Mike Huckabee appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday to share his outrage that Walmart, among other businesses, came out against a right-to-discriminate bill that was passed by the state legislature in his home state of Arkansas. Huckabee told FRC president Tony Perkins, the host of the program, that the gay community has turned the controversies surrounding “religious freedom” legislation in Arkansas and Indiana into a “phony crisis.”
“It’s been manufactured by the left, just as was the war on women,” Huckabee said. “There was no war on women. The left has gotten very good on creating a crisis, something to divide the country, something to create this sense in which ‘we’ve got to go after these conservatives because they are trying to trample over our rights.’”
He added that the LGBT rights movement is like something out of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984”: “It is a classic example of — really a page out of ‘1984,’ when what things mean are the opposite of what they really are. And that’s what I’m seeing here is that in the name of tolerance, there’s intolerance. In the name of diversity, there’s uniformity. In the name of acceptance, there’s true discrimination.”
Perkins contended that gay people who are denied service by a business should simply try to find another shop that will serve them rather than filing a lawsuit against discriminatory business owners. “Where will it stop?” he asked Huckabee.
“It won’t stop until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel,” Huckabee replied, “and I’m talking now about the unabridged, unapologetic Gospel that is really God’s truth.”
Later in the program, Huckabee insisted that unlike the gay community, conservative Christians would never boycott a business like Walmart. Perkins, however, interjected that he does, in fact, plan to boycott Walmart since the company is “taking a stand against religious freedom.”
Huckabee then backtracked slightly, claiming that “it may come to the place where there will be a day in which Christians have had enough of this — I don’t think they have yet, I still see too many of them folding — but there may come a day in which they realize how close they are to losing all of their freedoms. And maybe there will be a day in which every one of the believers of this nation, people of faith and even some people who aren’t necessarily Christian but they’re people of conscience and they’re people of fairness, and they’ll just say that we will have a national boycott of the following businesses, and let’s just see if they really feel that they are taking the right position.”
Echoing a statement he made two years ago, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wrote in his daily email to his group’s members yesterday that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the supposed persecution of Christians in the U.S. military are draining “morality” from the armed forces and leading to an epidemic of sexual assaults and suicide,.
Perkins also blasted Defense Secretary Ash Carter for a plan to ease some recruitment standards for service members, including accepting people with minor criminal records such as drug offenses for some positions. “In the U.S. military, it might soon be criminals in -- Christians out!” he warns.
Reports have shown that the military is facing difficulties in finding recruits due to a number of factors, including a stronger economy, high obesity rates and college dropout rates. But Perkins suggests that the military would solve its recruiting woes if it simply ended progress toward LGBT rights and brought back “morality.”
“Our troops are tired of fighting two wars: America's and the culture's,” he writes.
Perkins has previously blamed military sexual assaults on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and warned that it would damage recruiting efforts to the extent that proponents of the repeal would have the “blood of young Marines on their hands.”
In the U.S. military, it might soon be criminals in -- Christians out! That's the Pentagon's solution to the latest recruitment woes, according to Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Faced with low enlistments, the military is desperately looking for ways to attract new service members to replenish its ranks. With morale at a record low and the crackdown on values at an all-time high, recruiters have an even more challenging job these days.
Desperate for new sign-ups, Carter and others are advocating looser standards, including allowing some with minor criminal records to enlist. Blaming the numbers on the "competitive job market," Carter said the military is going to "have to work harder to compete." But the issue isn't so much a competitive job market as it is an unfriendly military. With the wars winding down, it should be even easier to meet those enlistment targets. Instead, the Pentagon is lowering the standards to meet their quotas, which will only accelerate the downward spiral of the military.
While the Left will throw a fit, the reality is no one should be surprised. In fact, FRC's General Boykin and other military experts warned this would be the result of the Obama administration's social experimentation with the military. In the wake of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the same doors that opened for homosexuals seemed to shut in Christians' faces, as the President's hostility toward men and women of faith seeped into every aspect of military life. In more evidence that the President's policies have fundamentally transformed America,chaplains have been ousted,Bibles expelled, crosses torn down, and rainbow flags hoisted in their place.
In the absence of morality, sexual assaults have skyrocketed, suicides are through the roof, and religious liberty has vanished. Our troops are tired of fighting two wars: America's and the culture's. Congress needs to get to the bottom of these problems and fast. It's time to undo the damage done by almost seven years of social engineering on our country's finest -- or face the national security consequences.
