Tony Perkins

Family Research Council Spokesman Links Isla Vista Shooting Spree To Gay Marriage

Family Research Council senior fellow Ken Blackwell yesterday linked the Isla Vista mass killings to marriage equality laws, which he claimed are destroying the culture. Speaking with FRC president Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch,” Blackwell blamed the shooting on “the crumbling of the moral foundation of the country” and “the attack on natural marriage and the family.”

“When these fundamental institutions are attacked and destroyed and weakened and abandoned, you get what we are now seeing,” Blackwell said, arguing that people who are “blaming the Second Amendment” are “avoiding talking about what is at the root cause of the problem.”

Blackwell has previously described marriage equality advocates as “opponents of natural marriage.”

FRC Officials Really Want You To Know They Are Definitely Not Gay

We don’t know what happened at Wednesday evening’s Capitol tour for the pastors at the Family Research Council’s Watchmen on the Wall conference, but in speeches the next day, two FRC officials really wanted to make it clear that they are definitely not gay.

Craig James, the former Fox Sports analyst who was hired by FRC after becoming the Right’s latest anti-gay martyr, began his speech by joking that there should be a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about the previous night, specifically calling out FRC president Tony Perkins and executive vice president Jerry Boykin. He then joked that Boykin – who once said that the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” led to the military’s “moral decline” and “absolute destruction” – won’t let anyone wear a pink shirt in the FRC office.

Later that afternoon, Perkins was introduced by his hometown pastor, who gave him a hearty hug as he walked to the stage. “Thank you,” Perkins said as he reached the microphone. “I was just glad you didn’t kiss me.”

Paranoia-Rama: How Common Core Will Turn Kids Into Gay Muslim Communist Slaves

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

It seems President Obama will stop at nothing in his effort to destroy America, as he attempts to diminish the military, turn kids gay through Common Core, kill America’s livestock, blackmail the Supreme Court and grant himself a third term.

Of course none of this is actually going on, but that is just a dose of what you will find this week in the land of right-wing conspiracies.

5. Obama’s Third Term

The National Report, a parody website that reads like an unfunny version of The Onion, struck again this week with an article entitled “Obama Announces Plans For A Third Term Presidential Run.” The article has now been shared over 264,000 on Facebook, and based on previous experience, we imagine that many of the people who have shared it don’t realize it is a spoof:

“I can’t abandon the American people now when they need me more than ever,” Obama told reporters at a press conference this morning. “We’ve come this far as a nation, now is not the time to do something different. This is the change you wanted and this is the change you’re getting.”



Paul Horner who is a spokesman for the Obama Administration told reporters how amazing this news is for the country. “Obama is guaranteed to win in 2016 and then we’ll all be able to enjoy this great man for another four years. Things could not get any better for the American people. I’m so stoked!”

As Snopes notes, “many of those who encountered the item [are] mistaking it for a genuine news article.”

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that people are taking National Report’s spoof at face value. After all, several right-wing websites and commentators, including Rush LimbaughDavid BartonJoseph Farah and Alex Jones, have voiced fears of an Obama third term, and haven’t meant it as a joke.

4. Obama Snubbed Troops On Armed Forces Day

Right-wing activists were up in arms this week over allegations that Obama ignored Armed Forces Day in favor of marking the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Tony Perkins told Family Research Council members that the president “couldn’t be bothered to acknowledge Armed Forces Day” because he was too busy trying to “lecture Americans on an [LGBT] agenda tearing apart the very military he ignored.”

Of course, had Perkins and others bothered to do a simple Google search, they would have easily found the 2014 Presidential Proclamation on Armed Forces Day.

But the far right rarely misses a chance to throw around baseless accusations about the president, especially when they can promote the fear that Obama secretly despises America. Conservatives have also recently pushed false stories about Obama refusing to commemorate the D-Day anniversary and Memorial Day.

3. John Roberts Was Blackmailed!

While John Roberts may have moved the Supreme Court decidedly to the right, Larry Klayman believes President Obama is using the NSA to blackmail the chief justice.

“He was going to side with the other justices and find that Obamacare was unconstitutional. Is it something that was dug up on him by the NSA or the CIA? Was that used against him to blackmail him?” Klayman asked.

Now, Klayman admits that he has zero evidence that the president is blackmailing Chief Justice Roberts and is just asking the question. But now that the question has been asked (by Klayman), Klayman is determined to “get the truth on this.”

And if he fails to get to the bottom of this scandal he created in his own mind, then Hillary Clinton will abuse the NSA even more egregiously. “Can you imagine Hillary Clinton having the power to use this?” he warned.

That’s why, Klayman maintains, a revolution is needed to block the next election and stop Hillary Clinton from becoming president.

2. Obama Creating ‘Meatless Society’

Citing the Bundy Ranch standoff, Renew America pundit Sher Zieve writes this week that the Bureau of Land Management is attempting to “end cattle farming and begin the process of turning the USA into a meatless society.”

“This is Obama’s private army,” Zieve says of the BLM, “one that will be used against American citizens and likely very soon.”

Don’t worry, Zieve has just a few small concerns about Common Core too:

“Today, in U.S. government schools both Marxist and Islamic propaganda are regularly taught and the curricula for these are growing markedly,” Zieve writes, alleging that the “Holy Bible is being banned in schools along with the targeting of any and all Christian thought and speech, while Islam is being actively taught.”

