Family Research Council

Right Wing Leftovers - 9/27/12

  • Matt Barber says "people naturally bristle when they think about what would it take actually consummate a so-called same-sex marriage between a man and a man. People naturally have a revulsion of this abnormal, disordered sexual behavior."
  • The Colorado Personhood Coalition has filed a challenge to the determination that it did not gather enough valid signatures to have a personhood amendment put on the ballot for the third time.
  • FRC issues its latest prayer targets.
  • Bryan Fischer said he wiil be speaking at the civil disobedience rally outside the White House this weekend.
  • Finally, Peter LaBarbera is outraged that Paul Ryan said there is no need to reinstate DADT, saying "A nation in which sexual perversion is a 'non-issue' is a nation in precipitous moral decline. Now more than ever, America needs bold statesmen who courageously lead based on unswerving, godly principles — rather than those who adjust their positions according to polls and political calculations."

Blackwell: Obama and All Who Oppose the FRC are Building a 'Totalitarian State'

Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council yesterday spoke to VCY America’s Crosstalk where he, like FRC president Tony Perkins, again tried to link both the Obama administration and the Southern Poverty Law Center to the tragic office shooting last month. But that wasn’t the only thing Blackwell told host Jim Schneider, as he also warned that all those who oppose the FRC and its mission are trying to form a “totalitarian state” and “destroy the family.”

Blackwell: We at the Family Research Council, we are a conservative Christian organization, we have answered the call, it’s a biblical call, in Psalms 11:3 the question is asked, if the foundation be destroyed what shall the righteous do? As an organization we have advanced these biblical truths, we defended them and as a consequence we have become despised by those who would recreate this country into something that its founders never expected it to be, and that is a big welfare state, a totalitarian state or an authoritarian state. In those models and the state-craft of those national models they’ve had to chase God and faith out of the public square and they’ve had to destroy the family as the basic unit of governance because they replace it with an all-powerful state.

The FRC senior fellow even agreed with a warning that the SPLC may start labeling churches throughout America as hate groups, based on the false claim that opposition to same-sex marriage was the reason the FRC received the designation, and suggested that President Obama and his allies are setting up the conditions for a “totalitarian” regime.

Schneider: If Family Research Council has been labeled as a hate group because of the position that you’ve taken on traditional marriage, that we have known since the beginning of this country, that thirty-some states have certified in their own constitutions, if FRC has been labeled as a hate group, aren’t we just a step away from our individual churches all across this nation being on this same hate list?

Blackwell: Oh absolutely. That’s why I started out by saying if you look at the various models of governance throughout human history we have shown in terms of a democratic Republic driven by constitutional governance that limits the reach and intrusion of government and puts an emphasis on individual liberty and is based on the fact that there is a moral foundation of this country, if you can compare that to totalitarian states, authoritarian states, big welfare states, there are a couple things that have had to happen for these states to consolidate power and use and misuse their power. They’ve had to destroy or weaken the family and they’ve had to run God and faith out of the public square, or at minimum they have had to silence the church. I don’t think it’s a step to far to say that this is a President that has carried out that strategy in the advancement of the reintroduction of the welfare state.

Boykin: US Must 'Identify the Enemy as the Theology of Islam' or 'We Cannot be Victorious'

Family Research Council Vice President Jerry Boykin appeared on Janet Parshall’s radio show In the Market yesterday to do—what else?—whip up anti-Muslim animosity and spew bizarre conspiracy theories. He told Parshall that “Islam is not a religion” but a “totalitarian way of life” since, apparently, only “16 percent of Islam is a religion.” Boykin said that people need to act just like the Founding Fathers did in speaking up against the Muslim faith, citing Parshall, End Times fanatic Joel Rosenberg and others as courageous people who are channeling the Founders by attacking Islam and standing up to the “politically correct” elites!

Boykin: Islam is not a religion, now it has a religious component, 16 percent of Islam is religion, but the rest of it is a legal system, a geopolitical system, a military system, a financial system, it’s a totalitarian way of life and they say that. But our media and our leadership reject what they say about Islam so it’s incredible that we are just so politically correct and so afraid of these people. Where are the men of courage like the Founding Fathers that knew if they didn’t succeed they were going to be executed as being traitors, where are those kind of people today? Well you know where they are? They’re the Janet Parshall’s, they’re the Joel Rosenberg’s, they’re the people that are willing to stand up and speak openly about this stuff and take the ire of the media and critics.

Boykin also expressed his frustration that the Department of Defense will not “identify the enemy as the theology of Islam,” which Parshall said is just like trying to be “engaged in World War II without identifying the Nazis as the Nazis.”

Later, the former general later discussed the firestorm he caused in 2003 when he delivered speeches in uniform arguing that the US was at war against Islam and that Muslims worship an “idol.” He was reprimanded the following year by President Bush and found to have breached military regulations.

Always one to play the martyr-card, Boykin said he was simply attacked by the media for “my Christian faith” and “for boldly proclaiming that our real battle was not against the Taliban or the Al Qaeda but was a spiritual battle.” “When you expose Satan you must expect a reaction,” Boykin said, even alleging that his First Amendment rights were undermined. But while he told Parshall that he didn’t care what his critics said, Boykin actually apologized for his comments at the time.

Parshall: I shake my head, if you’re going to be even a passive student of history, how would we have ever engaged in World War II without identifying the Nazis as the Nazis? You’re military, teach us, how would you be able to defeat an enemy without rightfully identifying the enemy and it seems in this country we’re loath to identify the enemy.

