Bryan Fischer: Who is this manipulator?

There’s a new guy in town for the fundamentalist evangelicals.  His name is Bryan Fischer and he has a gig with American Family Radio.  If the fundagelicals you know have become rabidly homophobic lately and shrieking about fisting (in other words, they know more about gay sex than you do and think you want to hear about it for hours while you’re trapped in a car together), you might be able to trace their current mental state back to Bryan Fischer.

Jane Meyer wrote a profile on Fischer for the New Yorker for its July-August edition.  Unfortunately, the New Yorker wants money to read past the abstract, which is a shame because it’s not in my budget.  But you can get the abridged version from an interview that Meyer did with Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Fischer is pretty awful from what I’ve been able to find on him.  To make matters worse, he’s a Stanford graduate.  Given his views on evolution and AIDS, it’s a little disconcerting to say the least.  It sounds to me like he’s manipulating his audience to make money or it could be Stanford wasn’t that picky back when Fischer applied.  But the fact that he’s a graduate of a prestigious school is problematic because it gives Fischer a kind of authority.  He’s seen what the elitists have to offer, he’s even been considered one of them, and he’s rejected it.  This is part of his schtick.

See his argument against evolution if you want to know how he works.  He knows his audience and knows they like absolute certainty.  All he has to do to knock evolution down is skillfully use language to imply that there is nothing certain about a theory.  And he’s right.  A theory is just a theory until something better comes along.  But science doesn’t stick with theories that have no evidence to back them up.  A theory is an interpretation of evidence.  The evidence is real.  The theory is just a working model.  Fischer knows this because he is very precise with his words in this argument.  But he appears to think his audience is as dumb as a box of rocks.

My own personal view on this is that you can believe in creationism if you want but you’re better off not trying to argue with those of us who understand and accept evolution.  There’s nothing you can possibly say that would make us change our minds because your arguments don’t make any damn sense. The person you are trying to convince is yourself. The rest of us are perfectly content and have peace of mind with evolution. We are not tormented by uncertainty. (And here’s some handy advice for religious people who are trying to convert non-believers.)

Homophobia is not his only fault.  His views on women are so extreme that his ultra fundamentalist church kicked him out.  Anyway, keep an ear out for this blowhard because he knows what he’s doing and he makes Glenn Beck look like an amateur.

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Speaking of the gullible, the AARP has a post about why people fall for those incredible Nigerian scam emails.  Wouldn’t it be better for the scam artist to use a more believable story?  Nope.  It turns out the beauty of the scam is that it is so outlandish:

Far-fetched tales of West African riches strike most as comical,” writes study author Cormac Herley. “Our analysis suggests that is an advantage to the attacker, not a disadvantage…By sending an email that repels all but the most gullible, the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select.”

[...]

“The scam involves an initial email campaign which has almost zero cost per recipient,” notes Herley’s study. “Only when potential victims respond does the labor-intensive and costly effort of following up by email (and sometimes phone) begin.” So the scammers want only the unshakeably clueless to respond; they don’t want to waste time on people who are going to get wise after the gang’s invested hours of one-on-one contact. It’s not exactly what they may teach at business school, but it makes dollars and sense: For the best chance of closing a deal, focus on customers most likely to buy (into a lie, in this case).

But why specifically mention Nigeria? “A less outlandish wording that did not mention Nigeria would almost certainly gather more total responses…but would yield lower overall profit,” notes Herley. That’s because respondents would include more people who would ultimately yield not a single dollar.

Bryan Fischer operates along these lines as well.

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11 Responses

  1. If Bryan Fister is all you say and more he’ll be a big hit here in the Alabama Triangle of PA.
    Fundamentalism isn’t going away any time soon, if historical trends hold there will be an increase in believers as the economy worsens.
    If that’s the case these guys will be making a mint fleecing the sheep.

    BTW: It’s almost three months since Rush Limbaugh went on a name calling spree against Susan Fluke. I am not listening to any FM music stations that are owned by companies that broadcast AM Hate on their affiliates how about you?

    Think about this, if you have listened to any of the Hate Talk Radio spewers their vitriol is reaching or sinking to new levels. Do you really want anybody that supports this hate with their advertising dollars in you home or to work on your car?

    No telling what they might do if they find you are a Liberal.

    • Mike, have you let those stations know, and better yet their sponsors, why you are not listening? I did it and it was a pain but felt great when I was done. I miss my more liberal local talk hosts, but I can not give in this time. We get Rush and that right wing loon Michael Savage.

  2. A theory – to be a theory – must be capable of being disproved.

    “Creationism” – or any other similar hogwash that depends on blind faith – does not rise to the level of theory.

    Gravity is but a “mere” theory.

