Family Research Council

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 5/19/16

  • FRC prays in the wake of the confirmation of Eric Fanning, the first openly gay Secretary of the Army: "May God raise up a president and Congress who will end the exploitation of our military and the sexual assault epidemic that has exploded in all our services since DADT was overturned. May military readiness replace the LGBT agenda as the chief goal of our DOD and military chiefs."
  • This is the title of Alveda King's latest press release: "There is a Battle for the Seed in the Toilets."
  • Linda Harvey says that "America must say NO to the gender manipulation of minors. Both physicians and parents need to be held civilly and possibly criminally liable for taking vulnerable children down these roads."
  • Phyllis Schlafly applauds Donald Trump for his list of possible Supreme Court justices: "I know and like most of them and have a few favorites that I will share with Mr. Trump at the right time."
  • Finally, Janet Porter remains very bitter over having lost her bid to  win the Republican nomination for a seat in the Ohio state senate.

Ted Cruz Fundraises Off Of Jerry Boykin Getting Fired For Threatening Violence

Earlier this year, the Family Research Council's Jerry Boykin spoke at Liberty Counsel's "The Awakening" conference in Florida where he railed against efforts to protect transgender individuals by allowing them to use the facilities that match the gender with which they identify. 

"I’ve already said, and somebody’ll be recording this and this’ll be on YouTube before it’s all over with, "Boykin said. "But I will tell you what, the first man that walks in my daughter’s bathroom, he ain’t going to have to worry about surgery. That’s not right. That is not right. It’s not right. It’s ungodly. But it’s also just unnatural. This is crazy. Where are the Christians that are standing up?"

We posted audio of his remarks back in March and yesterday Boykin posted a message on his Facebook page announcing that he had been terminated from a teaching position he held at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia because of the remarks.

Boykin insists that he was not threatening violence against transgender people, despite his clear reference to sex reassignment surgery, and that his comments were "understood as humor":

Because some of you already know and are contacting me about it, let me make it official and let you all know that I have been terminated from teaching at Hampden-Sydney College after nine years there. Hampden Sydney is the 10th oldest college in America and is one of the two Men's colleges left in ‪#‎America‬. Let me begin by saying that it is a fine school with some very good young men who give me hope for the future. There are also a few very good faculty members who I consider to be good friends and true patriots. They stood with me through this whole situation as the school made the decision to terminate me and I appreciate everything that these friends at the school did to try and help.

The bottom line is that I oppose these so called "‪#‎Bathroom‬" bills that let men go into women's locker rooms, showers, and toilets and I have been very public about it. When I said in Orlando that "...the first man who goes in the restroom with my daughter will not have to worry about surgery", the LGBT community once again came after me, claiming that I was calling for violence against ‪#‎transgender‬ people.

Well, that is simply not the case and I have never called for violence against anyone. I was referring to perverts who will use these policies to get into locker rooms with girls and women, and I object to that. My statement was meant to be humor and not a call for violence, which everyone in my audience understood as humor.

Nonetheless, I gave the LGBT community just what they needed to pressure the college leadership to terminate me and they did.

Predictably, Ted Cruz, who made attacking transgender protections a part of his failed presidential campaign, has come rushing to Boykin's defense and is using this incident as an opportunity to raise funds for his own Senate re-election campaign.

Boykin was a prominent endorser of Cruz's campaign and served as a national security adviser.

Cruz dismissed Boykin’s comment’s as "levity," while lamenting that it has now become "a firing offense."

General Jerry Boykin is an American hero. He was one of the original members of the U.S. Army's Delta Force. A decorated warrior, he commanded Delta Force and he commanded all the Army's Green Berets as well as the Special Warfare Center and School.

Hampden-Sydney College has fired General Boykin. At a time where young people are desperately seeking hope and inspiration, you would think General Boykin (who had taught there nine years) would be one of their most valued faculty. But instead, he fell victim to the PC police.

Referring to President Obama's push to allow grown men into girls' bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms, General Boykin joked, "...the first man who goes in the restroom with my daughter will not have to worry about surgery." That levity, in today's precious academic world, was a firing offense.

Three observations: first, our universities are losing their souls. College should be about learning, and that requires a diversity of views. When I was a student in the 1980s and 90s, surrounded by college and law school faculty members who were militant leftists and even Marxists, I didn't curl up in a ball and plead for a "safe place." Confronting opposing views helped me learn what I myself believe, and helped me understand better how to persuade others. That's the essence of education. Raising coddled, solipsistic children who cannot handle dissent represents a complete failure and abdication of the university mission.

Second, free speech matters. If you disagree with someone, disagree with them. Don't silence or punish them. Censorship is the refuge of the weak-minded (those who cannot defend their views) or the tyrannical (those who simply want to force submission and compliance). If you think it's a good idea for men and boys to be taking showers with little girls -- whether you're the President, a presidential candidate, or a university apparatchik -- tell us why. Make the case, with reason and logic, don't just respond as jack-booted thugs.

Third, young people need heroes like General Boykin. Ironically, Hampden-Sydney's motto is Huc venite iuvenes ut exeatis viri, which translates to: Come here as boys so you may leave as men. This storied institution, founded the year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, has decided that warriors and heroes are no longer welcome on its faculty. If you love our country, this should bother you greatly.

Update 5/20: Today, Boykin announced that he has been re-hired by Hampden-Sydney College:

I am deeply grateful for all the support - through social media, calls and emails - that I have received over the past few days. This situation has been a great reminder of how our ‪#‎FirstAmendment‬ principles are worth standing up for and defending.

I am pleased to announce that I have been rehired as the Wheat Professor at Hampden-Sydney College. I look forward to returning to Hampden-Sydney in the fall to continue my work equipping the next generation of young men to lead this nation. Hampden-Sydney College is a fine school with a proud history of young men who have led our country, and I am honored to be a part of shaping the next generation of leaders.

