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Jul

2010

Demeaning Educated Women: A New Tactic from the Christian Right
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 03:44
by Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.

Bryan Fischer, who writes the “Focal Point” column for the American Family Association, has served up more than a few absurdities:

Bryan Fischer-Focal Point

Homosexuality, Hitler and ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Date: 5/27/2010

The bottom line from what follows is this:

Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews. Gays in the military is an experiment that has been tried and found disastrously and tragically wanting. Maybe it’s time for Congress to learn a lesson from history. …

Bryan Fischer-Focal Point

Gay sex = domestic terrorism

Date: 6/10/2010

Some of England's leading newspapers - The Sun, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail - all had feature stories yesterday about the latest Taliban terror tactic: burying dirty needles with their bombs in an effort to infect troops with HIV. They are planting hypodermic syringes below the surface with the points facing upward in hopes that bomb squad experts will prick themselves and become contaminated with hepatitis and HIV. 

If the bomb goes off, then the needles become deadly flying shrapnel.


Said a member of Parliament, “Are there no depths to which these people will stoop? This is the definition of a dirty war.”



If we connect the dots here, the inescapable conclusion is that gay sex is a form of domestic terrorism. …

Don’t look for any logic or rationality – or even common sense – in any of Mr. Fischer’s non sequitur arguments. There isn’t any, nor is there any in another of Mr. Fischer’s Focal Point pieces: “Jesus was a capitalist” (5/17/2010), the last line of which was, “Bottom line: Jesus … had capitalism in his DNA.”

In his February 25, 2010 Focal Point column titled “Bible ignored, trainer dies,” Mr. Fischer cited Exodus 21:28-29 as justification for his call to stone to death “Tilly” the whale and sentence its Sea World owners as dictated in Exodus:
 

“When an ox gores a man or woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner shall not be liable “ (Exodus 21:28). So, your animal kills somebody, your moral responsibility is to put that animal to death. … But, the Scripture soberly warns, if one of your animals kills a second time because you didn't kill it after it claimed its first human victim, this time you die right along with your animal. To use the example from Exodus, if your ox kills a second time, “the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death’ (Exodus 21:29).

Killing animals was again the subject of one of Mr. Fischer’s recent Focal Point advocacies of Bronze Age superstitions:

Bryan Fischer-Focal Point

Bible ignored, grandfather mauled by grizzly

Date: 6/21/2010

History reveals that God’s covenant with an ancient nation suggests that one of the consequences for a nation which walks in his statues is that it will have nothing to fear from wild animals. “If you walk in my statutes...I will remove harmful beasts from the land” (Lev. 26:3,6).

On the other hand, “[I]f you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments...I will let loose the wild beasts against you” (Lev. 26:14,22).

A wholly preventable tragedy occurred outside Yellowstone National Park last week as a bear that only hours before had been trapped and tranquilized by researchers woke up from his induced slumber just in time to maul a 70-year old man who was out for a stroll. …

Because these researchers were intent on studying the grizzly rather than killing him to protect innocent human life, a husband, father and grandfather is dead today. …

Because this animal was given a nap instead of a bullet, a human being is dead, and a savage animal is alive, on the prowl, and ready to kill again. …

Apparently Mr. Fischer believes the grizzly should have been shot on sight. Forget scientific research on an endangered species. Forget the fact that those staying in the area had been warned about the grizzly research:

“There have been Forest Service people in the area talking to people who live in those cabins, and at the lodges around there, letting them know what’s going on,” forest spokeswoman Susan Douglas said Friday.

Forget the fact that if you go for a stroll – alone – two miles into an area where grizzlies are known to be, you do so at your own risk (just as “trainers” who swim with whales in order to force them to do tricks for the amusement of paying customers).

Fischer’s conclusion was well summarized by the title of the People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch story – “God Is Cursing Us With Bear Attacks For Failing To Follow The Bible” – that also noted something of interest at the end: “Fischer is still listed as a ‘confirmed speaker’ at the next Family Research Council Values Voter Summit…”

“Values” and one of the cofounders of the Family Research Council – George Alan Rekers – were in the news recently when Dr. Rekers, a married Baptist minister and outspoken advocate of “ex-gay therapies,” was caught returning from a ten-day European vacation with his RentBoy.com male prostitute.

Mr. Fischer’s June 28, 2010 offering – “That's OK - let's just outbreed 'em” – was more hateful, inflammatory, irresponsible, and stupid than usual. It targeted educated women.

He began by citing an article about a recent Pew study:

A Reuters’ article from the weekend indicates that more American women are not having children:

“Nearly 20 percent of older women do not have children, compared to 10 percent in the 1970s, the Pew Research Center said.

“In recent decades, social pressure to play traditional roles has lessened in a broad variety of ways and there is more leeway for individual choice. This could play a part in lowering pressure for people to get married and bear children,” said D'Vera Cohn, a co-author of the report.

