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A terrific diary yesterday drew our attention to Jane Mayer's eye-opening article in The New Yorker on the evangelical "Christian" radio broadcaster Bryan Fischer and his pernicious influence on Mitt Romney.  As Mayer points out in her piece, Fischer's mission goes far beyond defeating Barack Obama; the goal of the AFA and its allies is to eliminate the separation of church and state, making the US a "Christian Nation", dedicated to military adventurism, torture of "non-Christian terrorists", abolition of Medicare, Social Security, and public education. And a key component of Fischer's mission is to lead a crusade against gays and lesbians.  His tactics involve making use of junk science, phony sociology and historical revisionism.  

Fischer and his allies have rewritten history in order to portray the efforts to establish equality for gay and lesbian Americans as a continuation of Nazi Germany.

This passage stood out in the New Yorker Article:

In Idaho, Fischer attacked homosexuality with growing fervor. In 2007, he sponsored a summit where he hosted Scott Lively, the co-author of a widely criticized book, “The Pink Swastika,” which argues that homosexuality was at the heart of Nazism. (In fact, the Nazi regime persecuted gays.) More recently, Lively has expressed support for anti-gay initiatives in Uganda. He has been a guest on Fischer’s radio show, and Fischer often promotes Lively’s theories. “Hitler himself was an active homosexual,” Fischer has said. “Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Storm Troopers. . . . Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough.” On another occasion, Fischer declared that “homosexuality gave us Adolf Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine, and six million dead Jews.”
Given that thousands of gay German men were detained and later perished in Nazi concentration camps, Fischer holding gays responsible for the Holocaust turns logic upside down.

Fischer's source for Nazi=Gay doctrine, The Pink Swastika, has been floating around right-wing evangelical circles since 1995.  Some chapters are now available online, for fans of absurd revisionism.  

The authors of The Pink Swastika, Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams, make their objective clear in the preface:

The Pink Swastika documents how,
from its beginning, the National Socialist revolution and the Nazi Party were
animated and dominated by militaristic homosexuals, pederasts, pornogra-
phers and sado-masochists.
But the authors' true objective is not to examine the Third Reich, but to falsify history to spread hatred against American gays and lesbians:
The Pink Swastika documents how the Society for Human Rights, founded by members of the Nazi Party, became the largest homosexual rights organization in Germany and further, how this movement gave birth to the Ameri-
can homosexual rights movement. Its influence has grown. The President
of the United States now receives official homosexual delegations at the White
House who expect the President to repay them for helping him into office.
They expected him to "normalize" homosexuality in the American military.
It is, of course, easy to refute and debunk the many lies and distortions in The Pink Swastika, but it doesn't matter.  Brian Fischer will cite the book as the gospel truth to his one million daily listeners and they will believe it.  And they will act on it - in the voting booth and elsewhere.  As Jane Mayer points out in her article, Mitt Romney sorely needs these extremist evangelical voters behind him to win:
The electoral math helps explain this calculation. More than a quarter of American voters identify themselves as evangelicals, and, according to the National Religious Broadcasters association, ninety-six per cent of them tune in to some form of Christian media each month. This constituency has, arguably, become the most reliable bloc in the Republican Party. Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition, who now heads the Faith and Freedom Coalition, reports that more than half of the voters in the current Republican primaries have identified themselves as evangelicals. Michael Lindsay, an expert on evangelical politics and the president of Gordon College, outside Boston, says, “No Republican has captured the White House without evangelical votes since Watergate. They’re the most organized constituency in the Republican Party.”
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Comment Preferences

  •  I think one E. Rohm might disagree with that. (7+ / 0-)

    And all the homosexuals who were tortured and killed. Oh, and the harem's worth of Goebbels' conquests.

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 02:04:18 PM PDT

    •  No doubt Rohm is the reference (10+ / 0-)

      and the early years of the SA are what the writer uses as evidence.  However, once power was in his hands, Hitler understood that the backing of the German bourgeoisie he needed to stay in power was put in danger by "moral considerations".  Thus "the Night of the Long Knives" when Hitler cleaned house of both Rohm and gays in the SA, as well as the "beefsteak legions" (brown on the outside, red on the inside) of the Strasser brothers.

      The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

      by ActivistGuy on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 02:15:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Volksfeinde" (3+ / 0-)

        Hitler called gay men "Volksfeinde" - enemy of the volk - because they were shirking their duty to grow the Aryan race.