With that said, I would like to share some thoughts on this experience.

First, there is strength in unified numbers. The radical Left and LGBT activists completely underestimate the impact of ‪#‎freedom‬-loving ‪#‎Americans‬ banding together to protect our First Amendment freedoms. Many people spoke out on my behalf and I am eternally grateful that they stood with me. Their unified voices allowed me to return to Hampden-Sydney.

Second, never cave in when you know that you are standing for what is right and true, for these are the principles that made this nation great. STAND, even if it means you lose your job. STAND, even if it means you lose your life. The founding principles of this nation are worth defending, even if it costs you.

Third, my reinstatement is a victory for academic freedom and free thought on a college campus. The free exchange of conflicting ideas must be the bedrock of every college campus in America. This essential exchange has been greatly wounded by the PC police, but it can be restored to college campuses around the country if, in unity, freedom-loving Americans speak out. Bottom line: when you stand, freedom prevails.

Finally, I would like to thank the leadership of Hampden-Sydney College for the courage they have demonstrated in reversing their decision and allowing me to remain a part of the Hampden-Sydney community. 

Why Has The Religious Right Embraced Neo-Confederate Michael Peroutka?

Our friends at the Southern Poverty Law Center have obtained a copy of the 2014 membership list of the Council for National Policy, a secretive group led by the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins that includes a who’s who of leaders of the Religious Right and the wider conservative movement who work together to influence national politics. (In 2014, Perkins was the group’s vice president.) We’ve known from news reports that CNP’s membership includes a wide range of Religious Right leaders, but one name on the list obtained by SPLC stood out: Michael Peroutka.

Peroutka, who made his fortune with a family debt-collection business, has become a minor benefactor to the Religious Right, including funding anti-choice groups, bankrolling some of the campaigns and advocacy work of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (who is currently suspended for attempting to defy the federal courts on marriage equality), and, maybe most notably, donating a million-dollar dinosaur skeleton to a creationist group.

Peroutka runs the Institute on the Constitution, a Christian Reconstructionist group that argues for the enforcement of a particular interpretation of biblical law. For instance, Peroutka has suggested that all laws passed by the Maryland legislature are invalid because the legislature became an invalid body when it violated “God’s law” and passed marriage equality legislation.

Most troubling, Peroutka has a history as a neo-Confederate activist, including spending time on the board of the secessionist League of the South. In a 2004 speech to the group, Peroutka said that he was “still angry” that Maryland failed to secede from the Union during the Civil War. At the group’s 2012 convention, Peroutka led attendees in a spirited rendition of “Dixie,” which he referred to as “the national anthem”:

Peroutka was appointed to the board of the League of the South in 2013, the year before the CNP membership list obtained by SPLC was published. He quit the group in late 2014 as he ran for a local government seat in his home state of Maryland, unconvincingly claiming that he hadn’t been aware of the group’s racism.

Peroutka ended up winning a seat on the county council of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, after his openly gay Democratic opponent was hit withnasty anti-LGBT robocalls that were later tied to Peroutka’s advisers.

CNP’s membership list is closely guarded and new members can join only by invitation. This means that Peroutka didn’t just show up unannounced: He was invited to join a group that includes Perkins, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, Alliance Defending Freedom’s Alan Sears and many other high-profile conservative activists.

We don’t know if Peroutka is still a member of the group. But even by the time CNP’s 2014 membership directory was published, there was already plenty of public information available about his troubling ideology. Why was the leadership of the Religious Right willing to invite Peroutka into their fold?

Anti-Gay Activism Trumps Religious Freedom At UN 'Family' Event

Religious Right activists say they’re fighting to save religious liberty in America from the gay rights movement, but many of the same leaders are happy to partner with the most religiously repressive regimes in order to resist advances toward LGBT equality around the world.

Consider Monday’s “Uniting Nations for a Family Friendly World” event at the United Nations. It was sponsored by anti-gay and anti-choice groups like the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam, formerly known as the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute) and Family Watch International, which work to keep LGBT-friendly language out of international documents and agreements. Their cosponsors included the 25 countries that make up the Group of Friends of the Family (GoFF), a coalition of UN member states created last year to “reaffirm that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”

Among the freedom-loving members of GoFF whose representatives spoke at Monday’s “high-level event” was Iran, which the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom has just accused of seeking to “eradicate” the country’s Baha’is.

In fact, there’s a lot of overlap between GoFF members and countries identified by the Commission, currently chaired* by social conservative strategist Robert George, as the worst in the world for religious freedom: Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Malaysia, Egypt, and Iraq. Also included in GoFF are countries where anti-LGBT religious and political leaders have been generating hostility and threatening the lives and freedoms of LGBT people, including Nigeria, Uganda, Indonesia, and Kyrgyzstan.

But there was no talk of that unpleasantness at Monday’s three-hour event, which featured GoFF delegates pushing to have the U.N. emphasize “pro-family” policies in the implementation of sustainable development goals. The GoFF “Statement in Support of the Family” was presented by Valentin Rybakov, deputy minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Belarus, where, according to Human Rights Watch, authorities “pressure and arrest human rights activists and critics on spurious charges” and “regularly harass independent and opposition journalists.” Of course, there’s a similar situation in Russia, which doesn’t keep American Religious Right groups from swooning over Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay policies.

One of Putin’s defenders is C-Fam’s Austin Ruse. In a Monday email to his supporters, Ruse bragged that C-Fam “was asked by a number of Member States to organize this conference,” adding that “the family is under extreme pressure at the UN from those who want to redefine the family and to accept the notion that two people of the same sex can create a family and adopt children.”

