The director of issues analysis of a conservative fundamentalist Christian organization who is opposing anti-bullying efforts found himself on the defensive on Tuesday after a CNN host pointed out that his "hate speech" revealed an anti-LGBT agenda.
During a phone interview on CNN, host Carol Costello asked the American Family Association's (AFA) Bryan Fischer why his group was fighting the the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) "Mix It Up For Lunch Day" anti-bullying effort.
"It's an attempt to push the normalization of homosexual behavior in public schools and to eventually punish students who would express a Judeo-Christian view of sexuality," Fischer explained. "It's interesting to me that they are doing this on Oct. 30, the day before Halloween, and what this program is, it's like poison Halloween candy. Somebody takes a candy bar, injects it with cyanide, the label looks fine, it looks innocuous, it looks fine. It's not until you internalize it, you realize how toxic it is. We want parents to understand that any program that comes from the Southern Poverty Law Center is going to be toxic to their student's moral health."
Costello noted that the program had been going on for 11 years and the SPLC's website "makes no mention of homosexuality whatsoever."
"The Southern Poverty Law Center has called your organization, the American Family Association, a hate group," she pointed out. "And some would say that's really what's motivating you."
"In reality, the Southern Poverty Law Center is out to bully students who have conservative moral values in silence," Fischer insisted.
"I think the Southern Poverty Law Center could turn the tables on you," Costello interrupted. "You have said, 'Hitler recruited homosexuals around him to make up his stormtroopers. They were his enforcers, they were his thugs. Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and cruel and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual soldiers had no limit to the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whoever Hitler sent them after.'"
"That spells agenda to me," the CNN host observed. "That, by many people's standards, would be hate speech."
Fischer then launched into a rant about how the SPLC was trying to destroy the AFA and other Christian groups and that "homosexuality has the same risks associated with it as intravenous drug use."
"That's just not true," Costello said, cutting him off. "I'm going to end this interview now, sir, because that's just not true. Mr. Fisher, thanks for sharing your views, I guess."
Watch this video from CNN's Newsroom, broadcast Oct. 16, 2012.
(h/t: Good As You)