Boykin: Sun Tzu, the great Chinese warrior and philosopher, said know your enemy and know yourself and you need not fear a thousand battles. I was so frustrated while I was in the Department of Defense because I kept trying to impress upon them that we have to identify the enemy as the theology of Islam and those people that are rabid adherents to the theology are the enemy. But no one would accept that and I was told to go sit in a corner and nobody wanted to hear it. Obviously now some are starting to get it; we cannot be victorious if we can’t identify the enemy.



Boykin: The worst period was 2003 when I was the front story on every news program and every newspaper for my Christian faith and for boldly proclaiming that our real battle was not against the Taliban or the Al Qaeda but was a spiritual battle and that certainly did not sit well. I also said that our real enemy in what we’re dealing with is Satan, you know when you expose Satan you must expect a reaction. So I took quite a beating for quite a while and I was devastated by it, I must tell you, the First Amendment that I protected for over three decades at that time, only to have the media turn on me, but you know what I’m a lot tougher now as a result of it and I don’t really care what they think because ultimately I answer to God and not to man.

Boykin Issues Warning About Muslim Brotherhood Infiltration and the Repeal of DADT

On Friday, Jerry Boykin appeared on WND Radio America where he warned host Greg Corombos that the Muslim Brotherhood's infiltration of our government is far beyond what anyone could ever imagine and that the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell will make it difficult for soldiers to bond and therefore unwilling to lay down their lives for one another.

Boykin warned that the Muslim Brotherhood had managed to infiltrate all levels of government, as well as the two main political parties and even the media, citing the criticism that Michele Bachmann received over her anti-Muslim witch hunt as evidence that things are really, really bad:

Our government is so infiltrated and the Muslim Brotherhood has so much influence in this country, it is incredible. If Americans only took the time to do the proper research and to find out just how deep this infiltration into our government is, it would just frighten them. I just gave a talk on this last weekend to some folks here in Washington and they walked away saying "why don't we know this?" And my answer is because it is not in the interest of the mainstream media's agenda to tell you.

We have within, let's just say the Department of Homeland Security, two of the top people there with very high level security clearance are known to be associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Republican and Democratic parties are both infiltrated. Every government entity, to include the Department of Defense have people that are know to have had associations with the Muslim Brotherhood. And you know Michele Bachmann recently raised the issue of Huma Abedin, which is Hillary Clinton's closest aide and her parents' association with the Muslim Brotherhood and of course she just got blistered by her own party as well as the mainstream media, so it's bad.

Boykin also addressed the anniversary of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell to warn that it would take a decade for the true impact of the decision to be felt because it will undermine military readiness by disrupting the bonding between soldiers and make them unwilling to risk their lives for their colleagues:

I think it's reducing the morale of the military.  I also think it's impacting on the readiness, and that readiness is something that unless you've been in the military - particularly in a combat organization - you don't understand it. The full effects of this will not be realized for a decade. But it is a camaraderie and a brotherhood is such that I am willing to risk my life for the guy next to me and that come with an absolute trust and a bonding that I am very concerned that the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal will disrupt that bonding, that brotherhood.

On Anniversary of the Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, Once-Hysterical Religious Right is Largely Silent

On this day last year, the military certified the repeal of the discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy after Congress overturned the policy. Religious Right activists warned that the military will suffer as a result, however, their ominous predictions failed to materialize as studies show that the new policy is working and benefiting the military.

Consequently, it wasn’t a surprise that anti-gay groups were largely quiet today on the anniversary as their warnings about an exodus of soldiers, a drop in enlistments and a return of the draft were clearly wrong.

Ron Crews of the Chaplains Alliance for Religious Liberty released a statement that the “radical sexual agenda in our military” is leading to significant “negative consequences,” citing one example of possible sexual harassment, same-sex ceremonies on bases and the supposed “silencing” of chaplains and DADT supporters:

No Cause for Celebration: DADT Repeal Immediately Creates Major Problems for Service Members

Approaching the first anniversary of the repeal of the so-called DADT policy, mounting evidence demonstrates the negative consequences of implementing a radical sexual agenda in our military.

“The American armed forces exist to defend our nation, not as social experiment lab in which our troops serve as human subjects,” said Chaplain (Colonel Retired) Ron Crews, ED of CALL. ”While many will ignore the negative impacts, or pretend that they don’t exist, threats to our troops’ freedom are mounting.”



“This list of problems and incidents that have arisen mere months after this administration imposed its will on the armed forces is disturbing to say the least, and we know it is only the beginning,” said Crews. “Compounding the outrage, service members are not free to speak out about these matters. This ensures that distrust in the ranks will increase and morale will decrease as the number of silenced victims grows.”

Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink also said in a post quoting Crews and calling for Congress to pass a GOP-backed bill banning same-sex ceremonies on military property, which they said would preserve religious freedom by barring all chaplains from performing such ceremonies:

Crew said that a military religious freedom act introduced in January, House Resolution 3828, would help military personnel greatly.

“It’s a right-of-conscience clause that would provide protection to military personnel, so they would not be affected by their opposition to the repeal,” he explained.

If passed, H.R. 3828 would protect members of the Armed Forces who hold religious or moral convictions concerning “the appropriate and inappropriate expression of human sexuality” from discrimination or punishment for their beliefs.

The bill seeks to protect chaplains from being ordered to perform any services or ceremonies contrary to their faith, while preventing any same-sex marriage ceremonies from being performed on military posts, in accordance with the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, who predicted an increase in rape if the policy was repealed, pivoted away from his group’s hysterical claims to instead focus on possible same-sex marriages in the military, a result of the “radical sexual and social agenda” pushed by “homosexual activists.” Sprigg also cited a survey from the Military Times, but didn’t mention that the same poll found negative views of the repeal among service members are declining.

