Ethics Dunce: Radio Talk Show Host Bryan Fischer

To be fair, I guess it's possible that Fischer captured a leprechaun who granted him three wishes, in which case his prescription for ending AIDS isn't crazy after all. So I may owe him an apology...

To be fair, I guess it’s possible that Fischer captured a Leprechaun who granted him three wishes, in which case his prescription for ending AIDS isn’t crazy after all. So I may owe him an apology…

When ideology, including religion, requires one to abandon all connection to reality, unethical positions are sure to follow.  Christian conservative talk show host Bryan Fisher launched an angry rant over what he called President Obama’s promotion of sexual deviancy in his remarks following the downing of MH17 over the Ukraine. Here are the relevant remarks by the President:

“Let me close by making one additional comment. On board Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 there were apparently near 100 researchers and advocates traveling to an international conference in Australia dedicated to combating AIDS/HIV. These were men and women who had dedicated their own lives to saving the lives of others, and they were taken from us in a senseless act of violence.

In this world today we shouldn’t forget that in the midst of conflict and killing, there are people like these, people who are focused on what can be built rather than what can be destroyed, people who are focused on how they can help people that they’ve never met, people that define themselves not by what makes them different from other people but by the humanity that we hold in common. It’s important for us to lift them up and to affirm their lives. And it’s time for us to heed their example.

The United States of America is going to continue to stand for the basic principle that people have the right to live as they choose, that nations have the right to determine their own destiny, and that when terrible events like this occur, the international community stands on the side of justice and on the side of truth.”

Now here is Fischer’s reaction:

“That’s President Obama saying that the United States is committed to the proposition that people ought to be allowed to live as they choose. Once again, using this tragedy to advance the normalization, the legitimization, of, of homosexuality… President Obama politicizes this event to turn it into an opportunity to advocate for the normalization of sexual deviancy…We know how to stop the HIV/AIDS epidemic: Persuade men not to have sex with men. Persuade prostitutes to go straight. And persuade people to not shoot up with drugs. If we get everybody persuaded to do that, then the epidemic begins to diminish almost overnight.”

This, coming from an individual who, heaven knows why, is respected as an authority and truthteller by many thousands of Christians, is the equivalent of providing a mass lobotomy:

1. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” being at the very beginning of our nation’s founding document in fact means “that the United States is committed to the proposition that people ought to be allowed to live as they choose,” just as the Constitution guarantees religious zealots like Fischer the right to condemn them when they do, and me the right to explain why his words mark him as a vile, ignorant fool.

2.  By no rational interpretation does the President restating the principles of the Declaration of Independence and extolling AIDS research advance the  normalization of homosexuality—it already is normal, for people born gay—or advocate for the “normalization of sexual deviancy.”

3. The latter part of Fischer’s statement is eligible for the American Delusion Sweepstakes. He apparently thinks that medical research to treat and prevent one of the deadliest scourges of modern times should be abandoned in order to deal with a life and death problem by means of wishes, hopes, prayers, and the power of stupidly positive thinking. While we’re persuading gay men not to have sex with gay men and “persuading people not to shoot up with drugs,” we can also eliminate poverty by persuading everyone to share all of their worldly possessions, end fatal driving accidents by persuading drivers to be more careful, and end cardiovascular disease by persuading everyone to become Vegans. Wow, this is so simple! Why didn’t anyone think of it before?

What an irresponsible, ignorant idiot.

Not that President Obama’s statement after the plane was shot down was especially praiseworthy. In fact, whoever wrote it was treading a fine line between clumsy and offensive.  298 innocent people died: I think singling out specific victims to extol over others is bad form, as if the researchers lives lost were more important than the others. I hope, I really hope, that this was not calculated on Obama’s part, and that one of his merry band of tone deaf advisors didn’t say, “Hey! AIDS researchers were on that plane! That means we can use the speech to suck up to our gay base!” I have to say, as I heard him talking, I was struck by the odd injection of familiar same-sex marriage rhetoric, “the basic principle that people have the right to live as they choose.” I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment, but what did that have to do with MH17? I’ll stipulate that on the topic of this President seeking to politicize everything under the sun I am in the throes of unshakable confirmation bias. Would that line in the speech have seemed off-key had it been delivered by someone else? Perhaps not. I am no longer capable of knowing.

I do, however, know a dangerous Ethics Dunce when I see one, and Bryan Fisher qualifies.


Pointer and Facts: Daily Beast

23 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Radio Talk Show Host Bryan Fischer

  1. Are you in the throes of unshakable confirmation bias? No.

    “Would that line in the speech have seemed off-key had it been delivered by someone else?” Yes. The statement had no business in the speech except as a political tool. Merely thoughtless and stupid, or calculating and political. Either way, unacceptable and disappointing.

    (There. For all of the conservative commenters on this blog who think that the liberal commenters here never criticize Democrats.)

  2. I think his reaction takes the quote out of context. But Obama’s comments were inappropriate for the reasons you state.

