “The homosexual agenda represents a clear and present danger to virtually every fundamental right given to us by our Creator and enshrined for us in our Constitution. Start with freedom of religion and freedom of speech, the first two of our inalienable rights secured for us in the Bill of Rights. As a culture, we must choose between the homosexual agenda or the Constitution because we can't have have both.”
- Gays oppress Christians (March 2010): [T]hose on the left only regard us each as 3/5 of a person. … The days of Dred Scott have returned. Christians now are the ones being confined on the plantation, and warned about being too uppity.”
- Gays are like bank robbers (March 2010): “[U.S Secretary of Defense Robert] Gates' theory – you get to break the law as long as you don't rat yourself out – is absurd. Imagine if we applied that to any other realm of law enforcement. You, sir, get to go right on holding up banks because all we have to go on is ironclad eyewitness testimony from tellers, managers and other bank patrons. Please, please, pretty please admit you did it so we can lock you up. Otherwise, we will be forced to let you go so you can rob and pillage some more.”
- Gays are vicious, genocidal Nazis (May 2010): “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.”
- Most homosexuals in the U.S. military discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” outed themselves because they weren’t tough enough to cut it (December 2010): “[O]ur would-be limp-wristed enlistees … homosexuals – or people who suddenly discovered latent homosexual tendencies when they could use it to parachute out of the military – signed up for the all-volunteer army, got a few weeks into basic and said, forget this noise. I’m outtahere. All they had to do was admit they were gay – whether they were or not – and they got their walking papers along with an honorable discharge.”