Family Research Council Tony Perkins let loose with a rant about how President Obama isn’t a real Christian on his “Washington Watch” radio show Friday to once again claim that a Supreme Court decision on gay marriage could lead to a full-blown revolution and “literally split this nation in two.”
It all started when a caller, John, told Perkins about a discredited conspiracy theory that Egyptian investigators had uncovered evidence that proves President Obama is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He said that Obama “is a pure Muslim” who “doesn’t want any Christianity [sic] to be uprising here like the Muslims are,” adding that Obama was trained by his father “how to be a devil and a Muslim and how to hate the white people and how to hate Christianity and how to hate others.”
Perkins responded by claiming that while he can’t say for sure whether Obama is “a follower of Allah,” he knows that Obama is “deferential toward Islam and has been hostile to orthodox Christianity.” He also cited bizarre comments by Franklin Graham about Obama’s family.
He eventually focused on the caller’s comments about the need for a Christian “uprising,” which he said could be triggered by a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality: “I think, John, your point about Christians rising up, I think we are getting close to that in this country as we see increasingly this growing hostility at the hands of our own government toward Christianity and I think especially if the court imposes upon the nation a redefinition of marriage. I don’t think the nation is going to accept it, I absolutely don’t, and the conflict that is going to come as a result of it.”
Interestingly, one poll taken last year found barely any support for Perkins’s call for a revolution.
Later in the program, Perkins said that the FRC will be leading an effort, starting on “the Monday after Easter, [of] twenty-one days of prayer and fasting for our nation, that leads right up to the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on the marriage cases, and we need to first be praying, we need to repent as a nation, but then we’ve got to get up out of our prayer closet and put feet to our prayers and be involved.”
Rep. Steve King turned heads over the weekend when he scolded Jewish Democrats for not being sufficiently supportive of Israel. In comments first reported on BuzzFeed, the Iowa congressman said he does not “understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their president.” He later added that “everyone in the discussion knows I’m right.”
Here is a look at other right-wing leaders who have denounced American Jews for daring to vote against the GOP:
1) Bachmann: Jews ‘Sold Out Israel’
Before leaving Congress, Michele Bachmann denounced Jewish voters for having supposedly “sold out Israel” by showing support for President Obama.
She told Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council that she found it “shocking” that many Jews “support the political priority and the political ambitions of the president over the best interests of Israel.”
2) Family Research Council Angry With Jewish Money
Like Bachmann, FRC’s Perkins has said that it’s “ironic” that while “the Democratic Party works against the benefit of Israel in many ways,” many Democratic members of Congress are “mostly aligned with a lot of the Jewish lobby” and “enjoy the money coming from the Jewish community.” He also criticized “liberal Jewish folk” for supporting marriage equality, which he alleged will somehow harm Israel.
Jerry Boykin, the group’s executive vice president, criticized American Jews for believing that Adolf Hitler was a leader of Germany’s far-right.
3) American Jews Are Simply ‘Confused’
Like Boykin, Sandy Rios of the American Family Association thinks that American Jews are simply ignorant or “confused.”
“The Jewish vote in this country is so confused,” Rios said in 2012. “So many of the Jews in this country are atheist and their hearts are with this president, at least their political concerns are with this president. They are with him on all the issues, you know abortion, all the things you might list.” She went on to say that while “most of the Jews in this country are far left, unfortunately,” even more dangerous are “Jewish atheists” who “sometimes turn out to be the worst enemies of the country.”
4) ‘Self-Hating Jews’ Run Obama Administration
Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman marked Independence Day last year by blasting the “self-hating” Jews in the Obama administration who “lose no opportunity to distance themselves from their Judeo-Christian heritage in the style of Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky and indeed the evil Fuhrer Adolf Hitler himself, who many historians have concluded had Jewish roots on his father's side of the family.”
“These types of Jews, some of whom are present in the Obama White House to give Obama cover for his anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli acts and practices, are among the greatest enemies of the Jewish people,” he said, claiming that they help those “who are dedicated to [Israel’s] destruction.”
In another column, he went even further in criticizing the supposed “leftist Jewish influence” behind “anti-family institutions like gay marriage” and the “outright criminal behavior of the Obama administration,” writing: “I am more than embarrassed and appalled as a Jew to see my own people at the forefront of a number of scandals now perpetrated by the Muslim-in-Chief, Barack Hussein Obama, and his leftist Jewish government comrades and partners in crime. It is time for the great majority of Jews, who are honest law-abiding citizens, to speak up and play a role in helping to put these felonious liberal Jews in a place where the sun don't shine – meaning prison.”