“Common Core is – in fact – designed to train good Communist subjects; that is subjects in the feudal sense,” she adds.

1. Common Core Will Turn Kids Gay

Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant, boosting the far right’s campaign against Common Core, told an education conference this week that the new curriculum standards will turn children gay: “These people, that will now receive $220 million from the state of Florida unless this is stopped, will promote double-mindedness in state education and attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can. I’m sorry to report that to you.”

Think Progress captured his remarks:

Naturally, the Republican lawmaker defended his remarks by explaining that “lifestyle changes” do not “need to be part of our children's curriculum.”

Tony Perkins Says Marriage Equality Will Lead To The 'Dissolution Of The Republic'

Tony Perkins, who has previously claimed that marriage equality will lead to a “revolution” and “break this nation apart,” told Janet Mefferd yesterday that he believes advances in gay rights are bringing about the “dissolution of the republic.”

The Family Research Council president told Mefferd that the marriage debate is “is literally about the entire culture: it’s about the rule of law, it’s about the country, it’s about our future, it’s about redefining the curriculum in our schools, it’s about driving a wedge between parent and child, it’s about the loss of religious freedom, it’s about the inability to be who we are as a people.”

Perkins said gay rights advocates are “sowing the seeds of the disillusion of our republic.”

“Once we lose the rule of law, we’ve lost what holds us together and I think there’s coming a point that they’re going to push Christians to a point where they’re not going to be pushed anymore and I think we’re very quickly coming to that point,” he said.

Religious Right Activists Working To Water Down Air Force Rules On Religious Coercion

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes made waves last year when he claimed that the Air Force was preparing to “court martial” Christians as part of an Obama administration “religious cleansing of the military.”

As it turned out, the policy on proselytizing that Starnes cited to make these claims [PDF] was crafted in 2008 – during the Bush administration – and in no way calls for the court martialing of Christians.

The regulations do stress that “leaders at all levels” should “avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion. Commanders or supervisors who engage in such behavior may cause members to doubt their impartiality and objectivity. The potential result is a degradation of the unit’s morale, good order, and discipline.”

But the facts didn’t stop Republicans politicians and conservative activists from using the Bush-era policy to attack President Obama and to push for looser restrictions on religious proselytizing in the military.

And now, the Religious Right’s campaign may be succeeding in pressuring the Air Force to water down the 2008 policy. McClatchy reports today that while Air Force officials maintain that the accusations of religious persecution in the military aren’t true, they are considering altering the rules on religious coercion in response to pressure from the Right.

The Air Force reportedly convened a meeting to discuss the policy in March, and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins is claiming that the service plans to “make a policy change shortly.”

In the “religious persecution in the military” meme, the Religious Right has found an issue that it can fundraise off in perpetuity that also works toward two of its main goals: attacking President Obama and undermining laws that promote the separation of church and state.

Don Boyd of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty rightly asks: “If the claims of persecution are ‘not true,’ why change the policy? Americans who want to serve their country without receiving unwanted religious pressure should have some protection.”

McClatchy:

“The single biggest frustration I’ve had in this job is the perception that somehow there is religious persecution inside the United States Air Force,” Gen. Mark Welsh III told a House Armed Services Committee hearing earlier this spring. “It’s not true.” Welsh’s irritation underscored the pressure the Air Force is under from Republicans in Congress, evangelical Christians and conservative advocacy groups to end what they allege is the service’s suppression of religious freedom. Their charge isn’t new, but the target is: a regulation designed to prevent religious bias by barring commanders and other leaders from “the actual or apparent use of their positions to promote their religious convictions to their subordinates.”



“It’s when the commander becomes the preacher that we have a problem,” said a former senior defense official who dealt with the issue but requested anonymity in order to speak freely. “It’s commanders turning to subordinates and saying, ‘Here’s what makes my life worthwhile. It’s going to my church and subscribing to my views.’ ”



The Air Force defends the regulation as a measure that “seems to make good sense.” Yet the pressure — legislation, congressional hearings, meetings, letters, media statements and online appeals — to revise or dump it is having an impact.

Late last month, James and Welsh convened a “Religious Freedom Focus Day” conference of senior chaplains and legal and manpower officials to discuss the policy. An Air Force spokeswoman, Rose Richeson, declined to make the results of the April 28 meeting public, saying it would be “too premature to provide an interview.”

But Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, a Christian conservative policy institute that leads a coalition of organizations that are fighting the regulation, said that based on what he’d heard from people at the meeting he expected the Air Force to “make a policy change shortly.”

The prospect alarms supporters of the policy, who say a pro-Christian bias in the Air Force remains overwhelming and that the regulation provides an avenue of relief to service members who object to being regaled with their superiors’ religious views or who worry that declining invitations to “voluntary” Bible classes might jeopardize their fitness reports and chances of promotion.

The regulation has been “an umbrella in a tsunami of Christian fundamentalist extremism,” asserted Mikey Weinstein, the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and a former Air Force officer whose outspokenness has won him scorn and death threats.

Since the regulation went into effect, 4,121 Air Force personnel have sought the organization’s help in fending off proselytizing by superiors, Weinstein said. The organization has a 95 percent “success rate” in ending “the offending behavior,” he said. Evangelical Christians draw the largest number of complaints — ironically enough, from fellow Christians, he said.



