Tony Perkins

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.

Ted Cruz's Religious Liberty Advisory Council Recommends Reversing LGBT Rights Victories, Curtailing Birth Control Coverage

Sen. Ted Cruz, who has touted the endorsements of many of the most extreme members of the Religious Right, has never tried to hide the fact that he plans to target LGBT rights and reproductive freedoms if elected president.

Indeed, the Texas Republican's campaign even put together a "religious liberty advisory council" led by radical activist Tony Perkins for the purpose of putting together policy recommendations for a future Cruz administration.

Along with Perkins, council members include right-wing favorites like Jim Garlow, Kelly Shackelford, Harry Jackson and David and Jason Benham.

Perkins told Fox News pundit Todd Starnes in an interview today that the group is recommending that a Cruz administration move to deny anti-discrimination protections for LGBT workers and roll back access to contraception upon entering the White House.

Cruz has already promised that in his first day in office he would order an investigation into Planned Parenthood, end the government’s “persecution of religious liberty” and “rescind every illegal and unconstitutional executive action taken by Barack Obama.”

The council, made up of prominent religious leaders, recommended 15 action items that will protect Americans from discrimination by the federal government on the basis of their view of marriage and also protect employers threatened by the HHS contraception mandate.

The council is also calling on Cruz to direct a review of the IRS’ treatment of religious organizations and to direct federal agencies to respect the free exercise of religion.



Among the policies recommended to Cruz:

- Rescind Executive Order 13672 – an order that requires certain federal contractors to not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity;

- Direct all federal agencies to stop interpreting “sex” to include “sexual orientation” and/or “gender identity.”

- Direct the Department of Health and Human Services to eliminate its requirement that all employers include coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptive methods and sterilization procedures;

- Direct the IRS to review all of its current guidance regarding religious organizations and issue clarifying guidance to the extent to which religious organization and religious leaders are able to engage in speech regarding political issues and candidates;

- Review and clarify existing Department of Education guidance on prayer at school to ensure it adequately explains the rights of students, teachers and other employees to live out their faith.

The council also urged Cruz to protect the religious liberty of military personnel – especially the rights of chaplains.

Conservative Groups Double Down On SCOTUS Obstruction

After President Obama announced his nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court today, conservative groups quickly doubled down on their calls for Senate Republicans to block any person the president nominates to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Although a handful of senators are now hinting that they may be willing to at least meet with Garland — who has won praise from Republicans in the past — conservative groups have reiterated their demands that the GOP block his nomination.

Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice issued a statement repeating his call for “no confirmation proceedings until after the election.” Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver similarly repeated that there should be “no Senate hearing on any Obama nominee.” Concerned Women for America announced that “President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court does not change the fact that the Senate needs to continue to do the proper thing by fulfilling its role of ‘advice and consent’” — by which CWA means blocking a nominee.

Alliance Defending Freedom’s Casey Mattox offered no criticism of Garland himself but claimed that the Obama administration is untrustworthy and so Garland’s nomination should be blocked: “The Obama administration has demonstrated it cannot be trusted to respect the rule of law, the Constitution, and the limits of its own authority. So it should be no surprise that the American people would be highly skeptical that any nominee this president puts forth would be acceptable.”

Heritage Action, which was calling for an end to most judicial and executive branch confirmations even before Scalia’s death, declared that “nothing has changed” with the nomination of Garland and that we areone liberal Justice away from seeing gun rights restricted and partial birth abortion being considered a constitutional right.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council similarly tried to paint Garland as a liberal, saying he is “far from being a consensus nominee,” although he offered no specifics about the “serious questions” he said there were about Garland’s “ability to serve as a constitutionalist.” Kayla Moore, who heads the Foundation for Moral Law, the group founded by her husband Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, also opted for vague and dire warnings, saying that Americans “may very well lose our rights” if Garland is confirmed.

Anti-abortion groups also doubled down on their opposition to any confirmation proceedings, while at the same time struggling to find specific reasons to oppose Garland.

Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life didn’t bother to criticize Garland at all, writing instead that this is “no time for a lame duck President to push through a judge for a lifetime appointment.” (Never mind that Obama, with nearly a year left in his second term in office, is not a lame duck president.)

The Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser wrote:

This changes nothing. We do not know this nominee but we do know Barack Obama. Anyone he nominates will join the voting bloc on the Court that consistently upholds abortion on-demand. The President should not be permitted one last opportunity to stack the Court with pro-abortion Justices.

Meanwhile, Americans United for Life dug up this one unconvincing piece of opposition research:

Consider that Judge Garland spoke at a gathering celebrating Linda Greenhouse’s book on Justice Harry Blackmun, Becoming Justice Blackmun. He described the release of the papers of the late Justice Blackmun—the author of one of the Supreme Court’s worst decisions, Roe v. Wade—as a “great gift to the country.”

Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman said his group would oppose any nominee who does not publicly “renounce Roe v. Wade”:

"Millions of lives hang in the balance of each ruling on abortion put forth by the Supreme Court. I refuse to support any nominee - Republican or Democrat - that will not renounce Roe v. Wade and commit to restoring legal protections to the pre-born," said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.



"I strongly urge the members of the Judiciary Committee to hold fast to their promise, for the sake of the future of our country and the future of our posterity," said Newman. "The Senate Republican leadership cannot afford to break this important promise to their conservative, pro-life base, if they expect us to vote for any of them ever again."

Gun groups also came out swinging against Garland, with the National Rifle Association claiming that he “ does not respect our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense” and Gun Owners of America colorfully calling on the Senate to “bury this nomination and write ‘Dead On Arrival’ as its epitaph.” Both groups based their objections on Garland’s vote, as a D.C. Circuit judge, simply to rehear an important gun rights case.

The Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino — who previously called Garland a “best case scenario” Obama nominee to the Supreme Court — has been relying on thesame flimsy criticism to attack Garland.

We’ll update this post with more reactions as they come in.

This post has been updated.

Tony Perkins: Leave Your Church If Your Pastor Likes Obama

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has once again attacked the faith of Christians who back President Obama, this time telling a caller on his radio show yesterday that she should leave her church because her pastor likes the president.

After the caller said that, among other issues, her pastor “thinks Obama is the greatest,” Perkins advised her to begin “praying about changing churches and finding another church.”

Perkins said that the Obama administration has “systematically targeted the Christian faith” and that the president’s policies on abortion rights and marriage equality conflict with Christianity.

“What more evidence is necessary that this president is not in alignment with biblical truth and even historical truth?” he added. “I think it’s time for a new church.”

Louie Gohmert: Obama's 'Hate Crimes' Against Christians Invite God's Judgment

Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” Rep. Louie Gohmert railed against “the hate crimes by this administration” against conservative Christians, such as the nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Texas Republican and radio host Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, falsely claimed that the Obama administration refuses to offer religious groups an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage requirement.

In fact, the Little Sisters of the Poor is covered under its accommodation but refuses to fill out the form seeking an exemption.

Gohmert said that instead of focusing on America’s enemies, “they just choose to spend a great deal of their time going after Christians.”

“We’ve never had a religion permit the kinds of hate crimes that this administration is in going after them and bullying them,” he added, claiming that the administration’s “bullying” is “the worst in our history.”

After alleging that the ACA has “been used as a government tool to go after Christians and those whose religious beliefs are different from the president’s,” Gohmert went on to make the baseless claim that the White House tried to cut off aid to Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria until they legalized same-sex marriage. “This administration hasn’t confined their bullying just to this country,” he said.

Gohmert should not be considered an expert on hate crimes, as he once said the hate crimes law passed in 2009 would legalize pedophilia, necrophilia and bestiality while ushering in Nazism.

The two also blasted an Obama administration effort to fight hate crimes directed at Muslim-Americans. Gohmert dismissed concerns about such hate crimes while saying that the White House is ignoring crimes against Christians and Jews throughout the world because “we have a United States leadership that will not protect Christians [and] puts a real prize on protecting Muslims.”

He said that Muslim people should be more grateful to U.S. service members fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, claiming that the U.S. has only gotten terrorist attacks in return.

“It is absolute insanity that this administration continues to do great harm and persecute Christians for their religious beliefs,” Gohmert continued.

The congressman then quoted from the book of Hosea to suggest that America is facing God’s wrath because “nations are made to account when they put leaders in place that persecute those who are trying to follow the words of God.”

Perkins, for his part, said that Obama is only promoting religious liberty for Muslims. (In the past, Perkins has repeatedly said that Muslims are not protected under the First Amendment).

Tony Perkins Wrongly Blames Shooting On LGBT Rights Ordinance

Before any facts of the case were known, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins quickly linked the recent shooting of an Idaho pastor to a nondiscrimination ordinance in the city of Coeur d’Alene that prohibits anti-LGBT discrimination. Perkins wrote yesterday:

Like the rest of the country, we were stunned and saddened to hear about the shooting of Pastor Tim Remington in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The beloved church leader, who was known throughout the community for his outreach to the addicted and incarcerated, was gunned down at church a day after opening a Ted Cruz rally with prayer.



While his family and congregation celebrate the good prognosis, disturbing questions still linger. Coeur d’Alene had already grown increasingly hostile toward Christians, as we know from Donald and Evelyn Knapp, a husband-and-wife pastor team that ran a wedding chapel called The Hitching Post. After declining to marry a same-sex couple, Idaho city officials had warned that the decision could send them straight to jail and/or bury them in debilitating fines.

Obviously, the environment toward Christians and pastors preaching the Gospel has made a turn for the worst in the small northern town. How can it not when you have the government ordering believers to participate in things that violate their faith? Whatever the shooter’s motivations, until the policies change, tensions like these will not. In the meantime, we continue to pray for the Remingtons, Tim’s full and complete healing, and for the man responsible to be brought to justice.

First of all, the nondiscrimination ordinance Perkins mentioned did not force Donald Knapp’s for-profit chapel to host same-sex couples’ weddings, as it was exempt under the ordinance.

But even more egregiously, Perkins went out of his way to blame the ordinance for the shooting on the grounds that it was creating an environment of anti-Christian hostility, even though the suspected shooter claimed that he shot the pastor because he thought he was from Mars.

In a Facebook post, the alleged shooter, who “has a history of mental illness,” wrote that he believed Remington was a Martian:

Things are not what they appear to be. The world is ruled by ancient civilization from Mars. Pastor Tim was one of them, and he was the reason my life was ruined. I will be sharing my story with as many people as possible. I don't have time right now, they are chasing me. I shot Pastor Tim 12 times, there is no way any human could have survived that event. Anyway, I have sent my story to all the major news organizations. I have no time, I have to go.”

He was later apprehended at the White House:

He admitted to plotting to shoot Remington. He also claimed that the pastor was part of a vast alien conspiracy to enslave the human race — a conspiracy that Odom believed extended to Congress.

“My last resort was to take actions to bring this to the public’s attention,” Odom wrote in the manifesto. “I hope that something good comes of it. Just realize that I’m a good person, and I’m completely innocent. Also realize that the ‘people’ I killed are not what you think.”

You can read his manifesto about the Martian overlords here.

Nonetheless, Perkins claims this was a case of left-wing anti-Christian bigotry.

Tony Perkins Hits Trump Over David Duke Endorsement, Despite His Own Duke Connection

Former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke’s support for Donald Trump, and the GOP presidential frontrunner’s initial refusal to condemn him, must be awkward news for Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.

Perkins, a prominent endorser of Ted Cruz and one of the senator’s top campaign surrogates, had his own history with Duke when the two were involved in Louisiana politics in the 1990s:

Perkins previously served as a state lawmaker in Louisiana and unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2002. His career was not without controversy: He spoke at least twice to the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens and reportedly “paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list” while working as the campaign manager for failed U.S. Senate candidate Woody Jenkins. “The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke,” reported The Nation.

While Perkins’ group, the Family Research Council, insisted that “Mr. Perkins profoundly opposes the racial views of Mr. Duke and was profoundly grieved to learn that Duke was a party to the company that had done work for the 1996 campaign,” that didn’t stop Perkins from speaking years later to the CCC, a group that aims to “oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called ‘affirmative action’ and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.”

Which brings us to the Monday edition of Perkins’ “Washington Watch” radio show, where a caller who identified as a Cruz supporter said she wanted people to know that “Donald Trump is being backed by the Ku Klux Klan.”

Perkins told the caller he was “glad to hear” that Trump disavowed Duke and the Klan, noting that days later Trump had said that “he didn’t know who David Duke was.”

“Let me just say there’s no room for racism and hatred in our national politics of that sort, based upon those immutable characteristics of race,” Perkins said. “I hope he does disavow any type of support like that.”

While he is rightfully upset that Trump feigned ignorance about Duke, Perkins may want to refresh his memory about his own relationship with Duke and white nationalists.

Tony Perkins: Obama's 'Cultural Time Bombs' Will Destroy America

On his “Washington Watch” radio program yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins chatted with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, about why the Senate must rebuff any Supreme Court nominee put forward by President Obama, a conversation which led Perkins to warn about the imminent demise of the U.S.

Perkins urged Senate Republicans to hold the line in their refusal to consider a new justice until next year, claiming that the Senate would be protecting the Constitution by refusing to carry out its constitutional duties.

A new justice appointed by Obama, he warned, will undermine “the fabric of our Constitution and the republic will be at risk.” (Four years ago, Perkins similarly asserted that Obama’s re-election would mean the destruction of America).

Perkins, after praising us here at Right Wing Watch because “I don’t say anything that I don’t want exposed,” repeated his claim that the 2016 election could be the last election ever held in America unless the next president stops Obama’s “cultural time bombs” from exploding:

Every election is important because of what this president, President Barack Hussein Obama, has done in the last seven-plus years, we have moved this nation to a point that the next president cannot be a Republican who simply does business as usual and stops some of the bad stuff. This president went beyond pushing the envelope.

He has planted cultural time bombs that will eventually go off. The next president has to undo those and render them safe and turn this nation around and that means you’re going to have to have an aggressive leader. And if we don’t have that, I’m convinced that as a republic, we won’t long survive. The country as a geographical land mass will continue, but the republic, the 240 years that we’ve had, I’m not sure we’ll have another election.

Cruz: 'Disastrous' Marriage Equality Ruling Led To 'Persecution' That's 'Unprecedented'

In an interview yesterday with conservative Christian broadcaster Janet Mefferd, Sen. Ted Cruz once again touted his support from anti-gay leaders including the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and the National Organization for Marriage, saying that anti-gay conservatives support him because he knows that the Supreme Court’s “disastrous” and “fundamentally illegitimate” marriage equality decision has led to “unprecedented” persecution.

Cruz told Mefferd that “we are seeing an assault on religious liberty from Washington that is unprecedented,” citing a number of his favorite cases of people supposedly being persecuted by running afoul of state or local nondiscrimination policies, almost none of which have stemmed from the federal government.

Claiming that “these threats are growing and growing,” Cruz said that “much of this persecution is the fruit of the Supreme Court’s disastrous gay marriage ruling last year” — never mind that every single one of the incidents he referenced happened before the ruling and were in no way connected to it.

Cruz declared that it was “very sad” that some of his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination called the Obergefell ruling “settled law,” which is, he said, why anti-gay leaders have flocked to endorse him.

“I believe that decision was fundamentally illegitimate, it was lawless, it was unconstitutional and it will not stand,” he said. “And I would note, that is precisely why Dr. James Dobson has endorsed me in this campaign, it is why Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has endorsed me in this campaign, it’s why the National Organization on Marriage [sic] has endorsed me on this campaign and has said it cannot support Donald Trump or Marco Rubio because if we’re not willing to defend marriage, we are giving up the foundational building blocks of the family, we’re giving up the Judeo-Christian values that built this great nation.”

Surprise! Tony Perkins Lies About Obama's Response To Scalia's Death

On Saturday, about an hour after officials confirmed the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would try to block the confirmation of any person President Obama nominated to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court. One White House aide told Politico that although the administration wasn’t surprised by McConnell’s commitment to obstruction, the speed with which he vowed a fight after Scalia’s death was a “real shocker.”

Some of McConnell’s fellow senators and conservative pressure groups — including the Family Research Council — quickly echoed his call to obstruction.

Later on Saturday evening, President Obama delivered short remarks commemorating Scalia and responding directly to McConnell’s threat by saying that he planned to nominate a new Supreme Court justice in “due time” and called on the Senate “to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.”

But in the world of Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, what really happened was that President Obama politicized the justice’s death, forcing McConnell and his fellow senators to “fire back.”

In an email to supporters yesterday, Perkins accused Obama of violating a nonexistent “80-year tradition of leaving an election-year vacancy to the next president,” prompting noble GOP senators to contradict him:

There are dozens of high-profile cases pending before the Court -- including the key conservative battles over the Texas abortion law and the conscience rights of Little Sisters of the Poor. While the Court copes with Scalia's absence, the White House seems intent on nominating his replacement, despite the 80-year tradition of leaving an election-year vacancy to the next president. Invoking the Constitution he has selective use for, President Obama told reporters it was his "duty" to submit a name to the U.S. Senate for confirmation. Of course, the greatest insult to Justice Scalia's memory would be to appoint a replacement in the mold of Obama, who's spent seven years trampling on the Constitution on the way to his own personal policy goals.

Almost immediately, Senate leaders fired back, insisting that voters were less than nine months away from selecting a new president -- and, following eight decades of tradition, Scalia's replacement should be left to that person. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) joined Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others in insisting there would be no confirmation "The fact of the matter is that it's been standard practice over the last nearly 80 years that Supreme Court nominees are not nominated and confirmed during a presidential election year," Mr. Grassley said. "Given the huge divide in the country, and the fact that this president, above all others, has made no bones about his goal to use the courts to circumvent Congress and push through his own agenda, it only makes sense that we defer to the American people who will elect a new president to select the next Supreme Court justice."

Conservative Groups Circle The Wagons On SCOTUS Obstruction

When the news broke of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death on Saturday, Republicans in the Senate almost immediately vowed to block the nomination of any person President Obama puts forward to fill the empty Supreme Court seat.

Conservative groups quickly followed suit, putting forward various rationales for keeping a Supreme Court seat open for more than a year in the hopes that a Republican is elected president in November.

Some of these activists made variations on the false claim that the Senate never confirms judicial nominees during election years. Others warned of dire consequences for America if the president is allowed a Supreme Court pick. One activist going so far as to claim that Scalia’s seat should be kept vacant in perpetuity until a Republican is elected president.

Conservative legal activist Ed Whelan said it would be “grossly irresponsible” to let Obama pick the next justice:

Senate Republicans would be grossly irresponsible to allow President Obama, in the last months of his presidency, to cement a liberal majority that will wreak havoc on the Constitution. Let the people decide in November who will select the next justice.

