Bryan Fischer’s Studied Cluelessness


One of the hallmarks of wingnut thinking is that they often make arguments that you simply can’t believe that they really believe. How can they not see the glaring false premises, we wonder. Here’s a perfect example from Bryan Fischer, claiming that Martin Luther King didn’t believe in separation of church and state. Why? Because he talked about God.

King launched the Montgomery bus boycott on that day, December 5, 1955.

Horror of horrors, his politically-charged was delivered not in an arena, not in a hotel conference room, not in a public plaza, but in a church. And a Baptist church at that, Montgomery’s Holt Baptist Church.

While talking about his distinctly political agenda – equal treatment under the law for all regardless of race – Dr. King could not stop talking about God, Jesus, and Christianity. If the ACLU weren’t such blatant hypocrites, they would have hauled Dr. King into court in the middle of his speech for violating their precious and completely mythical separation of church and state.

Seriously Bryan, you can’t see the difference here? By no one’s possible reckoning could a minister talking about God in a church violate the separation of church and state. You simply can’t be so stupid as to not see the difference; if you were, you wouldn’t be able to dress yourself or operate a car, for crying out loud. This is a studied, intentional cluelessness. He has to know he’s peddling bullshit; he also has to know that his followers will lap it up.

Bottom line: Martin Luther King did not believe for a single moment that there is some kind of separation between church and state. And neither should we.

In 1965, King was interviewed by Playboy and was asked about the Supreme Court’s then-recent rulings forbidding mandatory Bible reading and prayer in schools, rulings that Fischer and his anti-separationist authoritarians continue to rant about today. His reply:

“I endorse it. I think it was correct. Contrary to what many have said, it sought to outlaw neither prayer nor belief in God. In a pluralistic society such as ours, who is to determine what prayer shall be spoken, and by whom? Legally, constitutionally or otherwise, the state certainly has no such right. I am strongly opposed to the efforts that have been made to nullify the decision. They have been motivated, I think, by little more than the wish to embarrass the Supreme Court. When I saw Brother Wallace going up to Washington to testify against the decision at the congressional hearings, it only strengthened my conviction that the decision was right.”

Fischer’s only “evidence” that King did not support separation of church and state was that he talked about God a lot, something that is completely irrelevant to the question. Once again, the far right tries to invent a whole new Martin Luther King, one in their image. But history and reality just won’t budge.

Comments

  1. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    You simply can’t be so stupid as to not see the difference

    Who are you, a mere mortal, to be setting limits on how stupid Bryan Fischer can be? That’s apparently something not even God can do.

  2. says

    I looked at that header and thought:

    “Ed’s going to deliver an in-depth report about where Brainless Fischer matriculated?”. Then I realized that
    “Fischer’s” was a possessive use of the construction and not one of past tense.

  3. garnetstar says

    Funny that the right is now trying to claim King as a right-wing hero, when during his life he was a dangerous seditious Communist.

  4. godlesspanther says

    And I suppose, unlike the leftists would have you believe, Martin Luther King was actually white.

  5. dingojack says

    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne – Ah yes, but can god create a stone so dumb that even Bryan can outsmart it?
    x !!
    Dingo

  6. John Pieret says

    I wonder if Fischer was (in a confused manner … what else?) talking about recent attempts to get the IRS to yank the 501(c)(3) tax exemptions from churches that engage in politicking. Of course, politicking requires more than just talking about social issues that may also be political issues, it requires endorsements of particular candidates or (perhaps) parties. I doubt King did any such thing from the pulpit.

  7. Chiroptera says

    Here’s a perfect example from Bryan Fischer, claiming that Martin Luther King didn’t believe in separation of church and state. Why? Because he talked about God.

    King was in a state when he was talking about God, so not so easy to separate after all, is it, you commies?

  8. iplon says

    Fisher thought long and hard about whether or not he should speak about the subject, giving he wasn’t well informed on the topic. Just then, suddenly waking up from his nightmare to find himself still recording his show, he pushed forward, glad his worries were only in his dreams.