“We don’t advocate that someone in a position of authority use that authority to somehow force someone to participate in a religious activity,” Perkins said. “On the flip side of that is just because someone in a command position (has) a devotional or weekly Bible study and you invite your colleagues, there is nothing wrong with that as long as you are not requiring (attendance). It’s like asking someone to come play dominoes.”

Military culture, however, is very different from the civilian world, the regulation’s defenders responded. The services are closed, clannish and hierarchical, and in such an atmosphere a commander’s exhortation to follow his or her beliefs or an invitation to a voluntary prayer circle can be perceived as tantamount to an order.

To illustrate the point, Weinstein said his organization had received 17 complaints _ all from Protestants _ in early May after a commander at an Air Force base left invitations to a “Purity Ball” _ a religious, high school prom-like event attended by fathers and daughters _ on the chairs of three senior subordinates. The girls take vows to refrain from premarital sex.

The subordinates “understood that they had to distribute the invitations. They distributed them to 212 people,” said Weinstein, who declined to identify the base, the commander or the complainants because of confidentiality considerations.

Tony Perkins Falsely Claims Obama Was Too Busy Pushing Gay Rights 'To Acknowledge Armed Forces Day'

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins thinks he has caught President Obama in a mini-scandal, claiming in his daily email to members Monday that Obama “couldn’t be bothered to acknowledge Armed Forces Day” because he was too busy finding “time to lecture Americans on an agenda tearing apart the very military he ignored.

He was referring to the president’s acknowledgment of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, two terms Perkins put in quotation marks.

Everyone else's eyes are wide open, thanks to the avalanche of attacks thundering down on anyone with a natural view on marriage -- from network television and bank brokers to Internet companies and city councils. Even the President of the United States, who only recently hopped aboard the same-sex "marriage" express, is piling on with outlandish public statements against a sentiment he used to share. On the 10th anniversary of Massachusetts's court-imposed same-sex "marriage," the White House marked the day by railing against "homophobia" and "transphobia." The same President who couldn't be bothered to acknowledge Armed Forces Day found more than enough time to lecture Americans on an agenda tearing apart the very military he ignored. And if these polls are any indication, his heavy-handed approach is already backfiring -- a fact the GOP would be wise to capitalize on.

Perkins, unsurprisingly, was wrong.

As Adam Weinstein notes, it only takes a few seconds of Googling to find Obama’s proclamation recognizing Armed Forces Day.

Presidential Proclamation -- Armed Forces Day, 2014

ARMED FORCES DAY, 2014

- - - - - - -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION

In every generation, there are men and women who stand apart. They put on the uniform and put their lives on the line so the rest of us might live in a safer, freer, more just world. They defend us in times of peace, times of war, and times of crisis, both natural and man-made. On Armed Forces Day, we honor the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who render the highest service any American can offer.

The patriots who stand sentry for our security are a proud link in an unbroken chain that stretches through the centuries. This generation has distinguished itself on mission after mission, tour after tour. Because of their heroism, the core of al-Qaeda is severely degraded and our homeland is more secure. Thanks to their extraordinary sacrifice, we are winding down more than a decade of war and strengthening alliances that extend our values. These are the gifts they have given us, and this is why we owe them a profound debt of gratitude.

It is our obligation to ensure our troops have all they need to complete their missions abroad, but we must also support them when they return home. We must care for the families who serve alongside them and fulfill our promises today, tomorrow, and forever. And we must demonstrate our thanks by building a Nation worthy of their sacrifices, a Nation that lives up to our founding ideals and allows every citizen to write their chapter of the American story.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, continuing the precedent of my predecessors in office, do hereby proclaim the third Saturday of each May as Armed Forces Day.

I direct the Secretary of Defense on behalf of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, and the Secretary of Homeland Security on behalf of the Coast Guard, to plan for appropriate observances each year, with the Secretary of Defense responsible for encouraging the participation and cooperation of civil authorities and private citizens.

I invite the Governors of the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, to provide for the observance of Armed Forces Day within their jurisdiction each year in an appropriate manner designed to increase public understanding and appreciation of the Armed Forces of the United States. I also invite veterans, civic leaders, and organizations to join in the observance of Armed Forces Day.

Finally, I call upon all Americans to display the flag of the United States at their homes on Armed Forces Day, and I urge citizens to learn more about military service by attending and participating in the local observances of the day. I also encourage Americans to volunteer at organizations that provide support to our troops and their families.

Proclamation 8984 of May 17, 2013, is hereby superseded.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

BARACK OBAMA

Tony Perkins Twists Politico's 'Battleground Poll' To Claim 'Majority Of Americans Oppose Redefining Marriage'

Religious Right leaders Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer commissioned a poll last month of Republican and Republican-leaning voters which found, unsurprisingly, that most Republicans oppose marriage equality. Bauer, while speaking on Perkins’ radio show the next day, predictably misrepresented the poll and pointed to it as proof that “most Americans” are against legalizing same-sex marriage.

Today, Perkins tweeted that a “majority of Americans oppose redefining marriage,” linking to a new Politico poll.

Perkins, of course, fails to grasp that the poll is not a national survey, unlike the many national surveys that show majority support for the freedom to marry.

In fact, the poll surveys 867 likely voters in only certain areas of the country, namely “states with competitive Senate elections” and “competitive House districts.”

Likely voters were surveyed in the following states with competitive Senate elections: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia.