He also dismissed claims that the military would have “completely collapsed in the first year after repeal” since “our service members are too professional to allow that to happen,” but FRC president Tony Perkins did in fact predict the reinstitution of the draft and that congressmen who voted for the repeal will have “blood on their hands.”

Since eight servicemembers reported harm from both circumstances (a homosexual “coming out” and one joining their unit), a total of 36 separate individuals reported such harm. The Palm Center chose to emphasize that this was only 4.5% of all those surveyed—failing to mention that it represents twenty percent of those who had a homosexual “come out” or join their unit. Twenty percent represents a significant risk of harm for the units involved—merely to advance the goals of the sexual revolution. Damage to good order, discipline, morale, and unit cohesion need not be universal to be unacceptable.

In the same Military Times survey, 8.4% of respondents said that repeal made them less likely to remain in the military, while only 3.3% said it would make them more likely to remain.

The Palm Center report almost completely ignores the most significant harms that have become immediately apparent in the first year since repeal. Predictions that the use of the military to advance a radical social/sexual agenda would place us on a “slippery slope” have clearly come true. Furthermore, assurances given in the November 2010 report of the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG) regarding the limited impact of repeal have not been fulfilled. Since the CRWG report was to a large extent the basis for the Congressional vote for repeal in December of 2010, it can even be argued that repeal was adopted under false pretenses.



Has America’s military completely collapsed in the first year after repeal? Of course not—our servicemembers are too professional to allow that to happen. The military is clearly being used, however, to advance a radical sexual and social agenda. The Palm Center cited one individual who stated that repeal “will help facilitate the slow cultural change towards greater acceptance” of homosexuality.

The purpose of our armed forces, however, is not to “facilitate cultural change.” It is to fight and win wars. By demanding that it do more than that, homosexual activists have undermined the single-minded focus that is necessary for military effectiveness.

 

Blackwell: Obama Administration 'An Active Participant' in Labeling Conservatives 'As Haters and Bigots'

As we noted the other day, Tony Perkins, Jerry Boykin, and Ken Blackwell, all of the Family Research Council, penned a joint op-ed in which they accused the Southern Poverty Law Center and others on the left of leading "an open assault upon those with whom they disagree," and blaming "this type of demonizing" for the shooting that recently took place at FRC headquarters.

Today, Blackwell discussed the topic with WNDTV/Radio America where he, like Tony Perkins before him, also placed the blame on President Obama and his administration for supposedly working with the SPLC "hand-in-glove" in the effort to demonize conservative Christians "as haters and bigots":

We think that there is more and more evidence that the Obama Justice Department and the Southern Poverty Law Center work hand-in-glove and that's disturbing because it's investing an enormous amount of power that is subject to misuse in an organization that has a political motive in attacking those of us who are strong in our pro-life ethic and strong in our support of traditional marriage. And a Justice Department that is supposed to be neutral is, by all measure, an active participant in this clash of visions; not only this clash of visions but in this mislabeling of people who are exercising their fundamental human rights and constitutionally guaranteed rights as haters and bigots.

...

Every day of his presidency, [President Obama] has done whatever it takes to undermine the Constitution and to empower a strong central or federal government which, by definition, has to be predicated on the weakening and the destruction of the family and chasing God and faith out of the public square or, at a minimum, silencing the church.

So I see this as an extension of that sort of mischief and that sort of wrongheadedness when he attacks those organizations that defend the pro-life ethic, defend traditional marriage, and defend strong families, and who advocate putting a harness on the growth and the reach of government.

Jerry Boykin Explains How Progressives Are Like Hitler, Stalin, Lenin and Marx

When Jerry Boykin was named Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council in July, some of us wondered if Tony Perkins would make him put away his conspiracy theories and act – in public at least – like a somewhat reasonable person. The answer is no. 

Speaking during the “Religious Hostility in America” panel at the Values Voter Summit, Boykin riffed on some of his favorite conspiracy theories. For instance:
  • “Adolf Hitler was a progressive” – previously
  • “America is moving rapidly to Marxism under the influence of these people who call themselves progressives” – previously
  • the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center “are following, to the letter, the Marxist model” – previously 
Boykin argued that progressives are attacking him, not because of his bigoted attacks on gays, Muslims, and others, but because of his Christian faith. Going further, he said that progressives, just like Marx, Stalin, Lenin, and Hitler, are leading a Marxist attack on Christianity so that God can be replaced with government.
 
Boykin’s analysis, if you can call it that, doesn’t seem to be grounded in any real understanding of the various ideologies, quotes and terms he throws around. From his right-wing fundamentalist perspective, Hitler may as well be Marx, a liberal atheist may as well be an Islamist, President Obama may as well be Mohammed Morsi, and a Christian who doesn’t agree with him may as well be a secular Jew.
 
 

 

If FRC Wants Civility, it Can Start by Getting its Own House in Order

Last week, Peter wrote a post wondering if Family Research Council president Tony Perkins might just be "the most disingenuous Person on the Planet" for his on-going efforts to exploit the recent shooting at FRC headquarters for political gain by accusing those who criticize the bigotry of his organization of inciting violence against him, his staff, and those who share their views.

Today Perkins proves that point yet again as he has joined Ken Blackwell and Jerry Boykin in penning a joint op-ed published by Fox News in which they blame the Southern Poverty Law Center for a "shooting that could have been perhaps the deadliest act of domestic terrorism ever driven exclusively by a social issue":

The past month highlighted issues in America’s culture war, culminating in a shooting that could have been perhaps the deadliest act of domestic terrorism ever driven exclusively by a social issue. Several related episodes showcase the nexus between these social controversies and economic prosperity.