Whelan also told “Breitbart News Daily” that “we are at risk of really losing the Supreme Court and losing the Constitution.”

The American Center for Law and Justice ’s Jay Sekulow said that President Obama was perfectly free to nominate a conservative to replace Scalia:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley are both committed to letting the American people decide at the ballot box this November, letting our 45th President appoint Justice Scalia’s replacement. While President Obama remains free to appoint a conservative committed to upholding the Constitution as his replacement, he has given us no reason to believe he would.

So the American people should get to decide.

This is a prime opportunity for all branches of government to show that we still have a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network (formerly the Judicial Confirmation Network), said President Obama is the “last person” who should be nominating the next Supreme Court justice:

… This president, who has shown such contempt for the Constitution and the laws, is the last person who should be appointing his successor. The American people on both sides of the aisle are disgusted with the status quo in Washington and another nomination by this President would just bring about more of the same. The people’s voice should be heard in November to determine who will appoint the next Supreme Court Justice.”

Mat Staver, head of the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel (which represented Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and is now representing an anti-Planned Parenthood activist) declared that the “future of the Supreme Court and America” depends on the Senate blocking any Obama nominee:

“With the passing of Justice Scalia, the future of the High Court and the future of America is hanging in the balance. The Senate must not confirm any nominee to the Supreme Court from President Obama. The Senate must hold off any confirmation until the next President is seated. Unfortunately the presidential debates have been more theater and less substance about the real issues surrounding the Supreme Court. The election of the next President has now taken on even greater importance. The future of the Supreme Court and America now depends on the Senate blocking any nominee by President Obama and the people electing the right person to occupy the White House,” said Staver.

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins echoed the call to hold Scalia's seat open:

"The Supreme Court has now become the centerpiece in this presidential election. There has not been an election-year nomination in generations and the Senate must not break that trend now. With the election only 269 days away, the people should decide what president should fill this seat," concluded Perkins.

As did the American Family Association’s Buddy Smith:

We cannot allow President Obama to replace him with a judicial activist. Activist judges have mangled the Constitution almost beyond recognition, and we cannot allow Justice Scalia to be replaced by a justice who will continue to shred the Constitution rather than protect it and uphold it.

While the Constitution gives the president the right to nominate Supreme Court justices, it also gives the Senate the right to reject them. The Constitution does not even require an unacceptable nominee be given a vote on the floor.

Americans United for Life’s Charmaine Yoest said, “His loss is tragic, and we hope that when it comes time for the Senate to vote on his replacement, that a worthy successor who can pick up his banner can be found after the election.”

Alan Sears, head of Alliance Defending Freedom, hedged his bets, saying that “it is unlikely that a new justice will be installed prior to the election of our next president.

Janet Porter of Faith 2 Action declared, “The best way to honor Justice Scalia’s legacy is to make sure there is no Obama nominee confirmed by the U.S. Senate.”

Troy Newman, head of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue and a member of Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, warned that if Obama were to nominate the next justice, America would become a “totalitarian government”:

"With the passing of the esteemed Justice Scalia, America stands at a crossroads. Will she choose the path of fascism or freedom? We are just one Obama appointee away from a totalitarian government. Two years ago, the GOP promised the American people that, if elected, they would thwart Obama's radical leftist agenda. This is the GOP's moment. Will it shine as a light for liberty in this dark moment or will that light be extinguished by political appeasement?" asked Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

John Zmirak, editor of James Robison’s website The Stream, went even further, saying that if the next president is a Democrat, a Republican Senate should still refuse to confirm any of their judicial nominees:

But they should go further. As long as Republicans control the Senate, there is no excuse for any pro-choice, anti-gun rights, anti-marriage justices to be confirmed to our highest court. If, God forbid, Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton is elected, they should face a Republican Senate — or even a GOP minority — that will obstruct their every judicial appointment, even if it means leaving key seats on national benches empty, for years at a time. As justices retire or die, the court will simply grow smaller. Big deal. America will muddle through. This is the kind of implacable determination that defeated the solidly conservative Justice Bork and got us the muddled Anthony Kennedy — and Casey v. Planned Parenthood and Obergefell. It is time for that worm to turn.

Conservatives must drop the facade of high-minded bipartisanship, which only ever cuts to the left. The courts have staggering power to change our lives, and damage our country. They can kill our nation’s unborn babies, seize our guns and punish our churches. If GOP senators aren’t willing to fight long, hard and relentlessly to stop that from happening, we should find other senators who can, back them in the next primary election, and cripple the re-election of squishy moderate turncoats. A presidential candidate who appreciates all this will get my vote. And I think he’ll earn yours.

Tony Perkins: America May Never Have Another Election If We Don't Elect Ted Cruz

The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins introduced Glenn Beck at a campaign rally for Ted Cruz in South Carolina light night, where he warned that if America does not elect a bold Christian leader like Cruz, the nation might not have another presidential election ever again.

"I'm here because I decided that too much was a stake to sit on the sidelines," Perkins said, "that I couldn't just sit there and talk about it and do commentary about it; that I wanted to use what influence I had with Christians around this country to say that I've talked to all these candidates, I have vetted the candidates and from my vantage point in Washington, D.C., I can tell you America is in trouble."

"We don't have the latitude to get it wrong one more time," he warned. "If we don't elect a bold, courageous, godly leader in this next election, I'm afraid we may not have another election for our republic. That's not hyperbole. That's the reality based upon what this president's policies have done to this nation."

Perkins, who helped rally Religious Right leaders behind Cruz's campaign, made a similar prediction back in 2012, when he repeatedly warned that America would not survive a second Obama presidential term.

Tony Perkins: The Draft Is Coming Back, Thanks Obama

At last Saturday’s GOP presidential debate, several Republican candidates expressed openness to having women register with the Selective Service after the Army and Marine Corps chiefs said that the U.S. should make such a move, much to the dismay of the Religious Right.

Yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins spoke with ex-Rep. Michele Bachmann, both of whom were stunned that Republican leaders would get behind the policy change, which they said would be disastrous for the military.

Perkins kicked things off by warning that “there is a very good likelihood that we could see the draft” in the near future because “the policies of this administration” have weakened the military and “made the world a very dangerous place.” (Back in 2010, Perkins said that “the president’s drive to repeal the ban on open homosexuality in the military” could “bring back the draft.”)

Bachmann said she was “shocked” by the candidates’ remarks in the debate, saying that “it’s crazy.”

“This is a radical idea,” she said. “It’s a darling of the left that’s been put forward actually for several decades but it is put forward, interestingly, by people who tend to be not fans of the military and it’s people who are on this wild tear to bring about the end of male-female. At the core of this argument really, Tony, is that gender doesn’t matter. We’ve seen it in the marriage debate, but we see it now in this combat readiness debate.”

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 2/9/16

  • Franklin Graham says that gay marriage is "just the beginning of a moral onslaught on this nation."
  • Phyllis Schlafly explains that women should not have to register for the Selective Service because when she heard a noise downstairs, "my husband did the manly thing and went downstairs himself."
  • Tony Perkins says "sexual experimentation" in the military means that our the "very survival our republic is in question."
  • Donald Trump says that Hillary Clinton is "in a certain way, evil."
  • Finally, impress your friends and neighbors with this classy "God made the rainbow " t-shirt: "It's time to take back the rainbow!  God created it the rainbow as a sign to remind us of his goodness and mercy to a sinful world.  So why have we let the homosexual community take over this beautiful symbol of God's love?  Join us in spreading this message: no matter who uses it or claims it, God made it and it still belongs to Him!" 

Beyond The Pale: Ted Cruz Puts Extremists At The Center Of His Campaign

Before winning the Iowa caucuses, Sen. Ted Cruz won a straw poll of Religious Right leaders who were determined to coalesce behind a single candidate before voting went underway. Since then, hardly a week has gone by without the Cruz campaign announcing the support of a new right-wing leader, on top of the campaign’s frequent suggestions that the Texas Republican has divine support for his presidential bid.

It seems that no figure is too extreme to be embraced by Cruz, including those who would wish to see the government putting their adversaries to death.

Last Fall, Cruz appeared in Iowa alongside a pastor who has called for the government to use the death penalty to punish homosexuality. Not stung from the criticism he received for courting the radical pastor, Kevin Swanson, Cruz he later released a statement touting the support of an anti-abortion extremist, Troy Newman, who has said that a just government would punish abortion providers with death. Again facing criticism, Cruz doubled down and appointed Newman co-chair of his “pro-life coalition.”

As it turned out, Newman was just one of the first of many extremists whose support has been touted by Cruz’s campaign.

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT hate group, helped coalesce Religious Right support behind Cruz and campaigned with the senator in Iowa. Cruz apparently sees it as helpful to campaign alongside Perkins, who has defended Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” bill and claimed that gay rights advocates are pawns of the Devil.

Perkins joined Cruz on the trail in Iowa along with Glenn Beck, the conspiracy theory radio host; David Barton, the right-wing pseudo-historian who heads one of the leading pro-Cruz super PACs and who, like Beck, has declared Cruz to be God’s answer to his prayers; reality TV star Phil Robertson, notorious for making bigoted remarks; James Dobson, the anti-gay radio personality who founded Focus on the Family; Rep. Steve King, the congressman known for his anti-gay and anti-immigrant tirades; Bob Vander Plaats, the Iowa political organizer who describes homosexuality as a “public health risk” similar to smoking; and far-right radio broadcaster Steve Deace.

