Family Research Council

Boykin Claims Mythical Christian Persecution in Military 'Threatening the Future of America'

For a number of weeks, the Family Research Council has been shamelessly pushing a myth, concocted by Fox News contributor Todd Starnes, that the Obama administration is conducting a “Christian cleansing” of the military. Never mind that the “cleansing” story is totally untrue -- and that even Glenn Beck’s The Blaze has thoroughly debunked it – in a fundraising email today, FRC’s Jerry Boykin claims that it is part of a “shocking anti-Christian movement that is threatening the future of America.”

The military’s longstanding policy, which applies to members of all faiths, is that "service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one's beliefs (proselytization).” But according to Boykin, this means that Christians “could be prosecuted as enemies of the state” and that it will “destroy military recruiting across the services as Americans realize that their faith will be suppressed by joining the military.”

Tony has asked me, as a 36-year veteran of military service, to add my perspective to the shocking anti-Christian movement that is threatening the future of America.

Here is the situation: The very troops who defend our religious freedom are at risk of having their own taken away. Less than a month ago, anti-Christian and left-wing activists met at the Pentagon with military leaders. What issues would be of such importance to gain such a high-level hearing?

According to these far-left activists, religion is one of the chief problems plaguing our troops. As the Washington Post reported, some are saying that "religious proselytizing" is at the top of the list of problems in the armed forces--even on par with sexual assault.

As a result of such complaints from the Left, the Air Force has--according to the Post--published, but not yet distributed, a new document with the directive that leaders of all levels (including chaplains) may not "promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion."

The penalty these secularists are seeking for those who don't comply with their view of religious speech is court-martial.

If this policy goes forward, Christians within the military who speak of their faith could be prosecuted as enemies of the state. This has the potential to destroy military recruiting across the services as Americans realize that their faith will be suppressed by joining the military.

How False Religious Right Talking Points Are Born

On August 15, 2012, a gunman walked into the Washington, DC headquarters of the Family Research Council with the intent of killing as many people as possible. Fortunately, the FRC's building manager confronted him and, despite being shot in the arm, subdued him and prevented any loss of life.

When the gunman, Floyd Lee Corkins, was interrogated by the FBI about why he carried out this attack on the FRC, he said it was because of the organization's anti-gay activism. When Corkins admitted that he had visited the website of the Southern Poverty Law Center while doing research, the Religious Right seized on the info as supposed proof that the SPLC's designation of FRC as an anti-gay hate group was leading to violence.

In particular, they insisted that the "hate map" on the SPLC's website played a direct role in Corkins' actions. 

Here is that map:

How that vague image somehow directed Corkins to the FRC's headquarters is never explained. In fact, the map doesn't even provide any data as to FRC's actual location, unlike the FRC's own website which provides its address and detailed directions.

But since Corkins mentioned the research produced by the SPLC during his interrogation, and since Corkins was charged under the District of Columbia's Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002, for activsts like Jerry Boykin and David Barton, that means that the SPLC is now "directly linked to domestic terrorism":

Boykin: Islamic terrorists are not the only people we need to be concerned about. We have now, right here, in our own country, an organization that is connected to domestic terrorism as a result of a federal trial in Washington, DC.

..

Barton: The fact that now, in federal court, they have been directly linked to domestic terrorism, that's significant stuff.

Much like the way that anti-Islam activists falsely insist that various Muslim groups were designated as "unindicted co-conspirators" with ties to terrorism by a federal court, we expect to keep hearing the Religious Right falsely assert that the SPLC is linked to domestic terrorism despite the fact that it is obviously nonsense.

Perkins Cites Debunked Study to Warn of 'Serious Risks' of Gay Adoption

In his daily email yesterday, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins attacked a bill that would prohibit adoption programs that receive federal funding from discriminating against same-sex couples. This bill, he says, “would intentionally deprive children of a mother” and expose children to “the serious risks [of] being raised in a homosexual home.”

Perkins’ evidence for these “serious risks” is, of course, the thoroughly debunked Regnerus Study.

Now, some in Congress want to get in on the act with a bill that would intentionally deprive children of a mother. Under this legislation, the government would punish any adoption agency that gives priority to married, heterosexual couples. The bill, co-sponsored by Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), would cut off the federal funding of any agency -- including faith-based charities -- that seek the safest and most nurturing home for kids. If it passes, the official policy of the U.S. government would be to penalize organizations who take the well-being of children into account in adoption placement.

This is how backwards we've become as a society! As we've seen in the Boy Scouts membership debate, America's focus is no longer the well-being of children but on the "well-being" of a small but politically powerful minority. There's an abundance of social science data supporting the common-sense belief that children do best when raised by a married mother and father. Because of that, there's every rational basis for agencies to prefer such households over those headed by same-sex couples in adoption.

In the largest peer-review study ever done on same-sex parenting, Dr. Mark Regnerus found that the emotional, financial, academic, and physical outcomes of kids raised in homosexual homes rated "suboptimal" or "negative" in almost every category. "There's nothing worse than being brought up by two gay dads," said homosexual actor Rupert Everett. And Dr. Regnerus proves it. In outcome after outcome, he shows the serious risks to being raised in a homosexual home -- not the least of which are poverty, depression, and abuse.
 

