It is worth remembering that the entire impetus behind last night's "I Stand Sunday" rally was an effort by anti-gay activists to repeal a nondiscrimination ordinance passed by the city of Houston that extended protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, because it puts in context Tony Perkins' statement that protecting "religious liberty" at home will go a long way toward protecting Christians in the Middle East from religious persecution.
As the Family Research Council president sees it, failure to allow anti-gay Christians in America to discriminate in the name of "religious freedom" is feeding the persecution of Christians worldwide.
"There is a connection between the growing hostility toward biblical Christianity here at home and persecution abroad," he said. "And the reason is very simple: if the policies of our own government toward Christians in America is intolerant, the message that that is sending to despots and to dictators in far-away places is that religious freedom is no longer a priority or even a concern for America."
By standing up for anti-gay Christians who seek to deny equal rights to gays in America under the guise of religious liberty, Perkins said, "you will give hope to far-away places around the world."
"It's time that we stand once again for religious freedom here in America and give the world hope," he said: