Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins Says Gay Rights Advocates Want Anti-Christian Holocaust, Will 'Start Rolling Out The Boxcars'

After Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission unanimously upheld a judge’s finding that a baker unlawfully discriminated against gay customers, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins invited the baker’s attorney, Nicolle Martin of Alliance Defending Freedom, to discuss the case yesterday on “Washington Watch.”

Perkins reacted to the discrimination case by offering a comparison to the Holocaust: “I’m beginning to think, are re-education camps next? When are they going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians?”

“I guarantee that we are going to continue to see the witch hunt,” Martin said.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 6/4/14

  • Bryan Fischer flatly declares that "Bowe Bergdahl deserves to die for what he has done."
  • Tony Perkins is a class act: "Taxpayer-funded sex changes: They aren't just for traitors and illegal immigrants anymore!"
  • Rob Schenck calls on Evangelical leaders to speak out against gun violence, saying "while I appreciate so much of what the NRA has done historically, it is not playing a constructive role in this situation."
  • We have no idea what this "Unite to Restore America As One Nation Under God Event" is going to be, but Cindy Jacobs is involved, so we'll be sure to watch.
  • Linda Harvey lays out the "12 Ways Homosexual Adults Endanger Children."
  • Gordon Klingenschmitt says that everyone remembers "when those terrorists from Afghanistan" carried out the 9/11 attacks. We'd like to point out that none of the hijackers were from Afghanistan.
  • Finally, Focus on the Family's Glenn Stanton says that gay relationships are not at all like straight relationships: "[I]t is difficult to say with honesty that serious gay and lesbian relationships are just like heterosexual relationships."

Tony Perkins Claims ENDA Will Turn America Into Nazi Germany, Do Away With First Amendment

With right-wing opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) becoming increasingly unhinged, it was no surprise that Family Research Council president Tony Perkins warned members in an email today that ENDA would destroy businesses, entire communities, and the First Amendment.

Perkins writes that ENDA, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to current non-discrimination protections such as race, religion, gender and disability, would “banish” Christians from society and have them “stripped of their livelihood” while turning America into Nazi Germany.

They're pushing ENDA again -- the Employment Non-Discrimination Act -- which would strip Americans of their religious liberties. No longer will an employer be able to make employment decisions based on what qualities or characteristics are most relevant to a particular job. Instead, ENDA will grant special rights and privileges, special power over an employer's religious convictions, to an entire group of people -- simply because of their preference for a certain type of sexual activity.

This is the most perverse distortion of the Constitution of the United States imaginable. And is more likely to impact you personally than ever before. Because ENDA is the federal government forcing a pro-homosexual point of view upon the entire (supposedly "free") marketplace.



You enjoy working in a Christian-owned business, for example. It's a great place to work, a good family-friendly environment. If your company does any work with the federal government, or if you're a subcontractor to a business holding a federal contract, you could suddenly find that your company's policies, if they reflect biblical views and values, are considered a violation -- and the company could lose that contract. Company revenues plummet. People get laid off. Maybe the company has to close its doors altogether and you are out of work.

As businesses are boarded up, whole communities will be affected. But the powerful anti-Christian lobby will dust off their hands: mission accomplished.

ENDA takes the chilling concept of "Big Brother" one diabolical step further . . . to "Big Bully." The federal government becomes the "enforcer" for liberal activists, driving anyone with a traditional view of natural marriage into the shadows ... because of the threat of a federal lawsuit.

You no longer enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or freedom of association. The First Amendment is dead to you -- because of your biblical views on the sin of homosexuality.



If the federal government can coerce you to comply with its views . . . cooperate with its policies . . . contribute to its plans for the transformation of America . . .

. . . well, sadly, this looks more and more like totalitarianism. We only have to look back to 1930 in Germany, or the USSR in the 1950s, to see what happens when leaders impose a totalitarian state on the people.



They are pushing for America to conform to their ideology. Freedom of speech and religion have no place in their vision. We can't let it happen.



. . . then anyone in America can be targeted ... called out ... pilloried in the public square . . . stripped of their livelihood ... branded as a "bigot" and banished from "society."

The 10 Most Absurd Arguments Against The Udall Citizens United Amendment

While good-government groups have been calling for a constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court’s dismantling of campaign finance laws since the day the Court handed down Citizens United in 2010, the issue has been largely off the radar of conservative activists – and has actually enjoyed broad bipartisan support in an array of polls and in state and municipal ballot measures.

It was largely off their radar, that is, until this week. This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a proposal by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., to send a constitutional amendment to the states restoring to Congress and state governments the ability to regulate the raising and spending of money in elections. In response, Republican politicians and conservative activists have kicked into gear and are starting to try out new talking points to get their movement to oppose efforts to lessen the influence of big money in politics.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, launched the misleading campaign two weeks ago when he warned a group of pastors that the Udall proposal would “repeal the First Amendment” and allow Congress to “muzzle” the free speech of clergy. In advance of the hearing today, conservative groups including the Family Research Council, Eagle Forum, Tea Party Patriots and the Home School Legal Defense Association started to mobilize against the amendment. Yesterday, the Heritage Foundation held a panel discussion to test out arguments against the amendment, featuring Bobby Burchfield, the attorney who argued the McCutcheon case before the Supreme Court, controversial former FEC chairman Don McGahn, and infamous voter-fraud conspiracy theorist Hans van Spakovsky .

Here, we’ve collected some of the most deceptive arguments that have been launched so far against the Udall amendment.

1. Democrats want to repeal the First Amendment!

When we first heard Ted Cruz  tell a stunned group of pastors that Democrats in the Senate were planning to “repeal the First Amendment,” we knew that we would be hearing that line again and again.

And we were right. Tea Party Patriots adopted the line in mobilizing its activists, as did the Eagle Forum. The Family Research Council claimed the Udall amendment would “strip political speech out of the First Amendment,” and von Spakovsky told the Heritage panel that the amendment would “roll back” the Bill of Rights.

Burchfield and McGahn both argued that the introduction of the constitutional amendment means, in the words of McGahn, that campaign finance law advocates are “admitting” that campaign finance regulations are “unconstitutional.”

On the surface, this is the opposition’s strongest argument, because it sounds so scary. But it’s just not true. Whether you support the Udall amendment or not, it’s dishonest to suggest that it would amount to a “repeal of the First Amendment.” Instead, proponents argue that it strengthens the First Amendment by undoing the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence declaring that spending on elections, including from corporate treasuries, cannot be limited. Proponents of the Udall amendment hold that this jurisprudence, including recent decisions in the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases, represented a radical reinterpretation of the First Amendment; undoing them would simply re-establish the ability of Congress and the states to set reasonable regulations on the raising and spending of money to influence elections.

2. Amendment supporters want to ‘silence critics’ and ‘cling to power’!

The Heritage panelists repeatedly claimed that the Udall amendment is an attempt to protect incumbency by preventing challengers from raising enough money to win elections. McGahn insisted that it was an effort by Democratic incumbents “desperately clinging to power.”

“They want to change the rules of the game and prevent people from criticizing them, not unlike England did before our revolution, and which led to our revolution,” he added.

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios also invoked the American Revolution in an interview with von Spakovsky yesterday, saying, “The First Amendment, the rights to free speech – particularly the right to political speech – were the right to criticize the king, criticize the authorities over you.”

In a later interview with Rios, Tea Party Patriots spokesman Scott Hogenson even managed to connect the Udall amendment with immigration reform, claiming that both are part of a “larger, concerted effort to maintain the Democratic Party’s control of American politics and eventually move to one-party rule.”

In reality, it’s unlimited campaign spending that tends to be a boon for incumbents, who on average are able to raise far more than challengers. For instance, in Texas, a state with few campaign finance limits, incumbents who win on average raise more than twelve times the average amount raised by challengers. By contrast, in Colorado, which has relatively low individual contribution limits, incumbents on average raise less than three times what challengers are able to raise [pdf].

3. Liberals just want to protect the lame-stream media!

In his speech to the pastors' group, Ted Cruz seized on the Udall proposal’s stipulation that “Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press” to claim that the amendment carved out an exemption to protect the New York Times.

Von Spakovsky also played up conservative conspiracy theories about the “liberal media,” telling Rios, “No surprise, there’s a glaring exception in this proposed amendment for the press. And that means that MSNBC or the New York Times Company, which are big corporations, they could spend as much newsprint or airtime as they wanted going after and criticizing candidates or talking about political issues.”

These arguments fail to recognize one key distinction, which is that there is a difference between the New York Times publishing an editorial (which would be protected under the proposed amendment, as it is now) and the corporate managers of the New York Times taking $50 million out of their corporate treasury to buy ads to influence an election (which would not be protected).

4. They’ll go after pastors!

Opponents of the constitutional amendment have also been trying to tie the proposal to the right-wing paranoia about the impending persecution of America’s Christian majority .

It’s no coincidence that Cruz rolled out his criticism of the Udall proposal at a pastors’ event organized by the Family Research Council, a main theme of which was the supposed assault on the religious liberty of Christians in America. Cruz told the pastors that the Udall measure would “muzzle” clergy and was being proposed because “they don’t like it when pastors in their community stand up and speak the truth.”

