Alan Colmes is my latest hero! On his radio show last Wednesday, he called out Bryan Fischer, clearly demonstrating what many of us here in Idaho have known all along, that if ever put on the spot and pressed with direct questions Fischer would emerge as the “weasel” that Colmes exposed him to be.
Fischer was allowed to cut his teeth here with the assistance of a spineless media that ran to Fischer time and time again to get the sound bite and calling it balanced reporting. The Idaho news media NEVER asked any hard questions on any positions he took or outrageous statements he made.
It is an utter joy to listen to Fischer as he squirms in the hot seat while Colmes relentlessly presses him. You can almost hear the beads of sweat pour down Fischerâ€™s face as he unsuccessfully tries to defend the indefensible.
If only Idaho media had done their job as Colmes did Wednesday, perhaps Fischer would not be enjoying his national platform now.
Colmes should be applauded for exposing Fischer for the miserable fraud that he is to a national audience.
This interview segment should be played on an endless loop to the Idaho media on what it means to be a journalist!
Fox 12 KTRV’s Mike Vogel interviewed me this evening on on Mondays Caldwell City Council’s decision to include Sexual Orientation in the city’s employment practices. The council voted 6-0 to include “sexual orientation” in the city’s equal employment opportunity policy as a characteristic that can not be used to discriminate in employment practices.
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released a statement Dec 31, 2009 that, Amanda Simpson, and NCTE board member has, â€œbeen appointed by the Obama Administration as a Senior Technical Adviser to the Department of Commerce. She’ll be working in the Bureau of Industry and Security.â€
“I’m truly honored to have received this appointment and am eager and excited about this opportunity that is before me,â€ says Simpson. â€œAnd at the same time, as one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others.”
Simpson is highly qualified holding three degrees in business administration, engineering and physics. She also has an extensive background in aviation defense technology and has been a flight instructor and test pilot for 20 years.
No matter what side you are on in the debate over same-gender marriage, there is a simple path for everyone to get what they want, full civil rights for same gender couples AND protection of the institution of marriage. How? The conversation should never include religion period!
As citizens of this country, we are Americans first. As a democracy, we are governed first and foremost by our Constitution. In that document is the protection for religious freedom AND equal protection under the law.
Although many Americans are Christian, not everyone is! We are Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Agnostics, Spiritualists, Atheists, Humanists and everything in-between. Within each of these belief systems are conservative, moderate and liberal factions.
How then as a free democracy can we possibly think we can solve any social or political issue when religion is part of the discussion? Itâ€™s worse than trying to herd cats.
Rev. Dr. Welton Gaddy, president of the national Interfaith Alliance, put it very simply, â€œIn a democracy, the Constitution trumps all.â€
If you want a theocracy, get an island and start one. If you value REAL freedom and Democracy, letâ€™s separate the legal contract, rights and responsibilities of what we now universally call marriage from religion entirely for EVERYONE.
The solution is civil unions for all and marriage only for religious groups. ALL religious organizations will have an exemption and donâ€™t have to â€˜marryâ€™ anyone they donâ€™t want to. However, anyone can become Civilly United.
Thatâ€™s the easy part.
Each side must to give something up. ALL Americans have to give up the term â€œmarriageâ€ and ALL Religions have to give up preventing LGBT people from obtaining full rights and responsibilities that now come with heterosexual marriage in all states and federally.
During Bryan Fischer’s self-righteous reign of terror in Idaho, he literally made a career out of issuing outrageously pious and ungodly statements aimed at dehumanizing and vilifying lesbian, gay and transgender people. He managed to do so with such skill that his propaganda was rarely, if at all, questioned by reporters covering him.
One of his most abhorrent deeds has been Fischer’s shameless promotion and support for Scott Lively, in his May 14, 2008 post “The truth about homosexuality and the Nazi Party” he abundantly quotes and summarizes Lively’s anti-gay Nazi propaganda book “The Pink Swastika”. Lively’s book, and Fischer by extension, among other things, blame homosexuals for starting the Nazi party.
“In fact, the Nazi Party began in a gay bar in Munich.”
“Most of Hitler’s closets aids were homosexuals or sexual deviants.”
“Heinrich Himmler, second in powered only to Hitler, was publicly opposed to homosexuality but may have been a closet homosexual himself, Himmler was deeply immersed in the occult.”
