Bryan Fischer is out for vindication. He was dismissed from a CNN broadcast by Carol Costello after ranting away at gays and failing to discuss the SPLC Mix It Up Day honestly. Now he has found himself a gay person who Fischer believes speaks the truth and thinks like he thinks. And as if to shout, “I told you so!” he presents this gay man as an authority in his most recent column. Fischer cites Johann Hari who penned what Hari portrays as an expose of sorts for Huffington Post on the subject of gay fascists. No matter that most gays aren’t fascists, or that most neo-Nazis, especially in the U.S., hate gays or that Johann Hari is just one gay person. Hari says some things Fischer can agree with, so Hari is an authority.
The problem for Fischer is that the consensus among historians is that the idea that gays are always at the center of fascism is inaccurate. In Fischer’s world, the majority has been co-opted by the gays whereas the few people who see a vital link between homosexuality and fascism are seeing the gospel truth. All it takes is one person, expert or not, saying what Fischer says and voilà, the man is a genius.
I think Hari fails to make any case other than gays as well as straights can be fascists. However, in his piece he makes some other points that Fischer leaves out. Hari suggests that extreme homophobia on the right may be a defense against latent homosexual urges. He writes:
At first glance, our Nazis seem militantly straight. They have tried to disrupt gay parades, describe gay people as “evil”, and BNP leader Nick Griffin reacted charmingly to the bombing of the Admiral Duncan pub in 1999 with a column saying, “The TV footage of gay demonstrators [outside the scene of carnage] flaunting their perversion in front of the world’s journalists showed just why so many ordinary people find these creatures repulsive.”
But scratch to homophobic surface and there’s a spandex swastika underneath.
Describe gay people as evil? People think gays are repulsive? Who says stuff like that? Mr. Fischer overlooked that theory from his new authority on the relationship between the negativity toward gays and homosexuality. Wonder why.
In the end, Hari presents a mish mash of theories, vignettes and fractured history that confuses more than it enlightens. He criticizes The Pink Swatiska but fails to recognize that he has used the same kind of hyperbole in his own piece. In the service of being sensational, he has played into the hands of the historical revisionists he criticizes.
Honestly, some gays are racial bigots. Some Christians are too. Does that make all Christians racial bigots? Or does the fact that some Christians are neo-Nazis mean that Christianity is the breeding ground of fascism? In his zeal to get vindication, Fischer throws logic out of the window and opens himself to the same charge he levels.
For more on The Pink Swastika by Scott Lively, see The Pink Swastika.