Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins Hopeful Religious Right Leaders Will Sway Donald Trump

Earlier today, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios broadcast her daily radio show live from the Family Research Council’s Watchmen on the Wall Summit, where she chatted with FRC president Tony Perkins about the defeat of their preferred presidential candidate, Ted Cruz.

Perkins told Rios about his role in organizing an event in June featuring presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump and various Religious Right leaders, while noting that he has not yet endorsed Trump.

However, “knowing what the alternative and having experienced almost eight years now of Barack Obama’s radical policies, that has truly fundamentally changed America,” Perkins said, “I want to be able to be supportive of Donald Trump.”

“I want to move him to the point where he is acceptable and he’ll make certain commitments,” he added.

Rios said that a Hillary Clinton presidency is far scarier prospect than a White House controlled by Trump, warning that Clinton would undermine the Second Amendment and religious freedom.

“Look at the court,” Perkins interjected. “It starts with the court.”

The two urged conservative Christians to stay involved in the political process, with Rios warning that one day it “will be so bad we’ll be running for the hills.”

“Well, scripture says that’ll be happening in the End Times,” Perkins said. “I think we’ve got to make the best of a bad situation. This is a reflection, I believe, of where I believe our nation has sunk and, in a large part, it’s because the church has taken its hands off, its removed itself from the culture. So we can’t wring our hands and say we’re walking away when in part we’re responsible for the mess.”

Louisiana GOP Attorney General Lies Like Crazy While Attacking Transgender Rights

In an interview yesterday on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” radio program, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry to explained why he is urging public schools in his state to defy the Obama administration’s guidance on the rights of transgender students.

Landry, a former GOP member of Congress, said that his office would intervene to help any school that tries to defy guidelines from the Departments of Education and Justice letter on how Title IX protects transgender students. He repeatedly twisted the facts on issues related to transgender rights, citing a fringe medical group and claiming that LGBT nondiscrimination policies have empowered child predators, to support his decision.

“Look, the American Pediatrics put out a statement that basically says that transgender identity is a mental illness,” he said. “You cannot change biology, you cannot say you were a female and now we’re going to make you a male simply by some sort of operation. It doesn’t work that way. The good Lord doesn’t build us in that particular way. They’re trying to change our sex, who we are, and basically claiming that gender identity can be biological as well as psychological. And if you look at study after study from some of the leading psychologists, Johns Hopkins University put out one, American Pediatrics, all of them said that this is a mental state, you cannot change a person’s biological identity.”

The group that Landry referred to as “American Pediatrics” and whose opinion he cited is a small fringe group called the American College of Pediatricians, not the leading pediatrics group, the American Association of Pediatricians.

The tiny ACP was created by anti-LGBT activists to push their junkscience” and only has “between 60 and 200” members.

As Zack Ford of Think Progress noted, “The 36,000-member American Psychiatric Association, which defines mental illnesses through its Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), says the exact opposite, explaining, 'It is important to note that gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder.' It is only distress associated with such an identity that should be treated — and treated with affirmation.’”

Meanwhile, the AAP — the leading pediatric group — called for the repeal of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT facilities law, HB2, and said in 2013: “For transgender youth, pediatricians should provide the opportunity to acknowledge and affirm their feelings of gender dysphoria and desires to transition to the opposite gender. Referral of transgender youth to a qualified mental health professional is critical to assist with the dysphoria, to educate them, and to assess their readiness for transition. With appropriate assistance and care, sexual minority youth should live healthy, productive lives while transitioning through adolescence and young adulthood.”

After citing the fringe ACP while passing it off as a legitimate group, Landry told Perkins, a vocal anti-LGBT activist, that nondiscrimination policies have a “tendency” to “create safe harbors for people who want to prey on children.”

“What happens is it supports their criminal behavior, it makes it difficult for people like me and law enforcement agencies out there to take people who prey on children off of the street,” he said.

Experts have found this allegation to be completely bogus.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Landry is relying on debunked arguments to make his case against transgender rights, since that’s seemingly all the anti-LGBT movement has left to rely on.

Donald Trump To Court Anti-LGBT Hate Groups, 'Prophets' And Televangelists

Next month, Donald Trump will host a meeting with some of the country’s most radical anti-LGBT and anti-choice leaders in New York City.

Trump, who has already recruited a variety of far-right activists and conspiracy theorists to his campaign, is set to take part in a convening organized by Ben Carson, a former rival turned campaign surrogate, aimed at bringing reluctant Religious Right leaders to his side.

According to a copy of the invitation to the event obtained by the National Review, Trump will be joined by Religious Right activists including Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Penny Nance, Jim Garlow, Rick Scarborough, Phil Burress, Ken Cuccinelli, Lila Rose, E.W Jackson, Harry Jackson, Tim Wildmon, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson and Cindy Jacobs.