“May of the guards and administrators responsible for concentration camp horrors were themselves homosexuals.”
“The ‘Butch’ homosexual guards and capos were capable of unrestrained cruelty, sadism and savagery. A guard at Auschwitz, for instance, strangled crushed and gnawed to death as many as 100 boys and young men a day while raping them at his leisure.”
“Some parts of the American Nazi movement are explicitly homosexual.”
“What’s the point here?” Fischer asks, “Simply that there is another side to the constant refrain from homosexual activists who frequently mention the Nazi persecution of homosexuals and in doing so imply Christian who opposed the normalization of homosexuality Are in effect crypto-Nazis.”
Last year, Fischer wrote these things to promote and encourage attendance for the “Shake the Nation” religious hate fest held here in Idaho. Why is it necessary to revisit this? Well, for two very important reasons.
First of all, Bryan Fischer’s blossoming national fame has its roots in here thanks to the Idaho media which gave him free reign to make outrageous statements while never holding him accountable. The Idaho media gave Fischer ink and face-time on camera without so much as a single hard question.
The Idaho media’s kid glove treatment of Fischer has allowed him to attain his long sought after status as a national celebrity. His most recent claim to fame is his anti-Muslim racism, which is a huge embarrassment to fair minded Idahoans.
The second, and most troubling reason that revisiting this relevant, is because of Bryan Fischer’s connection and support of Scott Lively who now is an evangelical celebrity who promotes the notion that you can “pray the gay away” Fischer’s cronies are “credited to have inspired” Bill No. 18, The Anti-Homosexual Bill of 2009 in Uganda.
This bill, which is very likely to become law, will impose harsh sentences upon those who are gay, suspected of being gay or offer protection to those who support gay people. These so-called gay offenses include:
Commits the offense of Homosexuality, Life in prison
Aggravated Homosexuality, Death
Attempting to commit Homosexuality, 7 years in prison
Attempt to commit Aggravated Homosexuality, Life in prison
A person who funds or sponsors homosexuality, min 5 – max 7 years in prison
Know someone is gay and do not report them within 24 hours, 3 years in prison
Extradite citizens back to Uganda from anywhere in the world for prosecution if suspected of committing any of the above crimes.
Last spring, Scott Lively, who is now the president of “Defend the Family,” went to Uganda with Don Schmierer of “Exodus International” and Caleb Lee Brundidge of “The International Healing Foundation” to conduct an anti-homosexual seminar.
Lively is quoted by LifeSiteNews.com saying that his trip to Uganda was “with the purpose of getting them to liberalize the law making it more oriented toward therapy” and says the current bill “went too far.”
Lively is a fraud who is now trying to distance himself from his own propaganda, but what is very clear here is that he is deeply rooted in a longtime campaign of contempt against homosexuals. Lively, like Fischer, is a bold-faced liar and a propagandist. He admitted going to Uganda to testify in favor of this immoral legislation. In his own words, his reason was because of, “a lot of external interference from European and American gay activists attempting to do in Uganda what they’ve done around the world “homosexualize that society,” and “the many male homosexuals coming into the country and abusing boys who are on the streets.”
Fischer shamelessly promoted Scott Lively by encouraging the public to listen to this man’s hate speech. At the time Lively came to Idaho Fischer said that his merchant of hate will, “address some of the lessons we must learn from Nazi Germany and its disastrous embrace of homosexuality.”
Fischer posted a “Shake the Nation” event on his website to promote the conference which he later deleted, but not before I had a chance to PDF that post. You will note that “Shake the Nation” was organized by Fisher’s good friend Tom Munds who appears to have thought twice about stepping into Fischer odorous shoes.
A good friend once told me, “Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you what you are.” Bryan Fischer aligns himself with hate mongers then tries to rewrite history by deleting it from is his website. The Idaho news media had an opportunity to shed some light on Bryan Fischer, but instead of defending the public’s right to know about this miserable fraud, they ran to him as if he was the official spokesman of the Christian community.
The Idaho news media shares some responsibility in failing to examine Fischer’s record and giving him the keys to the newsroom to spread his propaganda.
Now the world is hearing about Scott Lively and the Ugandan Bill No. 18 that calls for throwing gays in prison and executing them. The rightwing echo chamber screams about so-called “death panels” well, this is what they really look like thanks to the unchallenged rants of a con-men like Bryan Fischer and his cronies.