At the UN, Ruse singled out Sudan and Saudi Arabia for praise, citing situations in which their representatives had “saved” UN documents from unwanted language on the family. For the record, the USCIRF calls Saudi Arabia “uniquely repressive” when it comes to religious freedom and says Sudan’s government “represses and marginalizes the country’s minority Christian community.”

During his remarks at the event, Ruse said the powerful force that “family” advocates are up against is the sexual revolution, which portrays family as a “patriarchal prison where pleasure and freedom go to die.” Without any apparent sense of irony, he declared that “tyrants have always known” that the family is “the real enemy to what they want” and its destruction is “how they get to the individual.”

Ruse announced the creation of a new coalition, Civil Society for the Family, which he said would be active in supporting GoFF’s work in defense of “traditional morality.”

The event also featured remarks from C-FAM’s Susan Yoshihara, Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater, the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg, Human Life International’s Shenan Boquet, CitizenGo and HazteOir’s Gregory Mertz, the Institute for Family Policy’s Lola Volarde, and anti-marriage-equality activists Sherif Girgis and Helen Alvaré. Religious leaders who spoke included California pastor and anti-gay activist Jim Garlow, Imam Shamsi Ali of the Jamaica Muslim Center in Queens and Catholic Bishop John O’Hara of the Archdiocese of New York, who assured the group that they have Cardinal Dolan’s “enthusiastic support.”

A few highlights from other speakers:

  • Sharon Slater, representing Family Watch International and the UN Family Rights Caucus, said she is deeply concerned about the “global assault” on the “health and innocence of children” from comprehensive sexuality education, which she called a “war on children and our families.”
  • FRC’s Peter Sprigg said that attempts to create a new definition of marriage that distances it from its roots in the “order of nature itself” are inconsistent with countries’ responsibility to protect and support the institution. Marriage, he said, “predates all other forms of government” and “it is not the place of government to redefine or interfere with the natural family.”
  • Gregory Mertz, representing what he said are the 4.3 million members of CitizenGo and HazteOir, online organizing platforms for social conservatives, said the definition of family is “routinely under attack” and that the U.N. ignores its obligation to protect it. Last year when GoFF’s creation was announced, CitizenGo asked people to sign a petition praising these “brave governments” in order to “show these courageous countries” that “we stand behind them 100 percent.”
  • Sherif Girgis, co-author with Robert George and Ryan Anderson of a book on marriage, said that undermining the “stabilizing norms of marriage” will hurt “every aspect of the common good that a stable marriage serves.”
  • Susan Yoshihara told a story about being shut down by school officials when she wanted to opt her young daughter out of a reading of a book that talked about families with two dads or two moms. She said there would have been more of a conversation before the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, but that officials’ attitude now is “we won, you lose” — which she said was an example of why the law matters, and why it is important to resist changes in international law.
  • Helen Alvaré described defense of the family as both a rational and noble calling and said one can simultaneously affirm the “radical equality” of men and women while also recognizing their intrinsic complementarity, the topic of a 2014 Vatican conference for which Alvaré served as spokesperson. 

The statements from GoFF representatives were short and often repetitive statements about the centrality of the family to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals.

The Russian delegate discussed Putin’s promotion of “traditional family values” and noted that the Commonwealth of Independent States, a confederation of former Soviet republics, has named 2017 the Year of the Family. The Russian representative also said it is important to UN organizations to stay within their mandates and for countries that support traditional families to speak up so that silence isn’t considered an acceptance of “dangerous trends.” He made a reference to pro-LGBT stamps issued by the UN Postal Administration in February, which infuriated some “traditional family” supporters. He said supporters of the traditional values need to be more active at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The representative of Sudan also talked about the divinely created complementarity inherent in “the nature of each sex.” He complained that many international documents on women do not recognize the natural family but “deliberately seek to weaken and erode it.” Efforts to promote alternative forms of the family are incompatible with universal principles in human culture “which distinguish us humans from the rest of God’s creation.”

The event had a bit of theater as well. A short video from Family Watch International showed a succession of people saying nice things about families, including Janice Shaw Crouse and Alexey Komov — who are currently attending another global social conservative event, the World Congress of Families in Tbilisi, Georgia — among others. In addition, half a dozen children took turns reading “A Declaration on the Rights of Children and Their Families: A Call from the Children of the World,” a document promoted by the UN Family Rights Caucus that they say has been signed “by thousands of children from every continent of the world.” Among its claims: Every child has a right to a married mother and father and the “right to innocence and childhood”— which is cited to attack sex ed programs and could be used to defend the kind of anti-gay “propaganda” laws that Russia and other countries are using to squelch advocacy for equality in the name of protecting children.

* UpdateHouse Speaker Paul Ryan announced on May 18 that Robert George has completed his second term and has been replaced on the Commission by the executive director of the Becket Fund, Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz.

Tony Perkins: Obama Wants Us To 'Surrender Our Children'

Last week on “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins chatted with Dr. Jerry Johnson of National Religious Broadcasters about the need to “resist” a recent letter from the departments of Justice and Education telling schools to treat transgender students “consistent with the student’s gender identity.”

Perkins said that when he was reading the letter he thought of the Tea Act and the Stamp Act, which helped spark the American Revolution, “and how the Patriots responded to that.”

“We’re talking about our children,” he said. “We’re talking about the next generation. We’re talking about our children emotionally being scarred.”

Perkins then compared the situation to the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah, in which Lot responds to a mob that wants to have sex with two angels that are inside his house by unsuccessfully offering up his two virgin daughters instead.

“I think this is a Genesis 19 moment,” he said. “This is a Lot moment where we’re going to decide whether or not we’re going to shove our children out the door in the pursuit of some false promise of temporal peace, and we know how that worked out.”

