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Radio Evangelist Preaches An Ugly Message

Steven Newcomb
2/18/11

Bryan Fischer, a graduate of Stanford University and the Dallas Theological Seminary, recently posted an ugly article against American Indians entitled, “Native Americans Morally Disqualified Themselves From the Land.” A title better reflective of the dominion (domination) theology found in his article would have been “Native Americans Morally Disqualified Themselves From the Promised Land.”

[Note: The AFA removed Fischer's column from its site., but blogger Rob Schmidt has preserved it on his site Newspaper Rock. Link: "Text of Fischer's racist screed"]

Fischer is a Christian radio talk show host affiliated with the American Family Association and American Family radio. His metaphors and analogies from the Old Testament, along with thinly veiled race-purity arguments designed to be shocking, clearly illustrate that the medieval thinking of old Christendom continues to colonize the minds of certain people in the 21st century.

Fischer’s Old Testament views deserve our pity and contempt. Perhaps, though, one ought to thank him for being so open and forthright with the kind of extreme thinking Christian fundamentalists accuse elements of the Muslim world of exhibiting. He has opened up for scrutiny the kind of thinking that has been foundational to the building of American society. We find it most evident in the Doctrine of Christian Discovery that exists in U.S. federal Indian law, as expressed in Supreme Court ruling Johnson v. M’Intosh (1823), whereby the Court said that the first “Christian people” to “discover” lands inhabited by “heathens” had “assumed the “ultimate dominion” to be “in themselves.”

Fischer’s argument of “moral disqualification” for American Indians is informed by the Old Testament story of the Chosen People and the Promised Land. In the story, “God” is depicted as being on the side of the Hebrews (and, in Fischer’s view, of the Christians) because “Yaweh” is said to have entered into a covenant with Abram, who was renamed Abraham, “a father of many nations.”

Unfortunately for Fischer, people throughout the world have achieved enough distance from that ancient narrative to realize that he and his allies are operating under a form of outmoded idolatry: He worships the idol of the false “God” of racism and race-purity that authorizes the annihilation of entire peoples because those “others” don’t measure up to the norms and standards of the Old Testament Hebrews and their supposed “Christian” successors. To justify the invasion of other peoples all kinds of false charges are made in an effort to demonize them.

In the background story for Mr. Fischer’s narrative, the deity of the Old Testament is depicted as “promising” the lands of other peoples to the Hebrews “as an everlasting possession” and “inheritance.” This is why those other peoples had to be dehumanized and demonized. That deity instructed the Hebrews to go to cities of the Canaanites, Amorites, and other peoples and engage in genocide against them. Why? Those other peoples were already living in the land before the deity had “promised” it to the Hebrews. The pattern is fully revealed in Deuteronomy 20: 10-18:

But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: but thou shalt utterly destroy them, namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.

The Old Testament deity that Mr. Fischer cites in his article does not instruct the Hebrews to save the women and children who were living in those cities. No. The Hebrews were instructed by that deity to leave not one person breathing. They were to be completely destroyed in their totality.

What Fischer terms “emptying the slop bucket” is the answer. The word slop is derived from the Old English sloppe, meaning “cow’s dung,” with extended meanings of “garbage” and “excreted body waste.” In the context of the Old Testament within which Fischer has written his ugly diatribe, “emptying the slop bucket” is a euphemism for “annihilation” of entire peoples.

In other words, the very narrative that Mr. Fischer uses as his standard of judgment against American Indians is a dehumanizing genocidal narrative; that basis alone disqualifies it from being any kind of moral standard of judgment against anyone.

Steven Newcomb (Shawnee/Lenape) is co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Law Institute, author of “Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery” (2008), and a columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network.