“Women have more options than in the past to build strong careers and to exercise the choice not to have children” she added in an email. (emphasis mine)”

And apparently the more educated they are, the fewer kids they have. Colleges and universities, dominated by secular fundamentalists and anti-marriage and anti-family feminists, are apparently leeching the maternal instincts right out of the female lemmings entrusted to their care:

Education also seems to be a factor in a woman's choice to be a mother. The more educated women are, the higher the childless rate is.

For women with a high school diploma, the rate is 17 percent, compared to 24 percent of women with a bachelor's degree.

Before examining Mr. Fischer initial analysis, note his use of italics and quotation marks. In the first instance, he is directly quoting from the Reuters article and uses quotation marks and italics, even though italics are not used in the source article (neither is the boldface, but at least he acknowledges adding that). In the second case, although he again uses italics, there are no quotation marks. This seemed curious. Was Mr. Fischer trying to be sneaky? Was he fudging the facts? So I checked his source, “More American women not having children: report.” Here’s what was actually reported:

Education also seems to be a factor in a woman’s choice to be a mother. The more educated women are, the higher the childless rate is.

For women with a high school diploma, the rate is 17 percent, compared to 24 percent of women with a bachelor’s degree. But the childlessness rate has decreased for women with advanced degrees from 31 percent in 1994 to 24 percent in 2008.

“Economists will tell you that more educated women have more to gain economically from prioritizing their careers, compared with less educated women,” said Cohn.

“The most educated women also tend to marry at older ages and to postpone childbearing until older ages more than less educated women do,” Cohn said. [italics added]

Yep. Mr. Fischer was being deceptive and playing fast and loose with the facts. But then again, facts and reality are never part of his writing or thinking, as the rest of his rant so clearly illustrates. His non sequitur conclusion based on his “edited” facts was that “this means quite simply is that liberals are breeding themselves out of existence.” So in Mr. Fischer’s little mind, if a woman is educated, she’s automatically a liberal. And from that ever-shrinking little mind came his next statement:

This of course fits with their general environmental philosophy that human beings – including children – are toxic parasites. By not having children they are simply applying a pre-emergent to protect our fragile earth from the noxious weeds of little people, who start at as small weeds but grow into big ones.

Now, go back and consider his “analysis” following the first (legitimate) quotation from the Reuters article:

And apparently the more educated they are, the fewer kids they have. Colleges and universities, dominated by secular fundamentalists and anti-marriage and anti-family feminists, are apparently leeching the maternal instincts right out of the female lemmings entrusted to their care …

Mr. Fischer refers to female college students as “lemmings.” Assuming he knows to what that word refers – “Lemming: any of various small short-tailed furry-footed rodents (as genera Lemmus and Dicrostonyx) of circumpolar distribution that are notable for population fluctuations and recurrent mass migrations” – his arrogance just graduated to insulting stupidity.

Perhaps he meant “lemming” in its more metaphoric sense of “a doomed conformist.” If so, his opinion of American college women is still insulting in that the implication would be that they don’t have the brains or the will to think for themselves. Wrong again, Mr. Fischer.

Although I’m not quite sure what a “secular fundamentalist” is, I’m quite sure American colleges and universities are not dominated by “anti-marriage and anti-family feminists.” Indeed, the statistic Mr. Fischer conveniently left out of his version of the story – “the childlessness rate has decreased for women with advanced degrees from 31 percent in 1994 to 24 percent in 2008” – documents that. Women who hold high-level administrative or faculty positions in American colleges and universities are certainly not anti-marriage or anti-family.

So how does Mr. Fischer conclude his invective? With this “suggestion”:

All this represents a marvelous opportunity for conservatives. We can regain political control of this country by simply following the biblical mandate to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” This cultural mandate from God, as recorded in Genesis 1:28 …

To “multiply” or “increase in number,” as other translations put it, means that the average family needs to have at least three children, since by having two children parents only replace themselves. …

Since we need to make up for the childbearing aversion of our secular fundamentalist friends, perhaps each conservative family can set out to have at least four children. It won’t be too long before our poor, outflanked elites will be so badly outnumbered by a new generation imbued with the values of the Judeo-Christian tradition they may have to start having children of their own just to fight back and retain a sliver of cultural influence. [italics added]

Might I suggest that those “conservatives” who follow his advice contact Mr. Fischer immediately to demand he set up a trust fund to help pay for the college education of those four children.

Oh. I’m sorry. I forgot. Mr. Fischer believes college educated women are the root of “the problem.” So despite his disclaimer, perhaps he really is suggesting conservative women should remain uneducated and careerless so they have plenty of time to produce as many children as possible.

Nevertheless, those who take his advice and have at least four children should still contact Mr. Fischer for funds to help support those kids. The American Family Association and Mr. Fischer are based in Mississippi. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, 2007, 2008, and 2009 Annual Social and Economic Supplements, the median household income in that state was $37,416. That’s not a lot to support a family of six.

But truth be told, educated, thinking Americans everywhere should thank Mr. Fischer for his writings. They clearly show just how irrational and twisted the Christian Right has become.

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