...

This war of words launched by the SPLC as cover for its allied organizations on the left has led to an open assault upon those with whom they disagree. This type of demonizing must stop.

FRC’s belief in marriage has prevailed in 32 states where the voters have spoken, is the official position of the Republican Party, and until three months ago was Mr. Obama’s position. If the religious foundation of our convictions makes us a “hate group,” then every other Christian ministry or historically orthodox church could be likewise designated.

SPLC’s tactics are intended to intimidate and ultimately silence. Nothing could be more threatening to the future of our republic.

Keep in mind that all three of these men work at FRC alongside people who want to export gays and criminalize homosexuality, while Perkins himself says gays are intolerant, hateful, and vile pawns of the Devil and calls his enemies "cultural terrorists," whereas Blackwell compares homosexuality to kleptomania and bestiality, and Boykin seemingly spends the majority of his time spreading conspiracy theories and demonizing Muslims.

So it is a little ironic that they would end their op-ed by calling for contentious social issues to be debated "with civility" and for all involved to "eschew name-calling and marginalization."

Maybe they ought to start by taking their own advice.

Sex, Lies, and Bloodlust: What the Values Voter Summit Tells us About the Religious Right and the Republican Party

During this past weekend’s Values Voter Summit, the annual family reunion of the far right, RWW posted many memorable video highlights. What does it all tell us about the Religious Right and today’s Republican Party? First are foremost, Republican leaders are unwilling to distance themselves from the far-right fringes of their base, especially in an election year in which conservative evangelical voters are not tremendously excited about Mitt Romney. Romney took a pass this year, and it’s not hard to understand why. Last year, organizers maliciously put him on stage right before the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who had ridiculed Romney’s Mormonism. A supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry denounced Mormonism as a cult, and the flap over Romney’s faith was the dominant story coming out of the gathering. It was much safer to let Paul Ryan represent the ticket this year, and to have other speakers like Rick Santorum and Rick Scarborough ensure evangelicals that voting for Romney was in fact a good thing. Romney did send a tepidly-received video, which seemed almost an afterthought. What is motivating these activists is not enthusiasm for Romney but their hostility toward the Obama administration.

Paul Ryan at Summit that Makes Mockery of Diplomacy and Terrorism

Michelle Bachmann, speaking at the Values Voter Summit this morning, quickly one-upped Mitt Romney in pinning blame on President Obama for the violent protests in Libya and Egypt and deaths of four Americans in Libya. She accused Obama of appeasing the Muslim Brotherhood and opening our borders to terrorists. Not long after, Paul Ryan also attacked Obama over foreign policy: 

Amid all these threats and dangers, what we do not see is steady, consistent American leadership. In the days ahead, and in the years ahead, American foreign policy needs moral clarity and firmness of purpose. Only by the confident exercise of American influence are evil and violence overcome.
But here’s the thing. Ryan and Bachmann are speaking at a Religious Right conference that is making a mockery of diplomacy and even the threat of terrorism. Consider the following:
  • the video that sparked the unrest in Egypt and Libya was created and promoted by anti-Muslim activists who have worked with backers of Bachmann’s effort to purge the U.S. government of Muslim Americans and key players in the effort to block the so-called Ground Zero mosque (e.g. ACT! for America and the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission)
  • in July, misinformation promoted by Bachmann and two upcoming speakers at the Values Voter Summit, Frank Gaffney and Jerry Boykin, sparked aggressive protests against American diplomats in Egypt, including Secretary Clinton, whose motorcade was pelted by protestors – Boykin and Gaffney have been the leading forces behind Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslim Americans in the U.S. government
Taken together, this suggests more than a lack of seriousness. It suggests that many Religious Right activists are far more interested in fighting a holy war than they are with diplomacy, peace or religious freedom. Unfortunately for the rest of us, we have the live in the same world as them.
 
The fake terrorist I referred to above is identified on the schedule as Kamal Saleem, but his real name is Khodor Shami. He claims that he was a Muslim Brotherhood operative who “came to the United States of America…to destroy this country” and crossed the Canadian border and “brought weapon caches right through cities.” He also claims to have “completed his first bloody terror mission into Israel for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) at the age of seven.”
 
Saleem is widely known to be a fraud. Yet he’s being presented by the Family Research Council as the real deal and appears next to Ryan on the featured speakers page, with “former terrorist” under his name. Here’s one of his promotional videos:
 

Speaking at Values Voter Summit, Paul Ryan Gives Stamp of Approval to Bigotry

Washington, DC – People For the American Way today challenged the Romney campaign for its decision to send vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to speak today at the Values Voter Summit, an event organized by groups that regularly push false and demeaning smears about gays and lesbians, Muslim-Americans and others. These groups also push extreme anti-woman policies, including defending Rep. Todd Akin after his "legitimate rape" comments.

Earlier this week, a coalition of human rights groups, including People For the American Way Foundation, urged Ryan and other elected officials not to lend legitimacy to these groups, including the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, by speaking at the Summit.

More information on the FRC, AFA and other groups participating in the Summit can be found at RightWingWatch.org.

“By speaking at the Values Voter Summit, Paul Ryan sends a clear message: a Romney-Ryan administration has decided to embrace the entrenched bigotry advocated by the farthest of the far right,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way.

“The Family Research Council and the American Family Association are not mainstream groups,” continued Keegan. “The FRC frequently and falsely links homosexuality to pedophilia. The AFA has claimed that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust. Both have defended laws at home and abroad that criminalize homosexuality. These are not innocent differences of opinion; they are full-scale efforts to smear and denigrate LGBT Americans.