Other endorsers touted by the Cruz campaign have included North Carolina activists who have referred to gay people as Satan’s minions; a North Carolina pastor who has likened gay people to “maggots” and linked them to Ebola; an Oklahoma preacher who warns that homosexuality is part of a demonic communist conspiracy to bring down America; a Virginia radio host who has blamed gays for everything from terrorism to train derailments; and a Virginia lawmaker who has sponsored an assortment of bizarre anti-gay bills.

Most recently, Cruz welcomed the endorsement of Mike Bickle, the leader of a church that many have criticized for using cult-like practices, who has referred to Oprah Winfrey as a harbinger of the Antichrist, called gay rights as a Satanic plot that will usher in the End Times, and explained that Adolf Hitler was raised up by God to be a “hunter” of Jews.

Cruz’s decision to tout such radical activists — not to mention his own extreme policy positions, such as promising to defy the Supreme Court on marriage equality and abortion rights — is no accident, as he is basing his campaign strategy on the hope that he can motivate tens of millions of conservative evangelicals to go to the polls.

With Cruz now seemingly working his way into front-runner status, we fully expect to see him pick up more, and even more radical, Religious Right endorsements as the GOP primary heats up.

Louie Gohmert: Conservative Christians Back Trump Because They're Being Persecuted

Yesterday, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, spoke with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council about Donald Trump’s appeal to evangelical voters.

While both Gohmert and Perkins have endorsed Ted Cruz and were campaigning for the Texas senator in Iowa before the “Washington Watch” interview, the two said that Trump is winning over some conservative evangelicals because they are fed up with anti-Christian “persecution” and “sick of the nation being fundamentally transformed away from being a Christian nation.”

How a sitting member of Congress can possibly believe that he is facing persecution for being a member of the country’s largest religious group shows just how absurd Religious Right’s persecution narrative has become. And, ironically enough, these conservative leaders are now worrying that their manufactured paranoia of religious persecution may end up sinking their preferred candidate and help Trump.

Gohmert: I understand where so many believers, so many Christians have been in the past seven years, we now are experiencing something I never thought I would experience in my life, I never experienced it growing up and it’s what Jesus promised us would happen, and that is, ‘You will be persecuted for my sake.’ I never got persecuted growing up in Texas and I bet you didn’t in Louisiana, but we’re being persecuted now, Christians are being persecuted here for our religious beliefs and I think people are so sick of the nation being fundamentally transformed away from being a Christian nation.

You know, it reminds me maybe of the children of Israel. They had not been as faithful to God as they should have and things weren’t going like they wanted so they said, ‘God, give us a king and he can fix all this,’ and God said, ‘That’s not what’s going to fix it and it’s not a good idea.’ But I get the feeling people are thinking, if we can just have somebody that is as narcissistic and self-centered and will stand up to anybody as Obama is, then that person can go back and fix it. That’s a problem.

Perkins: What I see as I travel the country is there’s a fear, a fear that the country has changed, that we’re losing the country, just a fear of the loss of religious freedom. But we have to operate in faith, not fear. Fear causes us to make the wrong choices and go the wrong direction.

Ted Cruz Promotes Anti-Choice Activist Who Wants Abortion Doctors Executed

Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign launched a “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition yesterday, which is to be chaired by the leader of an anti-gay hate group and a radical anti-choice activist who has written that a just society would execute abortion providers.

Tony Perkins, president of the virulently anti-gay Family Research Council, is to chair the group, while Troy Newman of Operation Rescue is one of its 10 co-chairs.

Stunningly, in its short biography of Newman, the Cruz campaign mentions that he is the author of a book called “Their Blood Cries Out”:

Troy Newman is the president of Operation Rescue, one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation and a founding board member for the Center for Medial Progress. He has been involved in the pro-life community for over 20 years, starting in 1991 as the Operation Rescue West president. He is also a published author, having written Their Blood Cries Out and his most recent book Abortion Free.

We have reviewed both “Abortion Free” and “Their Blood Cries Out” here at Right Wing Watch. In “Their Blood Cries Out,” written in 2000 and revised in 2003, Newman lays out the case for churches to oppose abortion rights, saying that by failing to follow what he says is the biblical response to abortion — executing abortion providers and treating women who have abortions as “murderers” — the country is mired in “bloodguilt” and is awaiting the judgment of God. In the meantime, Newman writes, the U.S. has experienced “warnings” from God about legal abortion, including the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

More recently, Newman has alleged that the drought in California is a result of that state’s liberal abortion laws:

Newman has recently gained prominence in the anti-choice movement thanks to his role in starting the Center for Medical Progress, the group behind a series of videos attacking Planned Parenthood. (The group’s leader, David Daleiden, is currently facing a felony indictment related to his attempt to infiltrate the health care provider.) Newman has said that the goal of the project was to “destroy” Planned Parenthood, part of his long campaign of harassment and intimidation against the group and other abortion providers.

