Bryan Fischer Misunderstands His Award

Bryan Fischer Misunderstands His Award November 20, 2011

Bryan Fischer mentioned my Bryan Fischer Award on his radio show on Friday, but clearly misunderstands the point of the award even though I’ve explained it in some detail. On his show he said:

Some guy on the left, some winger on the left, has named an award after me. And he is now recruiting nominees, suggesting nominees for the Bryan Fischer award. This is for people who he thinks are such right wing nutjobs that they’re out in cuckoo land. So he’s named an award after me. His first nominee was Pat Buchanan, I had him on the program about a week ago talking about his brand new book about suicide in America, how we are committing cultural suicide through immigration policies, through secular sharia and the banishment of the acknowledgment of God from the public square. He was the first nominee and now David Barton has been nominated for the Bryan Fischer award. “If there is a chutzpah hall of fame, David Barton must be a first ballot inductee.” So apparently this is a chutzpah hall of fame award named after yours truly.

You’re getting warmer, Bryan. The award is named after you not for being a right wing nutjob — though you are one — but for the fact that you are utterly immune to your own irony. The award is given to those who, like you, show an extraordinary lack of self-awareness, accusing those you disagree with of engaging in the very behavior you display incessantly yourself.

Pat Buchanan got the nomination for criticizing ethnic nationalism, which is the very basis of the book you applaud him for. He is one of the nation’s foremost advocates of ethnic nationalism, for crying out loud. David Barton got the nomination for criticizing someone else for passing on a fake quote from the Founding Fathers when no one in the history of the nation has been responsible for passing on more such fake quotes than David Barton.

See, here’s the difference between David Barton and an intellectually honest person. I criticize him for passing along false quotes. I also criticized the atheist group in California for doing so. And I’ve criticized Christopher Hitchens for claiming that Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were atheists, an absolutely ridiculous position given their voluminous writings on the subject.

And I’ve criticized other atheists and secularists (those aren’t necessarily the same thing, by the way — and I figure I’d better tell you that because you always seem to think that anyone you disagree with must all be wrong in precisely the same way and must be in league with one another) for taking John Adams’ famous “this would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it” line out of context (he was actually saying the exact opposite of that when read in context). That’s what an intellectually honest person does. It is not, of course, what people like you and David Barton do.

And on the very day that you mentioned the award, you got the nomination yourself for accusing others of being in favor of imposing Sharia law when your own authoritarian ideology is distinguishable only in degree — and maybe not even that — from the reactionary Muslim version of it. Like the reactionary Muslims, you justify authoritarian policies on the basis of your religion. Like the reactionary Muslims, you despise gay people and want to criminalize their lives. Like the reactionary Muslims, you think the government should endorse only your religion and that only your religion should be legally protected. And yet you accuse gay rights activists and secularists, the very people the reactionary Muslims would put to death first if they had power, of being just like the Taliban.

The lack of self-awareness, the psychological projection that you engage in on a daily basis, are so irrational, so utterly contrary to reality, that is is breathtaking to watch — but a lot of fun to mock. Thus, the award named after you. No need to thank me for the explanation.


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  • Sadie Morrison

    Bryan Fischer…clearly misunderstands the point of the award even though I’ve explained it in some detail.

    Does this surprise you for some reason?

  • Phillip IV

    misunderstands the point of the award even though I’ve explained it in some detail.

    Well, that’s kinda inevitable – the same lack of self-awareness the award is given for is what prevents Bryan Fisher from understanding that that is what the award is given for. If he did understand that, you’d have to rename the award because he wouldn’t qualify anymore.

    And aside from that, Fisher is simply terrible at understanding and interpreting written language in general, something he regularly demonstrates regarding his Bible.

  • Michael Heath

    Given Bryan Fischer demonstrates no ability to argue coherently, I’m pleasantly surprised he understood your award to the degree he did.

    Let’s hope Mr. Fischer reads this blog post and then studies up on what psychological projection is and how he, along with every single Christianist I’ve encountered, repeatedly demonstrate this behavior to the point we can safely describe it as a defining attribute of their religious-political movement.

    Mr. Fischer, if you self-identify as a person of integrity you’d learn to make intellectually honest and sufficiently framed arguments. We can easily demonstrate you do not even remotely meet this standard and are in fact an illustrative example of someone who does not. If you are interested in learning to make worthy arguments I suggest starting with this elementary introduction to building a basic argument along with this book which catalogues, defines and illustrates the very logical and rhetorical fallacies you almost currently depend upon to make your arguments.