Likewise, McGahn said at the Heritage event that the amendment would endanger the religious liberty of clergy: “What about pastors and churches? This is an issue that comes up once in a while. Can the government get in there and tell a priest he can’t talk to his congregation because it may somehow have something to do with politics?”

This might be true if the proposal would, in fact, “repeal the First Amendment.” In fact, the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty would remain in place.

Of course, that didn’t stop the FRC’s Tony Perkins from somehow linking the Udall amendment to the imprisonment of a Christian woman in Sudan:

5. It’s like the Alien & Sedition Acts!

Along with comparisons to British control before the American Revolution, amendment opponents are trying to link the Udall proposal to the 18th century Alien & Sedition Acts.

In his interview with Rios yesterday, van Spakovsky claimed that “the last time Congress tried to do something like this was when they passed the Alien & Sedition Act in 1798 that criminalized criticism of the government.” Multiple GOP senators at today’s hearing, including Judiciary Committeee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, repeated the talking point.

Of course, the amendment does nothing to reduce the right of individuals to criticize the government or politicians.

6. The polls are skewed!

When an audience member at yesterday’s Heritage Foundation panel asked about polls showing overwhelming opposition to the Citizens United decision, McGahn replied that the questions in the polls were “skewed.”

You can judge for yourself whether this question from a recent Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll  – which found 80 percent opposition to the Citizens United decision  – is “skewed” on behalf of campaign finance law proponents:

(image via Buzzfeed)

7. What about disclosure?

In one of the least self-aware moments we’ve witnessed in the last few days, McGahn told the Heritage audience that campaign finance reform proponents could have just worked for tougher disclosure requirements, which the Supreme Court’s majority has consistently endorsed as a way to prevent corruption:

What’s interesting is the courts have upheld some disclosure of independent speech, which six months ago was supposed to be the answer, a year ago was supposed to be the answer – remember the DISCLOSE Act, Part 1 and Part 2? Well, that was supposed to cure all the ills in our democracy, but unfortunately I guess they’ve given up on that and they’ve moved to the more radical change, which is the constitutional amendment.

Of course, the DISCLOSE Act – which would have exposed the source of some of the “dark money” behind large campaign expenditures – was blocked by Senate Republicans. And McGahn, when he was at the FEC, fought hard against disclosure requirements proposed in the wake of the Citizens United decision, even though the decision explicitly sanctioned such requirements.

8. The poor don’t participate anyway!

Speaking to the Heritage audience, Burchfield  presented the curious argument that the Udall amendment would demand to "equalize debate among the haves and have-nots,” and since “the portion is small” of “those with limited means” who participate in electoral debates, this would require “severe restrictions.”

The rich do not advocate a single viewpoint. Think of Sheldon Adelson and George Soros, they don’t agree on anything. There are strong voices on the left and on the right, not just in privately funded campaign advertisements, but also in the broadcast and print media. Only a small portion of those with significant resources even bother to participate in the debate. And among those with limited means, the portion is small indeed. In order to equalize debate among the haves and the have-nots, severe restrictions would be necessary. The quantity and quality of discourse would certainly suffer.

The amendment under consideration doesn’t require that everybody be heard an equal amount; instead, it gives Congress and the states the ability to create a more even platform for those who wish to be heard, regardless of their financial means.  

Burchfield's reasoning echoes the arguments of voter-suppression proponents who claim that their laws only inconvenience people who don’t really care about voting anyway.

9. It’s voter suppression!

Although many of the advocates of unlimited, undisclosed money in politics are the same people pushing harmful voter suppression laws, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas yesterday insisted that it’s actually amendment proponents who are advocating “voter suppression” and want to “silence” critics.

10. Blame Saul Alinsky!

Inevitably, anti-amendment activists have begun invoking the right-wing bogey-man Saul Alinsky.

Hogenson told Rios that the Udall amendment is “just taken right out of Saul Alinksy’s book, ‘Rules for Radicals,’ it just makes up a gigantic lie and perpetuates it, that somehow democracy needs to be restored.”

Von Spakovsky also invoked Alinsky in his interview with Rios, claiming that criticism of the enormous political spending of the Koch brothers is an Alinskyite plot: “What’s really going on here is, look, if you look at Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals,’ one of the rules that he sets out is you pick a villain and you basically blame those villains for all of the problems. It’s a way of distracting the public, it’s a way of diverting attention, and that’s exactly what Harry Reid and the Democrats are doing here.”