He said that while the Jews who oppose such liberals are the “true Jews” who “police their own house and [do] not allow criminal behavior to go unaddressed, no matter what the source,” those who do not fight Obama are “more akin to ‘Hitler’s Jews.’”
5) Tom DeLay’s Message To The Jewish Community
He said that such Jews should “never forget that this president, in everything that he has done, he has tried to undermine Israel” and push Marxism on America.
On Friday, Rep. John Fleming, R-La., joined Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch” to discuss the bogus Christian persecution case of a Navy chaplain who claims he is the victim of employment discrimination for his religious beliefs.
“What has happened in recent years, particularly since Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House…and President Obama became president, is there’s been a systematic attempt to really take down religious liberty and to target specifically Christians more than anyone,” Fleming said.
After hailing Congress for having “expanded the First Amendment religious conscience rights” in the military “to say that it’s not just your beliefs but the expression thereof that are allowed within the limits of good order and discipline,” Fleming said that officials must hold military leaders accountable for alleged acts of anti-Christian discrimination.
Fleming then brought up the myth that Obama refuses to denounce violence against Christians in the Middle East, despite doing just that many times and citing anti-Christian violence as a reason for launching a military campaign against ISIS.
“Our president has done little and said little particularly in defense of the genocide that is occurring, the ethnic cleansing, of Christians in the Middle East,” Fleming said. “In fact, we know that many of the human rights organizations which function under the UN have really done a lot to do just the opposite of that, that in fact they tend to propagate liberal ideas and climate change and these kind of things in the absence of what is really happening around the world where we see sex trafficking, we see Christian women enslaved, Christians in general beheaded or crucified. So human rights has become really a functioning mechanism to push political agendas around the world, I see very little activity that is happening and certainly no leadership from this administration to actually focus it where it should be and that should be the protection of individuals, particularly women and children, and certainly those that are most targeted, which are Christians.”
Fleming said Obama administration officials are in “denial,” adding that when “one incident that may happen on a street in the United States with regard to police action against an individual gets quickly responded to by Eric Holder and President Obama but when hundreds if not thousands of Christians, as you point out, in the Middle East get treated extremely badly, tortured and then murdered, he seems to remain silent on this.”
“There definitely seems to be a double standard coming from this executive branch and really from the world as a whole, it just seems like there is some level of acceptance to persecution of Christians and ethnic cleansing as well as just outright murder,” Fleming said.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins spoke yesterday on his radio show “Washington Watch” with Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) about a sex trafficking bill which sparked outrage after Republican leaders included an anti-abortion provision in the otherwise uncontroversial legislation. During the program, a caller suggested that the government combat trafficking by following Levitical law which, according to the caller, “requires the death of the people who enslave or the people who fund the enslavers.”
Perkins responded to the caller by lamenting that the separation of church and state has contributed to sex trafficking in America.
“It’s shocking that we could treat another human being in this way, absolutely shocking, but it’s a reflection of the moral condition of our country and society as a whole. Not just our country, it’s happening everywhere,” he said. “If you think — you know when people say, ‘oh things aren’t that bad, we don’t need religion, we don’t need God,’ when you take God, the creator, out of the equation, you kick the Ten Commandments out, you remove prayer, the Bible, you remove all of that from the public square and it’s quarantined to churches for an hour or two a week, this is what you get.”
He went on to say that trafficking survivors are among “the consequences of this godless agenda.”
On Wednesday, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council blasted the New England Patriots for signing a Supreme Court amicus brief in favor of marriage equality, alleging that “the Patriots didn’t exactly live up to their name” with the team’s endorsement of equal marriage rights.
“The New England Patriots didn't just deflate footballs — they’ve deflated Americans’ respect in professional sports,” Perkins said in his radio commentary this week.