    If you are capable for comprehending the contents of these books you’ll then understand the ginormous absurdity of your past arguments to those of us who’ve worked hard at developing their critical thinking skills in this area or to those who are natural talents at breaking down and analyzing the validity of arguments.

  • Perhaps if you renamed it the Dunning-Kruger Award, it would make more sense to him?

    Naww. That won’t make a difference.

  • MikeMa

    It is nice to see Bryan is reading you. Not that even a fraction of the criticism will penetrate his theocratic bigotry but it is nice to know he is aware of a wider world that most definitely does not share his outlook.

    It is interesting to speculate on what drives him. Is it the paycheck, the adoration of morons, or does he tow the line handed down by the group he works for? Does he wag the dog or is he one of many fleas the dog feeds?

  • Sadie Morrison

    It is interesting to speculate on what drives him.

    My guess? He’s pathetically insecure and cannot tolerate a world that does not line up in complete, absolute conformity with his beliefs.

  • whheydt

    He probably found out about the “award” by having one of his minions do his egoscanning on the ‘net.

    –W. H. Heydt

    Old Used Programmer

  • At this rate, Fischer may also qualify for a Robert O’Brien award. We haven’t seen one of those in a while.

  • And on the very day that you mentioned the award, you got the nomination yourself for accusing others of being in favor of imposing Sharia law when your own authoritarian ideology is distinguishable only in degree — and maybe not even that — from the reactionary Muslim version of it. Like the reactionary Muslims, you justify authoritarian policies on the basis of your religion. Like the reactionary Muslims, you despise gay people and want to criminalize their lives. Like the reactionary Muslims, you think the government should endorse only your religion and that only your religion should be legally protected.

    Like I’ve been saying for a while, if radical Sharia comes to America, it’ll be instituted by the Republicans.

  • Michael Heath

    MikeMa:

    It is nice to see Bryan is reading you. Not that even a fraction of the criticism will penetrate his theocratic bigotry but it is nice to know he is aware of a wider world that most definitely does not share his outlook.

    He’s probably got a Google Alert set-up on his name feeding him webpages where his name is published.

  • See, here’s the difference between David Barton and an intellectually honest person. I criticize him for passing along false quotes. I also criticized the atheist group in California for doing so. And I’ve criticized Christopher Hitchens for claiming that Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were atheists, an absolutely ridiculous position given their voluminous writings on the subject.

    While this is very clearly articulated, I think there is a kind of mind that simply can’t process what this means, which is why such a person is absolutely clueless about the stark ironies that characterize their cognitive lives; it’s like trying to explain calculus to a first grader. He can’t see something that he can’t comprehend. For Fischer, a dominant operating principle is emotionally-driven identity politics and moral views.

    It’s possible that human beings lie along of spectrum of selected cognitive-emotional variation that reflects different environmentally based advantages and disadvantages. Men like Fischer may be carriers of a mental organization that is best suited to more primitive tribal lives, while liberal-minded (not necessarily politically liberal) people are more suited to diverse, modern, less hierarchical societies. Of course, we’re of the same species and all carry some of most things, but within individuals, we see different aspects of our selected history expressed in a range of cognitive styles that are largely stable after they’ve matured. For those of us who are internally clear on the notion of intellectual integrity, it all seems so painfully obvious. But a guy like Fischer may never be able to get it. On the one hand, he has considerable intellectual capacity, on the other, every time he sees war paint and hears tribal hooting he gets a boner and picks up a spear as if by reflex (so to speak).

    I know this is just speculation on my my part, but I think the more tribal elements of our world are like stressed animals, given the acceleration of social and cultural change brought about by amplifying technology in communication, travel and cultural norm mixing. I’m surprised their hair doesn’t fall out in clumps like a harassed baboon when a new alpha male moves into the neighborhood. But alas, it’s stressful for the alpha male too, so I guess evolution is all about variation in reaction to stressors.

  • Maybe one important difference between a Fischer and a non-Fischer is that the latter are inclined to take apart black box processes, to figure out what makes them tick. This is an anathema to a tribal bloodline-authority mentality. Blackbox processes are regarded as sacrosanct, irreducible units to a guy like Fischer, as opposed to being processes that can be investigated. Isn’t this at the heart of conservative contempt for the intellectual, and even what really lies in their strawman criticism of moral relativism? They actually like intellectual pretense, as long as it isn’t challenging their cultural black box processes, and that’s the basis for the conservative contempt for moral relativism.

