Rachel Maddow just broke the news that American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer has been fired as their spokesman, though he will be allowed to keep his radio show, for now. Their comment to Maddow was that he should be considered "just a radio host."
Here's the backstory as Rachel understands it. In December, the AFA organized a trip to Israel for 168 members of the Republican National Committee. That trip begins this Saturday.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus insists that the GOP’s opposition to marriage equality must be “draped in the concepts of grace, love and respect” … and what better way to show it than partnering with two radical anti-gay groups to send 168 RNC members to Israel.
Priebus is working with David Lane, founder of the American Renewal Project, and the American Family Association to organize a week-long trip to Israel for committee members, paid for by Lane’s group and the AFA. Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Rick Perry have previously traveled to Israel on tours sponsored by Lane, who also joined Mike Huckabee’s recent European tour.
Proudly working “under the radar,” Lane is a conservative activist who assembles summits in key primary states where pastors and likely presidential candidates meet, including Paul, Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Mike Pence and Bobby Jindal, who is sponsoring a prayer rally with Lane early next year. Lane’s group announced a plan to recruit 1,000 pastors to run for elected office and produced election-themed ads featuring Cruz, Perry, Jindal and Huckabee.
How Brian Fischer specifically fits into this is still a little murky, but as the mouthpiece for the American Family Association, he hasn't been shy about making outrageous statements, like the one about gays and Hitler, among others. Just today, he claimed gays are "prisoners of Satan's war."
The SPLC has reportedly been pressuring the RNC not to take the trip and associate themselves with this known hate group.
However, the part Rachel really didn't hit on, and which is incredibly important, is David Lane and the American Family Association's role in pushing Dominionist theology into our politics. Viewed through the lens of dominionism, it makes perfect sense that the RNC would partner with the AFA to visit Israel, since Dominionists believe in the restoration of Israel as part of the prophecy for Christ's return.
I'll post more as we know it.
Updated to correct the spelling of Bryan Fischer's name