The American Family Association Cuts Its Losses

Here’s some good news from Religion Dispatch‘s Sarah Posner:

Rachel Maddow broke the news last night that Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association’s Director of Issue Analysis, has been fired, following media coverage and pressure from watchdog groups highlighting Fischer’s racist and homophobic views in advance of an AFA-funded trip to Israel for members of the Republican National Committee.

The less-good news is that AFA may simply be cutting its losses to keep its political work under the radar screen. Part of it is the RNC trip to Israel, which follows previous trips to the Holy Land (and at least one, with Mike Huckabee as the tour guide, through England and Poland and then to Israel as part of an effort to illustrate the vast religio-historical impact of Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul II) with Rand Paul and other pols. An even quieter if more integral part is the AFA-funded efforts by David Lane’s American Renewal Project to recruit conservative evangelical clergy into political life, as many as possible by running for office but others by attending “pastors and pews” events where conservative pols come for blessings and backing. Lane’s a particularly big deal in Iowa.

Posner reports that Fischer’s still reportedly going to remain as a host on AFA’s radio show. And his views were not much of an outlier among AFA folk. But they hope the “firing” gets the heat, and the attention, off them as they rev up for 2016.

UPDATE: At RightWingWatch, Kyle Mantyla notes that AFA has tried before to distance themselves from Fischer’s views while continuing to subsidize him and give him the only platform a nasty piece of work like him could secure. If you follow the link, you can see how many times RRW has found occasion to draw attention to Fischer in the past. He’s definitely a repeat offender.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.