Posts Tagged ‘Bryan Fischer’

The Lunch Plot

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

By Jeffrey Page

The warm and fuzzily named American Family Association sounds like the kind of outfit just about anyone would be happy to join, but it turns out that AFA is, as Tallulah Bankhead once described herself, as pure as the driven slush.

This story begins with the annual observance of the decade-old “Mix It Up at Lunch Day,” the clunky title for a program designed to urge students to accept one another without regard to race, religion, disability or – horror of horrors! – sexual orientation.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which originated the Mix It Up at Lunch Day as part of its Teaching Tolerance program, asks schools to encourage students to have lunch for one day – next Tuesday, Oct. 30 – with someone they’ve avoided in the past. There’s no assigning of lunch tables or lunch mates, just kids deciding to sit with someone new for a while, or deciding not to.

Somehow the Sanfordville School in the Warwick district wound up on the law center’s list of participating schools, but the principal, Roger Longfield, told the Times Herald-Record this is not the case. “We’re not participating. We already have our kids mixed up,” he said.

Instead, the Sanfordville School will be decked out in a Halloween motif.

What is the American Family Association and why does it vehemently oppose Mix It Up at Lunch Day?

To call AFA a right-wing outfit is to slander true conservatives. AFA has a lot of weird positions on a lot of issues, but its foremost concern is the bid by gay men and women to be treated as fellow citizens. The Mix It Up at Lunch Day program is, AFA claims, nothing more than part of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools.”

Do I exaggerate about the AFA’s benighted worldview? A man called Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association’s director of issue analysis, has written: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine, and six million dead Jews.” Get it? The holocaust was all Marlene Dietrich’s doing.

It doesn’t stop with gay people.

Fischer’s libel of African-Americans was beyond the pale and will not be repeated here. He lumped all Muslims together as security risks and said that, without exception, they should not be allowed to serve in the military. He said many Indians suffer from poverty and alcoholism because they have refused to adopt Christianity and instead “cling to the darkness of indigenous superstition.” And with no attribution, he declared that “homosexuals are rarely monogamous and have as many as 300 to 1,000 sexual partners over the course of a lifetime.”

In addition to vilifying and slandering the people it doesn’t like, the American Family Association likes to call boycotts.

It boycotted Google because of the search engine’s Legalize Love program on behalf of Lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people. AFA called for the avoidance of JC Penney because Penney signed Ellen DeGeneres as its public face. For similar reasons, AFA wants consumers to pass on Levi’s, Cheerios, Pepsi and any number of other products whose manufacturers dare to portray gay people as human beings. At one point Fischer and his friends even wanted us to stop buying Oreos.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that more than 1 million school children participated in Mix It Up last year. Who is going to complain about a white kid and a black kid having sandwiches together? Or a Jew and a Baptist? Or – watch out, here is comes again – a gay kid and a straight kid? Students need to understand that they will not go through life meeting and interacting only with people like themselves.

What America could use are more programs that get people together and fewer that promote hatred and double standards of citizenship.