        Excellent Wikipedia article for German readers:

        Homosexualität in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus.

        The opposite of "good" is "good intention" - Kurt Tucholsky

        by DowneastDem on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 02:42:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you post, but would add this (4+ / 0-)

        Hitler was Chancellor at the time of the Long Knives at the end of June, early July of 1934. Hitler's problem was this and here I just use Wikipedia because the sequence is correct.

        "On 11 April 1934, Hitler met with German military leaders on the ship Deutschland. By this time, Hitler had learned that the ailing Hindenburg would die before the year's end. Hitler informed them of Hindenburg's declining health and proposed the Reichswehr support him as Hindenburg's successor. In exchange, Hitler offered to reduce the SA, suppress Röhm's ambitions, and guarantee the Reichswehr would be Germany's only military force. William L. Shirer asserts that Hitler also promised to expand the army and navy.

        "However, both the Reichswehr and business conservatives continued their anti-SA complaints to Hindenburg. In early June 1934, defence minister Werner von Blomberg, on Hindenburg's behalf, issued an ultimatum to Hitler: unless political tension ended in Germany, Hindenburg would likely declare martial law and turn over control of the country to the army. Knowing such a step could forever deprive him of power, Hitler decided to carry out his pact with the Reichswehr to suppress the SA. This meant a showdown with Röhm. In Hitler's view, the army and the SA constituted the only real remaining power centres in Germany that were independent in his National Socialist state.

        "The army was willing to submit. Blomberg had the swastika added to the army's insignia in February and ended the army's practice of preference for "old army" descent in new officers, replacing it with a requirement of "consonance with the new government."

        Time was short for amounted to a not quite legal coup. Hindenberg died on August 2, 1934 the task of expunging the SA was done just barely in time.

        Wpedia continued after a bit:

        "The purge of the SA was legalized the next day with a one-paragraph decree: the Law Regarding Measures of State Self-Defence. At this time no public reference was made to the alleged SA rebellion; instead there were generalised references to misconduct, perversion, and some sort of plot. John Toland noted that Hitler had long been privately aware that Röhm and his SA associates were homosexuals; although he disapproved of their behaviour, he stated that 'the SA are a band of warriors and not a moral institution.'[11]

        A few days later, the claim of an incipient SA rebellion was publicised and became the official reason for the entire wave of arrests and executions. Indeed, the affair was labeled the "Röhm-putsch" by German historians, though after World War II it has usually been modified as the "alleged Röhm-putsch" or known as the "Night of the Long Knives." In a speech on 13 July Hitler alluded to Röhm's homosexuality and explained the purge as chiefly defence against treason.[12]

        While homosexuality was not the real reason, it was certainly the cited reason and implied that consent was easily assumed. It points to the hostility that the Christo-Nazis won't be bothered with. Rohm was a former Captain in the regular army and had probably many enemies through his work with Hitler, Ludendorff and other Munich nut jobs, including with his homosexuality and that of others.

  •  I think it's going to be a good year. (5+ / 0-)

    When fools like Fischer give reason for an actual fascist like my ANP neighbor down the street ("even that Obama guy makes more sense that today's crop of Republibaggers") to suddenly start talking "political alliances" with an uber-Leninist-lefty like yours truly --- there might actually be hope that Romney's going to be handed his political head in November.

    I count even the single grain of sand to be a higher life-form than the likes of Sarah Palin and her odious ilk.

    by Liberal Panzer on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 02:04:33 PM PDT

    •  Ahh... the Westboro Disease: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elmo, historys mysteries

      When a religious group is so extreme the Nazis are put off, it's well on its way to the fringe and irrelevance.

      (for those who don't know, in a memorable incident, when the WBC tried to suck up to Stormfront, the latter rebuked the former, calling them "a bunch of lunatics')

      Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

      by Dauphin on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 02:08:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nucking futs. (3+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this diary. Tipped and rec'd. I hope it gets the attention that it deserves.

  •  Yup. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The nazis were just a bunch of deviated preverts.

    all morals are relative, but some are more relative than others.

    by happymisanthropy on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 02:25:07 PM PDT

  •  Christian Bookstores, Video and Film are a Big (5+ / 0-)

    business. This thing could be circulating a hundred years after John Wayne's forthcoming posthumous Medal of Freedom for telling the true story of the Vietnam War in The Green Berets.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 02:47:37 PM PDT

  •  Next they'll be saying (4+ / 0-)

    the Nazis were actually a Jewish conspiracy, eh?