The New England Patriots didn't just deflate footballs — they've deflated Americans' respect in professional sports. Hi, I'm Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. A month after winning the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots are stepping onto another turf: the marriage debate. This month, the Patriots didn't exactly live up to their name when they joined baseball's Tampa Bay Rays and San Francisco Giants in asking the Supreme Court to overturn the votes of millions of Americans who voted to uphold natural marriage. They argue that state laws protecting marriage "hamper employer efforts to recruit and retain the most talented workforce possible in these states." But if the latest polling is any indication, Americans aren't exactly fans of these teams' agenda. Now that people are starting to see the fallout of same-sex marriage, Rasmussen is finding that more people actually oppose same-sex marriage than support — 44% to 42%. So if the Patriots are trying to move the goal post on marriage, they might want to change their game plan.
During an appearance on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told host Tony Perkins that “we need to encourage this administration to go take out Iran’s nuclear capability” instead of pursuing negotiations: “I think it’s time to bomb Iran.”
“We need to make clear to Iran: You can play these silly games with our president that buys into them and our secretary of state, but the American people aren’t buying it and you’re going to pay a price,” Gohmert said.
“I’m hoping and praying the president will realize, despite the agenda he has that has put Christians in jeopardy around the world, that he will not want to leave the Democratic Party so devastated that they won’t recover for many decades,” Gohmert continued, “that maybe he’ll start being more helpful to Israel instead of slapping them around as an unwelcomed visitor and start treating them like a friend. And maybe once he starts doing that he’ll realize we do need to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities that we know of and anything that they move to fix, we bomb that as well.”
Gohmert also pushed the completely bogus conspiracy theory that Obama “threatened to shoot down Israeli planes if they had gone to take out Iran’s nuclear capability.” The allegation is based on a Kuwaiti outlet’s spurious report which cited an anonymous source in the Israeli government.
“I’m just grateful that Netanyahu had announced there will be no two-state solution because, as you mentioned, [End Times author] Joel Rosenberg, he loves to point out in his favorite book, Joel, that Chapter 3, God says I am going to bring down judgment on nations that divide Israel. So I’d kind of hate to be a part of the nation that divides Israel,” he added.
The congressman also made the patentlyfalse claim that the Obama administration told the Nigerian government that it won’t aid the fight against Boko Haram until the country legalizes same-sex marriage.
“Because we’ve elected Obama as our leader, our nation bears responsibility for the things he’s doing,” he lamented, leading Perkins to rail against Obama’s “unconscionable” support for the “homosexual agenda.”
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., stopped by the Family Research Council radio program “Washington Watch” yesterday to discuss the Israeli election with FRC President Tony Perkins. Franks, despite once criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for approving public funding to cover abortions, all but endorsed Netanyahu’s campaign, telling Perkins that “all future generations will suffer” if he does not remain prime minister.
After Perkins told Franks that “we need to be praying” that Netanyahu retains his post as prime minister, the congressman worried that uninformed, naive voters would back Netanyahu’s opponents, just like American voters who supported President Obama.
“Keep in mind that I suppose a lot of us never would have believed that this country would have elected Barack Obama,” Franks said. “I have said that Barack Obama is not the real problem, it’s the amalgamation of the totally uninformed or totally self-focused that would elect such a man to be president, and for us to do it twice shocked the world. Keep it mind there are some of those same dangerous naivetés in Israel too and they may elect a leader that does not understand the danger of a nuclear Iran the way Bibi Netanyahu does and this is a big deal and, as you say, we better pray.”
Perkins stated that Israel may not survive an electoral defeat of Netanyahu and pushed discredited claims that the Obama administration is directly funding the prime minister’s opponents, leading Franks to warn that “if Bibi Netanyahu loses and it turns out that this president had any part in it, it’s another unprecedented moment in history where all future generations will suffer to some extent because of it.”
Franks said that he is incensed that “this president continues to insult [Israel] over and over again,” adding that he believes Obama’s presidency is a danger to the world.
“I want to you to know, I a long time ago had to let go of my personal feelings towards a president that would so casually dismiss the truth and the Constitution, but now I am starting to be afraid for my country with this man at the helm because I’m concerned that this kind of duplicity and this kind of arrogance is dangerous for this country and my children’s future,” he said.
Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins spoke to a caller who insisted that President Obama is a secret Muslim, claiming that the president drinks alcohol because he has a “special dispensation” that allows him to hide his Islamic faith.
Perkins said that such a theory “makes sense” because the president is “overly deferential to Islam and almost hostile to Christianity.” He quickly added that he doesn’t know what Obama really believes, but insists that it is “very clear to see” that Obama favors Islam over Christianity and comes from a Muslim background.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is facing a series of bad economic news as a result of his radical economic “experiment”: sluggish job growth, an exploding deficit, credit rating downgrades, inadequate pension and education funding, just to name a few. In fact, budget pressures have become so severe that Brownback recently had to reverse his no-new-taxes pledge.
