The fundamentalist American Family Association -- which is tax-exempt because it's supposedly nonpolitical -- is waging a mammoth campaign to enlist 5 million white evangelical voters to support Republican candidates this year and pump perhaps $1 billion into the GOP campaign, according to The New Yorker.
A long account details endless political ranting by the Rev. Bryan Fischer, host of an AFA religious talk-radio show heard by more than 1 million listeners daily on 200 stations in 35 states. The AFA and Fischer are driven by a "defeat Obama" obsession, it says.
Day after day, the minister-broadcaster denounces gays, saying their orientation is "always, always, always a matter of choice." He rails that public schools shouldn't teach the "morally and intellectually bankrupt theory of evolution." He would imprison girls who terminate pregnancies, and ban birth control for unmarried couples. He would halt all funding of Planned Parenthood. He says non-Christians have no right to religious freedom.
Fischer preaches that President Obama aims to "destroy capitalism" and "despises the Constitution" and "nurtures a hatred for the white man." He adds that Obama's Hawaii birth certificate probably is fake.
When Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney appointed a gay aide, the AFA show raised a nationwide howl and the aide soon resigned. The New York Times commented that he was "hounded out of town by social conservatives."
Fischer once claimed that the Department of Homeland Security is buying massive amounts of ammunition to be used against white evangelicals.
The New Yorker article observed:
"More than a quarter of American voters identify themselves as evangelicals ... . The constituency has, arguably, become the most reliable bloc in the Republican Party ... . More than half of the voters in the current Republican primaries have identified themselves as evangelicals."
Without this group, no GOP presidential candidate would have a prayer of a chance.
Free speech gives all groups a right to voice their political beliefs. But it's a travesty to claim that the American Family Association is nonpolitical, thus deserving tax-free status. However, the magazine says the AFA has a "political action" subsidiary that is entitled to campaign.
The subsidiary spent $600,000 helping Texas Gov. Rick Perry organize a huge prayer rally that launched his presidential campaign. It also helps lead a "Champion the Vote" drive seeking to register 5 million new evangelical voters this year. Religious right and Tea Party groups may spend more in behalf of GOP candidates in 2012 than is spent by the Republican Party itself, the magazine says.
What a sham. It's ludicrous to pretend that this tax-free church organization isn't involved in politics.