“What’s more, these groups back extreme anti-woman policies, and were among the first to jump to the defense of Rep. Todd Akin’s outrageous 'legitimate rape' comments. They also promote hostility toward Muslim-Americans, Mormons and other religious minorities. They advocate for an America that discriminates and excludes, and are trying their best to stop the tolerance and open-mindedness that Americans of both parties support. That’s a troubling message for a presidential campaign to embrace.”

###

Is Tony Perkins the Most Disingenuous Person on the Planet?

Well, in a world that includes Paul Ryan, maybe not.  But Perkins ensured his standing near the top of the list with his performance at the National Press Club on Wednesday.  Perkins heads an organization that excels in the kind of incendiary rhetoric he denounced from the podium.   I kept thinking about Bill Clinton’s recent characterization of Ryan: “It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.”
 
Perkins heads the Family Research Council, one of the Religious Right organizations that has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for a long record of smearing LGBT people with false and denigrating rhetoric.  Perkins used his press club appearance to repeat his charge that it was irresponsible for SPLC and other groups to describe his organization that way.  He suggested that FRC’s critics had created a climate that contributed to the recent violence at FRC headquarters in downtown D.C.
 
Let me say that it was genuinely sobering and moving to hear Perkins describe the incident, in which a security guard who may have saved the lives of many FRC employees was shot while disarming a gunman.  No one should be put in the position of being hunkered down in their office in fear for their life.  No one should be subjected to violence for participating in the public arena.  At the time of the shooting, progressive and gay rights leaders immediately and unequivocally denounced the attack on FRC.
 
It is true that irresponsible and hateful speech can poison our public discourse. But in today’s political climate, that speech is most likely to come from right-wing groups and their allies.  I remember feeling nervous as well as outraged when Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, two days after the 9-11 attacks, blamed People For the American Way by name, as well as feminists, liberals, and others.  And the right’s rhetorical extremism has become supercharged since the election of President Obama.
 
The First Amendment does protect hateful and irresponsible speech.  But being free to participate in the public arena does not meaning being exempt from criticism.  And calling hateful speech hateful is not the same as actually promoting hatred toward a particular group of Americans.  We have noted before how quickly Perkins moved to exploit the shooting in an effort to discredit his opponents and deflect attention from his own group’s extreme record and rhetoric:
 
You don't have to look far.  Last year Perkins called gay-rights activists vile, hateful, pawns of Satan.  In 2010, Perkins responded to President Obama's call for civility on the issue of homosexuality by slamming the president for criticizing Uganda's kill-the-gays bill. Perkins described the infamous law as "enhanced penalties for crimes related to homosexuality" and an effort to "uphold moral conduct."  FRC spokespeople have supported laws criminalizing homosexuality overseas and here in the U.S.  
 
What does it even mean for Perkins to make a public commitment to advocate with civility and compassion when his guests at the head table include rhetorical bomb-throwers like Bishop Harry Jackson, who has said that gay rights advocates are trying to recruit young people “just like during the times of Hitler” and that gay marriage is part of a “satanic plot” to destroy the family, and Rep. Louie Gohmert, who participated in the McCarthyite smear of Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and who says that President Obama “wants a dictatorship?” Or when he recently hired as his executive vice president retired Gen. Jerry Boykin, who has called for limits on American Muslims’ religious liberty and accuses Obama of using the health care reform law as cover to create a private army of Brownshirts?
 
Perkins also used his speech to promote this weekend’s Values Voter Summit, which is co-sponsored by organizations whose leaders regularly spout rhetoric that is often even more extreme than FRC’s -- about LGBT Americans, Muslims and other non-Christians, supporters of church-state separation and more.  Among the worst are the American Family Association, whose spokesman Bryan Fischer is such a torrent of bigotry that it cannot be easily condensed, and Liberty Counsel, whose Matt Barber purveys loathsome attacks on his political opponents, charging that satanic gay rights activists are “running interference for pedophiles” and charging that groups supporting church-state separation, like People For the American Way, are enemies of religious freedom.
 
Calling for civil discourse on the eve of the Values Voter Summit sounds like nothing more than a bad joke.  If Tony Perkins is at all sincere about his call for civility, this weekend would be a good time to start.
 

Who's Who at the Values Voter Summit 2012

This weekend Republican and conservative leaders, including GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, are set to address the Religious Right's Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.

Jews Must Be Converted: FRC Vice President

Bad news for Eric Cantor. He’s speaking tomorrow at the Values Voter Summit, but he’s apparently still going to hell. Let me explain.

Jerry Boykin is the Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council and Tony Perkins’ right-hand man. FRC is hosting the far right conference that the House Majority Leader, who is Jewish, plans to address tomorrow.

Boykin, much like Bryan Fischer, has a penchant for saying exactly what’s on his mind – things which others know not to say, even when they’re thinking the same thing. While you may know Boykin from his prolific Muslim-bashing, he also has some interesting things to say about Jews.

In a 2009 speech on “Why We Must Stand with Israel,” Boykin spoke out against pastors who say that “the Jews don’t have to come to know Jesus,” complaining that those pastors were “destroying the efforts” to lead Jews to Christ:

Last year, Boykin said that “one of the most disgusting things I hear is for people to call Hitler the extreme Right” because he was “an extraordinarily off the scale leftist.” He then lamented that “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."

Boykin also said that President Obama is creating a Hitler-sytle Brownshirt army to force Marxism on America. And in 2003, then-Lt. Gen. Boykin said that the U.S. was fighting a war “in the name of Jesus,” prompting a rebuke from the ADL and President Bush.