“It is wrong to surrender our children to a godless system that this president is promoting,” he said.

Perkins: Impeach Obama Over Trans Kids Using The Bathroom

As we have been noting throughout the day, Religious Right leaders have not been reacting well to reports that the Obama administration will direct schools to allow transgender students to use the restroom corresponding with their gender identity.

After claiming that the president is “sacrificing children to advance an evil agenda” and is intentionally causing “social chaos,” Perkins told Fox News’ Todd Starnes today that Congress should launch impeachment proceedings against the president in retaliation:

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told me Congress must intervene to stop what he called an imperial president.

“If the president chooses to go forward with this outrageous order – then congress should begin impeachment proceedings,” he said.

Perkins said the decree should be “resisted with ever legal and moral instrument we have available to us in this country.”

“Every parent, every school board in America should absolutely refuse to sacrifice the safety of their children for the threat of taking away nine federal pennies that make up every educational dollar,” he said.

Starnes also quotes the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ronnie Floyd, who told him that the planned directive is “an outrageous attack on our Creator Himself, upon human sexuality and morality and a further advancement of the flagrant attack on religious freedom in our culture.”

Starnes added some thoughts of his own on the matter, comparing the transgender nondiscrimination directive to the challenges faced by executed anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

The time has come for all Americans to stand up and defy this president's immoral agenda. If losing federal funding is the price we must pay to protect women and children – then so be it.

We will not betray what we know to be true for the government’s 30 pieces of silver.

The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer warned us about a time such as this. Not to speak is to speak, he once said. Not to act is to act.

Far too long American pulpits have remained silent on controversial cultural issues. Preachers don’t want to rock the boat. Parishioners don’t want to cause trouble. Far too long society has turned a blind eye as President Obama fundamentally transformed our nation.

But now the country stands at the edge of a great moral abyss. And we must ask ourselves -- do we defy the president and save the nation or do we keep the peace and sacrifice our children?

Perkins: Gov’t Employees Viewing Porn Because Obama 'Has Interjected Sex Into Any And Everything'

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, invited Rep. Mark Meadows to his “Washington Watch” program on Wednesday to discuss a recent report alleging that there are “unbelievable” amounts of child pornography on the computers of employees of U.S. defense and intelligence agencies, which gave Meadows an opportunity to discuss a bill he has introduced trying to block porn on government computers.

Perkins, who has linked the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to everything from suicides to sexual assaults to the Secret Service prostitution scandal, was quick to draw a line between porn viewing by government employees and the Obama administration’s having “interjected sex into any and everything.”

After Meadows told Perkins that along with harming the individuals involved, the porn “creates an unhealthy workplace” for everybody, Perkins responded:

Well, and a good example of this is in the military, where I was just reading a story in the Army Times where they’re suggesting that upwards of 20 percent of those in the military are addicted to online pornography. But then, we’ve seen how this administration has interjected sex into any and everything and, in particular, the military, where sexual assaults are going through the roof. Now, there are a number of factors that come into play there, but certainly this has to be part of it.

Perkins returned to the topic later in the program, once again linking sexual assaults in the military to the policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly and linking porn viewing by government employees in general to the “sexually charged environment” promoted by Obama.

“Of course, the military has been ground zero in the president’s sexual agenda, first repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, women in frontline combat … and guess what’s happened?” he said. “I know this will surprise you, but sexual assaults have gone through the roof.”

“That’s the result of this sexually charged environment, the results of policies of the Obama administration,” he said. “So we shouldn’t be surprised that every other agency is having these issues.”

Tony Perkins: Trans Bathroom Directive Meant To Cause 'Social Chaos,' Destroy A Generation

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, is reacting with characteristic calm to the planned Obama administration directive on schools letting students use the restroom that matches their gender identity.

Last night, Perkins wrote on Twitter that the Obama administration is “sacrificing children to advance an evil agenda”:

He followed up his tweet with a fundraising email today warning that the directive is all part of a plan to “break down all sexual inhibition and morality,” cause “social chaos” and “destroy Christian morality, religious freedom, and the next generation”:

FRC has a plan to counteract this outrage, and you are part of it . But first, let me explain why public school restrooms have become "Ground Zero" in the effort to destroy Christian morality, religious freedom, and the next generation, using "gender identity" as a weapon.

Let's answer some of the most pressing questions I am often asked:

QUESTION: "Why is the Obama administration trying to mainstream 'transgenderism' and force schools to accommodate students who want to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex?

ANSWER: It's all part of a radical movement trying to destroy the fact that God created man and woman -- and that somehow people can choose what gender they want to be. The ultimate goal is to break down all sexual inhibition and morality -- a goal that would result in social chaos.

And the only way they can pull off this scheme? Big government .

Think of it. If government can force the "normalization" or even the celebration of something as universally unnatural as men using women's restrooms and vice versa, then it can force the rest of its agenda on the American people very easily.

And consider this, if the White House can dictate the bathroom policies of the nation, then what is beyond its reach? The answer is absolutely nothing.

QUESTION: "Do you think that the ultimate goal is to destroy the impact of Christianity in our country?"

ANSWER: Definitely, yes.

Christianity is a hindrance to what the secularists in the Obama administration and "Progressive" special interest groups ultimately want to do.

QUESTION: "The federal government . . . state governments . . . municipalities . . . even corporations and pro sports teams seem to be pushing special rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Can we really turn back the tide?"

ANSWER: Yes! We can and will if we have the courage to take a stand and call this foolishness what it is. But we are at a point where Christians have to lose their fear of what other people say -- or do.

Miss. Gov.: Anti-LGBT Law 'Prevents Discrimination' But We’re Still Getting 'Bullied'

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant joined the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins on his “Washington Watch” program yesterday to discuss the criticism he’s been receiving for a law he signed that permits businesses in the state to refuse services to LGBT people and others.