    Here’s a theory: these idiots cannot grasp (or do everything in their power to avoid) the simple notion of logic and reason or the scientific method. They start with the conclusion they want, with no real intellectual rigor. I would love to see them try to disprove that theory, face-to-face.

  3. Ignoring these people is the most effective way to stop them. They gain followers because people give them the chance to talk, and the media publishes their idiotic diatribes of hate because both followers and opposers read it. Those who listened and decided it works for their agenda will just defend them rather than turn away from the theories – they see arguing or opposition as validating proof that they are onto something.

    • Ignoring these people is the worst thing you can do. It’s like ignoring weeds encroaching your garden.

      Religion is a choke-weed in the Garden of Liberty. Allow it to flourish at your peril.

      • LOL – I wasn’t talking about just a few people…EVERYONE needs to ignore these fools…especially the media where the messages these demons want to share get to reach audiences they wouldn’t otherwise reach without the help of major publications. Think of it as a party where no one shows up…the host is kind of left to figure out why no one wanted to spend time with them.

      • LO, come on Mike. I am sure if you tried, you could find many instances in history where religion was the cornerstone of liberty. If not you just didn’t pay attention in history class.

        • Mebbe, but you don’t need it in order to have a free society. In fact, after a certain point, religion leads to *less* liberty. The founders were so concerned that they deliberately excluded establishment of federal and state religions.
          We need to go back to that model because clearly, the current trend of allowing believers to ram their lifestyle, morality and concept of freedom on everyone else is not working.
          You don’t need religion to be free or moral or good. If God is what frosts your crockies, great. But you don’t need my buy in.
          BTW, I’ve always wondered why it is that so many Americans insist that their leaders have a religion or belief in God. Didn’t it ever occur to them that like everything else, a politician is capable of lying? There’s no way to know in absolute terms whether a politician is a christian or buddhist or atheist just from going by what they say. A lot of people pretend to be believers because they don’t want to face ostracism. The Thinking Atheist podcast takes calls from listeners every week who are in the closet and can’t tell their parents, friends or coworkers. So there are a lot of closet agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, skeptics, and humanists out there. But they’re probably not going to tell you as long as you still have this stereotype that to be for liberty and honesty and everything moral, you need to believe in God. So, they just let you assume they’re religious and you never know because in every other aspect of their lives, they’re no different from you.
          Imagine that. You may be surrounded by atheists and don’t even know it. You might be the only believer in your family. The rest just can’t bear to tell you. And if you ask them, they’ll just fib and tell you what they think you want to hear.
          Spoooooky.

        • Teresa, since you ostensibly did pay attention in history class, which nation’s religion was the cornerstone of their liberty? I can’t think of a single one that didn’t finally corrupt liberty, and neither, as I recall, could James Madison.

  4. Call me Cassandra, I’m worried about enemies within the walls. This article probes the history of the “lefts” abandonment of working class families in the early 70’s, it documents the rapprochement to the ruling .01% and “liberals” advocating a return to 19th century economic structures. It helps explain why Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford and even Reagan would be too liberal for today’s DNC Democrats. Liberals in the middle class should not have been surprised to find that when the financial oligarchs came for them, there was nobody left to turn to.

    One juicy bit about the ACLU’s activities.

    “Most people don’t know Neier’s role in moving the ACLU against labor and against socio-economic justice, [Neier supported the Nazi's in Skokie during his expungement of workers rights]…Leaked tobacco documents in the 1990s exposed the ACLU working out explicit deals with the tobacco industry to take their money in exchange for advocating their interests…the ACLU also vigorously supported the disastrous Citizens United decision; [taking] $20 million dollars from the Koch brothers.”

    http://thedailybanter.com/2012/06/the-quiet-extermination-of-labor-rights-from-human-rights/

  5. Thomas Edsall a professor of journalism at Columbia University has it exactly backwards when he says:

    “the loss of white non-college voters has diminished pressure within the Democratic Party to address the dislocations resulting from globalization and automation, especially the loss of low-to-medium-skill jobs that paid high wages to workers without college degrees.”

    Here let me fix it for ya:

    “The Democratic Party tax & trade policies which resulted in global labor arbitrage, their support of the use of imported labor [illegal & legal H1-B1, L1 & an alphabet soup of others] to destroy not just blue collar workers, but also the remaining niches of middle class wages in skilled trades and technical professions has resulted in diminished pressure within the Democratic Party to address the dislocations they created…

    There…fixed. To finish the narrative:

    Since those workers that once voted enthusiastically for Democrats have been betrayed, they easily fall prey to Republicans sirens who correctly point out how Democratic elitists hung working people out to dry.

    While the article has the cart pushing the horse, there is good data in there…you can’t expect good journalism in this country anymore…and the professor is prima facia evidence of why that is.

    http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/canaries-in-the-coal-mine/

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