Bryan Fischer explains why the AFA pulled his column on Native Americans

I don’t know where the hole is going that Bryan Fischer is digging but it got a little deeper this afternoon.

As of mid-afternoon today, no decision had been made by AFA leaders to address the controversy over the column about Native Americans (you can read it here) according to Cindy Roberts, Director of Media and Public Relations.  Then late today, Mr. Fischer posted his explanation:

On Tuesday, I posted a column on the settlement of America by Europeans. The column generated so much intense, vitriolic and profane reaction that it threatened to take on a life of its own, and serve as a distraction to the fundamental mission of AFA, even though when I blog I am speaking only for myself and not for the organization. So we took it down. 

But the issue I addressed in the column is an important one, and at some point, a rational discussion and debate about it must be held. 

The template that the left has generated is that the displacement of indigenous tribes by European colonists and settlers was irredeemably evil. All the land which now comprises the United States was stolen from its rightful owners. Our very presence on this soil is a guilty, tainted presence. 

So the question is whether that template is right, or whether the displacement of indigenous nations was consistent with the laws of nature, nature’s God, and the law of nations and history. 

A lot is at stake here. If Americans believe that the entire history of our nation rests on a horribly evil foundation, then there is nothing to be proud of in American history, and our president is correct to identify America as the source of all evil in the world and to make a career out of apologizing for her very existence. 

If, however, there is a moral and ethical basis for our displacement of native American tribes, and if our westward expansion and settlement are in fact consistent with the laws of nature, nature’s God, and the law of nations, then Americans have much to be proud of.

Someone at the AFA must have determined that attacking Native Americans was out of sync with the AFA mission but that finding fault with the Medal of Honor and opining that Jesus would have allowed a home to burn down over failure to pay a fee is a part of their mission.

On the substance, it appears that shades of gray are missing from Mr. Fischer’s palette. I reject this reductionism and appeal to naturalism (“laws of nature and nature’s God?!).  In his column, Mr. Fischer tries to frame obviously evil acts as noble ones. However, evil does not become noble because the evil served an outcome that cannot now be undone.  

I disagree with the President on many issues but I don’t believe Fischer is correct in his assessment that Obama blames America for “all evil in the world.” Fischer expresses no regret for his offensive and supremacist generalizations about Native Americans and only makes things worse by engaging in all or nothing argumentation.

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  • Holy Buffalo Bull,

    I suppose that B. Fisher wants to examine the finer points of ¨ Native Americans have often held intersex, androgynous people in high regard¨ NEXT…looks like another can of glitterless wampum to me! What does the guy do with his valuable time?

  • Richard Willmer

    Fischer is, IMHO, ‘doing a Hitler’ – i.e. he, a nasty aggressor, is claiming that he is a ‘victim’.

    Apart from that, words fail me …

  • The attitude I see here is one I have seen elsewhere .. the attitude of infalibility … RE: the U.S is a great country thus it is impossible that we could have ever done anything wrong (and even the things that might appear to be wrong were actually right ).

    Slightly off topic but this (infallibility) idea some people have often spreads to church history and the church fathers and indeed many of the biblical heroes of the Old Testament (and the New).

    I am engaged (well actually by now I have disengaged) in discussion on another forum with someone who believes that their church’s doctrine is infallible. Talking with such a person (similar to talking to someone like Brian Fisher) is like talking to a brick wall.

    They .. or their church .. or their country is right .. everyone else is wrong. And to them, people who disagree are (obviously) caught up in the “liberal left” . There is little to no humility, honest introspection, nor opportunity to participate in give and take dialog.

    And so I come to realize once again that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (including me) and the only person I, as a Christian, can fully trust to be infallible is Jesus Christ.

  • Debbie Thurman

    U.S. history is consistent with all history, including that recorded in the Bible. Fallen man is always capable of atrocities. The inglorious parts of America’s history are no exception. Life is full of heroes and bums, saints and sinners. Of course, Fischer’s ludicrous views are no worse than those found in the leftist academic world. He’d be a tenured college professor if there were a conservative place he could hang his hat and do so with impunity.

