Family Research Council

Jerry Boykin on Sexual Attraction, Emotional Vulnerability, and Women in Combat

The Family Research Council's Jerry Boykin joined Tim Wildmon and Ed Vitagliano on today's radio broadcast to explain why he opposes the decision to allow female soldiers to serve in front-line combat, saying that allowing women to serve changes the dynamic of the unit because "God placed in us, as men, a protective nature when it comes to the female."

On top of that, these combat units will now have to deal with the issue of possible sexual attraction, which Boykin warned would become very complicated in times when there has been a loss of life and the soldiers become emotional and in need of solace and you can just "imagine what that can turn into in those conditions, in those circumstances, when you have mixed gender":

Perkins: Homosexuality Is 'Not a Healthy Situation' and Its Acceptance 'Will Lead to a Confused Society'

Yesterday on Washington Watch, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council addressed Sen. Rob Portman’s decision to endorse marriage equality after learning that his son is gay. He said that while Portman should love his son unconditionally, he should not show him “unconditional support,” such as supporting his son as a gay man. He warned that changing laws like marriage “just to accommodate our personal situation” will eventually “lead to a confused society.”

Unconditional support would say we change how we view life and we try to change truth to fit our circumstances, that’s not what the scripture calls us to do. So while I commend him for his unconditional love of his son I cannot support the idea that we change our laws, which are rooted not only in history but obviously in the Judeo-Christian tradition as well as in the social sciences of what’s best for children, that we change those just to accommodate our personal situation. That doesn’t add up, that’s confusion and it will lead to a confused society.

Perkins argued that gays and lesbians will never be fulfilled in life because society will never accept homosexuality as “morally right” since “it’s not healthy” for “society and for the individuals.”

What they want, what they’re looking for — I understand this — they’re looking for affirmation, they’re looking to be what everybody wants to be, everybody wants to be fulfilled in life. The problem is they’re pursuing it in the wrong way and no matter if they’re able to successfully force society to embrace homosexuality or say that it’s okay, this is one of the things I’ve said before: you can make it a right, you can make it legal, but you can’t make it morally right, I mean it’s just not going to happen. So even though you may force everybody silent about it, you’ll never make it right. Of course there are all of the consequences involved in it, for society and for the individuals, it’s not healthy; it’s not a healthy situation.

UPDATE: In a statement today, Perkins warned that the Religious Right may ditch the GOP and join a third party if the Republican National Committee begins “alienating the millions of social conservatives” in their appeals to gay and young voters 

"It looks like Democrats won't need to spend a lot of money building a case against the GOP - because the Republican Party is doing it for them! In what the RNC is calling its 'autopsy' report from the last election, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has decided that the way for his party to win over voters is to parrot the Left's policies. The grand strategy, which calls for throwing the party's social conservatives overboard, demands the GOP be more 'welcoming' and 'inclusive' to people that are actively working against the conservative principles in the Republican platform. 'We need to campaign among ... gay Americans and demonstrate that we care about them too.'

"I agree, we can - and do - care about gay Americans, but that doesn't mean we welcome the redefinition of the core values that gave rise to American exceptionalism. 'Already,' the report warns, 'there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays - and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.' Much of the autopsy (an apt name, considering where its recommendations would lead) seem to suggest that the RNC's idea of bold leadership is chasing whatever fickle policy wind blows its way. In the last 24 hours, the Washington Post caught plenty of people's attention with its latest polls on same-sex 'marriage,' particularly as it pertained to the next generation's support (81 percent). It's their assertion that Americans are racing headlong into the same-sex 'marriage' camp (a result the media was bound to get by framing the poll question as a matter of legality). But history - and most statistical data - shows that young people tend to become more conservative and more religious as they grow up, get married, and start families of their own. In fact, in Frank Newport's new book, God Is Alive and Well, the editor-in-chief of Gallup explains that most people are at their spiritually lowest point at age 23. After that, people become increasingly religious - meaning that a hasty retreat on marriage may score cheap points now, but it would actually alienate the same people later on. Besides, Priebus would be betting the future of the GOP on a bloc who barely votes - while alienating the millions of social conservatives who do! 'I'm trying to show what leadership looks like,' said Preibus, 'by not throwing [Republican Senator] Rob Portman under the bus [for endorsing same-sex 'marriage']' - at the expense of the three-quarters of his party who don't?

"As for Senator Portman, his announcement hasn't exactly been popular with either Ohio party so far. Reports suggest that the calls flooding into his office are 60 percent opposed to the Senator's new position. 'While we've seen national Republican politicians move to support gay marriage in recent years...' the Washington Post points out, 'the party base hasn't really moved with them all that much.' Seventy percent of conservatives don't just oppose same-sex 'marriage,' they strongly oppose it. If Republicans defy them on this issue, warned Rush Limbaugh, 'it will cause their base to stay home and throw up their hands in frustration.' Just look at the 2008 and 2012 exit polls, when the GOP twice nominated a moderate Republican for President - and twice hung their heads in defeat. If the RNC abandons marriage, evangelicals will either sit the elections out completely - or move to create a third party. Either option puts Republicans on the path to a permanent minority.