Anti-Choice Groups Exploit Gosnell Verdict to Push for Bogus DC Abortion Bill

A jury today found Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell guilty in the deaths a woman and three infants in a squalid, nightmarish abortion clinic. Anti-choice groups have been closely following the trial, attempting to link Gosnell’s crimes to the very existence of legal abortion. They have exploited the Gosnell trial to push for state-level “TRAP” laws meant to close abortion clinics with unnecessary regulations. Now, anti-choice groups are targeting legal abortion in Washington, DC.

Reacting to the Gosnell verdict, the Family Research Council and the Susan B. Anthony List both singled out a bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, that would ban abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah also plugged the bill in an interview with Janet Mefferd about Gosnell. The bill, similar to several that have been considered in state legislatures, is based on the disputed claim that 20 weeks is the point at which a fetus can feel pain. Such procedures are rare, accounting for just 1.5 percent of abortions.

DC has long been a convenient target for Republican lawmakers looking to expand school vouchers, eliminate needle exchange programs, stop gun control measures…and, of course, infringe on abortion rights. Thanks to a 2011 budget deal, for instance, the District is currently barred from using its own local tax dollars to help low-income women access abortions – a policy that has been in effect off and on for 25 years.

Of course, Franks’ DC bill is completely unrelated to the Gosnell trial. In reality, abortion performed in proper conditions are one of the safest medical procedures provided in the United States. Gosnell’s clinic, which was the last refuge for many low-income women, illustrated the horrors of the unsafe, back-alley abortions that are all too common in parts of the world where abortion is illegal.

Last year, when Franks introduced a similar bill, he refused to let D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton testify against it in committee.

Ted Cruz, Archbishop Lori Will Address FRC's 'Watchmen' Pastors

The Family Research Council’s Watchmen on the Wall conference is an annual gathering for pastors and other church leaders to hear from a panoply of right-wing speakers and get motivated to “transform America.” Our coverage of last year’s event highlights speakers’ attacks on evolution, secularism, Islam, LGBT people, and other tools of Satan.

This year’s conference, which takes place in Washington DC May 22-24, has been promoted by FRC for months.  In April, FRC sent an excited alert that Sen. Ted Cruz, a Tea Party and Religious Right favorite who is reportedly mulling a 2016 presidential bid, had confirmed.

Based on other confirmed speakers, it seems likely that there will be two major themes to this year’s gathering: 1) religious liberty in America is under attack by Obama and his gay allies; and 2) only the church – led by uncompromising fired up pastors – can save freedom and America.

A notable addition to the cast of conservative evangelicals is William Lori, Archbishop of the Diocese of Baltimore and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. Lori has led the bishops’ attack on the Obama administration’s proposed regulations requiring insurance coverage of contraception.  Lori, who believes that “aggressive secularity” is “becoming the established ‘religion’ in our country today,” will be right at home with his friends at the Family Research Council. A typical FRC Action mailing from Tony Perkins earlier this year said President Obama is out to “crush freedom.” The same letter warns about “death panels” under Obamacare, which Perkins calls “the tip of the tyranny-iceberg.”

Also entertaining the Watchmen will be Rep. James Lankford, who earlier this year blamed gun violence on “welfare moms” overmedicating their kids with psychiatric drugs because they “want to get additional benefits.”  At FRC’s Values Voter Summit in September, Lankford said of the dispute over contraception coverage, “this is not a war on women, this is a war on people of faith.” 

Also confirmed is Ergun Caner, who lost his position at Liberty University after Muslim and Christian bloggers, and then journalists, began to expose the falsehoods in the Jihadi-to-Jesus life story that Caner had used to make a name for himself in the post-9/11 evangelical universe. Caner will probably echo his remarks at the 2009 Values Voter Summit, where his message to Christians who were not being outspoken enough on the issues of the day: “You need to preach, teach, and reach, or just shut up and get out of our way.”

Anti-gay activist Harry Jackson is quick to invoke Satan and other demonic powers as the forces behind the gay rights movement, which he portrays as an enemy of religious freedom. He has charged that a “radical” gay element is trying to “close down every church in America.” In fact, one of his columns was titled,” Why do Gays Hate Religious Freedom?”  Jackson’s apocalyptic anti-Obama rhetoric did not convince many Black Christians to vote against Obama, but Jackson thinks they’ll be sorry. God, he says, will “take out” those who chose “race over grace.” Jackson is a long-time FRC ally; he and Perkins co-authored Personal Faith, Public Policy, which calls Supreme Court rulings on church-state issues “assaults” on Christianity.

Jim Garlow, a California pastor who led church backing for Prop 8 in California and was then tapped by Newt Gingrich to run one of his political groups, had warned before the election that an Obama reelection would destroy the country.  During an FRC post-election special Garlow said that Christians should expect massive persecution from the government.  At last year’s Watchmen on the Wall conference, Garlow spoke at a press conference attacking President Obama’s use of religious language to describe his support for marriage equality. Evoking the words of a colonial preacher, Garlow said, “if necessary, here we die.” In an FRC DVD promoting Watchmen on the Wall, Garlow says an FRC-produced video was crucial to the Prop 8 win.

