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American Family Association Official Has New Target: Native Americans

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Message Evelyn Schlatter

From Southern Poverty Law Center- Hatewatch

Bryan Fischer, the director of issue analysis for government and public policy at the American Family Association (AFA), has expanded his astounding bigotry to include not just Muslims and LGBT people, but Native Americans as well.

In a post published Monday on the Rightly Concerned blog -- a project of the AFA -- Fischer railed on native peoples for not being Christian, claiming it's their own fault that they lost their land and were forced onto reservations to cope with terrible living conditions.

"Superstition, savagery and sexual immorality" morally disqualified Native Americans from "sovereign control of American soil," Fischer said. That, plus the superior battle skills of Europeans gave the latter "rightful and legal sovereign control" of American land through what he delicately described as "the right of conquest." Fischer went on to blame poverty and alcoholism on Indian reservations on Native Americans themselves, because they "continue to cling to the darkness of indigenous superstition" and refuse to come into "the light of Christianity" and assimilate "into Christian culture." How Christianity would have helped Native Americans adapt to confinement on reservations is anybody's guess. Fischer was apparently propelled into his diatribe by the Native American blessing at the memorial for the Tucson shooting victims in January -- a blessing that drew mocking commentary from others in the conservative media as well. "The continued presence of native American superstition was on full display" at the service, Fischer wrote. The invocation -- "such as it was," in Fischer's words -- was offered by Carlos Gonzales, a Pascua Yacqui Indian. Fischer complained that Gonzales sought inspiration from the Seven Directions, including Father Sky and Mother Earth, rather than "the God of the Bible."

Picking and choosing his history, Fischer essentially blamed violence between Indians and whites on Indians, who rather than embracing Christianity, murdered missionaries in cold blood, and rejected George Washington's "direct counsel" to give up their own ways of life and learn, above all, "the religion of Jesus Christ."

Regarding what he described as the "sexual immorality" of American natives, Fischer noted that certain tribesmen honored the arrival of the Lewis and Clark expedition in the early 19th Century by offering their wives to expedition members for sex. Fischer didn't explain why such a practice should justify the tribes forfeiting claim to the land -- but not so for the white men who took advantage of it.

Fischer said Americans today are as guilty of abominations as were the Native Americans before they were conquered, citing contemporary abortion, adultery, homosexuality and the normalization of sexual immorality. Furthermore, he claimed, we are witnessing "a surge in incest, pedophilia and even bestiality in our midst." He offered no evidence at all to back up this unusual claim. Fischer also warned that we would soon morally disqualify ourselves from sovereign control of our own land.

Philip J. Deloria, professor of history and noted scholar of Native American history and culture at the University of Michigan, said in an E-mail to Hatewatch that "history " starts with the assumptions of historical people " and then examines how their actions comport with their morality." A historian, he noted, would not take one moral standard and apply it across time and space, but a fundamentalist "can't really think in those terms " which means that he or she should probably stay away from history."

The AFA, in an apparent attempt to keep some distance between themselves and Fischer, includes a disclaimer on his blogs that the opinions expressed "are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of the AFA or American Family Radio." Yet, they keep running them.

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The author is a contributing editor to the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch blog. Dr. Evelyn A. Schlatter has been professionally editing for nearly fifteen years. She cut her teeth at a historical journal while working on her Ph.D. in (more...)
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American Family Association Official Has New Target: Native Americans

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