"Obviously, this RNC report was designed to pander to the GOP's wealthy elites, the same ones who encouraged Mitt Romney to 'tone down his social issues talk.' Unfortunately for them, money doesn't decide elections; people do. And the vast majority of the GOP base believes that marriage is a non-negotiable plank of the national platform. Anything less, writes Byron York, 'could come back to haunt the RNC in the not-too-distant future.' Values issues are not just the backbone of social conservatism, but the gateway to minority outreach. If the GOP wants to improve its relationship with Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans, it had better start by emphasizing the family issues they care about - instead of dividing the Republican family it already has," Perkins concluded.

Rep. Matt Salmon: House GOP 'The Last Bastion of Freedom for This Country'

Arizona congressman Matt Salmon appeared on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins last week, where he told the Family Research Council president that the GOP-controlled House is “the last bastion of freedom for this country.” However, Salmon warned that if House Republicans fail to “use every tool” at their disposal to stop Obama “at every turn,” then they will be just like the servant in the Parable of the Talents who was punished for hiding his master’s money in the ground rather than earning more money.

Salmon: We need to change the way things are in Washington DC. We cannot let President Obama keep advancing his agenda; we have got to stop it at every turn. You are the last bastion of freedom for this country and we’re counting on you so use every tool in your toolbox.

Perkins: Yeah what I have seen is that the Republicans tend to be too concerned about keeping the majority then using it.

Salmon: You know if that’s where we’re at then you will lose it.

Perkins: And you do, you’re absolutely right.

Salmon: It’s kind of like the parable of the ten talents in the Bible. The one that buried up his talents, was afraid that he would lose them, lost everything in the end.

Right Wing Leftovers - 3/18/13

  • FRC is asking people to thank Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and Rep. John Boehner for"standing up for marriage and showing true leadership."
  • Nothing will entice young people to join the conservative movement quite like a discussion between the AFA and Phyllis Schlafly defending Dan Quayle's twenty year old attack on "Murphy Brown."
  • The Daily Caller's hit piece on Sen. Bob Menendez continues to fall apart.
  • Despite the fact that he was just re-elected, according to WND 44% of the population wants to see President Obama impeached.
  • Scott Lively calls for a "First Amendment Supremacy Clause" so nothing can ever curtail the Religious Right's anti-gay activism.
  • Who do you even root for in a fight between Karl Rove and Sarah Palin?
  • Finally, it was obviously just a total coincidence that Satan in "The Bible" miniseries happens to look like President Obama.

Right Wing Leftovers - 3/15/13

  • CBN correspondent David Brody warns “evangelicals all across the country may start walking away from the GOP” if Republicans aren’t “willing to take a stand for traditional marriage.” 
  • Liberty Counsel’s Steve Crampton claims that gay marriage will “lead to the disintegration of the family” and that “when the history of this administration is written, it will be recorded that its deception and aggressive advocacy on this issue were among the most destructive actions of any administration in the history of our nation.” 
  • Scott Lively urges lawmakers not “to arm militant ‘gay’ social engineers with legal weapons to hunt down and destroy the lives of people of faith.” 
  • Jim Garlow predicts that marriage equality will have “horrific” consequences including the abolition of the First Amendment.
  • Alan Sears of the Alliance Defending Freedom, while quoting Martin Luther King Jr., calls for prayers against same-sex marriage. 

FRC to Pastors: Now THIS is an Anti-Gay Sermon!

If the Family Research Council gets its way, evangelical Christians all across America will hear their pastor deliver a sermon written by an FRC official condemning homosexuality and the advance of marriage equality this weekend or next.  On March 26 and 27 the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in cases involving California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and this week FRC emailed pastors urging them to hold a “Stand for Marriage Sunday” before then, providing links to a sermon and full-color bulletin insert recapping its main points.

The 4300-word suggested sermon and accompanying power point presentation start with the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and march through every Religious Right talking point on homosexuality, marriage equality, and the Satanic, anti-Christian, Nazi-like gay rights movement that is inviting the downfall of civilization. Here are the section heads and some highlights:

Section 1: The Divine Pattern

The sermon says God created men and women to complete each other, and actually includes, “Aren’t you glad God created Adam and Eve, and not just Adam and Steve?” It quotes James Dobson saying “More than ten thousand studies have concluded that kids do best when they are raised by mothers and fathers.” And it asserts that in both the Old and New Testaments, “one man and one woman in a marriage covenant relationship for life is the divine pattern.” (The sermon does not address the abundant inconvenient exceptions to one-man, one-woman marriage in the Bible.)

After reviewing all the ways marriage makes people, couples, and children happier, the section concludes:

God’s way works! Think about it. Every civilization in history is built upon the institution of marriage. It is the foundation. The happiness of couples, the welfare of children, the propagation of the faith, the wellbeing of society, and the orderliness of civilization are all dependent upon the stability of marriage according to the divine pattern. When this God-given pattern is undermined, the whole superstructure of society becomes unstable. Any deviation from the divine pattern invites disaster.