    Of course, few of their opponents are genuine moral relativists. Most socially liberal-minded people recognize distinctions between moral rules and regulations that are culturally-bound–rules that have evolved because they preserve a particular set of social arrangements–and moral principles that are rooted in constructs that tend to transcend particular cultures. That latter kind of morality is a profound threat to men like Fischer whose morality is built around preserving tribal order at the expense of broader justice.

    So Fischer perhaps misses the entire point of the Bryan Fischer award because it’s a deconstruction of his black box moral world. Ed is just one them immoral liberals. The Bryan Fischer award can only be understood by Fischer in terms of inter-tribal rivalry–a liberal award to mock a right winger, as opposed to being an award specifically designated based on an analysis of the black box process. Fischer just can’t or won’t go there.

  • Tribalism is definitely a factor that I keep seeing over and over when it comes to these sorts of people. Their ethics make a lot more sense when you view them as situational instead of objective or consistent. It’s centered on the situation of whether they are a member of red team or blue team.

  • Aquaria

    I knew you wouldn’t let that Winger comment stand.

  • Azkyroth

    Brian Fisher can read?

  • Sadie Morrison

    Dr. X, could you please explain what you mean by “black box processes?” Google isn’t being especially helpful.

  • jba55

    Dr X: So, what you’re saying, essentially, is that Bryan Fischer is a jerk?

  • Sadie,

    A process that operates in the dark, invisibly, unanalyzed. So, there is no breaking down or studying moral principles to understand where they really come from, how they even operate and the complexity of their effects, including the purposes that might be revealed if you really deconstruct them.

    A programming engineer I know uses the term to talk about consumer testing of technology–the consumer just looks at input and output, versus an engineer doing testing and looking at the code.

  • Sadie Morrison

    Thanks, X.

  • jba55

    Dr X: So, what you’re saying, essentially, is that Bryan Fischer is a jerk?

    I was thinking more along the lines of a chimp who fusses in the mirror a lot.

  • Pinky

    Up thread Michael Heath said this:

    If you [Fischer] are interested in learning to make worthy arguments I suggest starting with this elementary introduction to building a basic argument along with this book which catalogues, defines and illustrates the very logical and rhetorical fallacies you almost currently depend upon to make your arguments.

    Thank you Mr. Heath for (what look like) two excellent book suggestions. I now have them on my wish list.

    As an off topic aside, I have often thought about the extreme price, along with other facets of the textbook scam, more when I was scrapping bottom as a college student then now. I sometimes think its some type of conspiracy (did I say that?) to price information out of the reach of the lumpen proletariat.

    Then I remember another possible reason for the textbook extortion; allowing professors to change a comma on a figure’s captain so the book can be published as another edition. The prof can say he published and an organization can make more money.

    As a student I was constantly told by the gatekeeper at the university book store counter I could not buy the (barely) cheaper used textbook because someone’s rule said I had to get the brand new-full price text for a class.

    The gatekeepers could not explain to me why it was imperative I purchase the full price textbook even if it meant going without eating for a week. None of the gatekeepers, lackeys whose souls were owned by the textbook corporation, could explain to my satisfaction how much knowledge I would lose by using an older edition textbook in a class. A few had the grace to look embarrassed and cast their eyes down as they lied to me.

    I figured the casting their eyes down bit was a way to distract me. I would simply pick their eyes off the floor and hand them back with a sneer.

    With no good reason forthcoming I surmised that walking into a class room with an older edition textbook would cause a horde of screaming banshees to descend upon me and rip off my scrotum to use as a coin purse. Since I never liked to be the center of attention and I hated encouraging banshees in their poor taste in accessories, I would buy the latest edition textbook.

  • d cwilson

    when your own authoritarian ideology is distinguishable only in degree — and maybe not even that — from the reactionary Muslim version of it.

    It’s not a question of degree, just branding. The difference between Fischer and the Taliban is merely the difference between Coke and Pepsi.

  • “…through secular sharia…”

    Every time you think they can’t possibly contradict themselves to any greater degree, they invent some new and even more absurd oxymoron.

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