  • stephen

    Wow. I never saw before that Bryan Fischer was just like, say, Niall Ferguson. But of course! They’re just the same. Apart from the degrees, education, intelligence, reputation, accomplishments, books published, influence, expertise, talent, etc, they’re practically identical. Good to know.

  • Debbie Thurman

    That is interesting, Stephen. I presume you are referring to Ferguson’s theses like that in “Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire.” He’s a Brit, of course. He’s examined the British Empire as well.

    I was thinking Fischer would be more of a conservative alter ego to radicals like Peter Singer, Ward Churchill or William Ayers if he were in academia.

  • ron

    “even though when I blog I am speaking only for myself and NOT for the organization. So “WE” took it down.”

    Yea…right….whatever you (all of you) say

  • Lynn David

    Fischer should have thrown in the differences in the economic morality between the Euro-American system of individual ownership of property and the socialistic Native Americans in the east and perhaps more communistic characteristics of plains and Native Americans further west. But then the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and Cherokee tended more to the Euro-American system and yet they did not fair well. The Cherokee were blatantly violated. The Haudenosaunee at least lost out because they sided with the British during the Revolutionary War.

    I’m also remind of the actions of George Rogers Clark when he took Vincennes in the Revolutionary War, Three Miamis or Creeks were brought before him and he out of hand judged them as guilty of crimes against whites. The British commander at Ft Sackville wrote that the Native Americans started singing their death songs and it wasn’t long before each was knifed. The British commander went on to say that Clark then spoke of his achievements in taking Vincennes (honesly, it rather was a heroic venture). And yes, we have a federal park and large monument to George Rogers Clark in VIncennes on the site of the old Fort Sackville. The monument proclaims Clarks efforts as the “Conquest of the West” – well, Indiana and Illinois were the west at that time (Missouri being held by Spain, though Napoleon got when he conquered Spain and put his relative on the Spanish throne). So perhaps the GRC Memorial in VIncennes and the Gateway Arch in St Louis should be Fischers most beloved American monuments concerning this issue. I doubt he cares for the site of the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

  • hazemyth

    Sorry, I know this is off topic but I was surprised that I haven’t seen any mention on this site of this latest news and upcoming documentary regarding Uganda and David Bahati. Thought it might be of interest.

  • hazemyth – I will have something up that soon…

  • stephen

    No, Debbie, I’m referring to you drawing a parallel between an educated college professor with an ignorant mountebank. You think that by mentioning Niall Ferguson I’m making some veiled barb against the US? Not at all. He’s probably the best known of Harvard’s many distinguished professors of history and I found his account, much criticized by others on the left, of WWI and II, which he counts, as do I, as one war separated by a period of peace.

    BTW. Reading the Bible as history is asking for trouble.

  • Debbie Thurman

    You think that by mentioning Niall Ferguson I’m making some veiled barb against the US?

    Not at all.

    Reading the Bible as history is asking for trouble.

    In what way?

  • Ann

    Debbie,

    Many of the historical references in the Bible have been validated by what archeologists have found in Israel. I also think, but am not sure, the same is true for Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and Syria. Biblical Archaelogy Review is a good reference.

  • Debbie Thurman

    Yes, that’s well known, Ann.

  • stephen

    Because, Debbie, it isn’t history and to read it as such degrades it.

  • Dave2

    ” In his column, Mr. Fischer tries to frame obviously evil acts as noble ones”

    This is Dave, but I am posting as Dave-2 to distinguish myself from the other Dave above.

    I will reiterate what I have said elsewhere: Throckmorton and other self-identified Christians have no basis – none – on which to declare the treatment of the Native Americans evil, let alone obviously evil. The Lord expressly condones and even compels His people to attack, conquer and eradicate whole peoples. The Native Americans were subjected to far less violence than the Midianites or, as Fischer points out, the Canaanites, among many, many others. Unless you allow that the complete eradication of the Midianites and the Canaanites was evil, and thus that God committed evil acts, then you are in no position to quarrel with Fischer over the morality of the actions of the Christian European settlers.

    • Dave2 – It is pretty simple really. According to the OT, God gave instructions about how the Isrealites were to relate to the natives. There was no scripture instructing the Europeans to do any such thing, nor is there any general instruction to wipe out natives. Seeing the Europeans as analogous to OT Jews is a non-starter.