Tony Perkins Links Effort To Overturn Citizens United To Imprisonment Of Christian Sudanese Woman

On Friday, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins — who earlier last week managed to connect the Isla Vista shooting to the Affordable Care Act — tied the imprisonment of a Sudanese Christian woman to a Senate hearing on a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, a ruling which allowed for unrestricted, undisclosed corporate political donations.

Speaking on his radio program, “Washington Watch,” Perkins chastised Democratic leaders like Chuck Schumer — who Perkins said “thinks he understands freedom better than America’s Bill of Rights” — and Mark Udall for opposing the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision.

“The National Archives will need more than bombproofing to protect America’s founding documents,” he warned. Perkins then invited Sen. Pat Roberts onto the show to discuss the proposed amendment.

The Kansas Republican thanked Perkins for not only defending Citizens United but also bringing attention to the imprisonment of Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman married to an American who is in jail in Sudan for converting to Christianity. Perkins replied that the two cases are actually related: “The two of them are very connected. In our First Amendment we have our freedom of religion and freedom of speech and we keep our freedom of religion by working to keep our freedom of speech, and political speech is actually what’s under attack here.”

Roberts accused Senate Democrats of trying to “restrict the free speech of those who simply disagree with them.”

Later, Roberts said supporters of a constitutional amendment like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid seek to “regulate free speech so they can silence their critics and retain their hold on power.”

“This is voter suppression, this is to silence his critics,” he said.

Tony Perkins Manages To Link Isla Vista Massacre To Obamacare

After linking the Isla Vista shooting to gay marriage, now the Family Research Council is somehow trying to use the incident to criticize Obamacare.

On his Tuesday radio show, FRC head Tony Perkins managed to turn a discussion of shooter Elliot Rodger’s misogynist thinking into a right-wing attack on Obamacare, explaining that “nothing is being said about how Hollywood has sexualized everything where it’s almost like Obamacare, you have a right to healthcare, you have a right to sexual gratification, almost.”

American Family Association: Don't Open Letters With Harvey Milk Stamp

Incensed by the release of a postage stamp honoring Harvey Milk, the American Family Association is urging its members not only to avoid purchasing the stamp…but to refuse to accept or open any letter or package postmarked with one.

1. Refuse to accept the Harvey Milk stamp if offered by your local post office. Instead, ask for a stamp of the United States flag.

2. Refuse to accept mail at your home or business if it is postmarked with the Harvey Milk stamp. Simply write 'Return to Sender" on the envelope and tell your postman you won't accept it.

In his daily email alert yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins also attacked the Obama administration for issuing the stamp, linking the move to the imprisonment of a Sudanese mother who is facing the death penalty for her conversion to Christianity: “[T]he Obama administration -- which had more than enough time to throw a party in honor of homosexual activist Harvey Milk -- hasn't had a spare second to demand the freedom of two of America’s youngest citizens.”

FRC also marked the occasion by republishing a 2009 article by senior fellow Peter Sprigg attacking Milk:

Pro-homosexual activists will describe the issue as one of identity – “who they are.” But the real issue is one of behavior – what they do. And what Harvey Milk (like other homosexual activists) wanted was not only the freedom to engage in homosexual sex, but the right to do so without ever being criticized. Milk told one audience that “it is madness to … be ashamed of the sexual act, the act that conceived you. …” Yet homosexual acts never conceived anyone, which is what separates them, undeniably, from heterosexual acts.

Since Harvey Milk died from an assassin’s bullet, over a quarter million American men have died of AIDS, which they contracted because they had sex with other men. What’s truly “madness” is that someone whose only claim to fame is that they promoted such deadly behavior should be honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Trent Franks Claims Obama Wouldn't Care If Al Qaeda Attacked Texas

Rep. Trent Franks stopped by the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” yesterday to discuss the plight of a Sudanese woman who is facing a death sentence for converting to Christianity.

The Arizona Republican of course managed to blame President Obama for the situation, telling FRC president Tony Perkins that the administration isn’t helping the woman, who is married to a U.S. citizen.

“I wonder if this administration would worry if Al Qaeda took Texas,” he said. “He might say it’s none of our business. It’s just really starting to be something that frightens me terribly and I think it is indicative of why this administration has been so soft on trying to protect religious freedom here.” 

When Perkins joked that Al Qaeda would have a tough time “taking Texas,” Franks responded that Texans “might not get much help from the federal government, from this administration anyway.”

Franks has in the past called Obama an “enemy of humanity,” pushed birther conspiracy theories and suggested the the president is a secret Muslim

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.

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