Section 2: The Deceptive Perversion

According to the sermon, homosexuality is a deceptive perversion, a sin that is “open rebellion against the divine pattern.” It cites the familiar “abomination” verses and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Section 3: The Definitive Problem

This section compares gay-rights advocates’ claims that people are born Gay or that “God made us gay” to Nazi propaganda. “They essentially practice Joseph Goebel’s Nazi philosophy of propaganda, which is basically this: Tell a lie long enough and loud enough and eventually most mindless Americans will believe it.” The sermon also compares homosexuality to other “sexual sins” such as promiscuity, adultery and pedophilia. “I do not believe,” it says, “that God would not place in your genetic code something that would damn your immortal soul.” [sic on the double negative]

Section 4: The Destructive Program

This section recounts the dangers of the “radical homosexual agenda,” its goal of “silencing critics in the clergy and Christian media,” and its conquest of the entertainment, educational, and legal arenas, citing a litany of familiar Religious Right horror stories about the alleged persecution of Christians who stand against the merciless gay rights steamroller.  And it pushes one of the primary talking points of Religious Right leaders and their conservative Catholic allies: that equality and religious liberty are fundamentally incompatible:

Where homosexual activists win legal approval, whether by court action or legislation, they often deny our full rights as Christians because a homosexual’s so-called “civil rights” and a Christian’s freedom of conscience and speech opposing homosexuality are mutually exclusive.

“Listen,” the sermon warns, “homosexual activists won’t stop at recognition, their aim is domination. They will not stop until they win over our children and our convicting voice is silenced.”

Section 5: The Determined Plan

These are the action steps FRC wants people hearing the sermon to take:

Action Step 1: Pray

The sermon calls on people to pray for spiritual revival and for “God’s mercy on a nation that is speeding toward Sodom, and hurtling toward Gomorrah.”

Action Step 2: Practice

This section says Christians give up their credibility to challenge the culture when their divorce rate is the same as everyone else’s, and urges people to follow biblical instructions on marriage and home life.

Action Step 3: Participate

This section is a direct rebuke to people who think politics are of the world, something Christians should stay out of. “Since God created the institution of government, would He want His people to stay out of it? No. If Christians don’t ‘render to Caesar’ (Matt. 22:21) and don’t function as ‘salt’ and ‘light’ (Matt. 5:13-16) in the arena of government, then we disobey the commands of Christ and allow Satan to prevail by default.”  The sermon urges people to write blog posts, use Facebook and Twitter, comment on news stories, knock on doors, contact elected officials, and join the March for Marriage being organized by the National Organization for Marriage and its allies in Washington DC on March 26.

Action Step 4: Proclaim

This section urges people to tell those in the “homosexual lifestyle” that they do not have to remain “slaves to sin” but can pray away the gay.

Let’s stand along these poor misguided and lost people trapped in Satan’s snare. Let’s love them out of that sinful and destructive lifestyle! ... But let’s also exercise our rights as Christian citizens! Listen, we can make the difference. Together, Christians all across America can protect and preserve marriage for our children and our children’s children. Let’s stand for God’s plan for marriage because our future depends on it. And all of God’s people said: Amen!

Gays Out, Racists in at CPAC, Again

Last year we wrote about how CPAC allowed notorious white nationalists to speak on multiple panels but banned the gay conservative group GOProud. This year the CPAC organizers, who aren’t entirely oblivious to the 2012 election, are trying to emphasize diversity. There’s even a panel entitled, “Conservative Inclusion: Promoting the Freedom Message to all Americans,” which boasts a racially diverse lineup of conservative activists.

“Conservative inclusion” is a nice idea, but it doesn’t go very far at CPAC. For the second year in a row, the gay conservative group GOProud has been banned from the conference. So at best, “inclusion” at CPAC means “straights only.”

Even more telling is the roster of sponsors and exhibitors at CPAC. Most troubling is the inclusion of the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish, which is run by longtime white nationalist organizer Bob Vandervoort. The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights has reported extensively on his activities:

Vandervoort was at the center of white nationalist activity during his time in Illinois. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. The group held events featuring numerous white nationalist figures. Vandervoort also made appearances at white nationalist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.

When CPAC and its organizers at the American Conservative Union were widely criticized last year for allowing Vandervoort and other white nationalists to speak on multiple panels, the conference organizers played dumb:

“This panel was not organized by the ACU,” CPAC spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller, ”and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization.”

There’s no such excuse this year. CPAC knew all too well about Vandervoort’s white nationalist background and yet they allowed his group to return. Apparently “conservative inclusion” means shunning gays while including racists.

The reality is that CPAC couldn’t open its doors to gay conservatives even if it wanted to. As Brian reported last week, the head of CPAC sponsor Accuracy In Media is not only pleased with the GOProud ban, he wants to see a panel at the conference on “the dangers of the homosexual movement and why some of its members seem prone to violence, terror, and treason.”