Richard Land is retiring in October after 25 years as head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty commission; he was dogged by controversy during the past year over plagiarism charges and racially inflammatory remarks he made regarding the Trayvon Martin killing.  Land has charged that the only reason the Obama administration proposed regulations on contraception coverage was to "set the precedent of ramming this down our throats and forcing us to surrender our First amendment freedom of religion." Land says God will unleash judgment on America for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Watchmen will also hear from Jacob Aranza, whose 1983 book Backward Masking Unmasked warned that rock music was encoded with satanic messages that would entice teens into drug use and abnormal sexual behavior. Aranza says he burned “hundreds of thousands” of albums in those days. More recently, Aranza was an endorser of Rick Perry’s “Awakening” and participated in Religious Right strategy sessions convened by James Robison to try to prevent Obama’s re-election. In 2011, Aranza and Perkins appeared together on Robison’s television show, and Aranza gushed about Perkin’s work to mobilize pastors:

Tony Perkins is one of the great heroes in America today. He is a hero because it is unseen. He is uniting and equipping the most important people in America, and that's the pastors in America. If the local church is the hope of the world then pastors are the hope of the local church. Tony Perkins exists to encourage them and to equip them and to empower them. He's taking regular pastors -- the average church in America, James, as you know is less than 200 people; 80% of the churches in America are 200 or less -- and he is taking men like that and he is turning them into absolute heroes, just like pastors in Maine who are literally changing the moral fiber of an entire state because he has equipped them and empowered them and told them they're the people that are supposed to be the hedge of builders, and he is encouraging them to do just that.…I believe that as you speak you are literally trumpeting a sound that is encouraging pastors across America and families across America that are Christians to unite together to see God once again bring spiritual awakening to our nation.

JC Church is one of FRC’s pastor leaders “networking churches in Ohio to answer the call on moral issues.”  His 3 Cord Alliance, which is affiliated with FRC, teaches pastors “how to bring sound scripturally based influence and change to your community.” Church has been praised by Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values: “I believe that if all the pastors in Ohio were like Pastor Church, we would have an army that Satan could not stop. He understands that America is led by the pulpit and we count on him to unite fellow pastors and their congregations to be the salt and light we so desperately need in the world today.”

Jack Hibbs is a California-based preacher who also pushed Prop 8; in 2011 he helped lead an unsuccessful effort to overturn the state’s SB 48, which he charged would lead to public schools indoctrinating students.  In a video urging pastors to get involved, he said it is not enough to teach and preach the word of God, pastors needed to be “culture changers for Christ.” Leading into the 2012 election Hibbs was outspoken about the fact that Christians should vote for Romney over Obama. In a radio show the day after the 2012 elections, He says he was on the phone with Tony Perkins on election night and they had both believed that the outcome was up to the church: “The answer wouldn’t be determined in the White House or the statehouse….the answer for righteousness or unrighteousness, for light or for darkness, for liberty or tyranny, would be decided by the pastors.” Given the way things turned out, Hibbs says “I believe the responsibility, the outcome, and the fallout falls into the hands of the pulpits of America’s pastors who did not speak up….” Hibbs also echoes Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” remarks: “those who are looking for handouts, they don’t want to work, they want the government to give things to them, overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama.” Hibbs said he was disappointed but not discouraged, because “God’s on the throne” and therefore “God has appointed him to be our president for God’s purposes – OK that means God has got some pretty gnarly purposes coming for America.”

There’s a special role at the conference for FRC’s executive vice president, retired Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin.  Boykin retired from the military after being reprimanded by then-President Bush for making speeches depicting the war on terrorism as a Christian holy war against Islam. FRC hired Boykin last year after he was disinvited from speaking at West Point after faculty and cadets objected.  Boykin and his Religious Right allies portrayed his mythical martyrdom as an attack on freedom of speech and religion. At last year’s Values Voter Summit, Boykin invoked Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler in denouncing what he said is an effort to move Americans away from belief in a sovereign God.  He says everything President Obama is doing is right out of the” Communist Manifesto.”

Perkins seems to be counting on Boykin to strong-arm pastors at the conference into making a concrete commitment to political activism. In an insert in a packet mailed to pastors, Perkins says Boykin will offer the “concluding challenge” – and he insists that pastors book their flights home no earlier than 4pm so that they can stay.  “During the Briefing, we will share details of the strategic plan the Lord is using to bring revival and renewal in communities around the nation through the engagement of pastors. At the end, we have a ‘call to decision’ or ‘invitation’ sort of like many of you do in a worship service. Just as you want those attending your worship service to stay and respond, we would respectfully ask the same of you.” Perkins has some leverage – FRC picks up most of the tab for one pastor from each church.

