Boise Journalists Write for SPLC National Report on Bryan Fischer

BOISE, ID – On Monday October 10 there will be a press conference in Tupelo, MS a 11:00am CDT where Mark Potok, Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) Intelligence Project will unveil an explosive new special report” “THE PROPAGANDISTS: Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association & the Demonetization of LGBT People.”

With an executive summary by Potok, The Propagandist was written for the SPLC by Idaho journalists Jody May-Chang and Jill Kuraitis. Other elements by the SPLC staff also contribute to the report.

The press conference will kick-off a Give Hate A Holiday demonstration and march. Events conclude with a public screening of the acclaimed documentary film Out In The Silence, exposing homophobia in the deep south.

Sponsored by the ACLU of Mississippi, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Equality Federation and many other regional LGBT and progressive organizations, the goal is to raise visibility and public awareness on issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Mississippi and throughout the South and rural America.

Why Tupelo? It is headquarters for the American Family Association, a political Christian extremist organization recently designated by the SPLC as a hate group. AFA’s hate group status is due in large part to Idaho’s not so favorite son, and former executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, Bryan Fischer’s prolific anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim remarks.

Since leaving Idaho in July 2009, Fischer’s radio show is broadcasted daily across the country on 145 AFA owned Christian radio stations. Fischer has brought an incredibly vitriolic voice to the organization where he has continued to perpetuate such falsehoods like, Hitler and the Nazi’s were gay, and Mormons do not have freedom of religion.

After the report’s release, it will be available on the SPLC website splcenter.org and will appear in the Winter Issue of the Intelligence Report. Look for updates on The Propagandist posted here and on TheFischerFiles.com.

Exporting Homophobia Story Gets Boost by Best Selling Author Frank Schaeffer

Independent Journalist, Jody May-Chang’s award winning feature Exporting Homophobia: American far-right conservative churches establish influence on anti-gay policy in Africa is cited in New York Times bestselling author, and former religious right operative, Frank Schaeffer’s book Sex, Mom & God: How the Bible’s Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics—and How I learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway.

Frank Schaeffer Sex, Mom & God, Rachel Maddow Frank Schaeffer, Sex, Mom & God, Rachel Maddow

Frank Schaeffer appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show September 30, 20011 to discuss how religious extremists are becoming mainstream in the Republican Party. The segment included Idaho’s not so favorite son and agitator, Bryan Fischer, who is scheduled to speak at the 2011 Values Voter Summit directly following GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.

Frank Schaeffer Sex, Mom & God, Jody May-Chang, Exporting Homophobia, Uganda, Anti-Homoseuxality Bill

Uncertain Outcome of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Heightens Anxiety

In an unexpected development, the Ugandan 8th Parliament adjourned today without the hotly anticipated vote on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The meeting opened with a prayer and a statement read by the Communication Chair. With no other business taken up, the meeting was adjourned.

Ugandan activist, Peter Yiga told Citydesk he believes, “The bill will defiantly come back since all those guys advocating for it will still be in Parliament.”

Bills that are not passed at the close of the session automatically die and must be re-introduced into the next session if they are to proceed.

Dr. Thomas, an Uganda HIV/AIDS service provider says, “LGBTI Ugandans are still using all means necessary to stop the bill.” Tabling the bill for a second year without it being completely denounced he says, “fuels discrimination and stigma by the State.”

This uncertainty marks one of several twists and turns in the bills two year evolution that began directly following a three-day Kampala seminar in March 2009 lead by American Evangelicals namely Bryan Fischer’s friend Scott Lively.

“The public is very bitter,” said Yiga. “People have resorted to beating and insulting us, telling us to migrate to the USA where homosexuality originated.”

Dr. Thomas says, “There is a dwindling number of LGBQI Ugandans who call for counseling for diseases. The few calls that do come in are of distress and fear. This week I have witnessed three transgender people forced to move from their homes in Kasubi, Namuwongo and Keybando.”

Activists say they are doing a better job at mobilizing but still desperately need international pressure to continue. Dr. Thomas said he needs, “UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to provide genuine support for LGBTI groups as a measure of anti-HIV campaigns.”

Yiga wants increased international pressure to help keep moral high while enduring hate crimes. “The five people that attacked my house confessed they are bitter about the way Museveni is handling the matter,” said Yiga, “and are planning to kill us one-by-one.”

Swearing in for the 9th Parliament is scheduled to begin May 16 with an announcement on May 18 as to when the next session will begin. Speculation is that the break will be about four weeks.

Religion Dispatches exposes Fischer’s lies

Truth Trails Fischer from Idaho to National Scene

Sarah Posner Religion Dispatches Bryan Fischer Jody May-ChangSara Posner, accomplished journalist and associate editor for the online magazine Religion Dispatches, contacted me several weeks ago after she attended the 2010 Values Voters Summit. Working on a piece about the American Family Association, Posner wanted to know about Bryan Fischer’s history in Idaho.