Another important sponsor is the Family Research Council, which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group. The group’s top policy expert, Peter Sprigg, explicitly supports the criminalization of homosexuality, and readers of this blog are familiar with FRC’s aggressive and dehumanizing advocacy against gays and lesbians. There is no compromising on gays with extremists like these.

As we’ve reported, GOProud isn’t the only group banned this year. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, co-founders of the Freedom Defense Initiative, are vicious Islamophobes and conspiracy theorists. Had CPAC banned them for spreading lies and fomenting hate against Muslims, it would be a sign of progress. But Geller and Spencer were really banned for having made the mistake of extending their Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theory to include two American Conservative Union board members, Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist.

In past years, ACU has happily given Geller and company a platform to bash Muslims. And Spencer, who runs the blog “Jihad Watch,” overwhelmingly won this year’s CPAC People’s Choice Blogger Award. But their paranoid rantings hit too close to home this year, so CPAC pulled the plug. Even “conservative inclusion” has its limits.

Rep. Hultgren: Unlike 'Dangerous' Sex-Ed, Abstinence-Only Programs Have 'Incredible Success Records'

Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) appeared on Washington Watch yesterday with Family Research Council Tony Perkins to discuss his legislation that “would spend $110 million a year for the next five years on grants to abstinence programs around the country,” funding that would have otherwise gone towards comprehensive sexual education. He claimed that while the Obama administration backs “very dangerous and experimental education programs,” programs pushing abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum have “incredible success records.”

Far from having “incredible success records,” abstinence programs have a history of failure. Reports have consistently found that there is no evidence to support the claim that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs reduce premarital sex or teen pregnancy; on the other hand, studies show that comprehensive sex-ed decreases the rate of teen pregnancy and STDs.

Perkins: What you’re doing is you’re redirecting money from a program that has negative consequences and redirecting some of it into one that has proven to have positive outcomes.

Hultgren: That’s right, yes. Like you said, this has changed dramatically under President Obama and his administration and Kathleen Sebelius. Basically they see it as a slush fund that they can use however they want to and they are putting it into some very dangerous and experimental education programs for younger and younger children. What this would do is money that is already there would put it into programs that we know work. You look at the track record for abstinence education, incredible success records, kids really want to make good choices and if we give them good information it will just help them make these good choices.

FRC: No Right to Have Sex Outside of Marriage, Society Should 'Punish It'

Family Research Council senior fellow Pat Fagan appeared alongside Tony Perkins, the head of FRC, on Washington Watch yesterday to discuss his article which claims that Eisenstadt v. Baird, the 1972 case that overturned a Massachusetts law banning the distribution of contraceptives to unmarried people, may rank “as the single most destructive decision in the history of the Court.”

Fagan argued that the Supreme Court decision was wrong because it effectively meant that “single people have the right to engage in sexual intercourse.” “Society never gave young people that right, functioning societies don’t do that, they stop it, they punish it, they corral people, they shame people, they do whatever,” Fagan said.

The court decided that single people have the right to contraceptives. What’s that got to do with marriage? Everything, because what the Supreme Court essentially said is single people have the right to engage in sexual intercourse. Well, societies have always forbidden that, there were laws against it. Now sure, single people are inclined to push the fences and jump over them, particularly if they are in love with each other and going onto marriage, but they always knew they were doing wrong. In this case the Supreme Court said, take those fences away they can do whatever they like, and they didn’t address at all what status children had, what status the commons had, by commons I mean the rest of the United States, have they got any standing in this case? They just said no, singles have the right to contraceptives we mean singles have the right to have sex outside of marriage. Brushing aside millennia, thousands and thousands of years of wisdom, tradition, culture and setting in motion what we have.



It’s not the contraception, everybody thinks it’s about contraception, but what this court case said was young people have the right to engage in sex outside of marriage. Society never gave young people that right, functioning societies don’t do that, they stop it, they punish it, they corral people, they shame people, they do whatever. The institution for the expression of sexuality is marriage and all societies always shepherded young people there, what the Supreme Court said was forget that shepherding, you can’t block that, that’s not to be done.

FRC's Peter Sprigg Suggests Kidnapping Laws Shouldn't Protect Gay Parents

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins hosted senior fellow Peter Sprigg on Washington Watch yesterday to discuss the sentencing of pastor Kenneth Miller for aiding Lisa Miller (no relation), who kidnapped her daughter, Isabella Miller-Jenkins. Perkins recently praised Kenneth Miller’s “courage” in aiding the kidnapping scheme.

Lisa Miller disobeyed a court decision that gave Isabella’s other mother, her former partner Janet Jenkins, visitation rights and, as a result, the courts eventually transferred custody to Jenkins. Miller then fled the country with Isabella to a Mennonite compound in Central America.

Sprigg told Perkins that Jenkins, who was in a civil union with Miller at the time of Isabella’s birth, should not be considered Isabella’s parent because she is not biologically related and therefore shouldn’t be protected by the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. According to Sprigg, paternity and kidnapping laws should only apply to heterosexual couples.

