By Zack Jenkins
On August 7th Bryan Fischer, host of Focal Point Radio and Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, joined the ranks of bigoted commenters saying he supported the kidnapping of children of same-sex couples. In two separate tweets he called for an “Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households.”
Since the 1990s talk radio has become increasingly politically oriented as personalities like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly bring in a large percentage of listeners. A Pew research poll found that in 2004, of those that listen to talk radio consistently, more than 45% identify as conservative, compared with 18% liberal.
While equating the children of same-sex couples to slaves is an entirely separate fallacy, the underlying case Fischer was referencing referred to Lisa Miller, an ex-gay that kidnapped her daughter away from her former partner and escaped to Central America. While few would dare compare Miller to Harriet Tubman, Fischer also publicly supports the Mennonite minister who aided the mother in escaping to Nicaragua.
Kenneth Miller, the minister, is set to go on trial this week and could face up to three years for aiding and abetting the kidnapping of the couple’s daughter. Fischer tweeted that this is an example of “why we need an Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children.”
Fischer has tweeted over a dozen clarifying statements on Twitter to those that have tweeted against his kidnapping solicitation comment, one such user tweeting “@BryanJFischer I’m praying for you to quit being such an uninformed jerk.”
He tweeted today “I’m advocating AGAINST JUDICIAL KIDNAPPING, in favor of keeping daughter with her own mother.” Fischer’s stance is that the child is with the legal and biological mother and the other woman (Miller’s former partner) has no claim to parental rights.
His tweets have been retweeted and favorites over 100 times, though many mainstream Christians similarly view his comments as bigoted and unwelcome in their communities. Based in Tupelo, Mississippi, Fischer has over 8,000 followers and his popularity is continuing to grow among right wing conservatives.