FRC launched Watchmen on the Wall in 2004. A 2010 promotional DVD said the group was up to 14,000 pastors; it said Perkins’ goal was to have 40,000 Watchmen pastors by 2015. Pastors who sign up get access to regular briefings, model sermons, and other toolkits for mobilizing their congregations and communities.  The same promotional video contains a clip of “historian” David Barton quoting 19th Century preacher Charles Finney saying, in effect, that if the country is going to hell, it’s pastors’ fault.  The notion that America can only be saved by more aggressive preachers is a recurring theme at Religious Right gatherings, including Liberty Counsel’s recent Awakening conference.

Boykin: America on 'Precipice of Total Destruction' Due to 'Silent' Church

Retired Gen. Jerry Boykin – anti-Muslim crusader, Religious Right folk hero, and Family Research Council Vice President – was one of the speakers at Liberty Counsel’s recent Awakening conference. Boykin, who has accused Barack Obama of turning the U.S. into a “Marxist nation,” told Awakening attendees that the country is “on the precipice of total destruction” and he blames the church for not standing up and being “the dominant influence on our society.”

The Bible tells us, woe unto you who call good evil and evil good. And that’s exactly what we’re doing in America today. We’re calling good evil and evil good, and we’re paying the penalty for it because we’re losing our nation. Our values are changing so rapidly. We’re on the precipice of total destruction if we don’t turn this around and I mean that. I’ll say it again, we’re on the precipice of total destruction if we don’t turn our value system around….The question that we have to ask ourselves, and I ask you to ponder this, where is that church that Alexis de Tocqueville talked about in America today? Where is that church that should be the dominant influence on our society, that should influence everything that we do, the way we think, the way we act. Where is that church today? … Across the nation the church has been silent. The church is not the dominant influence in America today. It doesn’t shape our values because the church has been silent, where we’re now calling good evil and evil good even inside the churches across America today, and it’s killing us as a nation.

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/9/13

  • Alex Pareene @ Salon: GOP successfully scream “Benghazi” until people pay attention to them. 
  • Good As You: One Million Moms seeks Mouse House’s mass discrimination.
  • Joe.My.God: FRC: We Need “Divine Intervention” To Stop Gay Marriage In Minnesota. 

Stemberger: Lifting BSA's Gay Ban 'Is Going to Create a Wave of Boy-on-Boy Sexual Abuse'

Anti-gay activist John Stemberger is continuing to argue that sexual abuse will skyrocket if the Boy Scouts let in openly gay members. As evidence, he sites current statistics on the abuse that happens with the discriminatory ban in place.

While speaking to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council on Washington Watch, Stemberger predicted that a policy shift in the Boy Scouts of America will “create a wave of boy-on-boy sexual abuse” as straight scouts will “be preyed upon” by their gay peers:

I think the national organization is just kind of winking and nodding, saying, ‘oh yeah, homosexual boys, no big deal, we can influence them for the better, boys are better off in scouting.’ Well wait a second, yeah homosexual boys are better off but what about the other boys who may be preyed upon? You know BSA’s own statistics show, their own youth training program shows that seventy percent of all abuse in scouting takes place by other boys, not by adults. So I’ve been saying from day one that this is going to create a wave of boy-on-boy sexual abuse which is going to contribute future to the scandal that scouting has had in the past and also not to mention the physical, psychological and sexual abuse of countless boys.

The Myth of American Christians as Persecuted Minority, part 256

The claim that American Christians are facing horrible persecution for their religious beliefs – and are on the verge of being rounded up and thrown into jail by tyrannical secularists – has been a staple of Religious Right groups’ rhetoric for decades. And as conservative evangelicals’ anti-gay views have lost popular support, they’ve doubled down on their claims that gay rights are incompatible with religious liberty. In recent years, conservative Catholics have joined in crying “religious persecution” in response to the advance of marriage equality for same-sex couples and the Obama administration’s requirement for insurance coverage of contraception.

On CNN’s Belief Blog, correspondent John Blake has given voice to these claims in a post titled “When Christians become a ‘hated minority.’” That headline hinted that this piece would be problematic. And that was confirmed with the opening sentence, which cites the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg, who goes on to say that anti-gay Christians are victims who are being forced into the “closet.”

Where to begin?

We could start with the problem of Peter Sprigg being a spokesperson for tolerance. In Blake’s story, Sprigg is quoted saying “Maybe we need to do a better job of showing that we are motivated by Christian love” and “Love is wanting the best for someone, and acting to bring that about.” It’s hard to square Sprigg’s assertion that he is motivated by the best interests of gay people, given that he:

  • has called for the criminalization of homosexual conduct both in the U.S. and abroad;
  • said he would like to “export” gays from the U.S. rather than support legislation to give same-sex couples equal treatment under immigration law;
  • dislikes the idea of a gay judge, because he says gays don’t make good role models;
  • opposes making children raised by a same-sex couple eligible for social security benefits if a parent’s spouse dies;
  • dismisses anti-bullying and safe-school programs as attempts to indoctrinate impressionable children
  • has suggested that schools should be allowed to fire openly gay teachers and coaches;
  • has cheered the kidnapping of a child by a mother who refused to abide by a court’s order to share custody with her former partner.