In normal marriage between a man and a woman the presumption of paternity was a presumption of something that is almost always true. But the Vermont court, which has allowed these civil unions, granted them all the legal rights of marriage, has converted that into a presumption of parentage whereby you are presuming something that cannot be true, something that is biologically impossible. That just shows how in the same-sex marriage debate we are flipping logic on its head.

And another aspect of this is that the law that Lisa ran afoul of and that Kenneth Miller, this pastor, ran afoul of is something called the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. It was designed again normally for the context of heterosexual marriages that break up, where there is a divorce and perhaps a custody battle between two parents who are both the biological parents — the biological mother and the biological father — who have divorced each other and it’s designed to prevent someone from taking a child and crossing state lines to another jurisdiction in order to get a more favorable court ruling. So the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act was designed to protect the rights of a biological parent so that they cannot have their rights violated by the other biological parent. But here you have the rights of the biological parent being violated by someone who is not the biological parent at all. So again, the original purposes of these laws are being turned on their head in this case.

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/7/13

False Inconsistency: Jerry Boykin, VAWA, and Women in Combat

The Family Research Council's Jerry Boykin was the guest on "WallBuilders Live" today for a discussion of the Pentagon's recent decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat.  Not surprisingly, Boykin opposes the idea, wondering why the Obama Administration would approve this change even as Congress was working to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, claiming "there is such an inconsistency here":

The Congress, the Senate at least, passed the Violence Against Women Act which was designed to protect our women. Now it had some flaws in it, so we don't support it ... but it's violence against women, protect our women.

Now with this decision by Leon Panetta and the President, what we're doing is we're saying 'now you ladies, fix your bayonets, we're going to send you right into hand-to-hand combat with these men that are physically more capable than you in most cases and they're going to try to kill you.'  There is such an inconsistency here.

Perkins: LGBT-Inclusive Schools Will Have 'Teenage Boys Invading Girls' Locker Rooms'

Conservative activists are in an uproar over a new transgender-inclusive policy in Massachusetts [PDF] designed to prevent gender identity-discrimination in schools. Today, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council added his voice, arguing that Massachusetts schools will soon see “teenage boys invading girls’ locker rooms.” He blamed the new policy on the 2004 legalization of same-sex marriage in the state, which he said led to “the fundamental altering of society,” and called on parents “to protect your kids from a fate like Massachusetts’s” by opposing marriage equality.

If there's one subject giving Massachusetts schools trouble, it's anatomy! Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. In kindergarten classes, learning about genders won't be the problem--but ignoring them might be! Under a new statewide directive, Massachusetts officials are rolling out the welcome mat to cross-dressing students by banning everything from gender-based sports teams to sex-specific bathrooms. And anyone who doesn't like it had better keep quiet--or else. If a student so much as refers to a peer by their biological sex, it's "grounds for discipline." And people wonder why families are pulling their children out of public school! Maybe, you've fallen for the lie that same-sex marriage won't affect you. Well, it may take teenage boys invading girls' locker rooms to prove it. Redefining marriage is about a lot more than two people who love each other. This is about the fundamental altering of society. If you want to protect your kids from a fate like Massachusetts's, it starts by defending marriage now.

Tony Perkins: 'Totalitarian Homosexual Lobby' Out to Destroy Religious Freedom with ENDA

While the Supreme Court prepares to take up cases on marriage equality, the Family Research Council’s latest mailing [PDF] takes on ENDA – the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act.  “Like a B-grade 1950’s horror-movie, ENDA is coming back from the dead,” warns FRC President Tony Perkins. Perkins says President Obama is working with the “totalitarian homosexual lobby” to sneak ENDA into law, and if that happens, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.” The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer sounded a similar alarm in January.

“In fact,” says Perkins in his new letter, “under ENDA biblical morality becomes illegal.”

What ENDA would really do is simply extend existing protections against various forms of legal discrimination in the workplace to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The real point of the FRC letter is to raise money from people who think persecution of Christians in America is just around the corner, if not well under way:

“And no battle could be more urgently important than the battle against NEDA.  The rights of more than 60 million Americans – the right to live and share our faith and live according to biblical values – are literally at risk of being vaporized by a single vote of Congress or the stroke of the President’s pen.”

Polls show overwhelming public support for protecting gay and transgender people from discrimination on the job. But that doesn’t matter to FRC, which has a lot invested in convincing its supporters that LGBT equality is incompatible with religious freedom.  

Several years ago, FRC warned that a federal hate crimes law would be used to silence preachers.  Other religious right leaders said Christians would be tossed into jail for preaching against homosexuality. That legislation was signed into law in 2009; as Perkins himself makes clear, the freedom to trash-talk LGBT people has survived.

FRC's Tony Perkins: Democrats Aligned with 'Jewish Lobby,' 'Enjoy the Money' Coming from Jews

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, made an interesting observation on his radio show yesterday. Speaking about the confirmation of Chuck Hagel, Perkins mused about the ‘irony’ that Hagel, whom he considers to be anti-Israel, was backed by Democratic senators who are “mostly aligned with a lot of the Jewish lobby” and “enjoy the money coming from the Jewish community.” Hmmm, “Jewish lobby,” where have I heard that before?