Additionally, likely voters were surveyed in the following competitive House districts: Arizona-01, Arizona-02, Arizona-09, Arkansas-02, Arkansas-04, California-07, California-10, California-21, California-25, California-26, California-31, California-36, California-52, Colorado-06, Connecticut-05, Florida-02, Florida-13, Florida-18, Florida-26, Georgia-12, Illinois-10, Illinois-11, Illinois-12, Illinois-13, Illinois-17, Indiana-02, Iowa-01, Iowa-03, Maine-02, Massachusetts-06, Michigan-01, Michigan-04, Michigan-07, Michigan-08, Michigan-11, Minnesota-02, Minnesota-07, Minnesota-08, Montana-AL, Nebraska-02, Nevada-03, Nevada-04, New Hampshire-01, New Hampshire-02, New Jersey-02, New Jersey-03, New Mexico-02, New York-01, New York-11, New York-18, New York-19, New York-21, New York-23, New York-24, North Carolina-07, Ohio-06, Ohio-14, Oregon-05, Pennsylvania-06, Pennsylvania-08, Texas-23, Utah-04, Virginia-02, Virginia-10, West Virginia-01, West Virginia-02, West Virginia-03 and Wisconsin-06.

Benham Brothers Reveal What Love And Liberty Mean To The Religious Right

Benham Brothers Reveal What Love and Liberty Mean To the Religious Right

Tony Perkins Warns Condom Use 'Leads To Tyranny'

Yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins responded to the news that the Department of Education will investigate 55 colleges and universities for “mishandling sexual assault claims” by claiming that contraception distribution “leads to tyranny.”

Speaking on his “Washington Watch” program, Perkins lamented “the sexualization that is taking place in our culture in general but on college campuses.”

“Contraception is made available as if it were candy which sends a message, well it’s there, it must be there for a reason, and then we’re surprised when — this is not justification, it’s wrong, we are all responsible for our actions — but we’re surprised when people act on these outside factors that they are surrounded by,” Perkins said. “It leads to tyranny.”

Perkins told a caller that people are trying to “jettison the moral law and live by an arbitrary standard that is put in place by government.”

After Complaining Women's Museum Will 'Indoctrinate' Visitors Into Feminism, CWA's Nance Demands To Chair Museum's Board

The House voted 383-33 last night to move forward with a plan to build a National Women’s History Museum on the Mall, despite an effort by Religious Right groups to prevent the museum from going forward.

Now, we learn that Concerned Women for America's Penny Nance, the activist leading the fight against the museum, was offered a spot on its planning board but refused to participate unless an anti-feminist activist like herself was allowed to head the planning effort.

The Daily Caller reports that in an effort to shore up support for a bill authorizing a planning study for the museum, the museum’s chief Republican supporter, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, offered Nance a spot on the museum’s board. Nance refused, saying that she would only accept an offer to lead the museum as the board’s chair or to pick another right-wing activist for the job.

“Regardless of that effort some critics of this legislation have, incorrectly, said that the bill would create a museum that would portray women as monolithic in their views on abortion as well as other issues of concern to women,” said Blackburn, adding that she asked Nance to serve as a member of the commission.

Nance said that the offer — sent by Blackburn’s chief of staff on Tuesday night — is “an exercise in futility and frustration without the chairman being someone who at least is impartial on our views.”

“One seat would not change anything,” said Nance, adding “I am happy to either serve or find someone else to serve as chairman.”

Religious Right groups came out against the plan because, they said, it would place too much emphases on women who had fought for women’s rights. CWA complained that the museum would “indoctrinate” visitors into “a jaundiced view of women’s history” because the museum’s website mentioned pioneering abortion rights advocates but didn’t mention CWA’s founder Beverly LaHaye or fringe right-wing activist Star Parker.

Eagle Forum urged its members to oppose the creation of the museum, saying, “Long sought by feminists, this project would enshrine their warped view of American history on the National Mall” and added that the museum wasn’t needed anyway: “Women's history is American history, and there is already a National Museum of American History on the Mall.”

The Family Research Council warned that the museum would become “a permanent monument to radical feminism and abortion.”

Writing for RedState, David Horowitz called the museum proposal an “interesting endeavor,” but warned that it would “promote leftwing propaganda”:

One of the biggest obstacles to restoring our constitutional Republic is the inherent advantage the progressives enjoy inside of our culture. Their monopoly on media, entertainment, and education has given radicals the opportunity to slowly, yet relentlessly, introduce extreme ideas into the mainstream with a high degree of success. The least we can do as conservatives is not use our majority to gratuitously grant the feminist movement more leverage to promote leftwing propaganda in our nation’s capitol under the guise of celebrating famous women.

In the end, yesterday, activists were only able to persuade 33 Republican House members to vote against a bill that “authorizes a study to find a location for the museum and establish its mission.” Only two of the eighteen Republican women in the House voted against the bill – Rep. Michele Bachmann, who said it would “enshrine the radical feminist movement” and Rep. Vicky Hartzler.

But despite her attempted concession to Nance, Blackburn told National Journal that she could not figure out what all the fuss was about: "Look, I'm a pretty conservative person. I can't even follow that train of thought. It's too convoluted for me."

Tony Perkins, Arbiter Of Christianity, Says Pro-Gay Christians Don't Have Same Religious Rights As Conservatives

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins implied today that Christians who support gay rights don’t have the same religious rights as conservative Christians because “true religious freedom” only applies to “orthodox religious viewpoints.”