To be sure, the Religious Right hasn’t always had the best relations with American Jews. Jerry Falwell sparked a controversy in 1980 when he said that God “does not hear the prayers of unredeemed Gentiles or Jews.” He was speaking at a press conference in defense of the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, who had proclaimed that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.”

More recently, however, Religious Right leaders have been careful to stress Judeo-Christian values and avoid explicit attacks. Boykin, however, doesn’t have any use for such niceties.

Yet Boykin was able to meet recently with Mitt Romney, and he has three speaking slots during the conference. He’s even leading a panel on Israel with his good friend Kamal Saleem. Saleem, who is considered to be a fraud, describes himself as a former terrorist who “completed his first bloody terror mission into Israel for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) at the age of seven.”

All of this makes me wonder if Cantor’s folks did their homework before agreeing to speak tomorrow. Perhaps something will come up, and he’ll have to decline FRC’s invitation, much like Ann Romney and Cardinal Dolan have done. We’ll find out tomorrow.

 

Ann Romney Booked for Gay-Bashing Conference?

[Update 9-12-12: Ann Romney Joins Cardinal Dolan In Declining Values Voter Summit Invitation]

Ann Romney, the person tasked with humanizing her husband Mitt, is apparently scheduled to address a conference that dehumanizes others. I’m talking about the Values Voter Summit, which is hosted and sponsored by two Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate groups – the Family Research Council and American Family Association.

The National Journal Daybook and Values Voter Summit website both list Ann Romney on the schedule:
 
 
 
Notably absent from the list is Cardinal Timothy Dolan, whose spokesperson pointedly declined FRC’s invitation. Yet there Ann Romney is.
 
It’s an odd move by the Romney campaign. They’ve previously deployed her to show the softer side of Mitt. Now they’re sending her to stand on stage with a man who paid $83,000 to use David Duke’s mailing list and addressed a white supremacist group while in public office. The same person – Tony Perkins – also praised a law in Uganda to execute gays and warned senators they would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands” if they repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
 
The Romney campaign must have its reasons, but it sure seems like an odd way to deploy Ann Romney. They already have Paul Ryan scheduled to address the conference. Do they really need two headliners reaching out to the Bachmann-Akin wing of the party? Besides, just last week Ann Romney refused to answer questions about same-sex marriage and contraception, dismissing them as distractions "from what the real voting issue is going to be."
 
For weeks, the Values Voter Summit website listed Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as invited speakers. When Ryan was added to the ticket in August, the Family Research Council blasted out an email confirming Ryan’s appearance. No one really expected Mitt Romney to show for the event – too radical, too close to the election. That’s why, when the conference schedule was recently posted, it was a shock to see not only “Romney” on the lineup, but Ann Romney.
 
Ryan and Ann Romney, if she appears, will be speaking on stage with Perkins in a lineup that includes Kirk Cameron and Michele Bachmann. They’ll be kicking off a conference that features a who’s who of Todd Akin backers (e.g. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Steve King) and anti-Muslim McCarthyites (e.g. Frank Gaffney and Jerry Boykin). And, of course, there will be gay-bashers – featured speakers like Perkins and Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who recently defended Malawi’s law criminalizing homosexuality. They would push for the same thing here in America if they thought they could pull it off. In fact, FRC’s Peter Sprigg and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer have already done so.
 
These aren’t conservative people pushing conservative values and policies – this is the radical right. America, and the Romney campaign in all likelihood, would be better served if Romney and Ryan followed Dolan’s example and skipped the conference. Or they can go cast their lot with the extremists with the national media looking on. We’ll see what their priorities are this Friday morning.

 

Family Research Council Says Starbucks' Support for Marriage Equality Led to Billions in Losses

In a radio bulletin that either reveals a stunning level of ignorance or sheer insanity, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said that the National Organization for Marriage’s campaign to boycott Starbucks over its stance on gay rights called “Dump Starbucks”—which so far has collected fewer than 50,000 signers—is responsible for a $10 billion reduction in market capitalization. “Siding with radical homosexuals has its price in this country,” Perkins said. “And in Starbucks case, the cost is about ten billion dollars.”

That’s right, the FRC chief says that the company’s decision to endorse marriage equality in its home state led to its recent troubles, while providing no evidence as to how NOM and its fewer than 50,000 fellow boycotters contributed to Starbucks’ drop in stock value.

It didn’t take long for Starbucks to lose bucks over marriage. Hello, I’m Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington. In January, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said endorsing same-sex marriage would be good for business. Boy was he wrong! Siding with radical homosexuals has its price in this country. And in Starbucks case, the cost is about ten billion dollars. That’s how much the coffee giant’s lost in stock value since the campaign to Dump Starbucks got underway. In the last eight months, the company's missed sales projections and watched stocks dive from $61 to $48, for a loss of more than $10.2 billion. How many companies will fall for the lie that endorsing same-sex marriage will help business? J.C. Penney’s tried it. Target’s tried it. Now Starbucks. And every time, there’s a reason to believe that alienating millions of customers will directly affect a company’s bottom line. On the flip side, look at Chick-fil-A. They found out that supporting traditional values pays just as many cultural dividends as financial ones.

Perry: 'King' Obama Leading a 'Clear Attack on People of Faith'

During the presidential campaign, Rick Perry was one of the first candidates to embrace the theme that Obama is waging a “war on religion,” a message that was quickly embraced by Mitt Romney. As Perry ponders another run for the presidency, he told Family Research Council head Tony Perkins on today’s Washington Watch Weekly that he believes President Obama thinks he was elected “King” and is leading a “clear attack on people of faith”. How? Perry cited the contraception mandate, the Department of Justice’s stance in the Hosanna Tabor case, where the administration argued that religious groups are not categorically exempt from the Americans with Disability Act, and his own gut instinct.

