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Sorry Newt Gingrich, but the American Family Association IS a hate group

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With the Family Research Council taking the lead in attempting to smack down the Southern Poverty Law Center's charges of it and other "morality groups" being anti-gay hate groups (and doing a pitifully bad job at it), it's almost easy to forget the other groups on SPLC's list.

Luckily we have former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to remind us of another group on the list - the American Family Association.

Speaking with Think Progress today, Gingrich insisted that the AFA - a group he is teaming up with in order to create a network of "political oriented pastors"- isn't a hate group. This is what he said during the interview:

"You bring a series of allegations that I can’t check about a group that is largely a Christian based membership group, that is fairly widespread in its membership and I suspect most of those people do not in any way think of themselves as a hate group even if that’s how you would characterize them."

According to the SPLC:

Methodist minister Donald E. Wildmon formed the National Federation for Decency in 1977, changing its name to the American Family Association (AFA) in 1988. Today, the group, which was taken over by Tim Wildmon after his father’s 2010 retirement, claims a remarkable 2 million online supporters and 180,000 subscribers to its AFA Journal. It also broadcasts over nearly 200 radio stations.

The AFA seeks to support “traditional moral values,” but in recent years it has seemed to specialize in “combating the homosexual agenda.” In 2009, it hired Bryan Fischer, the former executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, as its director of analysis for government and policy. Taking a page from the anti-gay fabulist Scott Lively (see Abiding Truth Ministries, above), Fischer claimed in a blog post last May 27 that “[h]omosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” (Ironically, the elder Wildmon was widely denounced as an anti-Semite after suggesting that Jews control the media, which the AFA says “shows a genuine hostility towards Christians.”) Fischer has described Hitler as “an active homosexual” who sought out gays “because he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough.” He proposed criminalizing homosexual behavior in another 2010 blog post and has advocated forcing gays into “reparative” therapy. In a 2010 “action alert,” the AFA warned that if homosexuals are allowed to openly serve in the military, “your son or daughter may be forced to share military showers and barracks with active and open homosexuals.”

Gays aren’t the AFA’s only enemies. In late 2009, Fischer suggested that all Muslims should be banned from joining the U.S. military. “Islam is a totalitarian political ideology,” Fischer added in August 2010. “It is as racist as the KKK. ... Allowing a mosque to be built in town is fundamentally no different that granting a building permit to a KKK cultural center built in honor of some King Kleagle.” A little later, according to the Huffington Post, Fischer said that whatever the government does to "to make it unthinkable for America's youth to join a white supremacist group," it should also do "to make it as unthinkable for a resident of America  to embrace Islam." Around the same time, the Huffington Post said, he blogged that Muslim values are "grossly incompatible with American values," and therefore no place in America should allow a mosque to be built.

And lest we forget,  Fischer is the same guy who:

  • wrote a ridiculous piece about the supposed lack of morals of Native Americans.

Aside from Fischer, AFA is the same group which publishes the phony news journal One News Now, which supposed publishes news from a "Christian point of view." Of course this usually means the articles are inaccurate and one-sided.  And some of them border on ludicrously offensive, such as the one asserting that African-Americans who vote for Obama are choosing their race over their faith.

And of course, what "respectable" anti-gay group wouldn't make the inaccurate homosexuals are oversexed, diseased pedophiles claim:

  • A direct mail letter from Don Wildmon of the American Family Association included this emotional appeal. "For the sake of our children and society, we must OPPOSE the spread of homosexual activity! Just as we must oppose murder, stealing, and adultery! Since homosexuals cannot reproduce, the only way for them to 'breed' is to RECRUIT! And who are their targets for recruitment? Children!"
  • Among homosexual lifestyle and sexual practices are included: "sex with boys...eating and/or rubbing themselves with the feces of their partners...urinating on or in their partners...sadomasochism...bondage...sex with animals."- http://www.afa.net, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.
  • Homosexuality is "a sexual behavior that is killing our young people and destroying families". - AFA ACTION ALERT via email, 4/25/97
  • "homosexuals seem to favor leniency regarding pedophilia" - http://www.afa.net, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.
  • "Prominent homosexual leaders and publications have voiced support for pedophilia, incest, sadomasochism, and even bestiality." - http://www.afa.net, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.

And to top it all off, there is a matter of the Michael Johnston controversy.

Johnston was an "ex-gay" leader who spoke about how he turned his back on homosexuality after catching HIV. He was even featured in a video made by the American Family Association called "It's Not Gay." However, in 2003 it was discovered that he was having unprotected gay sex.

So what did the AFA do? Why the organization continued to sell the video featuring Johnston talking about his "freedom from homosexuality" regardless of the fact that Johnston's actions proved his claim to be an ugly lie.

Bottom line - if the American Family Association is a Christian organization, then God must have lowered his standards.

The only reason why the AFA should be considered as a hate group is because there isn't a word which better describes the depths of the depravity this group has sunk in defense of its supposed "values."