Sprigg says the “real goal of homosexual activists” is not protection from discrimination or marriage equality, but is “to create a society in which it is unacceptable for anyone, ever, anywhere to say that homosexual conduct is wrong, or that homosexual relationships are anything other than fully equal to heterosexual ones.” The CNN piece also cites Bryan Liften, a professor at Moody Bible Institute, saying Christians should be able to publicly say that God designed sex to take place within a marriage between a man and a woman.

Should be? If you haven’t noticed, plenty of Christians have been saying that loudly and proudly and with millions of dollars they have used to enshrine that belief into a majority of state constitutions. People like Sprigg and his boss Tony Perkins, Brian Brown from the National Organization for Marriage, and any number of conservative evangelicals and Roman Catholic bishops have pretty much an open invitation to say so on national television and before state legislative and congressional committees. Not to mention through their own radio and television networks and vast church networks. Or from the platform of the Republican convention.  Freedom of expression, including anti-equality expression, is alive and well.

The CNN post does include Christians with differing views on gay rights, and who acknowledge that simply claiming religious backing for one’s beliefs does not insulate those views from criticism in the public arena. Neither does disagreement equate to discrimination or persecution. Conservative Christians did not see it as a form of religious discrimination to enshrine their view of marriage into laws and state constitutions; but as public opinion shifts and more states make equality the law, they warn of dire threats to their freedom.

Among the Religious Right horror stories linked to in the CNN piece are complaints about pastor Louie Giglio’s withdrawal from President Obama’s second inaugural ceremony in the face of criticism about anti-gay remarks that surfaced online. Criticism of those remarks – even anger and disappointment among pro-equality Obama supporters over Giglio being given a place of honor at the inaugural – does not mean, as some pundits claimed, that people of faith are no longer welcome in the public square. Anyone who heard the prayers, music, and speeches at the inaugural would see that such claims are ludicrous.

It should be noted that Religious Right groups made similarly shrill claims that the addition of sexual orientation to federal hate crimes laws would result in preachers being thrown into jail for quoting scripture on homosexuality. And they claimed that allowing gay members of the armed forces to serve openly would destroy the military. Those claims have been proven to be not just wrong but ridiculous.

Baker quotes evangelical blogger Joe Carter (who used to work at Family Research Council), warning that young people will abandon anti-gay churches “for fear of being called haters.” What is far more likely is that many young Christians will leave anti-gay churches because they have gay friends and disagree with both the anti-gay theology and anti-equality policy positions of the Religious Right. And some may continue to hold traditional theological views on homosexuality while supporting legal equality as a civil matter. Polling shows that the generation gap on LGBT issues is huge within as well as outside the evangelical community – and that many young Christians are disillusioned with the anti-gay fixation of many church leaders.

The CNN piece finishes blogger Carter saying “he foresees a day when any church that preaches against homosexuality will be marginalized. Just as many churches now accept divorce, they will accept sexual practices once considered sinful.”

So let’s end with a consideration of divorce. The Catholic Church denies its religious blessing to divorced couples who get remarried without obtaining a religious annulment of their previous marriage. Many evangelical churches also frown on divorce. But all marriages – first, second, third, or fourth – are treated equally under civil law (good news for Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh!).  Yet no one is arguing that the status quo on divorce amounts to an attack on religious freedom – or that Christians who oppose divorce have been marginalized or hounded out of the public square. Their religious beliefs about divorce coexist with public policy that reflects societal reality and the opinions of a religiously diverse America. 

Perkins and Knight Dismiss Jason Collins, Cheer on Anti-Gay Commentator as True Hero

The lesson of the Jason Collins story, according to Religious Right activists, is that true courage is found in attacking gay people… since not enough people are doing it these days.

In his daily radio bulletin, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council contended that Chris Broussard, the sportscaster who claimed that Jason Collins was rebelling against God, showed “real courage,” unlike Collins…because no one criticized him for being gay, except for Broussard (and many, many, many others).

Jason Collins doesn't play for the Trailblazers, but he's being treated like one. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. When the NBA's Jayson Collins announced he was gay, people were literally jumping through hoops to praise him. But if you want to know what real courage looks like, try standing up for truth. NBA reporter Chris Broussard did--and he found out that coming out as Christian might be harder than admitting you're gay. "There [are] a lot Christians in the NBA and just because they disagree with that lifestyle, they don't want to be called bigoted and intolerant ...[T]rue tolerance and acceptance is being able to [act like] mature adults and not call each other names." Personally, Chris said, he didn't know how Collins could reconcile homosexuality with his faith. "If you're openly living in unrepentant sin... not just homosexuality, [but] adultery... premarital sex... whatever... that's walking in open rebellion to God..." ESPN apologized for his comments, but they should have been sorrier for fouling up the debate.

The American Civil Right Union’s Robert Knight made the same case in the Washington Times, arguing that the really brave people are those who attacked Jason Collins since not enough people attacked him.

“A lynch mob is chasing ESPN the Magazine writer Chris Broussard,” Knight writes, “Like openly devout quarterback Tim Tebow, Mr. Griffin and Mr. Broussard are the brave ones — rocks in a flood tide of insanity and cowardice.”