But none of this seems to have bothered Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who hailed Brownback’s experiment on last weekend’s edition of “Washington Watch,” telling the Republican governor that his anti-abortion rights policies deserve some credit in shaping the state’s (mythical) economic success.
Brownback agreed, telling Perkins that his decision to sign around a dozen “pro-life bills” is part of the reason that his state is growing.
“What you’re showing in Kansas is that you can have a pro-family agenda and at the same time a pro-economic growth agenda and the two are not — rather than being mutually exclusive, they are entwined with one another,” Perkins gushed.
“They really support each other,” Brownback concurred. “One of the problems we have in the country is we’re not forming enough families.”
A direct mail letter from FRC Action dated February 2015 features a shadowy outline of a machine-gun-wielding terrorist with the warning:
TERRORISM: no longer “out there”
How they’re become a threat to YOU and your family
Inside, the letter from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins connects the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, the attacks on Coptic Christians in the Middle East, and what he calls the Obama administration’s “illegal amnesty program.” Perkins warns that “it is clear that American families are being placed in serious danger by President Obama’s illegal executive order on immigration.”
After discussing ISIS efforts to recruit American Muslims, Perkins states:
It is clear that some people are coming across the border with ulterior motives—not simply looking for working in hopes of sending money home to their families. These are not simply rumors from news reports; I have this firsthand from people in government and in organizations focused on national security.
Perkins even manages to work in marriage equality:
This President refuses to acknowledge that there is evil in the world. Terrorists are not simply people who grew up in bad neighborhoods and developed bad attitudes. These are people who want to kill us.
President Obama holds a worldview – and a view of America – that puts everything we value at risk. In the same way that he shrugs off a radical redefinition of marriage, in the same way that he shrugs off the persecution of Christians in other countries (and adopts policies that contribute to it in our own country), he minimizes the threat of Islamic terrorists.
And by connecting these threats to what he calls the administration’s “lawlessness,” Perkins is even able to work in Obamacare.
Perkins ends with a P.S.:
As “People of the Cross,” it is clear that you and I have been targeted by the terrorists. It is no longer a vague “concern.” It is a very real threat. Our President is not protecting us. We must move Congress to ensure your safety and the safety of your children and grandchildren. We will fight for you on Capitol Hill. Please help us. Give generously today. Thank you again.
In testimony to a Senate subcommittee today, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins linked the Hobby Lobby contraception coverage case to violent religious persecution in the Middle East and around the world, repeating his claim that there is a “correlation” between perceived discrimination against conservative Christians in the U.S. and oppression and violence against religious minority groups by groups like ISIS.
As we noted yesterday, Perkins was a troubling choice to testify in an international religious freedom hearing because he routinely exploits the very real persecution of Christians and other religious minorities throughout the world to attack President Obama and the LGBT rights movement, who he claims are persecuting Christians in the United States by preventing them from discriminating against gay people.
Perkins picked up on the theme in his testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s foreign operations subcommittee, responding to a question from Sen. Steve Daines of Montana by claiming that U.S. policies like the HHS mandate on insurance coverage for contraceptives that was struck down by the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case send a “message to bad actors abroad that America no longer puts a high priority on religious freedom.”
“The lack of priority on religious freedom that we have placed here domestically in our policies does send a message internationally,” he said. “I think there is a correlation between…the growing intolerance toward religious freedom here at home, i.e. in the marketplace, is giving rise to persecution abroad. And the reason I say that is when we no longer make it a priority domestically, that sends a message to bad actors abroad that America no longer puts a high priority on religious freedom, so we don’t have to worry about them acting against us or moving against us based on that.”
“I mean, you look at the case of the HHS mandate, the Hobby Lobby case, which had to go all the way to the Supreme Court in order to exercise their religious freedom under the Religious Freedom Act,” he added.
That was too much even for Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel to the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, who responded that while he agreed with Perkins that the contraception coverage mandate represented “religious discrimination,” it was “not on the same level as religious persecution where people are having their throats slit, being crucified or being beheaded.”
This isn’t the first time Perkins has made such an absurd claim: He once suggested that President Obama’s support for overturning the Citizens United decision is somehow connected to the violent persecution of Christians in countries like Sudan.