Last month, a group of North Carolina ministers and same-sex couples, along with the United Church of Christ denomination, filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

The clergy argue that because of a law that makes it a misdemeanor for a member of the clergy to perform a marriage ceremony without a state license, the same-sex marriage ban violates the religious rights of clergy who wish to perform such ceremonies.

When a caller on Monday’s edition of “Washington Watch” asked Perkins about his views on the case, Perkins replied that the ministers don’t have the same religious rights as others because they aren’t real Christians and therefore aren’t protected by the “true religious freedoms” given to Christians.

As we know, only Tony Perkins gets to decide who is and isn’t a Christian and has religious rights under the law.

Caller: I wanted to see if I can get your response to the members of the clergy in Charlotte that are suing for the right to perform gay marriages, saying that the ban on gay marriage infringes on their religious rights. It’s my understanding that they are a Christian organization, it’s normally the other way around, and so I’m curious to hear what you got to say about it.

Perkins: I would use that term ‘Christian’ loosely. That title is — let’s talk biblical, here’s the deal, it’s like with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that we worked on in Mississippi and failed in Arizona and other places, here’s a test of what is a true religious freedom, a freedom that’s based on orthodox religious viewpoints. It has to have a track record, it has to come forth from religious orthodoxy.

You cannot point to the Christian faith and say that same-sex marriage has been a key teaching of the church. You can only point to the opposite, that the church has stood against sexual immorality in terms of sexual relations of those outside of marriage and in particular homosexual behavior. There is no place, there is nothing for them to stand on and say that same-sex marriage has standing in the orthodox Christian faith.

They’re playing games here, trying to turn the effort that so many Americans are now faced with of preserving religious freedom, they’re now trying to do a jujitsu move and say, ‘We’re going to use religious freedom to say we have a right to do same-sex marriage.’ Well, there is no foundation for that, there is no orthodox Christian holding that has ever said marriage is between people of the same sex.

Anti-Gay Groups Take Out Two Pro-Equality Indiana GOP State Reps

Two incumbent Republican state representatives in Indiana lost primary elections after national anti-gay groups targeted them for their votes against a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Kathy Heuer and Rebecca Kubacki were among eleven Republicans who voted against the marriage amendment in January. The amendment will next have to be placed on the statewide ballot, which won't happen until 2016 at the earliest .

According to the National Organization for Marriage, NOM, the American Family Association of Indiana, Focus on the Family’s political arm Citizenlink, the Family Research Council and the FRC’s Indiana affiliate the Indiana Family Institute were all involved in the effort to unseat the pro-marriage lawmakers. NOM writes:

NOM, the Indiana Family Institute, the American Family Association of Indiana, Citizenlink, and Family Research Council Action had warned politicians before the marriage amendment vote in the legislature that if they did not give the people the chance to vote on marriage this year, there would be political repercussions. After the failure of the legislature to pass the question to the voters, the coalition worked together to choose its targets, particularly the ousting of Heuer and Kubacki while protecting marriage champions. 

The Indianapolis Star reports that the Indiana Family Institute’s political arm "ran $12,000 worth of radio ads in the Fort Wayne area targeting Heuer, Kubacki, and a third incumbent, Casey Cox of Fort Wayne,” who won his primary contest. The FRC-affiliated group also reportedly sent out 10,000 mailers in support of the marriage amendment’s sponsor in his successful effort to fend off a primary challenger.

In February, NOM and Citizenlink started airing radio ads against at least one Republican state lawmaker who ultimately voted for the marriage amendment, but supported a change that would remove a ban on civil unions from the measure, thus pushing back the schedule for getting the ban on the ballot. The groups accused proponents of the change of bringing “San Francisco-style marriage” to Indiana.

In a statement, FRC president Tony Perkins touted his organization’s recent poll on how Republican voters view marriage equality and claimed that “elected officials can no longer avoid the reality that the redefinition of marriage leads to the loss of our most basic freedoms.”

"The election outcome reinforces the findings of an FRC-commissioned survey released last month showing three-quarters of Republican voters want their elected officials to uphold natural marriage as the national standard. Voters in Indiana and across the country are now realizing that much more than marriage is on the line. Elected officials can no longer avoid the reality that the redefinition of marriage leads to the loss of our most basic freedoms.

"Redefining natural marriage is about far more than the marriage altar; it is about fundamentally altering society. In the wake of same-sex marriage, religious freedom and parental rights have been lost. Business owners, like florists, bakers and photographers, have been hauled into court, fined and even put out of business for simply refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding. But it doesn't stop there; university professors, sportscasters and even members of the military have been demoted or fired for simply believing marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Families have been impacted as parents have lost the right to determine whose values are taught to their children," concluded Perkins.

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/6/14

  • Rob Schenck of Faith and Action calls upon Sarah Palin to retract her comments about waterboarding: "I admonish you in the name of the Lord to retract your comments about waterboarding and baptism and clarify what you were doing and trying to say."
  • Glenn Beck has released a new book about Common Core and he is telling people to buy a copy and rip the cover off and give it to their friends who will refuse to read it if they know that Beck wrote it.
  • Speaking of Common Core, a respected Republican pollster is warning candidates not to run for office by opposing it.
  • Tony Perkins says "one look at the headlines and we can all agree: If there's one thing this country could use more of, it's prayer!" I am pretty sure that we don't all agree on that.
  • Phyllis Schlafly seems to think that the short-term Democrat strategy is to get the unmarried women to vote while the long-term strategy is to push policies what will increase the population of unmarried women.
  • Finally, you can't argue with Bryan Fischer's logic: "The death penalty for cold-blooded murder was right in the days of Noah and it is right today."