When pro basketball player Jason Collins “came out,” the media went nuts. He was toasted from coast to coast, received congratulatory phone calls from President Obama and Bill Clinton, and made magazine covers.

On May 1, Washington Post sportswriter Mike Wise joined the parade by bashing “Old Testament moral certainty” and denouncing anyone who “trumpeted their bigotry under the guise of ‘religious beliefs.’” There’s no hint in Mr. Wise’s vitriolic column that someone could possibly hold sincere, faith-based moral beliefs. Bullies like the oxymoronically named Mr. Wise are types that the Age of Tolerance is spawning by the truckload.

This brings us to our final word, which is “brave.” Mr. Collins was widely hailed as brave, but it’s the few people who dared question the wisdom of his volitional behavior who are brave.

A lynch mob is chasing ESPN the Magazine writer Chris Broussard because he reiterated classic Christian doctrine to an interviewer: “If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be — not just homosexuality, [but] adultery, fornication, premarital sex, whatever it may be — I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian, because I don’t think the Bible would characterize him as a Christian.”

Another brave soul is Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who on April 30 tweeted: “In a land of freedom, we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness.” Like openly devout quarterback Tim Tebow, Mr. Griffin and Mr. Broussard are the brave ones — rocks in a flood tide of insanity and cowardice.

As we watch word after word twisted into doublespeak by corrupt elites, it brings to mind George Orwell’s observation: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

FRC's 'Stand with Scouts Sunday' Warns Gays Are Unclean and a Sign of the End Times

Last night, the Family Research Council held a “Stand with Scouts Sunday” event, featuring politicians such as Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Steve Palazzo, to oppose a proposed resolution that would end the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay members who are under the age of eighteen.

The event included an address by pastor Robert Hall of Calvary Chapel Rio Rancho, who warned that the push to end the ban on gays is a sign of the End Times and will ultimately make America “self-destruct.” FRC president Tony Perkins argued that the BSA should fear what happened to the military after it repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, even though all reports so far have found no problems as a result.

Boy Scouts who participated in the webcast described homosexuality as unclean and expressed fears that he might “have my buddy come on to me.”

Watch highlights here:

Rep. Palazzo: If Boy Scouts Don't Maintain Anti-Gay Policy 'Then What Do We Stand For as a Country?'

Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-MS) has been working with the Family Research Council to defeat efforts to allow gays under the age of 18 into the Boy Scouts and appeared yesterday on FRC’s “Stand With Scouts Sunday” webcast. The congressman said he would do anything he could “to protect the Boy Scouts from this popular culture, this liberal agenda that is being crammed down their throat,” arguing that “the Boy Scouts are actually being bullied worse than any group or organization that has ever been bullied before.”

“They are being harassed and at the end of the day they are also being ridiculed by some in the liberal media,” he added. Palazzo asked if America cannot tell the Boy Scouts to “stand strong” and preserve its ban on gay members, “then what do we stand for as a country?”

Later, Palazzo said that the organization must “remove the agitators who are trying to corrupt the Boy Scouts of America and bend to popular culture.”

Watch:

Rick Perry Urges Boy Scouts to Oppose Gay 'Pop Culture' Like Sam Houston Resisted Slavery

Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) appeared in the Family Research Council’s “Stand With Scouts Sunday” webcast last night where he told FRC president Tony Perkins that the Boy Scouts of America must resist those trying to “tear apart” the organization’s values and replace them with the “flavor of the month”—homosexuality.

He warned the BSA against becoming “more like pop culture” and urged scout leaders to channel the spirit of Sam Houston, whom Perry said lost his governorship because he was “against slavery” and opposed secession.

Watch:

Congressmen Scalise and Gohmert Fall for Debunked Fox News Story on Supposed Plan to Court Martial Christians

Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes likes to report on culture war issues and frequently highlights examples of supposed anti-Christian persecution. He plucks the examples from Religious Right media outlets, which then turn around and point to Starnes’ Fox News stories for validation.

Fox example, one recent Starnes story alleged that a New York school was forcing girls to kiss each other as part of an anti-bullying seminar. But the ‘forced lesbianism’ story was baseless [PDF], and the school superintendent had to write to Starnes to urge him to, you know, report stories accurately [PDF].

In another instance of shoddy journalism, Starnes claimed that the military was deliberately blocking access to a Southern Baptist website as part of a “Christian cleansing” of the armed forces by the Obama administration. Well, as it turns out, the website was automatically blocked over malware issues and the Southern Baptist Convention’s own director of information systems acknowledged that there was malware on the SBC website, not any anti-Christian animus in the military, was responsible for the mishap.

So it came as no surprise to learn that a new Starnes column about the military getting ready to court martial Christians, since picked up by organizations like the Family Research Council, was also completely groundless.

Starnes contends that Obama administration officials are working with church-state separation activists to begin kicking Christians out of the military and cracking down on their religious freedom.