Perkins told Bryan that the ACLU is suing the state over the new law because it only cares about religious freedom claims “that don’t conflict with its sexual agenda.”

“Well, of course,” Bryant said. “I mean, they cherry-pick these issues. If they had any integrity at all, they would say, ‘We understand Mississippi is actually trying to make sure that Christians and people of other faiths are not discriminated against.’ It is a nondiscriminatory law. It prevents discrimination against simply that segment of the population that has a deeply held religious view about marriage.”

He added that his “dear friend Pat McCrory,” the governor of North Carolina, is facing similar backlash for a sweeping bill aimed at removing legal protections for LGBT people.

“And we’re criticized, we’re threatened, we’re bullied, we’re told by corporations that we’re doing the wrong thing?” he asked. “Where on earth have we come to simply say, ‘I do not wish my daughter in her school or in her university to have to have a male in the shower and in the dressing room and in the restrooms.’”

He said, however, that he had some hope: “I think the rest of the nation is beginning to wake up and say, ‘What world do they think we’re living in? This is not Hollywood, this is not more liberal areas, this is America, where common sense still prevails.’”

Family Research Council: DOJ Defending Trans Rights Is 'Fascistic'

This week the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state of North Carolina over the now-notorious HB2, which overturned local civil rights protections for LGBT people and banned transgender people from using public bathrooms that match their gender identity. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch explained that the law violates federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity, and creates state-sponsored discrimination against transgender people.

Lynch placed the current controversy in the historical context of other forms of state-sponsored discrimination, appealing to the people of North Carolina, “Let us write a different story this time. Let us not act out of fear and misunderstanding, but out of the values of inclusion, diversity and regard for all that make our country great.”

Not surprisingly, the Family Research Council doesn’t exactly see it that way. Senior Vice President Rob Schwarzwalder says in his “Social Conservative Review” this week that the Obama administration’s actions to “crush the government of North Carolina’s efforts to preserve privacy and security in public bathrooms, changing rooms, and showers” represent an “essentially fascistic approach to law and policy — the banning of dissent.”

Earlier in the week FRC praised North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s “political courage and moral clarity” for the state’s own lawsuit against the DOJ. Said FRC’s Tony Perkins, “It’s time for Republicans in Congress, who have the constitutional authority as a coequal branch of government, to bring the imperial White House under control.”

Schwarzwalder appealed to a higher power — not Donald Trump:

The federal government is a servant, not a master. Americans are citizens, not subjects. The Tenth Amendment, reserving to the states those things not specifically assigned by the Constitution to the federal government, remains in force.

Those are the principles upon which conscientious men and women have always stood in our country. To abandon them is to abandon liberty. And to abandon liberty is to abandon America.

May God give us the grace and strength never to accede to such a sordid, tragic betrayal of our historic commitment to and movement toward liberty and justice for all.

 

Can Religious Right Leaders' Disgust For Trump Be Overcome By Future Of Supreme Court?

Religious Right leaders believed this was their year. In Ted Cruz they had a candidate unquestionably committed to their agenda. Cruz was anointed the movement’s candidate at a secret endorsement meeting in Texas, followed by a wave of public endorsements by movement leaders. With only a couple of notable exceptions like Jerry Falwell Jr. and Phyllis Schlafly, Cruz had the overwhelming backing of the Religious Right’s institutional leaders. 

But it wasn’t to be. David Gushee, a Christian ethicist and author who has ruffled a lot of feathers with his move to an LGBT-affirming stance, calls the Trump victory “a major defeat” for “the Christian Right agenda.” Indeed, many Religious Right leaders and activists are bitter that Republican primary voters, including many self-described evangelicals, chose Trump over Cruz, and some have declared that they have no intention of backing Trump now that he is the presumptive GOP nominee.

The Wilks brothers, leaders of a billionaire fracking family that poured millions into a pro-Cruz super PAC, are planning to sit out the presidential race, reported Bloomberg. A family spokesperson called Trump a liar whose “despicable statements and actions” are too numerous “to count in a reasonable amount of time.”

Anti-gay activist Matt Barber is in the same camp, tweeting with the hashtag #NeverTrumpOrHillary and asking, “But what about when neither of the two evils is lesser?” On Friday, Barber tweeted, “I don’t oppose #Trump because I’m Republican & he’s not. Nor because I’m conservative & he’s not. I oppose Trump because I follow #Christ.”

A contributor to Barber’s BarbWire website, history professor Alan Snyder, wrote in piece titled “The Republican Obituary” that he “cannot, in good conscience, support Donald Trump.” Snyder slammed Republican voters for choosing “a man who rejects nearly every line in past Republican platforms.”

In an angrily bitter diatribe against Trump supporters at Charisma, Bert Farias of Holy Fire Ministries wrote that Cruz’s defeat “exposes the corruption of the American soul.” Maybe, he says, exposing the “corruption of the American soul and lukewarm church” is what God raised up Cruz to do. “While many celebrate the apparent victory of their amoral candidate, the darkness grows and moves in yet closer.” Faris even recalled, “Benny Hinn prophesied on New Year's Eve 1989 that a woman would one day be president of America and would destroy this nation.” Adds Faris, “It seemed like a far-fetched prophecy then, but not so much anymore.” Kevin Swanson, the anti-gay pastor who says the government should execute gays, suggested that God may be raising up Trump to be president as part of a divine plan to destroy America for its disobedience.

“Don’t blame us,” writes Napp  Nazworth, an editor at Christian Post. “Evangelicals led the opposition to Trump.”

