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This Week in God

First up from the God Machine this week is an interesting tirade from the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, who last week argued that Satan is behind everything from gay rights to Planned Parenthood to environmentalism, and this week, as Kyle Mantyla reported, he went just a little further.

In the clip, the broadcaster, activist, and religious right leader argues that only those who agree with him accept "reason and logic," and that "the average liberal in the United States" has been "duped" by "the prince of lies, the father of lies, and that's why they believe and do what they do."

It's worth noting that Jane Meyer recently reported in the New Yorker that Fischer intends to "control" the Republican Party's approach to the culture war. He's also had a fair amount of success -- during the GOP's presidential primaries, nearly every Republican candidate spent time pandering to Fischer and his audience, and in May, Mitt Romney fired his foreign policy spokesperson at least in part because he feared Fischer's criticism.

This is a man, as we were reminded this week, who believes the average American liberal is the victim of a Satanic scheme of deception.

Also from the God Machine this week:

* An Iowa radio talk-show host, Jan Mickelson, raised a few eyebrows when he said nuns religious riding on the "Nuns on the Bus" tour should be pulled over and "pistol-whipped." Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) was on the show at the time, and said nothing. Fox News, which took an extraordinary interest in the fight over contraception access, ignored the controversy.

* For years, the Air Force Academy developed a reputation for being hostile towards cadets from minority faiths, prompting significant improvements in recent years. Now, however, 66 far-right congressional Republicans are complaining to the Pentagon that the Air Force's commitment to respecting religious diversity has created "a culture that is hostile toward religion."

* And the U.S. Supreme Court turned down an appeal this week on the Mt. Soledad cross in San Diego, which has been working its way through the courts for many years. All things considered, this is probably good news (thanks to reader R.P. for the tip).