Posted today, Employees: Racism & Abuse in Leading Religious Right Org is an excellent piece of investigative journalism, this reporters input aside. Posner shines a bright light on the internal dysfunction, racism and homophobia of the American Family Association that Fischer pledges allegiance to.

Posner’s leads with:

“Just before this year’s Values Voter Summit, the progressive advocacy group People For the American Way called on Republican elected officials and candidates to condemn virulently anti-gay and anti-Muslim statements made by the American Family Association’s director of public policy, Bryan Fischer.

Fischer, who hosts a daily radio show on AFA’s radio network of 180 stations, has, among other things, claimed that inbreeding causes Muslims to be stupid and violent; called for the deportation of Muslims and for banning them from military service; claimed that gay sex is “domestic terrorism”; called gay adoption a “terrible, terrible, inexcusable, inhumane thing to do to children”; and claimed that Hitler and his Stormtroopers were all gay.”

To my knowledge, Posner is the only national journalist to date who has looked into Bryan Fisher’s history in Idaho. Fischer’s critics will not be at all surprised and Idahoans may find the section From Boise to Tupelo of special interest.

This is a great read and well worth the time.


“Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, is RD’s associate editor and covers politics for the site. Her work has appeared in The American Prospect, The Nation, Salon, The Washington Spectator, the religion blogs at the Washington Post and the Guardian, and other publications.” – Religion Dispatches

The American Taliban in Idaho

Matthew Shepard Observance Day speech at the Idaho Anne Frank Memorial

OPINION

Twelve years ago, a brutal murder ended the life of our young brother Matthew, but it did NOT kill his spirit which calls out to each of us to denounce those who promote violence against us as they hide behind an extremist ideology.

It is this extremist ideology that is at the very foundation of the violence that lead to the deaths of Matthew Shepard, Tyler Clementi, and so many others. For decades the American conservative movements’ fringe elements, have been sowing the seeds of hatred that have taken root in the right-wing media.

The soul intent of their daily barrage of messages is to vilify and dehumanize LGBT people in order justify their inhumanity toward us. Who are these extremists and where are they?

They are operating within the modern conservative movement. They are the promoters of an anti-gay industry described by Daily Kos founder, Marcos Moulitsas, as the American Taliban.

These American religious extremists share many similarities and tactics with the Afghan Taliban.

Moulitsas describes them this way:

“Their contempt for nontraditional lifestyles, their mania for militaristic solutions, their fascistic efforts to impose their narrow worldview on the rest of society,” and their disdain for, “woman’s rights, their outright hatred of gays, their aversion to science and modernity, and their staunch anti-intellectualism.”

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Idaho Values Alliance Re-Launch Draws Sparse Crowd and Offered Mixed Messages

COMMENTARY

Idaho Values Alliance President Gary L. Brown.

IVA President Gary L. Brown

Former abstinence educator and pastor of Coeur d’Alene’s NorthStar Church , Gary L. Brown, stood at the steps of the Idaho Statehouse Friday and announced his new role as president of the Idaho Values Alliance.

IVA had been dormant since former polarizing Executive Director Bryan Fischer left Idaho to become a national figure with the American Family Association and is now famous for his anti-Muslim hate speech.

Brown addressed a small crowd of about 30-40 for Constitution Day about the country now being, “[E]mbroiled in a different kind of war [from the American revolution]. This is a war being fought on the battlefields of the hearts and the minds of every American and every Idahoan. This is a war that is not being fought with muskets and bayonets. The weapons of this war are ideas, principles and values.” Continue reading

Bryan Fischer Passes Idaho Values Alliance Torch to “Nation’s Abstinence Pastor”

Boise Weekly City Desk Jody May-Chang

By Jody May-Chang
Originally published on BoiseWeekly.com Sep. 15, 2010

All traces of Bryan Fischer have been wiped clean from the Idaho Values Alliance website in preparation for Friday’s re-launch of IVA under new president—and abstinence education consultant—Gary N. Brown.

On the website sourceministires.net, Brown wrote, “I am known across America as the nation’s Abstinence Pastor, impacting abstinence and marriage-education legislation and policy on every level of government. I have been able to gain the trust of senators and House members, alike.”

Brown told Citydesk he first met Fischer, who left IVA in 2009 for Mississippi-based American Family Association, when he moved to the Idaho panhandle from Atlanta two years ago. Brown left his position as pastor of Coeur d’Alene’s NorthStar Church after 10 months to helm the IVA, saying that he found work like that of IVA’s a better fit for him.

As head of IVA and during his time with AFA, Fischer has been a polarizing figure. Citydesk asked Brown if he shared Fisher’s stance on homosexuality and Islam.

“I am very well aware of some of Bryan Fischer’s positions on issues, and to be honest, I would rather not go there,” he said. “In the future we will have to address issues like that. I mean my goodness, it is a hot button topic … I don’t want any particular issue to take the headlines today.”
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