TW: eugenics, conversion therapy, kidnapping, state toleration of violence, criminalization of homosexuality
I have to confess, I saved this last day of Bryan Fischer week to cover the crown jewel of Fischer’s hatred for humanity – his well-documented bigotry against the LGBT* community. I chose that partly because it’s better known, compared to his worrisome advocacy for similarly second class citizenship being applied to many other social groups – namely women, non-Christians, and people of color. But I’ve also set up Bryan Fischer week this way because rather than the perfect example to start with, his attitudes towards LGBT* people are reflective of so many different hostile narratives he has towards people other than himself.
On Tuesday, I covered Bryan Fischer’s support for controlling the sexual behaviors of various groups whether by general social forces or direct government policy. The basis of his argument involved broadcasting abilist fears of the Muslim community (as genetically inferior because of alleged inbreeding) and advocacy for dehumanizing sexual policing of especially Black women and Latinas (as he claims they produce too many children). All of his analysis rests on what are little more than rehashed eugenic arguments. Similarly pseudo-scientific arguments crop up in his more pedestrian anti-LGBT* spiels, as Fischer has claimed that LGBT* people are produced by Freudian or Malthusian psychological processes and can be unmade by extremely damaging conversion (or “Ex-Gay”) therapy. The primary difference between Fischer’s proposed policies for disabled, Muslim, Black, and Latin@ people and those for LGBT* people rests with his belief that the supposed psychological roots of LGBT*-ness can be canceled out, as opposed to the genetic roots of those other groups’ supposed inferiority (which can only be contained).
Yesterday, I looked into the fig leaf Bryan Fischer put over his strict boundaries for people he classifies as female. Although he claims to accept people’s right to accept or reject his categorization of them, he consistently misgenders transgender men and concern trolls women he claims are endangering their femininity. This shows that his openness to allowing other people to step outside of the narrow classifications he offers them doesn’t actually exist. There many other segments of the LGBT* community – namely those who identify with one of the less commonly professed permutations of masculinity, femininity, both or neither – who are obviously at risk for the same contempt. Likewise, it seems inevitable that part of performing those gender identities, in Bryan Fischer’s eyes, involves sexual and romantic attraction towards people he deems appropriate. So, his statements are also a threat to people with sexual orientations Fischer does not endorse. Of course, the corresponding hostility he expressed towards female politicians as walking contradictions are mirrored in statements about LGBT* public servants. In speaking of Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan, who was rumored among conservatives to be a lesbian at the time of her confirmation, Fischer lamented,
“We simply should not elevate to the highest court in the land people who are known for engaging in sexually abnormal behavior which would technically make them felons in a quarter of the states over which they will have jurisdiction.“
After showing a stunning misunderstanding of the outcome of the Supreme Court case Lawrence v Texas and how federalism in the United States works, Fischer continued on to claim that an LGBT* justice would be biased in favor of LGBT*-friendly legal arguments. Naturally, he openly admits wouldn’t be a concern for a cisgender and straight justice being prejudiced for what Fischer refers to as “sexual normalcy and natural marriage”. Clearly Fischer has picked out the terrain he deems acceptable for LGBT* people to work within, and having a say in judicial processes is not part of it.
On Monday, I wrote about how Bryan Fischer views state-sponsored and religiously ordained violence as an acceptable means of normalizing his religious beliefs and social views. Acceptable targets seemed to include other residents of the United States who belong to different cultural traditions and seemingly any other people in the world against whom there’s something of a casus belli. It’s easy see Bryan Fischer as pushing an analogous case of state-tolerated if not state-sponsored violence against LGBT* people. Fischer took advantage of an unusual custodial case to grandstand on the issue of queerspawn people’s existence, essentially stating that such people should be forcibly assimilated into straight parentage, even if against the wishes of their parents or they themselves. On children born into such families, Fischer explained,
“Given the direction our society is headed, and its willingness to sacrifice children to the god of sexual perversion, Lisa Miller may not be the last mother who needs a modern version of the Underground Railroad to deliver her child from evil [presumably meaning LGBT* parenting]”
In no part of the analysis does the will or security of the child enter the equation and the government’s capacity and duty to remove children from dangerous homes is pretty quickly dismissed. As Fischer finishes this article raising these broader points and bringing up additional custodial battles involving at least one LGBT* individual, he effectively advocates for himself and like-minded people to have the ability to enact mass violence against alternatively structured homes with the toleration of the government. But Fischer doesn’t simply want to erase queerspawn from existence through assimilation – he also supports criminalizing homosexuality. He’s said before: “This is the purpose of the law: it’s for the lawless and disobedient to engage in homosexuality – it’s perfectly appropriate for that kind of behavior to be against the law.” He’d clearly like to enlist the state in his campaign of violence against LGBT* people. Just as he views it as a quite literally sacred duty of the military to convert or kill Muslims.
The lesson I draw from Bryan Fischer’s beliefs and his limited but enduring popularity in certain circles is that there are still powerful forces in the United States that legitimize extremely violent and coercive attacks of many different social groups. And while it’s very much a common view to present these issues as independent – that women’s rights are distinct from Muslim’s rights – it’s very difficult to say that if you delve deeply into the discussion. These narratives are flexible, and the hostile arguments Bryan Fischer applies against some social groups, he frequently applies against others. Beyond the far too often forgotten force of intersectionality between many social groups – that, for example, the security of indigenous people and equal rights for disabled people are potentially equally important to a disabled Native American – there’s also a common theme of similar arguments being applied across categories. If the struggle of any specific social group is for something more than acceptance of their specific people, but rather a clear disagreement about what kinds of social and political attacks are reasonable, then solidarity is key.
(These might be the only political statements that can effectively challenge the Bryan Fischers of the world. Originally from here.)
The claims Bryan Fischer makes about the validity of violence against LGBT* people and against the Muslim community are rooted in the same understanding of how government should operate and what its goals should be. Both need to be challenged in tandem to make progress against the underlying problem: a fascistic belief that mass violence is legitimate when aiming to shore up the “correct” moral order, which for Bryan Fischer is explicitly Christian, cisgender, and heterosexual, among other traits.
This is the third of four posts as part of Bryan Fischer Week, in which I hope to lay out that Bryan Fischer is among the worst human beings on the planet, a terrifying influence on the United States’ body politic, and a threat to the security of a sizable chunk of the country’s population