Religious Right Sees Opportunity In Supreme Court Prayer Ruling

Religious Right groups are celebrating yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding sectarian prayer at official public meetings – like city council sessions – and narrowly defining what would amount to unconstitutional religious coercion of people attending. The case is Town of Greece v. Galloway.

Though divided on their reasoning, the Court’s five conservative Justices upheld a practice in which, month after month, year after year, town leaders reached out to Christians and Christians only to offer opening prayers at town meetings, prayers that were often quite sectarian in nature.  The very few exceptions were in response to this lawsuit.  Although town leaders said that members of other religions could lead the opening prayer if they asked to, they had hardly let that be widely known, and they continued to reach out only to Christians.

SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston characterized the Court’s ruling as “[s]topping just short of abandoning a historic barrier to religion in government activity.” Conservative and religious groups hostile to church-state separation are gushing over the ruling and hope it is a sign of more to come.

The Becket Fund signaled that it hopes yesterday’s decision will just be the first step in further dismantling rulings upholding church-state separation.  From Deputy General Counsel Eric Rassbach:

“The Court’s landmark decision today echoes the wisdom of the Founders. Not only did the Court uphold the centuries-old practice of legislative prayer, it also started the work of bringing the entire law of church and state onto a firmer foundation in the words of the Constitution.”

David Corman, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the Town of Greece:

“Opening public meetings with prayer is a cherished freedom that the authors of the Constitution themselves practiced,” he said. “Speech censors should have no power to silence volunteers who pray for their communities just as the Founders did.”

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer celebrated the ruling as a “monster win” and said it was proof that “we are fighting a winnable war,” because the “Supreme Court has ruled that you can have sectarian prayers, prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, to open any legislative session, any lawmaking body – a county commission can do it, a city council can do it, a state government can do it.”  

Fischer he went on at great length endorsing Justice Clarence Thomas’s position that the First Amendment does not limit states’ constitutional right to, for example, declare the Southern Baptist Church to be the official state church and force people to support the church with taxes.  Fischer, in fact, called Thomas “a stud on the issue of religious liberty.” (Fischer says he wouldn’t personally support coercive state establishment, but he supports Thomas’s constitutional analysis, and says it should be applied to interpret that the federal government has no right to tell public schools whether and how prayer is permitted.)  Fischer is delighted that the Supreme Court’s majority decision discussed the fact that the Continental Congress opened with “emphatically Christian” prayer.

Gordon Klingenschmitt:

Hallelujah!  Today YOU helped score a VICTORY at the U.S. Supreme Court, reaching the pinnacle of seven years of work and prayer with The Pray In Jesus Name Project.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that it's OK for pastors to pray "in Jesus' name" at city council meetings. 

Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins:

"The court today has upheld our first and most fundamental freedom. The court has rejected the idea that as citizens we must check our faith at the entrance to the public square. We applaud the majority on the court for getting that right. This is an historic victory for all Americans of faith and for the common-sense reading of the Constitution itself. The Court's affirmation of the right of Americans to practice their faith in public life and the public square is a major win for the religious liberty we have always cherished.”

Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition called it a victory that would empower Religious Right activists to push elected officials to bring sectarian prayer into more official settings:

Reed also announced that, armed with today’s Supreme Court decision, Faith & Freedom Coalition would redouble its efforts to encourage opportunities for prayers offered at meetings by town boards, city councils, and county commissions nationwide.  The organization has in the past mobilized public support for local officials who have allowed such prayers at government meetings.

“Speech honoring God and invoking His blessing on our land should be welcomed, not treated with hostility,” said Reed.  “With today’s decision, the government officials that faith-based voters help to elect can provide a forum for such expressions without fear of being reversed by future courts.”

Concerned Women for America celebrated, saying the decision “lifts up the best in our country.” CWA President Penny Nance managed to slam what she said has been “a push to establish atheism as the official religion of our land” and claim that the Supreme Court’s ruling was a win for everyone, “even the staunchest atheists.”

Those who object to these practices do not seek to exercise their religious liberty; they merely feel hostile towards other people’s religious practices and seek to silence them. They seek to silence those with whom they disagree….

The Founders of this great nation benefited and relied heavily on prayer to seek the guidance they needed to establish the foundations of our nation. When the first Congress met on September 7, 1774, it began with an amazing prayer “in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.” No religious oppression or favoritism followed from that practice, only the blessings of freedom and liberty, including the freedom of religious thought, belief, or even non-belief.

Everyone wins, including the staunchest atheists, when we allow the free exercise of religion or non-religion according to a person’s conscience.

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes, who specializes in promoting fictitious threats to religious freedom, declared that “the Obama administration has been waging a war against people of the Christian faith,” somehow neglecting to mention that the Obama administration had actually weighed in on the side of the Town of Greece and its overwhelmingly Christian prayers.  Starnes said it is “always a good day when the anti-Christian folks get smacked down by the Supreme Court” but said the fact that it was a 5-4 decision should be a “wake-up call” for Americans that elections matter.

