By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
When, as a social conservative, you go to the most prominent conference of social conservatives on the election calendar, you don’t expect to get publicly attacked by somebody who wants social conservatives to vote for him.
It’s an odd thing to be personally and publicly attacked by the man who may be the next president of the United States, but that’s what happened to me at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday.
Dr. Robert Jeffress started the fracas on Friday by referring to Mormonism as a “cult” in interviews with reporters after he introduced and endorsed Gov. Rick Perry on Friday.
According to MSNBC, Gov. Romney’s people got in touch with Bill Bennett and they decided to tag team - Bennett would kneecap Dr. Jeffress first and then Mitt would kneecap me right before I took the podium after his speech.
Here’s how Politico reported it:
“Rather than answering Jeffress directly, Romney came to the summit on Saturday and rebuked another hardline social conservative: Bryan Fischer, a controversial official at the American Family Association who has disparaged Mormonism, as well as homosexuality, Islam and more.
‘We should remember that decency and civility are values too,’ Romney said Saturday. ‘One of the speakers who will follow me today has crossed that line, I think. Poisonous language doesn’t advance our cause.’
At another place, Politico added, “A Romney adviser confirmed his remark about 'poisonous language' was referring to Fischer.”
Speaking of “decency and civility,” the American Family Association is one of the hosts of this event. How “decent and civil” is it to insult one of your hosts in front of the entire nation from the platform they have made available to you? Hmmm?
I spoke immediately after Romney, who apparently was goaded into attacking me by the New York Times, the Boston Globe and other media outlets who wrote eagerly about the anticipated brawl. Here’s the breathless headline, for instance, from the Deseret News: “Mitt Romney vs. Mormon critic Bryan Fischer: Showdown Saturday?”
I was inundated by media after my speech, a speech in which I said precisely nothing about either Mormonism or Gov. Romney - turning the other cheek, don’t you know? - who wanted to know exactly what "poisonous language" Mitt was referring to. My answer was simple: I have no idea. You’ll have to ask him.
I have done nothing but speak the truth about Mormonism, but apparently for someone of Mitt’s political ilk, the truth itself is now toxic. We already have a president for whom the truth is a “poisonous" thing. I’m not sure we need another one.
When I was asked by the media if I agreed with Dr. Jeffress’s labeling of Mormonism as a “cult,” I replied, again truthfully, that “Mormonism is outside the mainstream of historic Christian orthodoxy.”
But my main disagreement with Mitt is this, and this is what I told every member of the media who interviewed me: my problem with Mitt is not that he’s Mormon, it’s that he’s not Mormon enough. In fact, that is all I’ve ever said about Romney’s Mormon faith.
The Mormon church has always been strongly pro-life. Mitt ran as a pro-abortion candidate in 2002, and doesn’t even claim to have been pro-life until 2005, just about the time he decided to run for the presidency.
The Mormon church has always been strongly pro-marriage, yet Gov. Romney imposed same-sex marriage on Massachusetts and the United States by executive fiat in 2004.
The sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage are the two absolute non-negotiables. That Mitt suddenly discovered these values at the same time he decided he wanted to be the next Republican presidential candidates smacks of a political conversion that is more about convenience than conviction.
In fact, I think the main reason Mitt Romney tried to kneecap me on Saturday is that I have been unswerving in pointing out he imposed same-sex marriage on Massachusetts by executive fiat.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in the fall of 2003 that the state’s existing natural marriage law - which outlawed same-sex marriage - was unconstitutional. The court, in a nod to the separation of powers, urged the General Assembly to write a new law, since that’s not the role of the judiciary, and gave it 180 days.
The General Assembly did precisely nothing. In fact, same-sex marriage is still illegal in Massachusetts. It is against the law, because the law has never been changed. You could look it up.
But Gov. Romney, in his craven capitulation to homosexual activists, was not about to be deterred. He plunged ahead and “legalized” same-sex marriage in a burst of executive activism and tyranny.
He ordered town clerks in the spring of 2004 to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples or get fired. Massachusetts state law still to this day directs town clerks to only issue marriage licenses that are “authorized by the laws of the commonwealth.” So Romney was ordering them to break the state law or lose their jobs, a gross abuse of power.
There’s a rule in politics: you never punch down; you only punch up. You never attack someone who has less power than you. Yet Mitt Romney came after me, someone with a minor national profile and no political power whatsoever.
Why did he punch down by going after me? Because I’m saying something he does not want Republican voters to know: America has same-sex marriage because of Mitt Romney.
In other words, his attack on me wasn’t about Mormonism at all. It was about same-sex marriage and his shameful role in foisting it on America.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)