The Rachel Maddow Show – Uganda Be Kidding Me – December 2, 2009
Back left to right: Gary Moore, Robert Richway, Mayor Roger Chase, Roger Bray Front left to right: Brian Underwood, Eva Johnson Nye, Ron Frasure
On November 19, 2009 the Pocatello city counsel voted to include sexual orientation and gender identity as classes to be protected from discrimination in the city’s personnel policy. The policy went through without any concerns or opposition.
Imagine for a moment a tall, well dressed, gray haired man who is also a minister with a thick southern accent. You might already have some preconceived ideas of what this man is about. You might also be in for a big surprise.
“Support for same-gender marriage comes down not to a question of what it means to be a good Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, or Muslim, but what does it mean to be a good American.”
That is most certainly not the average southern Baptist minister, that is Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President of the national Interfaith Alliance, a man that perhaps, on the outside, may seem to fit a number of stereotypes but as soon as he opens his mouth you will find a savvy and progressive political mind. And, with just a small peek behind the well tailored suit and crisp starched white shirt, is a heart big enough for the world.
With his strong Louisiana southern drawl, Gaddy makes politics sound like poetry and the fight for religious freedom and civil rights the mandate our time and essential for saving our democracy.
“Early on the evening of this past October 28th at the White House, I shook President Obama’s hand,” says Gaddy, “We shared a smile as I thanked him for signing a meaningful piece of expansive hate crimes legislation. But it took so long, too long because prejudice biased untruths and mean spirited partisanship. As the President walked away, I held Judy Shepard, Mathew Shepard’s mother, in a long tearful embrace in which words were not necessary to lament how long it had taken to secure a comprehensive hate crimes bill how much hurt had lined the pilgrimage but how in perseverance across more than a decade we finally could celebrate reaching a goal that we had been striving for, for over a decade.”
As a deeply religious man, Gaddy is on a relentless campaign for not only ensuring religious freedom; he is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity and founding intentions of our Constitution. A staunch advocate for the separation of Church and State, Gaddy believes we can have it all, and that includes same-gender marriage!
Gaddy is a man who, above all, wants to maintain the integrity of religion and government. He is emphatic that in order to do that, we must keep them separated. This is a man who embodies the very balance we long for in this highly charged politically partisan and religiously divided time in our country. Gaddy just might be one of the most progressive influential role models of our time. He is certainly one of the greatest allies of LGBT civil rights.
On November 17th Boise was graced with the sharp mind and quick wit of Rev. Dr. C. Gaddy as the keynote speaker for the Interfaith Alliance of Idahoâ€™s annual meeting and dinner. Gaddy spoke to a very diverse gathering of about 80 at the Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel, on the status of the National Interfaith Alliance and our nation.
“I’m an 88 year old Jew and I have never heard any Christian minister ever talk like you,” says Joe, a man in the audience. “Amen,” says another.
This is just a small hint of the impact Gaddy can have on a room. Listening to Gaddy’s address, “The Crisis No One Talks About,” I hope you can feel at least some of the inspiration and hope that filled the room that night.
Gaddy is introduced by Interfaith Alliance Chair, Ed Keener. Rabbi Daniel Fink offers a blessing following Gaddy’s address after which there is a question and answer period with the audience.
The reverend is an active practicing Baptist minister from Louisiana and the host of State of Belief, a weekly talk show on Air America Radio, and a frequent guest on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show.
“..the old cliche was, hate the sin love the sinner You’re not condemning homosexuality, you’re condemning a person!”
The reverend was called by the Obama transition team to advise the incoming president on issues related to religion and politics. Dr Gaddy played a key roll in working to get the Matthew Sheppard Hate Crimes bill passed and was in the oval office with Judy Sheppard when President Obama singed this historic legislation into law.
Our conversation focuses on the collision of religion and politics and how that has affected the national conversation on same-gender marriage. We talk about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints involvement in anti-gay ballot initiatives across the country, and what needs to happen to achieve true equality. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.
I would like to thank my friend and colleague, Executive Director of the Interfaith Alliance of Idaho, Pam Baldwin for arranging this wonderful opportunity.
Stay tuned for more from Dr. Gaddy! As I See It… will soon post his keynote address to the Interfaith Alliance of Idaho’s annual meeting and dinner.