As Warren Throckmorton points out, the Defense Department guidelines on proselytizing and religious bias that has so enraged Starnes and others was actually put in place in 2008 during the Bush administration and the language clearly “draws a distinction between simply speaking about one’s faith and coercion.” Throckmorton also notes that Starnes twisted a statement from a Pentagon spokesman “to make it seem as though the outcome of religious proselytizing cases would be court martial.”

The Tennessean and Stars and Stripes have also debunked the story, but don’t tell Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who in an interview with Starnes said that Obama is trying to make Christian service members leave their faith:

“Under President Obama’s military you are no longer allowed to share your faith,” he said – noting that the policy is putting Christians in a tough position. “Do you follow President Obama or do you follow God and the teachings of Jesus?”

“That’s pretty tough when your commander in chief puts you on the horn for that dilemma,” he added.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) similarly told Tony Perkins on Washington Watch earlier this week called the story “yet another attack on religious liberty that we’ve seen from the Obama administration.”

Perkins: The idea that members of the military who share their faith, directly or indirectly, could be potentially court martialed, is this stunning or what?

Scalise: It’s frightening and shocking. Unfortunately it is yet another attack on religious liberty that we’ve seen from the Obama administration and it’s just been an endless assault from so many different angles. Of course it comes off the heels of the FDA approving the morning-after pill. There are just so many things that this administration is doing that go against a lot of the Christian beliefs that this country was founded upon and I think it really needs to be pushed back hard on.

While the victimhood narrative of oppressed white straight evangelicals is beloved by the Religious Right and trumpeted by Fox News, conservative activists may want to at least try to find real incidents of persecution and real journalists if they want people to ever believe them.

Truth In Action Ministries Film Warns Gays 'Puts Boys At Serious Risk'

Truth In Action Ministries, which last year produced a film warning that the “radical homosexual agenda” will destroy America like an iceberg hitting the Titanic, is out with a new short film opposing gay members in the Boy Scouts. Featuring Religious Right leaders like Bob Knight of the American Civil Rights Union, Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the anti-gay activists warn that gays pose a physical and spiritual danger to children and do away with morality.

Watch highlights here:

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/1/13

  • Rick Joyner claims that Timothy McVeigh "was a left-wing extremist."
  • Focus on the Family comes to the defense of Chris Broussard and encourages activists to show him support.
  • Ted Cruz for President in 2016!
  • FRC issues its latest prayer update: "The scourge presently upon our nation - wars, devastating weather, acts of terrorism, confusion and failure among our government leaders, spiritual confusion in many of our churches, decimation of the family, economic decline, government oppression, advancing socialism, government promoted and protected abortion, homosexualized politics, etc., are all the fruits and consequences of individual and collective sin and a departure from the God of the Bible."
  • Finally, we won't hold our breath waiting for Bryan Fischer to correct the record after he spent several segments claiming that Saudi Arabia provided the US with a direct warning about Tamerlan Tsarnaev based on this article, which the Saudi government now denies.

Boykin: 'Liberal-Marxist Agenda' Set to 'Destroy our Military'

The Family Research Council believes the military is preparing to court martial Christians based on an Air Force memo which reminds officers and supervisors to “avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.”

FRC vice president Jerry Boykin appeared yesterday on The Janet Mefferd Show to warn that the memo is part of a “liberal-Marxist agenda” that seeks to destroy the military in order to remove “traditional American values” and “take God out of society so that people become dependent upon government.”

This is all about a very liberal-Marxist agenda. This nation was founded on a totally new concept called unalienable rights, God-given rights. If you look at every Marxist movement there’s always been an effort to take God out of the society so that people become dependent upon the government and I think that’s exactly what we’re seeing here. If you go after the military, you go after really what I think is the bedrock of America because the organization and the institution in America that has maintained American values more than any other has been our military and there has been an incremental erosion of our military. Changes that are being proposed and changes that are being enacted in our military are eroding the military in terms of its prestige, in terms of its ability to maintain traditional American values. You change the values in this society by going after the bedrock and I think that’s why the military has been targeted for this.

Boykin called the move a “direct assault on Christianity” engineered by people who are “deliberately trying to destroy not only the chaplaincy” but also “trying to destroy our military.”

Boykin: If you look at this situation Janet you ask yourself, are they deliberately trying to destroy not only the chaplaincy but are they trying to destroy our military? This and a series of other things, as you’ve said the assaults on religious liberty, but it’s the other things too. To include this latest announcement that they’re going to allow women to serve in certain frontline combat units which in no way is that supported by the average male or female that have ever been in those units but also it does not enhance readiness. So you ask yourself, what are they trying to do with our military?

Mefferd: Well they sure have paid a lot of attention to it but it hasn’t been to enhance the ability of the military to do its job. They are defunding it, they are doing these other sorts of policies. It certainly would be a question we would have to ask.

Boykin: This has got to be one that wakes America up. There is a large faith component in our society today and the majority of the people do identify with Christianity and this is a direct assault on Christianity.

Rep. Jim Jordan Endorses Conspiracy Theory that Government Is Hoarding Ammunition

Ohio Republican congressman Jim Jordan is joining Sen. Jim Inhofe in endorsing the conspiracy theory that the government is buying up bullets in order to limit their availability to gun owners during an interview yesterday with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who was the guest host on Sandy Rios In The Morning.

