American Family Association: Non-Christians Need Not Apply

December 17, 2009 5:43 pm ET — Walid Zafar

Last month, we commented on the outrageous remarks made by Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, who in the wake of the tragedy at Fort Hood, wrote that Muslims should be barred from serving in the military.  He defended his remarks, saying that it was "not Islamophobia" but rather "Islamo-realism."

Monday, Fischer went one step further, illustrating that his disdain for religious plurality is as great as his ignorance of the Constitution. In a post on the AFA's blog, Fisher writes that the Constitution's ban on religious tests for federal office was only intended to protect various Christian denominations.

But [the Founders] were also clear that no religious test was to be applied as a condition of public service at the federal level. What the Founders meant by this, however, was this and this alone: an individual did not need to belong to a particular Christian denomination to be eligible for federal office. That's it. [emphasis added]

Conservatives like Fischer hold a strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution and often lament the supposed destruction of the Constitution by "liberal activist judges" who see the document as a living breathing document.  If the Founders wanted to associate gun ownership with the existence of well regulated militias, they say, the Constitution would have specifically said that.  When it comes to advancing religious intolerance, however, it seems that mind-reading the intention of the Founders is A-OK.

*The AFA has a history of attacking religious minorities.  In the 80's, AFA founder Donald Wildmon came under scrutiny after groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, accused him of promoting anti-Semitism.