Earlier in his testimony, Perkins also claimed that the Obama administration had left open the position of ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom for “36 months,” sending “a message that we did not put a priority as an administration, as a country on religious freedom.” The position was indeed left open for a little over two years at the start of President Obama’s first term…because then-Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican who now runs the Heritage Foundation, placed a hold on Obama’s first nominee for the job.
The Family Research Council announced today that its president, Tony Perkins, has been invited to testify at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing tomorrow on “protecting religious freedom abroad.”
The inclusion of Perkins threatens to turn a hearing about a critically important issue into a political sideshow. Perkins has consistently used the persecution of Christians abroad as a political bludgeon at home, claiming that LGBT rights in the U.S. are fueling religious persecution worldwide and falsely asserting that President Obama has done nothing to stop the oppression of Christians because he secretly sympathizes with Islamic radicals.
And, even as he accuses the Obama administration of ignoring the plight of Christians, Perkins has attacked international human rights efforts aimed at combating violence against and government oppression of LGBT people.
Perkins routinely trots out the claim that conservative Christians are being persecuted in America to blame the Obama administration and the LGBT rights movement for very real anti-Christian persecution throughout the world. In an interview with Rick Santorum in November, Perkins insisted that there is a “correlation” between the supposed persecution of Christians in America and violent attacks on Christians and churches in the Middle East and elsewhere. “They feel like if it’s not a priority for us to have religious freedom here at home, then certainly it’s not going to be a priority for us to speak out for the persecuted peoples abroad,” he said.
Claiming that nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBT people are in fact discriminatory against Christians, Perkins said in November that combating such laws “will give hope to far-away places around the world” where Christians are being oppressed by tyrannical governments.
He similarly blamed advances in LGBT rights in the U.S. for encouraging religious persecution in Iran and North Korea, citing the case of an Atlanta fire chief who lost his job after distributing an anti-gay book to claim that “tyrants abroad see an administration that is not only not interested in protecting religious freedom but actually persecuting.” At another point, he warned of “deadly consequences” for Christians abroad if marriage equality succeeds in the United States.
Last year, Perkins linked the case of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was imprisoned for converting to Christianity, to an effort to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, saying “we keep our freedom of religion by working to keep our freedom of speech, and political speech is actually what’s under attack here.”
Perkins frequently brushes aside the evidence he is presented with to suggest that President Obama is ignoring the plight of Christians throughout the world. Throughout Ibrahim’s plight, Perkins insisted that the Obama administration had “done nothing” for her…even after sources including Fox News and a conservative Republican congressman told him that the administration had been working diligently to set her free. Even after diplomatic pressure led to Ibrahim’s release and she was granted asylum in the United States, Perkins claimed in a fundraising letter that there was “no evidence that the Obama State Department did anything to intervene.”
Similarly, when the administration secured the release of Kenneth Bae, a Christian pastor held in a North Korean prison camp, Perkins used the opportunity to falsely claim that the administration was doing nothing to help another Christian political prisoner, Saeed Abedini, in Iran.
Perkins hasn’t just exploited the cases of persecuted Christians to attack Obama — he has also used them in an effort to lend legitimacy to his fight against LGBT rights in the United States.
He frequently portrays protecting LGBT people from violence and protecting Christians from religious persecution as an either-or choice…and, unsurprisingly, claims that Obama has chosen the former. In a direct mail piece in August, for instance, Perkins vowed to fight the administration’s “devotion to the cause of sexual immorality and their simultaneous indifference toward Christians suffering persecution for their faith.”
Perkins may portray the issues as mutually exclusive because he vehemently opposes any U.S. efforts to protect LGBT people from violence and persecution from their governments. Back in 2010, he defended a Uganda bill that would have imposed life imprisonment for consensual sex with someone of the same sex and the death penalty for so-called “aggravated homosexuality,” saying it was an effort to “uphold moral conduct.” When then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched an initiative to promote LGBT rights throughout the world, he accused her of promoting a “radical social agenda” including “special rights for homosexuals and homosexuality”… while claiming that she had remained “silent” on anti-Christian persecution.
Religious persecution around the world is certainly a worthy topic for the Senate to address. But including Tony Perkins in such a hearing is not the way for a committee to convey that it is taking this issue seriously.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins broadcast his “Washington Watch” radio program live from FRC’s “Faith and Family Summit” on Friday where the major topic was, predictably, the supposed persecution of conservative Christians at the hands of the LGBT rights movement.