Yes, Perry said he instinctually feels that the Obama administration is putting together a campaign of “intimidation to churches using IRS as a tool to keep anyone from making any statements about a political election,” even though the rule on church electioneering came about in 1954 and there is no evidence that the administration is actively investigating churches for breaking the rule.

Perkins: You were out on the campaign trail quite a bit early on in the Republican primary, your message obviously on jobs, the economy, which Texas has been leading in the nation in the creation of jobs, but you also touched on the issue of religious liberty and religious freedom. Do you see a growing hostility in America in the wake of this administration towards religious—

Perry: Led by this administration, when you think about the clear messages that they send, whether it’s by fiat—and that’s one of my great concerns about this president, we didn’t elect a King Mr. Obama, we elected a president, we expect the rule of law to be maintained in this country, go to Congress, pass legislation—he’s pushing these programs through whether it’s a clear attack on the Catholic Church and their opposition to contraception, those are purely wars against religion. When you think about the ministerial exception that he went to the Supreme Court to try to overturn, you know thank God he lost 9-0, even his liberal judges wouldn’t go that far, so clear attack on people of faith. My instinct is, I don’t have clear evidence, but my instinct is through other agencies there is this intimidation factor to our places of worship that you best not be in job of anything that we decide is political. For instance, clear intimidation to churches using IRS as a tool to keep anyone from making any statements about a political election.

Congressional Prayer Caucus Teams Up for Seven Mountain-Themed Pre-Election Prayer Rally

At the end of September, Religious Right leaders will once again partner with the "prophets" and "apostles" of the New Apostolic Reformation for a pre-election "American For Jesus" rally on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall.

But apparently that won't quite be enough, so just a few days later, many of these same leaders and activists are hosting another prayer rally called "The Summons 2012" in Washington, DC that is being organized by National Day of Prayer Task Force, which is chaired by Shirely Dobson, the wife of James Dobson:

With each generation seeming to drift away from the God of our Fathers, now more than ever, it seems that we are truly at the precipice of a societal migration away from our Judeo-Christian foundation. With this in mind, the National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force has called a Solemn Assembly in Washington D.C. for such a time as this. The urgency of the moment, and the prompting of God, has paved the way for The Summons (October 3-7, 2012) to be a moment in time for God’s people to stand in the gap on behalf of all Americans – perhaps as Moses did for Israel (Exodus 32, Psalm 106). Based on Psalm 50:1-6, this special prayer gathering will focus on all institutions of government within Washington D.C. and include outdoor, corporate worship near the steps of the Capitol building, as well as the base of the Washington Monument. Groups will meet with various congressional leaders, travel to the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, and many other key locations to PRAY. This is not an assignment for the faint of heart. You will need walking shoes and clothing suitable for being on location and ‘hitting the streets’, regardless of weather. We invite you to join with us, and several hundred other like-minded believers, for this unique time of prayer and worship in our nation’s capital.

Speakers include the likes of Tony Perkins, Harry Jackson, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and Rep. Randy Forbes along with NAR leaders like Negiel Bigpond and Luis Cataldo, who played a key role in organizing Gov. Rick Perry's NAR-infused "The Response" prayer rally.

Interestingly, the Congressional Prayer Caucus is listed among the "partner ministries" along side Lou Engle's TheCall, Mike Bickle's International House of Prayer, Intercessors for America and various others.

For those who don't recall, Bickle is the one who thinks that Oprah is a forerunner of that Antichrist:

According to the schedule, the event lasts for four days, during which participants will "meet with designated elected officials" and receive a "Private Capitol Tour Led by Congressman Louie Gohmert."

And you will not be surprised to learn that the entire event is rooted in Seven Mountains theology:

As we move toward The Summons in Washington D.C., please pray specifically, focusing on the seven points of prayer for each state. As we pray, day by day, and state by state, let’s pray for the Spirit of God to sweep through our nation like a ‘mighty, rushing wind’!

Seven Point of Prayer for each State

1) Government – Pray for local and state leaders asking God to grant them wisdom, discernment, and hearts that are open to His leading.

2) Church – Pray for the Churches and Church Leaders throughout that state. Ask God to preserve and protect them, as He inspires and empowers His ‘Saints’ for the work of ministry, for the building up of the Church, and for the spreading of the Gospel.

3) Military – Pray for our Military, Guard, and Reserve units and their leadership. Pray for God to grant courage, protection, and strength for our service men and women, and their families, as they serve our country.

4) Family – Pray for families in your community and across the state. Ask Him for protection, and to strengthen marriages, encourage parents toward His priorities, heal relationships, and secure traditional values in each home.

5) Education – Pray for God’s presence in our schools, colleges, and universities. Ask Him to select teachers and administrators who honor His statutes, protect our children, and inspire them to discover their God-given calling.

6) Media – Pray for Christian influence in the media industry, from local television and radio stations, to newspaper and magazine publishers. Ask for the Lord to provide Godly men and women to work in and influence the media throughout the state and in every city.

7) Business – Pray for divine intervention in the state and local economies. Ask that God raise up Godly business leaders and provide industry to provide honest employment and generous provision for individuals and families in each community.