Although he renounces extrajudicial violence against abortion providers, Newman has argued that the murderer of an abortion provider in Florida should have been able to argue that the act was justifiable homicide meant to “save the lives of the pre-born babies that were scheduled to be killed by abortion that day.” When another abortion provider died of leukemia, Newman put out a press release rejoicing in his death. Newman's second-in-command at Operation Rescue is Cheryl Sullenger, who spent time in federal prison in the 1980s for conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic.

Perkins, although he is most infamous for his over-the-top anti-gay activism, has similarly warned that God will judge America for legal abortion and implied that Christians who support abortion rights aren’t true believers.

Ted Cruz Embraces Hate Group Leader Tony Perkins

Last night, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins officially endorsed Ted Cruz for president during an interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly. Perkins’ endorsement was long expected, as he has worked behind the scenes to coalesce Religious Right leaders behind Cruz’s candidacy.

Perkins is just the latest anti-gay extremist to endorse Cruz, who in a press release hailed Perkins as “a man of incredible principle and faith” and “a steadfast fighter for the principles that have made this country a shining beacon for liberty.”

Before leading FRC, Perkins was a Republican politician in Louisiana who, as we noted back in December, “spoke at least twice to the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens and reportedly ‘paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list’ while working as the campaign manager for failed U.S. Senate candidate Woody Jenkins.”

Perkins has used his post at FRC to defend Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” bill and to call gay rights advocates pawns of Satan, warning that the gay rights movement is part of a “population control” conspiracy that will lead to a Holocaust of Christians, mass death and terrorism.

No fan of religious liberty, Perkins has denounced civil rights for Muslim-Americans and adherents of “fringe religions” and suggested that liberal Christians shouldn’t have the same rights as conservative ones.

Perkins’ extremism and holier-than-thou attitude, of course, makes him a perfect fit for Cruz’s campaign.

Tony Perkins: Reagan Would Never Have Negotiated With Iran!

Yesterday, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, spoke with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on the “Washington Watch” radio program about the U.S. prisoner swap with Iran, with both expressing outrage about the deal.

The two appeared to believe that this is the first time ever that the U.S. has negotiated such an agreement, with Poe insisting that now governments or groups that detain Americans will expect to barter with the U.S. government for other prisoners or money, which apparently they never thought of before the negotiations with Iran.

Perkins said that Ronald Reagan would have never made such a deal: “Long gone are the days of Ronald Reagan when we said, ‘We don’t negotiate with terrorists.’ Now we make all kinds of deals and it just appears that America comes out on the short end of the deal.”

Perkins may want to read up on Reagan and the Iran-Contra affair.

Here’s a helpful summary from the Washington Post:

… The Reagan administration sold arms to Iran, a country desperate for materiel during its lengthy war with Iraq; in exchange for the arms, Iran was to use its influence to help gain the release of Americans held hostage in Lebanon; and the arms were purchased at high prices, with the excess profits diverted to fund the Reagan-favored "contras" fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

It was a grand scheme that violated American law and policy all around: Arms sales to Iran were prohibited; the U.S. government had long forbidden ransom of any sort for hostages; and it was illegal to fund the contras above the limits set by Congress.

Paul Rosenberg adds that the Reagan administration “got zero net hostages released, and one dead hostage’s body dumped,” by Iranian-linked terrorist groups in Lebanon “in return for 2,512 TOW anti-tank missiles, 18 Hawk anti-aircraft missiles and more than 240 Hawk spare parts” that the U.S. illegally shipped to the Iranian government.

Not to mention the cover-up.

This is far from the Right’s first case of creative memory when it comes to Reagan.

Rick Scarborough: Religious Right Must Prepare For War Against Satan, Comedians

On Saturday, anti-gay extremists Tony Perkins and Rick Scarborough hosted a “Free to Believe Broadcast” that included appearances from Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum.

Scarborough joined Perkins the night before the event on Perkins’ radio show, where he declared that conservative Christians must form an “army of faith that will stand up to tyranny” and take back ground from Satan.

After alleging that anti-Christian persecution is on the rise in America, Scarborough said that “we’re living in the age where the church is fair game, Satan is — the comedians, the media and others take no thought about defaming preachers and defaming the church.”

“Satan, like a roaring lion, is coming after the church,” he said.

While Scarborough didn’t mention who in the media is at fault, he has previously criticized the influence of Bill Maher, Rachel Maddow, Lady Gaga, Jerry Seinfeld and even cartoon characters such as Bart Simpson.

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