  • Debbie Thurman

    Because, Debbie, it isn’t history and to read it as such degrades it.

    It is part history, and, frankly, to read it as such both instructs and comforts. First, you say to do so is dangerous, then you say degrading. Sounds you’re not quite sure how to read the Bible.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Warren

    The key words in your comment are ‘according to the OT’. I think it is fair to say that, according to NT, there is no possible moral justification for any of the savagery recorded in the OT. (The Sermon on the Mount was today’s Gospel reading at Mass, by the way!)

  • stephen

    People get in trouble when they try to make the Bible be literal history. It isn’t. Regarded as such it gets almost everything wrong and what it doesn’t get wrong it invents. So. To read it in such a way as was never intended degrades the purpose of the book which is to give a moral history of man’s relationship to God. To try to make its moral fables, the flood for example, into part of present-day Turkey’s history makes the book seem ludicrous.

    If, however, one reads the story of Abraham and Isaac not as a literal event – there is no evidence that any of the characters or events of Genesis or Exodus literally happened – but as perhaps the remembrance of human sacrifice and the turning away from that into a different kind of communion with God then it becomes both poetic and powerful.

    I’m not trying to belittle the Bible. Only to point out that it isn’t history any more than is Iliad.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Stephen

    Very nicely put (although I’m not convinced that ‘there is no evidence that ANY [my emphasis] of the … events of Genesis or Exodus literally happened). What I DO think is that, just because it says that ‘God approved of such-as-such’, it cannot be concluded that this was actually the case.

    Saint Paul is always most instructive: so often he asserts something, and THEN says ‘and yet …’ – precisely because that ‘great apostle’ and ‘fearless preacher’ knew that he DIDN’T have all the answers.

  • Debbie Thurman

    There is a lot more to the Old Testament than Genesis and Exodus. The Chronicles had to be chronicling something. The lineage of Jesus must be there for a reason. And, of course, the New Testament (Gospels, Christ’s ministry, Acts and the Epistles) record some fascinating historical events.

    The Bible can be appreciated on different levels. It all points to Christ.

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    The Bible can be appreciated on different levels. It all points to Christ.

    I agree with you here! Despite many of the problems in the Bible. Historically, the Church didn’t have a bible for almost 400 years, then later it was the Church who put the Bible together and the Church that was responsible for understanding which parts are literal, historical and which are merely instructive or metaphor. Despite some of its faults, and the Bible does have them, I still feel it is a beautiful book that points to Christ 🙂

  • Frank

    If we of the International Gay Atheist Conspiracy didn’t have Bryan Fischer, we’d have to invent him. He’s nuttier than anything that Christwire or Landover Baptist could produce.

  • Jayhuck

    Debbie,

    In what way?

    This is a little probably a good place to start when trying to understand the problems that exist with the Bible and History

    Bible and History

  • Richard Willmer

    Indeed there is much more to the OT than its first two books. The prophetic books (often ignored by too many of us, I suspect) are full of wonderful stuff …

    Debbie and Jayhuck are surely correct in saying that the purpose of the Bible is to point us towards the truth about God – a truth that is uniquely revealed in Christ* (so we who are Christians believe). It is a crying shame when people like Fischer use bits of text to ‘justify’ their own political agenda, and – I would submit – an abuse of scripture.

    * the ‘Human Face of God’ (and the ‘Divine Face of Humanity’, of course)

  • Dave2

    It is pretty simple really. According to the OT, God gave instructions about how the Israelites were to relate to the natives. There was no scripture instructing the Europeans to do any such thing, nor is there any general instruction to wipe out natives.”

    Well, at least you finally seem to accept that you have no basis to condemn the genocide of the various peoples who were exterminated in the OT according to divine instruction. I am making progress.

    As for the applicability of OT moral teachings to the Indians, if you believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God – a text given to mankind by the creator of the Universe – then it is all general instruction, either direct instruction or instruction by way of moral example.

    The fact that these moral choices (to invade, conquer and commit genocide) occurred in the context of ancient Israel would not limit their application any more than historical context would limit the ten commandments to the Israelites or limit the application of Mark 12:17 (“render unto Caesar”) to Roman emperors named Caesar.