Trump has already been a disaster for the Republican Party, essentially dismantling the Reagan coalition and undermining its efforts to retain control of Congress. A Trump presidency would be a disaster for the entire nation, given that he is entirely unfit, in character and experience, to be president.

For those reasons, it's important to set straight the historical record — evangelicals led the opposition to Trump.

Trump has won a lot of votes from people who call themselves evangelicals, but there’s evidence that the most frequent church-goers, probably the same people most likely to listen to Religious Right political leaders, have been much less likely to support Trump.

In February, the Christian Post editorialized against Trump, the first time ever it had taken a position on a political candidate:

"As the most popular evangelical news website in the United States and the world, we feel compelled by our moral responsibility to our readers to make clear that Donald Trump does not represent the interests of evangelicals and would be a dangerous leader for our country," they wrote.

Republican voters have concluded that morality, integrity, the rule of law, and the Constitution must be discarded in their headlong dash into an angry reaction against all politicians, even someone like Ted Cruz who has fought the good fight for Biblical and constitutional principles all his life.

In doing so, they have brought this nation to the brink of near-total collapse. No matter who wins in the fall, Republican or Democrat, Christian values will be subjected to even greater governmental suppression. No matter how Trump fares in the general election, the very fact of his nomination is a dismal indication that whatever honor and principle remained in the Republican party is now in the past.

Some high profile right-wing pundits remain in the #NeverTrump camp, like Erick Erickson. Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace reacted to Cruz’s withdrawal by resigning from the Republican PartyJerry Bader, conservative talk radio host in Wisconsin, is with him:

“I do not want to see Hillary Clinton as president; however, I do not see Donald Trump as a better choice. Important point: There is no lesser of two evils," Mr. Bader said. "I have no reason to believe his Supreme Court nominees would be any more palatable than hers because I have nothing to go on but his word, and that don't mean much to me."

U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska is probably the highest-ranking Republican official who has made it clear that Trump will not get his support. He said recently that he is resisting calls from “party bosses and politicos” telling him he has to support Trump. Sasse is trying to generate support for a third-party or independent candidate to enter the race.

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, a strong supporter of Cruz, is among those hedging their bets, saying evangelicals “won’t necessarily fall in line” with Trump as the nominee. While he has made his disappointment clear, he says he is “waiting to see the substance of a Trump administration and the vision he has for America.” Anti-gay activist Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage is also taking a wait-and-see approach. And Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference has criticized Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric but says Hispanic evangelicals “are still up for grabs.” Religious Right activist Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association told The Hill that Cruz should “keep his powder dry and not do anything right now” while waiting to see how Trump behaves in the general election.

Of course, the most intense focus going forward will fall on Ted Cruz, the Religious Right’s anointed candidate. As runner-up and as a GOP senator, he would normally be expected to endorse the victor. But the ugly personal tone of Trump’s attacks, and the refusal of some Cruz backers to go along with the party’s ultimate choice, might make this year an exception.

Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is more enthusiastic than many of his fellow Religious Right activists: “Donald Trump broke the code, owned the media, and inspired the masses. I will be all in to help him defeat Hillary Clinton and I call upon all fellow Republicans to unite in defeating Hillary and abandoning and repudiating the hapless ‘Never Trump’ nonsense.”

The Washington Times reports that party officials are using the prospect of future Supreme Court nominations to cajole #NeverTrump people into getting on board the Trump train.  As Miranda has reported, the Supreme Court is the main reason that anti-abortion activists are reluctantly lining up with Trump. Perkins said this week, “We can live with bad trade deals or high taxes, but we cannot live with bad judicial nominees.”

Indeed, Trump has already said that he will let the Heritage Foundation, the conservative group led by Religious Right icon Jim DeMint, draft a list of potential justices.

Right-wing activist Grover Norquist thinks Cruz should make a deal, reports The Hill. “Norquist said Cruz will stay aloof for a while but ultimately back Trump, perhaps in exchange for a promise to be appointed to the Supreme Court.”

 

Tony Perkins' Odd Garland Conspiracy Theory

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins has a new conspiracy theory about the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court:

Despite spending his career on the bench and in the Justice Department, Garland doesn’t have much of an ideological paper trail. As many have pointed out, the D.C. Circuit Court deals primarily with regulatory issues, meaning that Judge Garland’s record is virtually free of cases on abortion, marriage, or religious liberty. And that’s no accident. If President Obama wants to keep up this façade of centrism, he needs someone free of social baggage. But, make no mistake. Garland was carefully vetted. This president is too worried about his activist legacy to put it in the hands of a man who values the very Constitution it defies.

According to Perkins, Garland’s 19 years as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is merely a cover. Perkins’ attack is odd, considering that Chief Justice John Roberts, along with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Clarence Thomas, and the late Antonin Scalia all served on the D.C. Circuit prior to their nominations to the Supreme Court.

Unsurprisingly, when Roberts was appointed to the court, Perkins had no objection to his previous service on the D.C. Circuit. Instead, a New York Times article referencing Robert’s “limited judicial record” quotes the Family Research Council leader gushing over the nominee. "The president is a man of his word," said Perkins. "He promised to nominate someone along the lines of a Scalia or a Thomas, and that is exactly what he has done."

If anything, Perkins’ questions about Garland’s lack of a paper trail on the issues he particularly cares about should increase his desire for a hearing at which the nominee could answer questions about his philosophy and track record from Republican senators.

If nothing else, this latest argument demonstrates the conservative movement’s inability to find anything in Garland’s record that would suggest he is unqualified to serve on the court.

Anti-LGBT Groups Unite To Prevent UN Recognition Of Same-Sex Families

A group of anti-LGBT organizations, including leading American groups, have banded together to sign a joint platform meant to “push back against UN entities attempting to redefine the family to include same-sex relations.”