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notnek's picture
Thank you Steven for you thoughtful thoughts. I read the Fischer comments on Indians.net right after it appeared. My wish is that every person with Indian blood in their veins read that piece of garbage so they can always be aware of the racism out there. Those words coming from the Christian network was in my opinion a vile assault on Indian culture. I frankly cannot understand the "why" of such comments.
notnek
jaytaber's picture
When this dehumanizing narrative was first written, the original Christians of peace and love had already been dead for centuries. So had their religious use of entheogens to expand their consciousness. Just goes to show religion can be twisted to suit any misanthropic venture man can invent.
jaytaber
michaelmack's picture
Fischer also ignores the New Testament teachings about how true Christians are to treat their "less enlightened" fellow human beings - by being living examples of Godly love, not by exterminating them. In reading his articles, it seems his virulent commentaries are merely preparation and perhaps advance p.r. to promote himself to take over the reigns from the loudest and wealthiest virulent neo-televangelist commentator, Rush Limbaugh when Limbaugh retires or has a heart attack. If Fischer is only adhering to the Old Testament, that would make him a Jew, not a Christian, and then his words would apply to all who don't follow only the Old Testament. Fischer seems not to work the God of the New Testament, or any God for that matter other than his own self-promotion. It is sad that a "christian" with such a mean-spirited message should hold a position of authority, anywhere, except maybe for the Nazi party or the KKK.
michaelmack
laura's picture
It is important to remember that Christiandom has demonized Jews and the 'Old Testament' just as much as it has Native Americans. Mr. Fischer's Deuteronomy reference conveniently omits the verse that says the Israelites were required by God to make peace with the inhabitants of the land before entering. If the inhabitants refused peaceful terms, then war was most likely inevitable. Also, this was not a foreign land the Israelites were entering. Canaan was the homeland of Abraham's mother and Abraham himself, and these were the 'Children of Abraham'. This is not a comparable scenario to what happened to our people on this continent, but that has never stopped Christian dogma before.
laura
piqua's picture
Laura is correct about the terrible persecution of the Jews by Christendom, which is to be decried. She is, however, incorrect about the Old Testament. In Genesis 12 we find the OT deity telling Abram, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land I will show thee." There is a section of Deuteronomy 20:10-18 that says--in keeping with one of Laura's contentions--"When thou comest unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. And...if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then..all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee." etc. etc. In those places, they are to wage war against such people and spare the women and children. However, later on the narrative states "But of the cities of these people, which the Lord they God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: but thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee." Clearly, this image of annhilation is in the OT, which, sadly, is used by miguided people such as Mr. Fischer to promote his hateful brand of thinking.
piqua
skinu's picture
HAHAHA...CAN WE ALL AT THE SAME TIME SAY LOW BUDGET, HMMMM... LET SEE IF THE SKIN CAN DECODE THIS A LIL'. FIRST THIS BOOK IS BASED ON A MAN THEY KILLED ONLY A COUPLE GRANDS AGO HUH!! 2ND THIS IS WHERE THE LINE ''DONT BE MAD I'M PREGNANT BY GOD ''CAME ABOUT. NOW DORKS UNLESS YOU'VE DONE SOLD YOUR OLD PEOPLE OUT BY FOLLOWING THIS NEW ''WAY'' I'LL SAY THIS ALL SEVEN COLORS OF PEOPLE WERE GIVEN THEIR WAYS ON DAY ONE, BY FOLLOWING THEIR WAY WHEN YOU DIE YOU'LL BE STUCK WITH THESE FOLKS WHO DON'T WANT YOU HERE SO WHY THERE, WAKE UP FOOLS HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU THERE IS NO HEAVEN AT ALL!!! YOU EVER WONDER WHY CATHOLICS AND CHRISTIANS ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO GET POSESSED... OPEN YOUR EYES OR YOUR SET TO BECOME A ALTER BOY AND LOOK WHERE THAT GOT THEM WORLD WIDE...ROFF LMFAO
skinu
historybuff's picture
This scenario was the same one played out in the 1500s. Spanish invaders had their own "Doctrine of Discovery" which stated that any lands owned by non-Christians could be seized. They got through the loop-hole of offering peace to the native inhabitants by reading a script (in Spanish of course!) to the people, who obviously could neither agree nor object. How sad that some still believe this nonsense.
historybuff
garry's picture