The meeting will be cohosted by the Family Research Council, Vision America and AFA Action, the political arm of the American Family Association, three of the most vicious anti-LGBT hate groups in the country.

Trump has already pledged to use nominees to the Supreme Court to pave the way for the reversal of the landmark rulings on abortion rights and marriage equality and has vowed to defund Planned Parenthood, key priorities of right-wing activists.

Here is a brief introduction to some of the far-right extremists Trump will be meeting with next month.

Pat Robertson

Televangelist Pat Robertson has long track record of making derogatory and bizarre statements about LGBT people and others, including remarks that he would rather have the public not know about. For instance, Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network tried unsuccessfully to expunge the web of a video segment in which Robertson said that gay people secretly wear dangerous rings that cut the hands of the people they meet in order to spread HIV/AIDS:

Robertson also joined Jerry Falwell in blaming the 9/11 attacks on gay people, feminists and People For the American Way.

Cindy Jacobs

Self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs claims that she receives direct messages from God about assassination plotsterrorist cells and imminent attackssuch as 9/11hurricanesfloodswarscoups; and Native American-induced curses. She also claims to have the power of bringing the dead back to life.

But Jacobs may be best known for her claim that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell led to the mass death of birds in Arkansas.

Harry Jackson

During the fight over marriage equality in Maryland, Bishop Harry Jackson led a Religious Right rally by lambasting the demonic principalities that he claimed were bringing same-sex marriage into the state. “The Enemy wants it to be a legacy, or a seed that is planted in this generation that corrupts, perverts and pollutes generations to come,” he said of same-sex marriage.

It is no wonder that Jackson has also accused gay people of trying to “recruit your kids” and acting like Nazis.

He was also featured in an anti-gay film where he warned that the “homosexual agenda” is “one of those icebergs that if we don’t navigate around them correctly, will take us under.”

Rick Scarborough

Vision America head Rick Scarborough is an outspoken anti-LGBT activist who once suggested filing a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality modeled after the successful litigation against tobacco companies.

While his lawsuit still hasn’t materialized, Scarborough continues to lambast LGBT people, declaring that HIV/AIDS is a form of divine punishment against gay people, whom he insists on calling “sodomites” and accusing LGBT people of leading their children “into an early grave called hell.” While railing against President Obama’s appointment of several gay ambassadors, he declared that it would be “perfectly just” if God allowed a nuclear attack to destroy America in response.

Scarborough is so passionate about his contempt for LGBT rights that he said that he is ready to burn to death, “if necessary,” to stop marriage equality:

Tony Perkins

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins likes to pass himself off as a mainstream conservative leader, but is in reality a far-right zealot who has attacked gay people as pawns of Satan and defended Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” legislation.

Prior to the Supreme Court's landmark marriage equality ruling, Perkins frequently predicted that Americans would launch a revolution to block same-sex marriages, warning that advances in LGBT equality would lead to an anti-Christian holocaust and a rise in terrorism.

Perkins, like Trump, has engaged in all sorts of conspiracy theories, everything from birtherism to the belief that the government is behind “the promotion of same-sex relations” as a means of “population control.”

E.W. Jackson

Virginia-based pastor E.W. Jackson has compiled a long record of anti-LGBT and anti-Obama diatribes over the years.

Jackson, who in 2013 was the unsuccessful GOP nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, has said of gay people: “Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally and they see everything through the lens of homosexuality.” Gay people, Jackson said, are “spiritually darkened” and have caused God to stop blessing the U.S. military. It is no wonder that Jackson said at a press conference that he was ready to die to fight gay marriage.

Jackson has similarly attacked President Obama as a man “with an evil presence” who helped influence the Democratic Party to have “an agenda worthy of the Antichrist.”

Jim Garlow

California-based pastor Jim Garlow, as we’ve previously noted, has “claimed his prayers helped secure the passage of California’s Proposition 8, which 'saved us from the bondage and enslavement that would come upon us if gay marriage actually passed in a state'; described the 'radical homosexual agenda' as a tool of Satan and 'almost like an Antichrist spirit'; and warned that marriage equality will lead to America’s destruction, widespread persecution and even death.”

Lila Rose

Lila Rose of the anti-abortion group Live Action has gained widespread notoriety over her smear campaigns against Planned Parenthood, telling supporters that she wants to battle Satan and “take out Planned Parenthood,” while comparing herself to Martin Luther King Jr. and Malala Yousafzai.

Rose has said that abortions should be “done in the public square” until they can be banned.

James Dobson

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson is one of the creators of the modern Religious Right movement. He has:

  • Alleged that Obamacare will deprive the elderly of life-saving treatments.
  • Insisted that bisexuality means “orgies.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perkins: Impeach Obama Over Trans Kids Using The Bathroom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANSWER: Definitely, yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schwarzwalder appealed to a higher power — not Donald Trump:

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tony Perkins' Odd Garland Conspiracy Theory

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ted Cruz Laments 'Hatred' In Politics As He Demonizes The Transgender Community

Yesterday, Ted Cruz chatted with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, one of his presidential campaign advisers and surrogates, about the upcoming Indiana primary, and Perkins gave him a chance to address “how loony the left is in pushing these genderless bathroom bills.”