  •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nokkonwud, millwood
    The Pink Swastika documents how the Society for Human Rights, founded by members of the Nazi Party, became the largest homosexual rights organization in Germany
    Unless there was another "Society for Human Rights" that I don't know about...this was an American organization that was founded by a German-American (no, not a Nazi).

    Homosexuality is found in over 450 species. Homophobia is found in only one. Which one seems unnatural now?

    by Chrislove on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 03:22:34 PM PDT

  •  Your friendly neighborhood straight applauds (4+ / 0-)

    this post, recs and tips it as well.

    Trying to fathom the Nazi evilthon from most perspectives today is difficult, but what this guy is doing is preposterous.

    Without rationalizing this behavior, it was not unusual in those days for people of all stripes to condemn homosexuality (more male than Lesbians who they thought could be controlled and at least made to bear children).

    Hitler knew from very early that Rohm was homosexual, but then despite the widespread disapproval, homosexuality was not all that uncommon in that era -- and others as well. Officers married late, etc., often out of family duty, produced the usual brat then went back to outposts -- not always, hard to guess how many.

    Hitler was hardly an Army neophyte, neither during the war or after. He was himself a tool for the Army after the war and continued in service for sometime after.

    When it came to Rohm, Hitler ignored SPD scandalmongering and there's no real reason to think that Rohm was actually killed because of his orientation, at least as far as Hitler goes. As in the Wikipedia entry:  John Toland noted that Hitler had long been privately aware that Röhm and his SA associates were homosexuals; although he disapproved of their behaviour, he stated that 'the SA are a band of warriors and not a moral institution.'

    Rohm knowingly or not had placed himself between  Hitler and the Army which was now backing Hitler as the future replacement for Hindenburg. Rohm and his henchmen, a few of them also gay, were singled out for mention after they were killed. It is not at all unlikely that there was some joy in the kind of bully boys who liked to beat up or kill others for virtually any reason and gay would have been high on the list before it was official policy.  And it did become official policy to kill homosexuals, primarily men. (I'm not willing to argue the evidence on Lesbians because I haven't read enough in my not sexually oriented extensive reading of the Reich.

    Hitler was gay? I don't think so and I don't thing there is any hard evidence to support that any more than there is to support any number of other allegations about thin, for the most part involving women. What we do know is that was seriously weird when it came to sex, women and other things. My best guess is that he was repressed, largely infantile when it came to sex generally.  

    I've seen claims that he attacked homosexuals in Mein Kampf. I've never seen that in the several versions I've read.... but understand I am aware as is any thinking breathing human that he did declare a murderous war on gays.

    We aren't entirely sure why which is different than saying we're clueless. In fact, we know that he made a conscious decision at some point after the Night of Long Knives to include male homosexuals as targets. Peculiar given the homoerotic nature of Reifenstihl's Olympic and other work even after the purges began.

    We know Hitler had attended to conservative, extreme but traditional German "values" and that became even more important after his rapprochemant with the vatical over the status of the Roman Catholic Chuch, most notably in Bavaria. He followed the same course in a sense with the protestant denominations. He promised to restore traditional morality and to destroy abortion, homosexuality, pornography.

    There were as an earlier comment references such in house and boastful "studs" as Goebbels and many others, an official state policy very encouraging of unmarried mothers, especially in union with certified Aryan stock. There are probably a good number of instances in which the ability to perform with a woman, produce a child and the rest helped a gay man escape the noose -- why now, it's been going on forever, just a different closet.

    But after reading in this area for 50+ years, I've never seen anything to suggest that the Nazi inner circle was gay, that Hitler himself was gay or ever directly connected with homosexual acts (hell, might have humanized him), or of the other completely insane crap this guy is spouting.

    This is one of those things that falls into the most suspect areas of belief about Hitler. A lot of what has been circulated about him, whether vegetarianism or atheism, isn't provable and might be considered unlikely.