C-Fam, a U.S. group that pushes social conservative policies at the UN, says in a press release that it was joined in organizing the platform by the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council and Human Life International. Also among the organizing groups is CitizenGo, an international petition platform that counts NOM president Brian Brown as a member of it board and HazteOir and Derecho a Vivir, two Spanish organizations led by CitizenGo’s president, Ignacio Arsuaga.

The platform states that any reference to the family in UN documents should be interpreted only as “a man and a woman united in marriage, and relations that are equivalent or analogous, including single parent families and multigenerational families.”

It makes clear that this specifically excludes families headed by same-sex couples: “Relations between individuals of the same sex and other social and legal arrangements that are neither equivalent nor analogous to the family are not entitled to the protections singularly reserved for the family in international law and policy.”

The platform concludes that any language that “implicitly or explicitly attempts to dilute, erode, or undermine” this definition of the family is “incompatible with international human rights law.”

Brown, as marriage equality has become entrenched in the U.S., has increasingly worked to form global alliances to prevent the advance of LGBT rights.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 4/21/16

  • The American Family Association is now "calling for a boycott of Target after the retail giant said it would allow men to use the women's restrooms and dressing rooms in their stores."
  • Steve Deace fumes that Donald Trump "bows to the Rainbow Jihad on the Today Show and says he's fine with creepy dudes ogling and assaulting our daughters in the ladies restroom."
  • Ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle says "the LGBT lobby is like a kid in a candy store with unlimited credit. The kid is high on sugar and bouncing off the walls while demanding more, all the while disturbing the other customers. The North Carolina Legislature and Governor are the brave candy store owners by saying no, and now the kid is out of control and will stop at nothing to get his way."
  • David Kupelian declares that "by rolling over for the opposition to these ‘transgender bathroom laws’ and the perverse, bizarre worldview underlying it, we are in the process of corrupting and morally confusing an entire generation of Americans into believing delusion is truth and that commonsense decency and discernment amount to ‘discrimination’ and ‘hate.'"
  • Finally, FRC continues to pray that anti-LGBT laws will be passed in every state: "Lord, show those who see this as trivial that every assault on religious liberty is an assault to the foundation of all liberty. If the government can coerce us to abandon our core biblical faith and practice as it pertains to marriage, it can force us to believe and do anything. Shake your people to pray, to speak out, and to take action. May pastors and churches lead the battle to pass common sense laws in every state. May those who live in anti-religious liberty states fight to restore religious liberty, flee to a free state, or be prepared to stand in the fiery trial that will soon come to every jurisdiction in America."

Tony Perkins: If Americans Followed Obama, The Koran Would Be The State Book Of Tennessee

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, devoted his “Washington Watch” radio program yesterday to discussing a Tennessee bill making the Bible the state’s official book, which was vetoed by the state’s Republican governor after being approved by its legislature.

At one point, a listener called in to share his wish that “the United States government would enact a bill where the Holy Bible was the Bible of the United States,” noting that many government buildings have references to the Bible on them.

Perkins responded that “if the left has their way, they’re going to break out the jackhammers and the sandblasters and they’re going to try to take that off of the buildings. They’re trying to certainly take it out of the hearts and minds of people, especially our children, as they drive it far from our schools and now from the public square, and eventually they’re going to get back around to these buildings.”

He told the caller that he was right that “the best defense is a good offense” and that “we need to show that, you know what, the American people are not going to take this lying down. We have every right to have our views reflected in our government by our elected officials.”

Perkins then returned to a conversation he had had with an earlier caller who had opposed the Tennessee bill and asked Perkins how he would feel if a state named the Koran its official book.

“Well, if the Koran as the state book could get through Tennessee,” he said, “our nation is a lot worse off than I ever thought, even though after we’ve had Barack Obama for seven years and I know he’s done everything he can to promote Islam in this country, but we’re not at that point yet because the American people are not following him.”

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 4/14/16

  • Donald Trump says that his favorite Bible verse is "an eye for an eye," which tells you all you need to know about what sort of Christian he is.
  • Anne Graham Lotz says that "now is the time to get serious about repentance and prayer" because America is under God's judgment.
  • "Coach" Dave Daubenmire admits that "I am a hater. And a proud one, I might add. I hate what homosexuality does to people. I hate the destructive nature of that debaucherous behavior and the impact it has on the individual. I hate the pain that it causes to innocent parents and siblings. I hate that it is taught to our children as normal behavior."
  • Erik Rush declares that "the 'struggle for LGBT rights' in America is and has always been nothing more than a pretext for the complete disenfranchisement of Christians."
  • Finally, FRC again prays that anti-LGBT laws will be passed in every state: "May Christians arise in every state to demand that their leaders uphold the religious liberty guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. May every state adopt Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs) and Government Non-Discrimination Acts (GNDA) to protect Bible-believing Christians and all Americans. May our governments cease and desist from dispensing special rights to individuals because of their sexual proclivities and practices. May God intervene to stop the insanity and preserve the innocence of our children and grandchildren."

FRC Spokesman: 'Un-American' LGBT Movement Just Wants To 'Punish People'

Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow with the Family Research Council, said last week that LGBT rights activist are “un-American” in their opposition to laws that permit anti-LGBT discrimination, claiming that these activists want to “punish people for holding traditional moral views.”

Sprigg joined the Alabama Christian radio station Faith Radio on April 8 to discuss a new law in Mississippi that allows businesses to refuse service to LGBT people if they do so because of their “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

“The irony here,” he said, “is that for all the howling about discrimination against LGBT people, since this bill is about preventing government discrimination against religious believers and people of faith and people with traditional moral values, anybody who opposes this bill is essentially saying: ‘We think it’s okay for government to discriminate against those people. We think it’s okay for government to punish people for holding traditional moral views. In fact, we think that government should punish people in order to do everything it can to wipe those views out of existence.’”