  9. scott says

    To call Fischer stupid based on his misuse of facts is to miss the point. Facts as we know them simply have no meaning to him- he has a political point to make or a bias to justify, and he will invent whatever he must in order to do that.

  10. says

    The recent BS with King is interestinging in that it appears to reveal both the mythologizing and the authoritarian mindset of these people quite well. They see that now King is seen as a paragon of goodness. Therefore, the “logic” goes, if MLK is good, and what they believe is good, MLK must have held those beliefs. Of course, now they can use the authority MLK has as a “good guy” to convince others that what they believe is good in a weird circular reasoning.

  11. freehand says

    At the age of nine I thought that the unfathomable things the Southern Baptist adults around me were saying were religious mysteries, to be made clear to me as I got older or died and went to my reward. To my horror, I realized by my thirteenth birthday that all adults were insane.(1) They asserted things which flew in the face of everyday experience; they were paranoid and hateful. They were servile and bullying; ignorant and certain, miserable but grimly determined to share the joy. They said monumentally stupid things.

    I am still frequently taken aback by claims such as Fischer’s here, I accept their dysfunctional cognition, their practiced cluelessness exists, but I simply cannot predict where they are going to go on any particular subject. They are randomly, tirelessly, and mercilessly irrational.

    (1) I soon concluded, however, that science fiction, science, Buddy Holly, and libraries were strong evidence that sane adults existed somewhere. I was determined to find them.

  12. Doug Little says

    “I endorse it. I think it was correct. Contrary to what many have said, it sought to outlaw neither prayer nor belief in God. In a pluralistic society such as ours, who is to determine what prayer shall be spoken, and by whom? Legally, constitutionally or otherwise, the state certainly has no such right. I am strongly opposed to the efforts that have been made to nullify the decision. They have been motivated, I think, by little more than the wish to embarrass the Supreme Court. When I saw Brother Wallace going up to Washington to testify against the decision at the congressional hearings, it only strengthened my conviction that the decision was right.”

    Well there’s one for the ole’ quote vault.

  13. Sastra says

    Johm Pieret #8 wrote:

    I wonder if Fischer was (in a confused manner … what else?) talking about recent attempts to get the IRS to yank the 501(c)(3) tax exemptions from churches that engage in politicking. Of course, politicking requires more than just talking about social issues that may also be political issues, it requires endorsements of particular candidates or (perhaps) parties.

    Yes, I wondered that myself. When political issues meet social issues there are some gray areas a minister has to dance around. As in “I’m not going to say who to vote for, but keep in mind how you all feel about abortion/war/protecting the flag/helping the poor and examine the candidates by that light. (wink*wink*nod*nod)”

    Religious people will always use their religious beliefs as a filter for their political opinions. You can’t stop that any more than you can stop them — or anyone — from using their morals. That’s one reason why religion and faith should not be ‘off the table’ when it comes to what we can argue about in the public square.

    We got lucky with Martin Luther King: he flipped the faith coin and had the special revelation that God was both against racism and in favor of separation of church and state. Could have gone the other way and all his common sense and reasoning would be re-interpreted in light of what he knows about God. Being right for the wrong reasons is a tricky situation.

  14. dan4 says

    “By no one’s possible reckoning could a minister talking about God in a church violate the separation of church and state.’

    From the third paragraph of the block quote (emphasis mine): “WHILE TALKING ABOUT HIS DISTINCTLY POLITICAL AGENDA,…Dr. King could not stop talking about God, Jesus, and Christianity.” Uh, Ed, your argument seems to ignore the first part of Fischer’s sentence. His argument about King is stupid enough without having to misrepresent it.

  15. dan4 says

    Anyway, why does Fischer highlight the completely irrelevant fact of the Baptist denomination of the church King was speaking at (“And a Baptist church at that”)?

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