Gary Bauer made the same point:

Here's the good news: The Supreme Court today upheld public prayers, even Christian prayers, at government meetings in 5-to-4 decision.

But that is the bad news too! The free exercise of religion depends on just one vote….

Now a win is a win. But don't miss the fact that this victory for religious liberty was won by the narrowest of margins. One more liberal appointment and the Supreme Court could easily ban prayers before town council meetings and legislative sessions. If that were to happen, our Pledge of Allegiance and the national motto would surely be next.

Your vote at the ballot box has a direct impact on our federal courts. Federal judges, including those on the Supreme Court, are appointed (by the president) and confirmed (by the Senate) by the men and women we elect to public office. 

 

Rep. John Fleming Warns Marijuana Use Will Lead To 'Death And Destruction' Among Veterans

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives voted down an amendment to an appropriations bill that would have allowed physicians working for the Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss medical marijuana options with patients in states where it is legal.

Rep. John Fleming took to conservative talk radio to voice opposition to the move, appearing on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” yesterday to warn that marijuana will lead to “death and destruction” among military veterans. “We’re creating a vicious cycle that could lead to more suicides, worse depression,” the Louisiana Republican said.

“Why in the world would we want to go out and damage and injure and even create death and destruction to our beloved veterans who have put their lives on the line by giving them marijuana?”

In an interview the same day, Fleming told Ernest Istook, the former GOP congressman and host of “Istook Live,” that “there is not a stitch of evidence to support” claims about the benefits of medical marijuana.

“It’s like adding gasoline to a fire. You would never order for a veteran that they begin drinking alcohol in response to PTSD, you would never tell a veteran they should use heroin as a solution to their depression problems, well that’s what you’re doing by suggesting the use of marijuana,” he said.

Fleming also dismissed concerns about the incarceration rate of people convicted of crimes surrounding marijuana use, alleging that the push to liberalize drug laws drives from financial interests.

“There’s a lot of money to be made,” he said. “Look at the downstream cost to society when you have, as in the case of the VA, all of these veterans who are going to have lung cancer, emphysema, brain damage, heart disease as a result of that so what we’re doing really is putting money in the pockets of some very greedy people out there who are taking advantage of this.”

FRC Warns 'Modern Caesar,' 'King George III' Obama Using Gay Rights To 'Punish' Christians

In a fundraising sent out last week, the Family Research Council plays up fears of impending Christian persecution in America to warn that President Obama’s positions on gay rights and reproductive choice are meant to “silence” and “punish” conservative Christians.

“You, as a person of faith, are especially at risk because your values and beliefs are standing in the way of the goals of this growing lawlessness,” warns FRC president Tony Perkins.

“Is President Barack Obama becoming a modern Caesar? Or a 21st century version of King George III -- the out-of-control monarch who triggered the American Revolution with his reckless disregard of English laws and biblically-based rights?” Perkins wonders.

Emphases are his:

Is President Barack Obama becoming a modern Caesar? Or a 21st century version of King George III -- the out-of-control monarch who triggered the American Revolution with his reckless disregard of English laws and biblically-based rights?

These may be shocking questions to ask, but I can tell you that thoughtful people inside Washington, D.C., and outside of it are VERY worried. They are worried that President Obama and his administration are so bent on "transforming" America that they are willing, perhaps even planning, to dismiss the laws and Constitution that keep us a free nation.

And the targets include you: your faith, your values, your freedom.

In my 20-plus years of active involvement in the government process, I've never seen anything like the encroaching tyranny I'm seeing today by the Obama administration.

And if we don't join together and stop the abuse of power by the President and his allies, I fear we could lose our freedoms.

You, as a person of faith, are especially at risk because your values and beliefs are standing in the way of the goals of this growing lawlessness :

· You believe in sexual morality. They believe government should protect and fund sexual immorality and punish dissenters like you.

· You believe in the legal exclusivity of natural marriage. They believe you are dangerous. They think coercion is justified to silence you. They have openly declared that the right to homosexual behavior overrules your constitutional right to disagree with their "new morality."

· You believe in the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death. They believe you should be forced to pay for drugs that can destroy human embryos, ObamaCare rationing and other immoral mandates.

The Founders rejected King George III and wanted a government of laws, not men. Yet President Obama and his administration are acting like an imperial monarch. Like Caesar or King George -- not the president envisioned by the Founding Fathers! We must take firm action.

Gary Bauer Badly Distorts Poll Of GOP Voters To Claim 'Most Americans' Oppose Marriage Equality

It didn’t take long for Gary Bauer and Tony Perkins to misrepresent a recent poll their groups commissioned which found that “82 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning independents believe marriage ‘should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman.’”

Speaking with Perkins on Washington Watch yesterday, Bauer claimed that the poll actually proves that most Americans opposed legalizing same-sex marriage: “While certainly, particularly among young people, there is some shift on this issue, most Americans still understand that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Bauer said of the Family Research Council/American Values poll.

In fact, the poll explicitly states [PDF] that it only surveyed Republicans and independents who typically vote Republican.

While the poll used heavily slanted Religious Right language when asking GOP voters if they “agree or disagree that politicians should support the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples,” Perkins and Bauer accused nonpartisan polling firms — which have consistently found that a majority of voters support gay marriage — of using misleading questions to trick people into supporting marriage equality.