“That’s basically the point of view of the LGBT movement at this point in history,” he claimed. “It’s shocking and it’s un-American, it’s contrary to our traditions, which are to protect the views of all people, including the people who agree with you and the people who disagree with you.”

Sprigg so cares about protecting the liberty of all people that he has said he wants to outlaw “homosexual behavior” and once opposed a bill that would allow gay people to be united with their foreign partners by saying that he “would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States.”

The Religious Right’s Bicoastal Political Prayer Rally Weekend

Two major prayer rallies organized by Religious Right figures are being held on Saturday —one at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and one in Los Angeles. The two events will be linked with a simulcast “Bridge to Prayer.”

The Washington event, United Cry DC 16, is scheduled to run for seven hours and will be broadcast on GodTV. It features an impressive number of familiar Religious Right figures, including Tony Perkins, Jerry Boykin, Harry Jackson, Samuel Rodriguez, Jim Garlow, Alveda King and E.W. Jackson. Joining them will be bestselling doomsday author and “Messianic” Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, Billy Graham’s daughter Anne Graham Lotz and “Hour of Power” preacher Bobby Schuller.

Also in the lineup is Doug Stringer, the “apostle” who has hosted a number of “The Response” political prayer rallies organized by Christian nationalist political operative David Lane in recent years with Republican governors like Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley and Pat McCrory.

WorldNetDaily is excited about the event, promoting it with a breathless story, declaring “what an assembly it promises to be.” WND even tries to put a good face on the lousy weather forecast, saying, “Perhaps the Almighty is already calling attention to the event by providing some freakish spring weather, with the possibility of snow in the forecast. But hardy souls will brave the elements because they consider the gathering a divine calling.”  A Thursday email from event organizer Lewis Hogan was not so excited about the weather, urging people to pray away the rain.

This is not the first “solemn assembly” called by Religious Right leaders to put America on the right path during an election year. While the Great Awakening whose beginning is predicted at every Religious Right event hasn’t yet materialized, organizers believe it’s just around the corner. Meanwhile, they say, America’s embrace of marriage equality is just asking for God’s wrath.

In WND’s story about United Cry DC, Rabbi Cahn complained that America hasn’t heeded his warnings:

In the course of the last few years, America has not turned back to God but has grown much farther from Him. We’ve witnessed a rapid acceleration in the nation’s apostasy from God and His ways. We have called good evil and evil good. We are now at the threshold of persecuting God’s people as we celebrate godlessness. The Bible is very clear on the consequences. To any nation that has been given so much as America, much is required. If we don’t turn back to God, we are advancing toward judgment.

“The fact that it is also the year of a presidential election and a critical moment with regard to the Supreme Court, raises the stakes even higher.

On the same day as the United Cry rally in DC, Dominionist “apostle” Lou Engle and friends will be in Los Angeles hosting another in his multi-year “supernatural series of events” under the banner of “The Call.” In a video promoting the event Engel talking animatedly about the symbolism of speakers flying only on United Airlines so that America can be united.Engle has held a number of “Call” events over the last decade and a half, including one on the National Mall in September 2000 and one in 2008 in California focused in part on promoting the anti-gay Proposition 8.  This one, called Azusa Now, is scheduled to run for 15 hours at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Cruz Advisers: Obama Using 'White Privilege And Nonsense Like That' To Weaken The Military

The Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney and the Family Research Council’s Jerry Boykin, both national security advisors to Sen. Ted Cruz, discussed on Gaffney’s radio program yesterday how they believe President Obama is, perhaps intentionally, weakening the military by allowing women in combat and training troops on what Boykin called “white privilege and nonsense like that.”

Gaffney asked Boykin if he thought that “the policies that the president has been pursuing” that he claimed have “diminished the readiness” of the military are “designed to have that effect” or if it’s just a coincidence.

Boykin responded that while he “can’t answer what this administration is thinking,” it’s “certainly a possibility” that the president is intentionally weakening the military.

He contrasted the recent capture of an American boat in Iranian waters to the Vietnam era, when “to get a statement out of a POW that was being held in Hanoi, you had to beat that man almost to the point of killing him.”

“Frank, what’s happened to our military?” he asked. “Now, I’ll tell you what part of it is. They have not spent their time being trained on the code of conduct. They’ve spent their time being trained on tolerance and inclusion.”

“Diversity, sensitivity, and white privilege,” Gaffney said derisively.

“Yeah, that’s right,” Boykin said, “on white privilege and nonsense like that. That’s where they spend their training time. I get feedback from military people all the time. 'Sir, we spent the entire week doing nothing but classroom training on tolerance and integrating women into the infantry.' And, I mean, Frank, we’re wasting precious training time at a time when our enemies are growing stronger and we’re growing weaker.”

Earlier in the interview, Boykin and Gaffney took aim at one of their favorite targets, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which Boykin called “probably, next to the Muslim Brotherhood, the most evil group in America.”

The two also revealed that in February Boykin presented Gaffney with the “George Washington Leadership Award” on behalf of the Council for National Policy, a secretive conservative umbrella group that is currently led by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

Tony Perkins: Businesses Who Support LGBT Rights Have 'Stockholm Syndrome'

Yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins announced that his organization will stop using PayPal because the company halted a planned expansion in North Carolina after the state’s Republican leaders enacted a sweeping anti-LGBT law.

Perkins said that businesses who oppose the North Carolina law may have “Stockholm syndrome” when it comes to the LGBT community, expressing anger that the business community “has been hijacked” by LGBT rights advocates and has failed to stand with Religious Right activists who have strongly supported pro-corporate measures in the past.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say they are being held hostage by the LGBT community, but they are certainly being used as puppets,” Perkins said.

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