Hagel has been savaged in recent weeks for having used the phrase in a 2006 interview. He has since apologized and said he should phrased his comments differently. In case it isn’t obvious, the ADL’s Abe Foxman explains the many problems with saying “Jewish lobby.”

Notwithstanding Hagel’s apology, Sen. Lindsey Graham grilled him about his use of the phrase during his confirmation hearing. FRC also cited Hagel’s use of “Jewish lobby” in its background document opposing his confirmation. Meanwhile over at the website of the American Family Association, which broadcasts Perkins’ show, David Limbaugh railed against Hagel’s “bigoted accusation” about the “Jewish lobby” and said he failed to provide a “satisfactory explanation for his disgraceful terminology – because there is none.”

“Bigoted” and “disgraceful” sounds about right, but don’t hold your breath waiting for conservatives to denounce Perkins’ comments:

But here’s the irony. Is that the Democratic Party and the Democratic senators that supported Hagel, in spite of the fact that he has a record that’s deplorable on Israel, it comes from Democratic senators who are mostly aligned with a lot of the Jewish lobby here in Washington and around the nation, enjoy the money coming from the Jewish community. The Jewish community tends to be liberal, not all, but a lot of it is, and it supports Democratic candidates. But yet the Democratic Party works against the benefit of Israel in many ways, and this is an example of it.

Perkins seems mystified as to why most American Jews support Democrats, but his right-hand man thinks he knows the reason. FRC’s Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin has argued that Hitler was “an extraordinarily off the scale leftist” but “many Jews in America, for example, can't identify with the Republican Party because they're called the party of the Right, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.”

This is the same Boykin who was rebuked by the ADL in 2003 and believes that the “Jews must be lead to Christ.” And this is the same FRC – a certified hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – that warned yesterday that Hagel's confirmation may bring God's judgment on America. So I guess we shouldn't be suprised.

 

Tony Perkins: Liberal 'Misinformation' Corrupting Schools

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins yesterday on his radio program said that Right Wing Watch and progressive organizations “make their living by lying” about topics such as the separation of church and state and have had devastating consequences.

Perkins brought up a case about a student who was allegedly disciplined for praying over his meal during lunch, saying that it represented the result of “the misinformation that is put out there by these liberal groups.”

While Perkins didn’t name anyone in particular, it sounded remarkably similar to the story of Raymond Raines, the boy who in the 1990s claimed that he was disciplined by the school for praying over his meal at lunch time, which provoked the ire of organizations such as the FRC.

Of course, in turned out to be a complete myth: Raines was disciplined for fighting in the cafeteria and the story about being confronted by a school official for praying was a fabrication.

But it is a myth Religious Right activists continue to repeat.

Perkins: When I was in office I took calls from parents and one parent had called me because their child had simply bowed their head at a lunch table in a public school to pray over their meal, silently, and one of the administrators came up and put their hand on them and said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, you come with me, you can’t do that in the school, that’s a violation of the separation of church and state.’ Now that was quickly corrected because that was so egregious in terms of that administrator’s interpretation, but that is the effect of a lot of the misinformation that is put out there by these liberal groups like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Right Wing Watch, and all of these groups that make their living by lying, that’s deceiving people and we have acquiesced to that.

We obviously don’t think it is unconstitutional for a student to pray over his or her lunch. What upsets Perkins is that we defend the freedoms of students against the demands of groups like the FRC that the government compel them to participate in organized, government-composed prayers. Which, it turns out, is the same position taken by the Southern Baptist Convention following the Supreme Court’s Engel v. Vitale decision [PDF].

Family Research Council Suggests Hagel Confirmation May Bring God's Judgment

When the U.S. Senate finally confirmed Chuck Hagel to head the Department of Defense yesterday, Religious Right leaders who actively campaigned and prayed against his nomination were sorely disappointed.

The Family Research Council’s prayer team today warned that Hagel, along with President Obama, have put America “on dangerous ground” as “those in power have forgotten God's covenant with Abraham: to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse her.”

Indeed, FRC suggests that Hagel’s confirmation may even bring about the judgment of God: “Students of Bible prophecy have said that amid America's declining American faith and morals, our support for Israel has slowed the advance of God's judgment since 2001. But each step we take farther away from Israel has repercussions with respect to that balance.”

Chuck Hagel Confirmed - Today, former Senator Chuck Hagel began his new job as Secretary of Defense.Senate Republicans had rightly criticized Hagel as unqualified based upon his historic disdain for Israel, support for the Palestinian cause, favor of negotiation with Hamas and Iran, lack of any managerial experience, and more, yet 18 Republicans chose not to use their cloture vote to prevent his confirmation. Four supported Hagel directly in the final vote: Thad Cochran (Miss.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Mike Johanns (Neb.) and Rand Paul (Ky.). With a President and Defense Secretary who have often shown hostility toward Israel and favor toward our mutual enemies, Bible believing Christians know the U.S. is on dangerous ground. Those in power have forgotten God's covenant with Abraham: to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse her. Christians must keep extra vigil, standing in the gap for Israel and America, that our leaders will keep faith with our historic friendship and alliance. Students of Bible prophecy have said that amid America's declining American faith and morals, our support for Israel has slowed the advance of God's judgment since 2001. But each step we take farther away from Israel has repercussions with respect to that balance.