Perkins invited Craig James, the former pro football player who joined FRC after being fired as a Fox Sports commentator, to discuss the decision of several professional sports teams to join a brief on behalf of gay marriage at the Supreme Court.
James worried that the decision by the New England Patriots, the Tampa Bay Rays and the San Francisco Giants to join the marriage brief could cause an “implosion” in team locker rooms and intimidate players who oppose marriage equality from speaking their minds.
“If I were a current player in that locker room and my livelihood depended on me being quiet or losing it because of my belief system, I worry, I wonder,” he said. “So, that’s Satan working on us.”
Later in the interview, Perkins warned of a coming clash between LGBT rights and religious liberty, saying, “There’s no avoiding this conflict, it’s coming, as we redefine marriage and with it everything else in society. “
“It’s not so much about the marriage altar, this redefinition of marriage, it’s about altering all of society,” he added.
James agreed, adding that he had recently been studying the book of Genesis and found that the story of Adam and Eve proves that if you support gay marriage, you “have a problem with God.”
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday to chat with Tony Perkins about what they perceive as growing anti-Christian persecution in America, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent announcement that city schools will now close for the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha and al-Fitr.
The two right-wing commentators were outraged, claiming that New York City’s move somehow discriminates against Christians.
“But yet when it comes to Christmas and Easter, two very prominent Christian holidays, they’re not on the school calendar, they’re called ‘winter break’ and ‘spring break,’” Perkins said. Starnes concurred: “Oh yes. For the sake of tolerance and diversity, that normally means the Christians are going to be discriminated against or their holidays are going to be minimalized.”
Easter always falls on a Sunday, which would explain why it is not on a school vacation calendar, while Christmas does in fact appear on New York City’s list of school holidays [PDF]. The city’s schools are also closed for Good Friday, along with the Jewish holy days of Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Passover.
An anguished Perkins lamented that “when 85 percent of the population identifies as Christian but we can’t have a Christmas holiday because it’s religious but yet we can have Muslim holidays, something is not right there in New York City, ‘The Big Apple,’ something is rotten.”
Starnes responded by claiming that Islam is being elevated over Christianity, and it’s all Obama’s fault.
“You’re absolutely right Tony,” the Fox News pundit said. “How many times have we seen this, where the Islamic faith is being given accommodation and the Christian faith and other religious faiths are being marginalized, not just in the public workspace but also through the Obama administration.”
Perkins also managed to attack President Obama for de Blasio’s decision: “I think the Obama administration has created the environment for policies such as this.”
While Girl Scouts across the country spent this past weekend selling and distributing Girl Scout cookies, many right-wing activists will not be joining the rest of us in enjoying Thin Mints and Samoas.
For the past several years, conservative groups have urged their members not to touch the cookies, warning that doing so will support communism, abortion and homosexual indoctrination. The Girl Scouts’ right-wing detractors commonly cite the discredited myth that the group is funding Planned Parenthood, and the even stranger that it is turning children into lesbian, socialist activists.
Here are the three wildest claims that right-wing activists make about the girls’ empowerment organization:
1) Girl Scouts Push ‘Lesbianism’ On Children!
The Girl Scouts’ strong stance against discrimination has put the organization in the far right’s crosshairs, with anti-LGBT activists claiming that the Girl Scouts’ acceptance of lesbian and bisexual members really means that they are somehow pushing “lesbianism” on children.
Back in 2013, Mission America’s Linda Harvey accused the Scouts of teaching “homosexual lifestyles” to girls, along with “an attitude of suspicion toward males in general.” One right-wing columnist, Jane Chastain of WorldNetDaily, alleged last year that the Scouts not only promote legal “prostitution,” but send children home from camp telling “stories of lesbianism.”
Perhaps no one captures this particular paranoia better than Religious Right radio host Kevin Swanson, who once literally begged his listeners to not purchase Girl Scout cookies.
“I don’t want to support lesbianism, I don’t want to support Planned Parenthood and I don’t want to support abortion, and if that be the case I’m not buying Girl Scout cookies,” Swanson said on his “Generations Radio” program in 2013. “Please, I beg of you, do not buy Girl Scout cookies. Please, I beg of you, stop buying Girl Scout cookies. And if you do, take a big black magic marker and cross out all of the references to Girl Scouts of America on all of the signs and all of the boxes because we do not want to promote that organization.”