    Dr. Walter C. Langer, a psychologist,  prepared a report for the OSS and Allied leaders. The NYTimes obit notes: From interviews, Dr. Langer concluded that Hitler's behavior was evidence of a mixed and divided psyche; a weakling masquerading as a bully, and a failure in the role of Fuhrer. He was ''probably a neurotic psychopath bordering on schizophrenia.''

    I've read the postwar book, "The Mind of Adolph Hitler" and there's suggestion to homosexuality. I would note that Langer himself faulted his study in the sense it did not include any interviews with Hitler, obviously, only with others including some of knew him. I have read of strange sexual behavior being suspect, but it was not with men."

    Having gone on long enough, I ask one other essentially irrelevant question, even given that  the assertion of homosexual behavior is absurd and  can't come close to any proof beyond horsehit claims.

    What if he was gay? Frankly, who really gives a shit? Or more correctly, WHY should anyone give a shit.

    Catherine the Great was clearly heterosexual, but she was seriously kinky. It is probably inevitable that someone gay will be evil in someway. Does anyone on the right go around looking for proof that Genghis Khan or Timurlane were gay. How about the noble 300 of Leonidas so admired by right wing historian Victor David Hanson, most of whom are believed to have had complicated sex lives that would hardly meet with modern right wing Christian approval. One gay guy (or other target of opportunity) does not make a pattern for a whole subset of humanity. It's hardly like the priesthood of a certain church that seems to have gotten involved with pedophiles and other abusers of authority.

    What matters here is the endless debasement of modern history by a bunch of creeps with some kind of really strange sexual baggage who keep building houses of cards that fall in seconds.

    In saying why should we care, I'm however not saying ignore them! I am saying go get the bunch of lying shits.

    •  In a rereading of my post (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It occurs to me that I went lightly over Rohm's murder.

      The reality was that Rohm's homosexuality, the homosexuality of a chief aide and the possible or probable homsexuality of others were cited after their murders/executions. I'm just saying that was a convenient excuse during a power struggle Rohm was bound to lose, but that whatever the truth there, it does not affect the war that came on gays.

      While I did not mention this, it's worth nothing that the Nazi government kept extensive records on homosexuals who were arrested and many of them were arrested in post-war Germany by allied-backed governments who acted on what was essentially Nazi information, leaving one to conclude the war on gays included the direct ancestor of that rightwing peckerwood who made this absurd allegations since we know all of our far right, nazi sympathizers went to ground until they realized no one wanted to prosecute American Nazi  War criminals.

    •  One more correction (3+ / 0-)

      I've read the postwar book, "The Mind of Adolph Hitler" and there's suggestion to homosexuality.

      should have read

       I've read the postwar book, "The Mind of Adolph Hitler" and there's NO suggestion to homosexuality.

      If I've missed others, take the overall context intended into mind. This is just Bullshit whacko propaganda attack gays in an effort to do what Hitler tried to do, get the haters on his side.

      mea culpa

  •  The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich also claims (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    such things, though to nowhere near the same degree.

  •  What a terrifying article and what a despicable (3+ / 0-)

    man.  And why in heaven's name is the AFA tax exempt?  They need to have their exemption revoked NOW.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 04:17:13 PM PDT

  •  How do they explain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rashaverak, tuesdayschilde

    the pink triangle?  Was it just a fashion accessory for inmates of the camps?  

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 08:33:24 PM PDT

  •  Not a new development. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JGibson, Rashaverak, tuesdayschilde

    Right wing Christians have been attempting to rewrite the history and origins of the Nazis for quite awhile now.  In Oregon, there was the Oregon Citizen's Alliance which put on the ballot a number of anti-gay initiatives during the 80s and 90s.  When associating gays with pedophiles, incest, and beastality dind't work, they moved to explicitly saying gays created Nazism.  

    I heard years ago at the evangelical church my ex-inlaws went to claims that Nazism was a socialist and anti-Christian movement.  We see Goldberg of the National Review with his 9th grade essay attempting to move this association with his arugment that liberalism was essentially born out of German fascism.

    You have to wonder why this attempt to rewrite the Nazis.  My speculation is that right wing Christianity has way too many common elements with German fascism and they want to scrouge the history books so the German people are finally protrayed as athesists, anti-christian, socialists, gay, and every projected evil that crosses their minds.

  •  Hitler went after alleged gays in the Wehrmacht (0+ / 0-)

    It's how the German Army was controlled.

    RW uses the same tactics.

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