May God's people, who understand God's severe warnings against nations that oppose His plan for Israel, pray, stand boldly and speak out to preserve our nation's commitment to God's covenant people and land! (Gen 12:3; Ps 137: all, Is 40:1-2; 59:15-16; 62:6; Zech 12:3-9; Eze 36:24, 35; 37:11-12, 21, 25; 38:8; Hos 3:4-5; Joel 3:1-2; Amos 9:15; Zech 2:12; 8:7-8; Lk 21:24; Rom 1:16; Eph 6:10 ff)

Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance also chided Hagel for allegedly supporting the disarmament of the US.

The confirmation of former-Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the next civilian head of the United States Military doesn't make American families feel safer, because we as a nation are more vulnerable under his leadership. Hagel does not have a sound understanding of the global threats facing America, nor does he have the discernment needed for a workable defense policy.

The Senate has failed to properly vet this candidate. As if his shaky, inconsistent committee hearing wasn't enough to show his lack of qualifications, we can also add his failure to submit critical documents. Motives follow money, and Hagel's refusal to submit financial documents, as well as his omission of funding sources, reiterates his real motives.

Our national security interests stand at a threatening juncture. Hagel's record shows his lack of knowledge when it comes to nuclear disarmament, and his vision for how to deal with these issues is dangerous to American families. While in the Senate, he voted to adopt Global Zero and reconfirmed his opinion by saying, "How can we preach to other countries that you can't have nuclear weapons but we can and our allies can?" Countries like North Korea and Iran are on the verge of nuclear power; it's naive to put false hope in the fact that anti-American countries would cease their pursuit of nuclear capability if we disarm ourselves.

By confirming Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, the Senate has catered, once again, to the president's wants and overlooked the needs of the American people.

Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families and the Emergency Committee for Israel, who earlier claimed that Hagel will “invite acts of aggression and terrorism” against the US, said he can no longer trust Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) after he voted in favor of Hagel’s confirmation.

Sadly, the Senate voted yesterday 58-to-41 to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. I say sadly because I never thought I would see the day when a nominee for Secretary of Defense endorsed by Louis Farrakhan would be confirmed! But that day has arrived.

Every Senate Democrat voted for Hagel. They were joined by four Republicans -- Thad Cochran (MS), Mike Johanns (NE), Rand Paul (KY) and Richard Shelby (AL). All four votes are depressing, but I want to comment on Senator Paul's vote.

When Rand Paul ran for the Senate three years ago, there were concerns about his views on Israel and the Middle East. He has tried to dispel the doubts.

In January, Paul traveled to Israel and said, "I came here to show that I am supportive of the relationship between Israel and America." He later said, "I think we should … announce to the world … that any attack on Israel will be treated as an attack on the United States." That is why his vote for Hagel yesterday was so disappointing.

And it is disappointing for another reason too. Paul explained his vote for Hagel by saying, "The president gets to choose political appointees." That's true to a point, but Paul is under no obligation to vote for them.

Rand Paul's claim to conservative support is that he is a champion of constitutional government. The Founding Fathers could have easily said that the president gets to appoint his cabinet and left it at that. But after a protracted debate, they decided that the president's nominees must receive the consent of the Senate.

Paul's explanation implies he is ignoring the clear words of the Constitution in exchange for a formulation that suggests presidential appointments are essentially guaranteed. That doesn't pass the straight face test.

I don't see how anyone who claims to support a strong national defense, who wants to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons and who believes that Israel is our best ally could vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. If Rand Paul wants to be a serious contender for the Republican nomination in 2016, he has some explaining to do.

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/22/13

  • Even though studies keep proving that morning-after pills don’t cause abortion, Religious Right groups will continue to baselessly argue otherwise. 
  • Family Research Council invites you to the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-gay Marriage March.
  • Yet another tough break for professional vote-suppressor Hans von Spakovsky. 
  • Rick Warren is very, very, very sad that Tim Tebow pulled out of his appearance at Robert Jeffress’ megachurch. 

'Religious Liberty' Panelist: Compromise is of the Devil

The Family Research Council hosted a panel discussion Wednesday on religious liberty in America.  If you have paid any attention at all to the frantic warnings from FRC’s Tony Perkins that tyranny is on the march, you could have guessed what was coming.  The overall theme of the conversation was that the HHS mandate for insurance coverage of contraception is a dire threat to religious freedom in America.  So are the advance of marriage equality and laws against anti-gay discrimination – or the “sexual liberty agenda.”

The panel featured three lawyers: Adele Keim of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Kellie Fiedorek of the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund) and Ken Klukowski of the Family Research Council.