Cruz, who has been running television ads smearing transgender women as potential sexual predators, said that transgender nondiscrimination policies defy “basic common sense” and accused Donald Trump of caving to “the PC police” when he criticized North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law and expressed partial support for Planned Parenthood.

He went on to recount a story about “two little kids” who “gave me envelopes filled with change because they set up a lemonade stand and they gave me all the money they raised at the lemonade stand,” citing the incident as proof that people are “ready to crawl over broken glass” for his campaign, knowing that “our nation is hanging in the balance.”

Just minutes after denigrating transgender people, Cruz said that a vote for him would be a vote against “anger and hatred” in politics. Cruz urged voters to pray over their decision, hoping they come to the realization that he is a proven conservative warrior while Trump is simply a poser.

“The stakes [have] never been higher,” he said. “Our basic rights. Our religious liberty. The right to life. The Second Amendment. All of our rights hang in the balance if we get this wrong.”

Utah GOPer Says Access To Pornography Violates His 'Right To Not View It'

The sponsor of a recently passed Utah resolution declaring that “pornography is creating a public health crisis” appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday to defend the measure, which the governor signed on Tuesday, and allege that the availability of pornography is violating his “First Amendment right to not view it.”

State Sen. Todd Weiler, a Republican, urged libraries and McDonalds restaurants with WiFi to block pornography websites, claiming that he has heard anecdotally that children go to McDonalds to view pornographic websites: “I said to McDonalds, ‘You’re a family restaurant and you market to children, why would you want to be a purveyor of pornography?’”

“You know, the librarians will put their hands over their hearts and talk about the First Amendment and yet if these libraries and these McDonalds were giving cigarettes to our children, we’d all be up in arms, we’d be picketing them,” he said. “But somehow it’s okay if they deliver pornography to them.”

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council and the host of the program, compared the availability of pornographic websites at such locations to “second-hand smoke,” saying that children and families can end up watching porn from other people’s computers and “the public has a right not to be confronted with this.”

“That’s what I think is often lost in the First Amendment discussion,” Weiler said, “because someone may have the First Amendment right, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, to view pornography, but what about my First Amendment right to not view it?”

Weiler went on to hail British Prime Minister David Cameron for his government-led push to block pornographic websites in the U.K., mentioning that he asked Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to introduce a similar plan in the U.S. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Religious Right’s Bicoastal Political Prayer Rally Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/28/16

Bad News For Republicans Hoping For A Platform Less Hostile To LGBT Equality

The platform approved at the Republican National Convention in 2012 was, we said at the time, “a far-right fever dream, a compilation of pouting, posturing, and policies to meet just about every demand from the overlapping Religious Right, Tea Party, corporate, and neo-conservative wings of the GOP.” Every attempt at moderating language — whether on equality for LGBT people or the right of D.C. residents to congressional representation — was shot down by the far-right activists on the party’s platform committee.

At the convention that year, supporters of the LGBT-friendly Log Cabin Republicans vowed that things were changing, and that never again would the Republican platform include anti-equality language about “preserving and protecting traditional marriage” as “a union of one man and one woman” that “must be upheld as the national standard.” A group called Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry launched a million-dollar “Reform the Platform” campaign, which has since been absorbed by American Unity Fund, a pro-marriage-equality group affiliated with hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer, a major Republican Party donor.

But the road to a more gay-friendly Republican platform is going to be a rocky one. Earlier this month, the Louisiana Republican Party chose its two delegates to the platform committee: stridently anti-gay Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and Sandy McDade, political chairman of Eagle Forum, which “adamantly opposes” marriage equality.

Four years ago, FRC and Eagle Forum teamed up to make anti-equality language in the platform even stronger. Perkins bragged at the time:

With a presence in the committee meetings, the FRC Action staff has been able to help delegates hold the line of social issues.

Just this morning, our efforts made what was already a good document even better. Before this week, the GOP’s draft platform included solid language defending the family – and FRC Action, in tandem with Eagle Forum, made it even stronger.

In a press release celebrating his re-selection to the platform committee this month, Perkins again boasted about the role he had in shaping 2012’s anti-gay platform:

In 2012, my role as a delegate gave me the opportunity to play a key role in amending the marriage plank, which led to the committee approving a much stronger version than 2008's. We also tightened language on obscenity and pornography, protected conscience rights, explained how abortion hurts women, and supported the Second Amendment in D.C.

Both Perkins and McDade are backing Ted Cruz, even though Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly is in the Trump camp. Perkins is a member of Cruz’s Religious Liberty Advisory Council, which suggests that he’ll also be pushing for anti-gay platform language under the banner of religious liberty.

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