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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Flickr Creative Commons photo by Alan Light.
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Alan Light.

AFA leader says Muslims don’t have First Amendment rights

Despite being designated as a hate group, several potential 2012 presidential candidates continue to court the organization
By Tyler Kingkade | 03.25.11 | 8:00 am

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, one of a handful of national anti-gay groups that lead the effort to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices last year, wrote on his blog Thursday that not only did the country’s founders not intend for the First Amendment to protect Islam, but Muslims do not have a constitutional right to build mosques in the United States.

“Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam. Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy. …

Our government has no obligation to allow a treasonous ideology to receive special protections in America, but this is exactly what the Democrats are trying to do right now with Islam.

From a constitutional point of view, Muslims have no First Amendment right to build mosques in America.”

Fischer claimed in 2010, while his group was spending around $140,000 in Iowa to oust three Supreme Court justices, that Adolf Hitler was gay and hired gays to be Nazi stormtroopers for their “savagery,” that homosexuals should be banned from public office, and having fewer homosexual students would reduce teen suicide rates. In December, he called for homosexual sex to be made illegal because it was as dangerous as intravenous drug use.

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently classified AFA as a hate group. However, conservative Republicans considering a run for president have still courted the Mississippi-based organization.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty recently appeared on Fischer’s radio program, where he said he would reinstate the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that bans homosexuals from serving openly in the military.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich helped bankroll AFA Action’s effort to oust the justices in Iowa based on their unanimous ruling overturning a state ban on same-sex marriage. Gingrich quietly donated $125,000 to them in 2010, in addition to his monetary support for other groups involved in the anti-judge campaign.

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn), who appears to be edging closer to running for president, told Fischer in an interview Thursday that she would support using all of the natural resources “God has given us” in her platform for her energy policy.

Follow Tyler Kingkade on Twitter


  • Anonymous

    The establishment and accompanying free excercise clause in the first amendment states…

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    When read literally, Mr. Fischer is right. The clause doesn’t say it is specifically written to protect Islam, on the other hand it isn’t written to specifically protect the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster religions. It doesn’t put one above the other. It is written to protect the free exercise of ALL religions within the boundaries of our laws. This whole Christian Nation talk is getting way out of hand.

    As to his comment that “Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy. …” who is the “we” he is talking about? Who ever they are, I don’t think they know the definition of liberty plus they have serious issues if they think they alone have the power to grant as a courtesy, a freedom which is already guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

    • Anonymous

      We have to read the Founding Fathers’ writings to understand the context, correct?

      The framers wrote the establishment clause was only to prohibit a National Church, like the Church of England. They clearly only referred to Christianity as the context by claiming we were formed a Christian Nation as well as statements on the first amendment debates:

      “If the public homage of a people can ever be worthy the favorable regard of the Holy and Omniscient Being to whom it is addressed, it must be that in which those who join in it are guided only by their free choice, by the impulse of their hearts and the dictates of their consciences; and such a spectacle must be interesting to all Christian nations as proving that religion, that gift of Heaven for the good of man, freed from all coercive edicts, from that unhallowed connection with the powers of this world which corrupts religion into an instrument or an usurper of the policy of the state…Upon these principles and with these views the good people of the United States are invited, in conformity with the resolution aforesaid, to dedicate the day above named to the religious solemnities therein recommended.”
      –Given at Washington, this 23d day of July, A. D. 1813.[seal.] JAMES MADISON

      “[T]hat they may consider what further measures the honor and interest of the Government and its constituents demand; if a resolution to do justice as far as may depend upon me, at all times and to all nations, and maintain peace, friendship, and benevolence with all the world; if an unshaken confidence in the honor, spirit, and resources of the American people, on which I have so often hazarded my all and never been deceived; if elevated ideas of the high destinies of this country and of my own duties toward it, founded on a knowledge of the moral principles and intellectual improvements of the people deeply engraven on my mind in early life, and not obscured but exalted by experience and age; and, with humble reverence, I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me in any degree to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without effect.”
      –First Inaugural, In the City of Philadelphia, Saturday, March 4, 1797.

      “[A]ll men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular sect or society of Christians ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others.”

      –The Father of the Bill of Rights, Colonel George Mason
      Kate Mason Rowland, The Life of George Mason (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1892, Vol. I, p.28.

      Even Thomas Jefferson said we were a Christian Nation, that the 1st amendment only referred to a Christian Church:

      “[T]he clause of the Constitution which, while it secured the freedom of the press, covered also the freedom of religion, had given to the clergy a very favorite hope of obtaining an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States; and as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the Episcopalians and Congregationalists.”
      –Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush on September 23, 1800.

      The State ratification debate only refer to Christianity:

      “First Amendment Ratifier Samuel Johnston in the North Carolina ratifying convention:

      I know but two or three States where there is the least chance of establishing any particular religion. The people of Massachusetts and Connecticut are mostly Presbyterians. In every other State, the people are divided into a great number of sects. In Rhode Island, the tenets of the Baptists, I believe prevail…I hope, therefore, that gentlemen will see there is no cause of fear that any one religion shall be exclusively established.
      –July 30, 1788

  • UIGrad2010

    And the television media will overlook the fact that these idiots in the republican party are hanging around with a hategroup. People should hear about the fact that Gingrich, Bachmanna and Pawlenty have all courted the support of this radical group.

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