    In this senseless accident (and it was an accident) all lives lost were a tragedy.

    Had this been intentional and further research demonstrated that the missile-firers had it out for HIV researchers, then the mention may be appropriate.

    • Of course, knowing the pure rotten hacks employed by Obama, I wouldn’t put it past an advisor to insert that in the speech for the very purpose of turning the ears of his base.

      • I’d say that Fischer merely saw through yet another attempt by a leftist- now a quite common ploy- to insert a favorable political message in his remarks about a tragedy. The Wellstone Stratagem. I’d like to be able to say that only Obama would have enough depravity to do this on the bodies of 300 people. But it wouldn’t be true. Besides, as he has no effective way of responding to this mass murder that he helped make possible- and because he’s thrown all of his remaining political capital into organized perversion- that probably appeared to him as the best option. When you calculate every word and deed on the basis of political gain, this is what is to be expected.

  3. Your second-to-last paragraph confuses me. I thought what the radio host said was really dumb, too, but your paragraph seems to support his position. The radio host’s comments are ridiculous. He is simply looking for a reason to bash Obama. He must start his mornings with the thought: “Let’s see. Obama is the anti-Christ. Let’s what ol Beelzebub is up today. Oh, look here! He just said something . . . ”

    It wouldn’t surprise me that the Administration used this despicable action to promote its agenda. You have to wonder why the ‘live as they choose’ line was thrown into a speech reflecting on the loss of 298 innocent lives. I thought is was sensational and pandering and offensive to be singling out one group of researchers. It seems to me that all of the lives lost were valuable and meaningful and by commenting only on researchers and advocates as selfless and honorable, and, necessarily by exclusion, the others were less praiseworthy.

    Were only the AIDS/HIV researchers and advocates doing valuable work? How about the sister from the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Were her life and work not worthy of mention because she didn’t work on AIDS/HIV? How about the father and mother and their four young children? Were they not worthy of mention because the father worked for an oil and gas company in northern Europe and not for a charitable organization or at the Hague?


    • If, and as I say, I can’t tell any more—though Patrice’s comment gives me solace—the line was a reference to gay marriage and gay rights—my objection to it and interpretation of its meaning is completely different from what Fischer said:

      1. I don’t think it “promotes anything,” other than the idea that “Boy, this President is really in our corner and is thinking a about gay rights even when he is supposed to be engaging in foreign affairs

      2. As I wrote, the statement about living as you wish is 100% correct, and not a false statement as the religio-fascist Fischer implies.

      So I don’t know what it is you think I agree with Fischer about, other than the general idea that his remarks evoked recent gay marriage debates (NOT the virtues of gay sex, as the Dunce seemed to think) and were a in this respect a bit inappropriate.

  4. I think that you hope in vain that Obama didn’t jump on the fact that AIDS researchers perished in this to suck up to his 1.6% base. I was in Philadelphia for the 4th of July and Biden devoted a good chunk of his speech to how great it was that you could marry anyone you wanted (not true) and that 300 licenses were already issued in Philly. What that had to do with the Declaration of Independence I don’t know. But I think it’s pretty much a guarantee that if someone from this administration CAN work something in about how important it is that Ben Down and Phil McCrevis can get married, , that person WILL. The love that dare not speak it’s name is now the love that won’t shut up.

  5. As someone who works in the medical sciences, I wondered how far losing these researchers would set things back.
    And then a second later scorned Obama for trying to schmooze gays during an international tragedy.
    Too bad he didn’t figure out a way to tie in the NYPD chokehold death – that would have been really swell.

    I still cannot believe this man is an elected official.

  6. Actually, the ridiculous and erroneous idea that AIDS is/was a gay disease is responsible for the deaths of many.
    So…technically…Obama should not have gone there.
    He also said “a outrage” when he should have said “an outrage”.
    To my ears, that just sounded a wee bit STUPID.

    • In “Gettysburg”, Gen. Pickett refers to Darwin’s theory that man is “descended from A ape.” He was educated…it was an archaic construction. Besides, as a public speaker, I have sympathy with all speaker gaffes, slips and goofs, especially ones like those. One reason why I refuse to watch videos of my own appearances.

  7. P.S.:
    Do you really think there is one person anywhere in this world who cares whether or not Obama is outraged?
    Seriously, name one.

    • Apparently, Vladimir Putin.

      Meanwhile, a significant proportion of the world’s top-tier HiV researchers are no longer with us. This will have a significant effect though estimating and quantifying it is probably impossible. It is a big deal though, as would be the loss of a significant proportion of top-tier researchers in any medical area.

  8. To my ear both Obama and Fischer sound like people grinding their same old ax and fitting the situation into their preconceived ideas about how the world should be.
    I’m not sure if it’s dishonest, unethical, stupid, ignorant, unaware, willful blindness, insincerity, deliberate obtuse or all of the above to speak publicly as a authority or a leader, but it’s sure discouraging and depressing to hear.

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