Keim talked about Becket’s client Hobby Lobby, which is suing the Obama administration over the contraception mandate.  Or as Keim insisted on calling it, the contraception/abortifacient mandate. Keim argued that business owners are no less deserving of religious accommodation than churches or religiously affiliated nonprofits, saying “Americans do not lose their First Amendment rights when they go to work.” Of course by the standard she was invoking, many Americans could find their own rights and access to health care dictated by the religious beliefs of their employer.

The ADF’s Fiedorek focused on the “great peril” to religious liberty posed by the “agenda to expand sexual liberty and redefine marriage.”   She said in the conflict between sexual liberty and religious liberty, "people of faith" are "the ones being marginalized." She recounted a litany of such “persecution,” including now-familiar stories of a New Mexico photographer and a Colorado baker who were penalized under state anti-discrimination laws when they declined to serve same-sex couples celebrating commitment ceremonies.  Fiedorek compared cases in which businesses are required not to discriminate against gay couples to requiring an African American photographer to take pictures at a KKK event or a Jewish baker to create a cake decorated with a swastika.  She called it “particularly atrocious” that Catholic social service agencies were being required to abide by anti-discrimination ordinances – and were being “forced” to close.  She began and closed her presentation with quotes from the movie Chariots of Fire, ending with one that includes, “Don’t compromise. Compromise is a language of the devil.”

Klukowski talked about the role of religious freedom in the settling of America and the founding of the U.S.  And he recycled ridiculous religious right charges that the Obama administration believes not in freedom of religion but in the narrower “freedom of worship,” a notion that he said would be “profoundly disturbing” to the founding fathers.

The most interesting question from the audience focused on implications of the Bob Jones University case, and on whether the racialist Christian Identity movement could make the same religious liberty claims the lawyers were defending.  Why, the questioner asked, couldn’t the “conscience” rights the lawyers wanted for business owners not be claimed by a Christian Identity-affiliated business owner to deny doing business with African American people or interracial couples?

After a moment of awkward silence, Klukowski said that in the Bob Jones case, the Supreme Court had said the university could continue its racially discriminatory policies, but that its tax exemption was a benefit conferred by the government and could therefore be removed, especially in light of the post-civil war constitutional amendments addressing racial discrimination.  Klukowski did not directly address whether and how that principle could, would, or should apply to the current conversation about anti-gay discrimination.  He gave a confusing statement about what he said was the right of a business owner to throw someone out of their store for wearing a certain T-shirt or carrying a Bible.  The First Amendment, he says, allows people to be jerks in their private lives, but it was not clear whether he meant that the relationship between a business and its customers was “purely private” or falls into the category of public accommodation.

FRC Urges Congress to 'Pressure the Supreme Court' on Marriage Cases

The Family Research Council has launched what it is describing as “an ambitious, no-holds-barred campaign to keep marriage as between one man and one woman and preserve the American family.”  FRC is worried about two cases before the Supreme Court that will have “a lasting impact on the very soul of our nation” -- one on California’s Prop 8 and one on the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 

In a direct-mail piece dated on Valentine’s Day, FRC President Tony Perkins says it is important to get members of Congress “to pressure the Supreme Court to come down on the right side of marriage.” Recipients of the letter are encouraged to sign petitions to their representative and senators to urge them to “PRESSURE THE SUPREME COURT TO RULE IN FAVOR OF TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE!”

The text of the petition:

[Representative/Senator], as one of your constituents, I ask that you please use your influence to urge the Supreme Court to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act and state statutes banning same-sex “marriage.” The covenant marriage relationship between one man and one woman is a universally accepted social tradition that transcends all cultures and predates any religion. It is essential for procreation and the stability of society. I respectfully request that you do all in your power to urge the Court to uphold traditional marriage. Thank you for your service to our country.

The letter also recycles some of the same false claims that FRC and its allies made about federal hate crimes legislation, suggesting the advance of marriage equality will lead to the federal government dictating what pastors can preach about homosexuality or prosecuting those who preach against same-sex marriage.  Perkins also claims – falsely  – that the “vast majority of Americans do not want to see marriage redefined” and “the vast majority of voters are against the legitimization of same-sex ‘marriage.’” Actually, a majority of Americans supports marriage equality, according to recent polls by Gallup, Wall Street Journal/NBC, Washington Post/ABC, and CBS News.

But what difference do facts make to Tony Perkins? He says that if the Supreme Court were to support marriage equality, it would be “siding with an extreme minority and defying the will of the majority.” That’s why, he says, “the justices need to know up front that this majority will be anything but ‘silent.’”

FRC’s new “Marriage Preservation Initiative” is, of course, not the first effort to recognize, in Perkins’ words, that, “[d]espite the fact that Supreme Court justices have a reputation for being independent, they, too, are political and can be influenced by public pressure.” Back in 2010, after a district court ruling that Prop 8 was unconstitutional, the late Chuck Colson launched his own campaign to convince the justices that a pro-marriage-equality ruling would lead to “cultural Armageddon.”

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