“NO SWEAT”, TRIBAL RE- FRAME, RE- DO and RE- A.I.M. Part 1. NO SWEAT- TRIBAL RE- FRAME The English, and Spanish policies as depicted in the “No Sweat” cartoon across the page from this” opinion” article correctly illustrates the nations of England and Spain. They and others have meted out abusive policies against the Indigenous population not just on Turtle Island. Measuring just from the America’s limited historical viewpoint the main issues in both articles of the opinions of Mr. Fischer and Mr. Newcomb are correct as is the cartoon “No Sweat” but they are all isolated from a global point of view that is closer to how the Great One sees and has done things so far. There were and still are many tribes who followed or fell into pagan belief systems. Especially the 12 Hebrew tribes who were the “ First, First Nations” colonized and plundered by not just one nation but many nations including but not limited to many of the same “Christian Nations” who were responsible for crafting the Documents of Discovery” Framing the modern day nations chronologically, all have utilized treaties, wars or "documents of discovery" to establish the current so called “Christianized” nations. This snapshot below reveals a remarkable plan that has been timely and miraculously fulfilled in order to keep a promise that the Great One made to his twelve tribes... The promise was that he would scatter his people (twelve tribes) throughout the earth. Here is his timely fulfilled promise to his tribe and to the nations. Day Tribe Date Document Modern Nation 1 Dan 6 Oct 1579 OS Union of Utrecht Netherlands 12,001 Judah 13 Aug 1612 OS Letter/Zemski Sobar/House of Romanov Russia 24,001 Reuben 21 Jun 1645 OS Treaty of Bromsebro Sweden 36,001 Gad 29 Apr 1678 OS Treaty of Nijmegen Spain 48,001 Asher 7 Mar 1710 OS Treaty of Szatmár Austria/Hungary 60,001 Naphtali 13 Jan 1743 OS Treaty of Breslau/Treaty of Berlin Germany 72,001 Manasseh 1 Dec 1776 NS US Declaration of Independence United States 84,001 Simeon 10 Oct 1809 NS Treaty of Schönbrunn France 96,001 Levi 18 Aug 1842 NS Law Change/Civil War Switzerland 108,001 Issachar 26 Jun 1875 NS Decree/Revolt/Treaty of Berlin in 1878 Serbia 120,001 Zebulun 4 May 1908 NS Agreement/Turks leave Crete, Greeks remain Greece 132,001 Joseph 12 Mar 1941 NS Lend Lease Treaty funds WWII US/UK 144,001 Benjamin 18 Jan 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement Israel All along this time line each of the twelve tribes has been sealed and are still being placed in the lands with these 12 nations. The seal dates are all exactly 12,000 days apart. This is a pattern that the elders, leaders and readers may want to investigate for themselves? Anyone should be able to recognize and see beyond our isolated viewpoints from the shores of Turtle Island to be able to recognize where their individual tribes fit into God’s master plan. As one ponders this “RE-FRAMED” view of the formation of the nations against the backdrop of the immensity of God scattering his tribes throughout the globe to be a blessing to the nations one begins to recognize this amount of work for him is really “NO SWEAT”. Garry Umphress "In times of change, learners will inherit the earth, while the learned will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."Erik Hoffer Garry Umphress (Levi/Delaware/Cherokee) has co-founded New Generation an Indigenous think tank who has learned knowledge based on ancient Biblical documentation about God's plan and how it fits into the tribes of the nations. Finally not only are the “Doctrines of Discovery” decoded but they are finally debunked.
garry
laura's picture
Thank you for the insights, Piqua. One thing I just want to clarify is that Abraham's family had lived in a place called Charan, which is where Abraham's father died. His father, Terach, was from Ur Kasdim (Genesis 12) and mother was from Canaan. After his father died, he returned to his mother's homeland as I understand it. I want to further research the history of Israelite wars and understand the points you bring out. It is hard to understand how a 'loving God' could not only allow the genocide of millions of his children (Native American,Jewish, etc)but command annihilation of other people as well. I have read that these people had inhumane practices such as torture and sacrificing children in fire, in other parts of the bible. It says in Deuteronomy that their abominations are the reason for such a harsh commandment, yet the oldest Hebrew commentaries (Talmud) state that peace overtures had previously been made to the Amorites by Moses and to the Canaanites by Joshua. One group of Canaanites, the Girgashites, voluntarily left and were not attacked. The Hebrew commentaries to Deut. 20:10 state in several places that even among the Canaanites, anyone willing to abandon whatever these abhorent practices were, would be spared. The history mentions that many did join the Israelite nation as converts or Noahides but they eventually introduced the Israelites to idol worship--one of the abominations God had supposedly wanted to root out of the land with annihilation...thus the continuing saga of the Jews in the OT.
laura
piqua's picture
"Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of 10 things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these 10 things he has a special place full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry for ever and ever until the end of time...but he loves you. And he needs money." -George Carlin "Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said, 'One can't believe impossible things.' 'I dare say you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age I did it for half an hour a day. Why sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."' -Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
piqua

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