“I think, Tony, we both agree that there is an effort underway here to use polls not to measure public opinion but to form public opinion and move it in the direction of the demands of the gay rights movement,” Bauer said. Perkins agreed: “Absolutely, and a lot of that is done by the way the questions are worded.”

“If there had been really been a massive shift among the American people to the redefinition of marriage, I don’t think we would see all over the country the gay rights movement vehemently opposing every effort that happens in any state to actually vote on the issue,” Bauer added, ignoring the fact that gay rights supporters in 2012 successfully led a marriage referendum in Maine.

Bauer later said that the polls are “cooked” in favor of gay marriage and insisted that gay rights advocates are afraid of having a “national referendum” on marriage rights … even though there is no mechanism in election law or the US Constitution to trigger a national referendum on any issue.

“One would assume if there had been a big shift of opinion, the gay rights movement would say, ‘Let’s have a national referendum, we’ll prove it to you.’ But the fact that they will spend millions of dollars to keep off of the ballot in states a reaffirmation of the traditional meaning of marriage I think is further evidence that they know the polling data, which is often being touted in contrast to the poll we’ve got today, are really in many cases — the numbers have been cooked in order to advance a particular social agenda,” Bauer said.

Louie Gohmert Warns Gay Marriage Will Put America In 'The Dustbin Of History'

After suggesting that the House move to arrest Eric Holder, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told Washington Watch host Tony Perkins last week that the push for marriage equality undermines biology and will inevitably lead the “country down the road to the dustbin of history.”

Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time Gohmert has made such a claim.

We see marriage that’s been defined for the history of man, whether you believe in nature or as we do nature’s God, it’s designed that it’s just biologically for a man and a woman to procreate and to create a family and that’s not our ruling and yet we’re going to throw that aside and say we are so much smarter than the entire history of mankind when actually we’re not smarter, we’re just falling into the same rut that Solomon talked about: ‘There’s nothing new under the sun.’ This is what you’re going to do to lead your country down the road to the dustbin of history and we don’t have to go there.

Louie Gohmert Wants Congress To Arrest Eric Holder

In an interview Friday on the Family Research Council’s Washington Watch, Rep. Louie Gohmert said that Congress should considering passing a resolution directing the sergeant at arms to arrest Attorney General Eric Holder.

FRC president Tony Perkins repeated his suggestion from earlier this month that the House sergeant at arms should have “slapped the cuffs on” Holder and “stuffed him down there in the cell in the Capitol” during the State of the Union Address in response to the House GOP’s 2012 vote to hold Holder in contempt of Congress.

In response, Gohmert suggested Republicans consider passing “a resolution directing the Sergeant at Arms to detain anyone who is in contempt of Congress.”

“There is a cell there on Capitol Hill,” he added.

Gohmert: When you have someone like an attorney general who is in contempt of Congress, what can we do? Someone in contempt of Congress comes waltzing into the House chamber and he’s in contempt of Congress as found by the Congress, what can be done? I was told that actually you can pass a resolution directing the sergeant at arms to detain anyone who is in contempt of Congress until such time as they comply with the requirement that put him in contempt. In this case, they didn’t provide information from the Justice Department, they had it, they refused to provide it, we found him in contempt.

Perkins: It’s interesting you bring that up because as you recall I was sitting next to your guest at the State of the Union address, Sean Hannity and I were sitting up in the balcony and that was the thought that crossed my mind when I saw the attorney general, Eric Holder, walk into the chamber along with the president’s cabinet. I said, here’s a guy—this guy’s got a lot of nerve, he’s in contempt of Congress, and this didn’t just happen, this has been going on now for over a year or longer, almost two years or three I guess since ‘Fast & Furious’ and he’s refused to provide this documentation to Congress, he’s in contempt of Congress, and he just strolls right in and sits on the front row there. I’m thinking, my goodness, why doesn’t Congress do something about that?

Gohmert: My thought was the only thing that we can probably do is defund any area of the Justice Department that is in contempt, that won’t produce the documents that were demanded. But apparently another option would be to direct a sergeant at arms, somebody comes into our jurisdiction at Capitol Hill, you restrain them until such time, and there is a cell there on Capitol Hill.

Tony Perkins' Disingenuous Boycott 'Outrage'

On Saturday, Mike Huckabee and Tony Perkins chatted about Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s decision to play down his opposition to marriage equality, with Perkins suggesting that he is a “coward.”

The two also stepped up their attack on gay rights and liberal activists who backed a boycott of the restaurant chain and said that they would never target businesses over their views on gay rights.

Huckabee said that “nobody” is targeting left-leaning CEOs like Howard Schultz of Starbucks, and Perkins charged that such boycotts wrongly “silence” political speech and undermine freedom and liberty.

Of course, Perkins was being totally disingenuous as he has personally endorsed several boycott campaigns…including a boycott of Starbucks over its stance on gay rights.

Perkins and his group, the Family Research Council, championed a boycott of Girl Scouts cookies, and helped lead boycott campaigns targeting companies like McDonalds and Wal-Mart [PDF] over their stances on gay rights.

Last year, Perkins called for a boycott of Betty Crocker after the company donated custom cakes to same-sex weddings after Minnesota approved marriage equality.

Despite this clear double standard, Perkins continues to get away with his claim that only gay rights advocates target businesses and that Religious Right activists — always the victim — would never ever do such a thing.

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