GOP Gays have Hope but Perkins has Power

The Log Cabin Republicans group turns 20 this year, but the party’s platform committee did not give them much to celebrate. The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins has been bragging for more than a week about how much influence his group had on the platform, which reflects the religious right’s anti-gay opposition to marriage equality.  Perkins and others shot down an attempt to add support for civil unions to the platform.

But at a Monday afternoon reception co-hosted by Log Cabin and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, the mood is surprisingly upbeat. Talking to people at the reception made me wonder at the fine, fuzzy line dividing optimism from delusion.“This is our party...” LCR’s Clarke Cooper insists. “We are here to make it stronger and more inclusive.” 
 
“[I]t’s a whole new world out there” and in the Republican Party, says former member of Congress Jim Kolbe, who was “outed” while in office.  He contends that the kind of resistance to LGBT equality that is reflected in this year’s platform is a generational issue -- "the last gasp of the conservatives," he calls it -- and boldly predicts that this is the last year in which the platform will contain such language. When I suggest that if Ralph Reed’s turnout operation among conservative evangelicals does as much for the Republicans in November as Reed hopes, the party is not likely to turn its backs on the anti-gay religious right base, Kolbe shrugs and says both parties appeal to their bases for turnout. “We will have the victory,” he says.
 
Sarah Longwell, who serves on the Leadership Committee for Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, affirms that it was disappointing that Perkins, who is “brutally anti-gay,” was basically allowed to write the part of the platform pertaining to marriage and LGBT rights. Her group and LCR are taking out a full page ad in tomorrow’s Tampa Tribune that quotes Tony Perkins on the importance of marriage, and offering this response:
 
We agree. That's why Log Cabin Republicans and Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry believe that government should stop denying marriage licenses to committed gay and lesbian families. As conservatives, we believe that the freedom to marry is directly in line with the core ideals and principles of the Republican Party.”
Those hoping for the GOP to embrace equality do have a point about generational change. Polling shows that equality is making gains among individual Republicans, especially those under the age of 44, who are now about evenly split on the question of marriage equality. Longwell points to the key role played by Republicans who joined Democrats in advancing marriage equality in New York, New Hampshire, and other states. Longwell says she believes that the crass anti-gay wedge politics employed by the GOP in 2004 played a role in encouraging Republicans like Dick Cheney, Ken Mehlman, and Laura Bush to be more outspoken in their support for marriage equality.  If 2004 was a turning point, she says, 2012 could be a “tipping point,” at which shifting public opinion makes overt anti-gay politicking unfeasible. “You can’t demagogue gay people forever.”  Perkins, however, may have a different opinion on that, and no small measure of power in the G.O.P.
 
The Log Cabin folks are particularly excited about Richard Tisei, a 50-year old former state senator from Massachusetts who is running for Congress this year with backing from the national party. Tisei, who is challenging Rep. John Tierney, is openly gay, pro-choice and pro-marriage equality, but none of these issues appear on his campaign’s issues page, which pushes standard right-wing talking points on “Obamacare,” Medicare, the economy, education, and the Middle East.  Of course, that doesn’t phase the Log Cabin Republicans, who are excited about a member of Congress who would vote to repeal both the Defense of Marriage Act and the Affordable Care Act.

 

Religious Right Groups Launch the 'Life and Marriage Coalition'

A number of Religious Right organizations are coming together for an election season coalition to attack President Obama in swing states. The Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, The Family Leader, Concerned Women for America, American Principles Project, the Susan B. Anthony List and Common Sense Issues have joined the “Life and Marriage Coalition,” which FRC head Tony Perkins said is needed to defeat Obama’s “anti-marriage and anti-life policies.”

A coalition of the nation’s most prominent conservative social issue groups (www.lifeandmarriagecoalition.com) today announced that they are coordinating efforts in Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina to talk about the importance of preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and supporting the sanctity of human life. The groups hope to influence voters in key swing states that Barack Obama carried in 2008.

“This is a historic coming together of premiere social conservative groups to coordinate efforts in three swing states most likely to determine the outcome of this fall’s presidential election,” said Tony Perkins, president of FRC Action, the legislative action arm of the Family Research Council. “Many supporters of life and marriage do not realize that their votes could determine the outcome of the election, which in turn could determine the future of marriage and life in this country. We’re working together to ensure they understand that President Obama is anti-marriage and anti-life.”

The Life and Marriage Coalition includes FRC Action, Susan B. Anthony List, National Organization for Marriage, American Principles in Action, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee and Common Sense Issues. Combined efforts will include independent expenditures for radio advertisements, billboards, phone and bus tour events designed to educate and mobilize socially conservative voters in the three targeted states.

“For millions of Americans, this election is about more than the economy, it’s about the direction our nation takes on foundational principles, like what constitutes marriage, and whether unborn children have a right to life,” said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List added, “We will work together as national groups and partner with local pro-family organizations to make sure that voters know that if we value marriage and want to stop government funding of abortion groups, we must defeat Barack Obama.”

State groups that are part of the effort are the North Carolina Values Coalition, and The Family Leader in Iowa.

“Fiscal and social issues are not separate issues and it is our goal to educate voters of this indisputable truth,” said Patrick Davis of Common Sense Issues. “In fact and in practice they are inseparable principles fortifying and empowering each other much like the fiscal, spiritual and emotional union of a man and woman in marriage or the life-long relationship between a mother and father and their child. All fiscal issues have a social element to them.”

The coalition also said its efforts this year are just the beginning. “Our coalition members are determined to defend American values on marriage and life for the long haul, said Davis. “The 2012 election is critical, but it is also important to lengthen the horizon to make sure that we have marriage and life champions running in critical races over the next several election cycles. We’re beginning to talk to prospective candidates now.”
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