Swanson added that Girl Scouts will eventually become voters who will put “a communist in the White House in the year 2020.”
2) Girl Scouts Promote Abortion And ‘Promoscuity’!
Conservatives were incensed when Girl Scouts of the USA tweeted out a Huffington Post article on notable women of 2013, asking Twitter followers who they thought was the ‘woman of the year.’ The article mentioned people like Malala Yousafzai and Beyoncé, but also included a lengthy video chat during which Texas lawmaker Wendy Davis and her famous filibuster against an anti-abortion bill were mentioned. While the Scouts didn’t endorse anyone in the post, conservatives seized on the tweet to resurrect the myth that Girl Scout cookie sales fund Planned Parenthood.
One Family Research Council official, Cathy Ruse, said in 2012 that the “radicals” leading the Girl Scouts seek to “promote abortion” and “push for same-sex marriage,” alleging that Scout leaders believe that “abortion and sex-ed and promiscuity for very young girls is a good thing.”
FRC president Tony Perkins warned on the same 2012 radio program that the people behind the Scouts’ “liberal indoctrination” efforts are “not having kids so they want to make sure they can get our kids.” He said that by encouraging “promiscuity,” future Scouts will need to go to Planned Parenthood clinics: “[I]t makes sense for Planned Parenthood to want to be teamed up with the Girl Scouts because that’s a client base for them if they can get this information into their hands to encourage promiscuity and behavior that would lead them into Planned Parenthood clinics.”
The even group went so far as to target the Girl Scouts in a prayer alert.
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes has also called on his fans to boycott the cookie drives, saying last year that cookie-buyers should seek out more “wholesome alternatives” since “Girl Scout money was helping to fund Planned Parenthood.” American Family Association president Tim Wildmon also called for a cookie boycott last year, saying that “buying Girl Scout cookies serves only to further facilitate a very liberal pro-abortion agenda.”
Dan Gainor of the conservative Media Research Center was boycotting Girl Scout cookies as early as 2012, boasting that his entire office had sworn off the cookies since they were “destroying young women in America.”
3) Girl Scouts Commit ‘Child Abuse’ By Accepting Transgender Girls!
The far-right lit into the Girl Scouts in 2012 after one troop in Colorado decided to accept a 7-year-old transgender girl, citing its chapter’s policy that “if a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”
Perkins urged FRC members to boycott the Scouts since they “decided to admit boys who dress as girls” and Ruse said that the organization’s inclusive policy amounted to child abuse: “You’ve got a cross-dresser in the front office, you’ve got little boys admitted as little girls and those poor little girls in those troops have to pretend this is a girl? That’s child abuse in some people’s estimation.”
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch” to address a recent Department of Homeland Security report that right-wing “sovereign citizens”are responsible for at least two dozen violent attacks in the U.S. over the last several years.
As Media Matters points out, such sovereign citizen attacks come as incidents of far-right violence, such as shootings at a Kansas City Jewish community center and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, are on the rise. But Poe was having none of it, and joined Perkins in suggesting that the Obama administration is simply fabricating the evidence of far-right violence, and accusing Obama of referring to conservatives and Christians as terrorists.
“They’re not credible,” Poe said. “The idea that Americans who are conservatives, that disagree with the president, are just as threatening as ISIS, whose whole existence is to kill us in the name of their religion, even though the president won’t say ‘Islamic terrorists,’ he’ll call people on the Right terrorists, is nonsense, it is just utter nonsense. There is no evidence of anything like that and once again more fear tactics out of the administration.”
“It’s concerning to us because of the, in my opinion, how the president so meekly addresses Islamic radical terrorists who want to kill us in the name of their religion, in how he deals with them and yet he’s really quick to call out the Right with absolutely no evidence that they are just as serious threats to our country. It’s very disturbing that the president would take that political position,” Poe said.
When Perkins asked the congressman if he would hold a hearing to ask DHS officials “why they continue to put Americans in their crosshairs,” Poe called it “an excellent idea” and claimed that the administration is “more aggressive toward Americans, Republicans, conservatives, Christians, and concerned about them being threats to the country, which they’re not, than they are about the real threats to our country.”
“It’s mind-boggling why they would be this way, but to answer your question, yes, there will be questions and we will just ask them an obvious one: show us some proof of this situation that they claim that all of these different folks that you mentioned are threats to our country.”