Evangelical leader and radio talk show host Bryan Fischer, who has been the main voice of the American Family Association for several years, has been fired from his post as director of issue analysis just days before Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and several RNC members are to travel to Israel on a tour sponsored by an AFA-linked group.
The decision came after new comments made by Fischer, who is well-known for his past statements concerning gays and Adolph Hitler
, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow confirmed Wednesday night with American Family Association (AFA) President Tim Wildmon. The latest comments concerned Hitler using homosexuals to carry out the Holocaust, the Huffington Post reported.
Wildmon called Fischer "just a talk show host."
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Maddow reported that Wildmon told her that Fischer also should not be quoted as a spokesman for the AFA, and that he was let go because of "the soundbite quotes, you know, the Hitler and the homosexuality one … we reject that.”
The AFA also removed Fischer's biography page
from its website, but Mediaite
reported Wednesday night that Fischer will remain the AFA's radio talk show host.
The timing came as the AFA is partnering with the RNC for the weekend trip, reports the Israeli publication Haaretz
The newspaper reports that the American Renewal Project, financed by AFA, is organizing the trip.
The Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC), an Alabama-based civil rights group, has called the AFA a "hate group" and "extremist group" because of racial and anti-gay statements that have been made, and after Fischer was quoted as saying that "counterfeit religions, alternative religions of Christianity have no right to the free exercise of religion."
“The AFA has an extensive track record of bigotry and hate,” SPLC president and CEO Richard Cohen wrote
to the RNC while urging them not to go on the trip, Haaretz said.
Priebus invited the entire 168-membership of the RNC on the all-expenses paid trip, with more than a third of them accepting, according to the American Renewal Project's David Lane, who organized the trip.
Another three dozen or so people are also planning to make the trip, Haaretz reported.
Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project of the SPLC, told Haaretz that her group has no problem with the RNC members going to Israel, "which is an important ally and important for international policy," but has an issue with "one of our mainstream political parties and a group with these heinous beliefs is sponsoring it.”
Meanwhile, Fischer tweeted that his show will go on:
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