During the program, Perkins praised people for “buying bricks of ammo” and “buying gold” — even though the price of gold is collapsing — adding that he is “buying my kids ammo instead of saving bonds.” Jordan said that “Americans rightly understand that freedom is under attack in this country,” specifically religious liberty and the Second Amendment.

Jordan agreed with Perkins’ contention that the Department of Homeland Security is “hoarding ammunition” as a “way for the President to keep Americans from having ammo by having the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies buy it all up” and commended Americans for “purchasing a record level of firearms and ammunition.”

Jordan: The reason so many Americans are concerned is, this agency, the Department of Homeland Security, under the leadership — or I would say, lack of leadership, frankly — of Secretary Napolitano, they just don’t have any credibility, Americans don’t trust them. There have been a number of instances over the last several years and several months that have led to that lack of trust and lack of credibility and that’s why you see the concern and frankly that’s why we had the hearing.



Perkins: We’re talking about a hearing that took place last Thursday with the Department of Homeland Security and their kind of some are saying hoarding ammunition.

Jordan: Yep.

Perkins: That’s part of the concern is that this is another way for the President to keep Americans from having ammo by having the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies buy it all up.

Jordan: Yep. Too things are happening, you are exactly right, Americans are purchasing a record level of firearms and ammunition. I think it points to just the lack of trust they have in this administration and this administration’s attack on our Second Amendment liberties and our Second Amendment rights and Americans are justifiably concerned about that.

Right Wing Leftovers - 4/25/13

  • Barbara Bush says Jeb Bush should not run for the White House in 2016 because “we’ve had enough Bushes." We agree.
  • Speaking of Bushes, Bryan Fischer says President Obama has been a "miserable failure" because there have been several terrorist attacks on American soil while he has been in office while there were none in the last seven years of George W. Bush's presidency.  Apparently 9/11 doesn't count.
  • It is Fischer's tendency to say things like that which makes us sympathetic to the guy who owns the @BryanFischer handle on Twitter and ends up suffering all the abuse that is intended for the other Fischer.
  • Honestly, take a look at this "map" and tell us how anyone can think it is in any way responsible for last summer's shooting at the Family Research Council headquarters. It literally tells you nothing other than that FRC is located in Washington, DC.
  • FRC prays that the Boy Scouts will reject efforts to allow openly gay scouts: "May God hear our cries for mercy and move upon a strong majority of the National Council members to stand and vote for moral purity -- for the new resolution to be rejected! May they not be moved by pressures from without or from within to do otherwise. May American boys have a Boy Scout program that helps parents inculcate moral purity in their sons, virtues that derive from God's eternal laws, from now until the Lord returns!"
  • On a similar note, Jane Chastain says gay Boy Scouts cannot be "morally straight": "Since all major religions condemn the practice of homosexuality in the strongest terms, it is as impossible for young people who declare themselves to be homosexuals to keep the oath, as it is for atheists, who also are barred from becoming Boy Scouts."
  • Finally, Franklin Graham calls for a tax on violent video games and movies.

Perkins Responds to NIH Grant with Transphobic Rant

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins came across a story in CNSNews yesterday about a $150,000 NIH grant to George Washington University researchers who are studying “voice production and perception” among transgender people. Naturally, Perkins was outraged. In the top story of his daily email, Perkins accuses the NIH of “directing valuable resources away from treating mental illness--to enabling it in the name of political correctness.” Derisively calling transgender people “cross-dressers,” Perkins claims they “will have trouble leading ‘healthy, safe lives’ because of the emotional and physical tolls of their ‘lifestyle.”’

“The President’s priorities are as confused as some people’s gender identities,” he adds.

Taxpayers may be losing their voice in Washington, but transgenders are sure finding theirs! America may not be able to beef up defense, but apparently, it has more than enough money to fund "voice therapy" for cross-dressers. Based on the latest grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the President's priorities are as confused as some people's gender identities.

While the Obama administration claims it's too poor to staff airports or White House tours, it continues to fund projects that should have never been considered in the first place! For the next two years, the NIH is directing valuable resources away from treating mental illness--to enabling it in the name of political correctness. The long term goal of this "voice therapy," researchers explain, "is to inform and provide new directions for transgender voice care, thereby improving the lives of transgendered people who feel their voice is a great obstacle to living as their preferred gender." As part of the $152,000 program, men and women will submit speech samples for 100 listeners who will guess the sex of the speaker.  "Those male-to-female transgenders who pass as a female voice will be placed in a separate group and then compared to those who still sound like men," CNS News explains.

How is this remotely relevant to public health, you ask? Well, as far as NIH is concerned, the study will help end the "discrimination" transgenders face when "their voice does not match their preferred gender presentation." And that, researchers insist, "limits their ability to contribute to society and live healthy, safe lives." No one seems to recognize that transgenders, by their very definition, will have trouble leading "healthy, safe lives" because of the emotional and physical tolls of their "lifestyle." And no amount of taxpayer-funded speech lessons can change that.

(Emphases are mine)

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