Tony Perkins

Ken Cuccinelli Calls In The Religious Right Reinforcements

While Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has been trying to dodge social issues such as abortion rights and marriage equality — likely because his actual views and record are far out of the mainstream — sagging poll numbers and increasing divisions among Republicans have led the candidate to rely on his traditional far-right backers. After campaigning alongside his ultraconservative and homophobic running mate E.W. Jackson, Cuccinelli tonight will attend a fundraiser cosponsored by the Family Research Council’s political arm and the head of a major anti-choice organization.

Tonight’s fundraiser featuring Jeb Bush and a whole host of former GOP politicians-turned-lobbyists is sponsored by FRC Action PAC and Marjorie Dannenfelser, who leads the Susan B. Anthony List.

Cuccinelli has partnered with FRC in the past, addressing at their Values Voter Summit and appearing on the group’s Washington Watch radio program. Dannenfelser’s group, meanwhile, committed at least $1.5 million to boost Cuccinelli.

Dannenfelser and FRC Action hope that Cuccinelli will continue his efforts to close the majority of the state’s abortion clinics. As the Washington Post editorial board noted yesterday, “If Mr. Cuccinelli is elected governor in November, most of the remaining 18 clinics are likely to shut their doors within months.” 

The FRC — whose leaders have referred to gays as pawns of Satan, abnormal and destructive while also calling for their criminalization and exportation — can also take pride in Cuccinelli’s anti-gay rhetoric and activism.

The upcoming fundraiser with two of the country’s foremost social conservative groups shows that as much as Cuccinelli would like Virginia voters to forget about his extreme stances, he is, first and foremost, a Religious Right ideologue.

Perkins: Stop Discriminating Against Straight Soldiers!

Tony Perkins led the fight against repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and runs an organization whose spokesman called on the government to “export” gay people, so it is only natural that now Perkins is fashioning himself as a foe of discrimination…against straight service members.

He is upset that the military — which recognizes same-sex marriages — is allowing gays and lesbians in the military who are stationed in states that ban same-sex marriage to travel to states with marriage equality laws to attain a marriage license:

The new policy, which will take effect by Sept. 3, allows gay and lesbian service members in the U.S. as many as seven days of extra leave to get married, as long as they are stationed more than 100 miles from a state where same-sex marriages are legal or from the District of Columbia, where the marriages are also performed.

Military personnel who are overseas will get as many as 10 days to travel back to the U.S. to get married.

Perkins has charged that the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would increase the rates of suicide, sexual assault and fatalities, while also leading to the reinstatement of the draft.

Today on his radio commentary, Perkins said the military has lost “their senses” with its “discriminatory” policies:

For our troops, marriage is becoming the biggest battlefield. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. Thanks to the Pentagon, taxpayers are giving gay service members quite a wedding gift. According to the Defense Department, homosexual troops are getting some extra incentives to get hitched--including 10 days of bonus leave. The AP says gay and lesbian military members will get as many as two weeks of extra vacation time to travel to states that allow same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, the Defense Department says it "remains committed to ensuring that all men and women who service in the U.S. military... are treated fairly." If that were true, heterosexual couples would be getting the same benefits. See, this special, taxpayer-funded leave isn't just expensive--it's discriminatory. According to the Pentagon, heterosexual couples aren't eligible. How's that for equality? The administration says this perk "level[s] the playing field between opposite-sex and same-sex couples." But when it comes to extra vacation days, the only thing the military is taking leave of is their senses!

Right Still Targeting Judicial Nominee Nina Pillard's Support For Women's Equality

Georgetown law professor Cornelia “Nina” Pillard, one of President Obama’s three nominees to fill vacancies on the influential D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, is one of the country’s most renowned women’s rights attorneys. She crafted the argument that convinced a nearly unanimous Supreme Court to open the Virginia Military Institute to women. She worked alongside Bush administration attorneys to successfully defend the Family and Medical Leave Act in the courts. She has opposed government policies that treat men and women differently based on outmoded stereotypes that harm both sexes.

So, of course, conservative activists and their Republican allies in Congress are calling her a “radical feminist" and threatening to filibuster her nomination.

In an interview with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins Friday, National Review columnist Ed Whelan called Pillard a “radical feminist law professor” and insisted that she would be “the most left-wing judge in the history of the republic.”

Phyllis Schlafly – who, of course, also opposed the opening of VMI to women and the Family and Medical Leave Act  – calls Pillard a “scary feminist.”

The Family Research Council has also gone after Pillard, skewing the meaning of her words and even citing her use of a phrase that was actually written by the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist as evidence of her “militant feminism.”

And just this weekend, right-wing activist "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt sent out an email to his backers attacking Pillard's support for women's rights, specifically charging that Pillard “attacked and questioned the Virginia Military Institute” when she argued that VMI should admit women. 

Senate Republicans have picked up this line of attack. In Pillard’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee’s Republicans (all men) latched onto the nominee’s support of reproductive rights. When fellow nominee Robert Wilkins appeared before the committee last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley tried, unsuccessfully, to trick him into dissing Pillard’s writings.

So what exactly is it that makes Pillard such a “radical”/“militant”/“scary” feminist in the eyes of the Right?

In a series of columns last month, Whelan elaborated on what he meant. He takes particular issue with a 2007 law review article in which Pillard argues that many public school abstinence-only sex-ed curricula impose a double standard on girls – hardly a radical observation. She also specifically wrote that she took no position on the abstinence message itself. Nevertheless, Whelan and others have distorted this into the idea that she would strike down all abstinence programs as unconstitutional, which is not at all what she has said.  In Pillard’s own words,

[The article] brings into focus those curricula's  persistent, official promulgation of retrogressive, anti-egalitarian sexual  ideologies-of male pleasure and female shame, male recreation and female responsibility, male agency and female passivity, and male personhood and female parenthood. I argue for a counter-stereotyping sex education that  affirms women's and men's desire, sexual agency, and responsibility.

She explained her thoughts further in her hearing before the judiciary committee:

Let me say first, I'm a mother. I have two teenage children — one boy and one girl. If my children are being taught in sex education, I want both my children to be taught to say 'no,' not just my daughter. I want my son to be taught that, too. The article was very explicit in saying I don't see any constitutional objection … to abstinence-only education that does not rely upon and promulgate sex stereotypes.

This argument – that many government-funded sex-ed curricula promote harmful and regressive stereotypes that cheat girls – is what has made right-wing activists go ballistic.

Pillard has also made it exceedingly clear that she knows the difference between testing out legal theories in law review articles and applying them as a judge. As she said in her hearing, “Academics are paid to test the boundaries and look at the implications of things. As a judge, I would apply established law of the U.S. Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit” – a sentiment that many Republican senators echoed when they were defending Bush nominees who had in the past expressed opinions not consistent with existing law.

To put it simply, what conservatives object to about Pillard is that she believes in women’s equality and that she’s really, really good at making the legal case for it. In 2013 in the Republican Party, that’s what it takes to qualify as a “scary,” “radical” and “militant” feminist.
 

Cahn: Gay Marriage And Obama's Re-Election Are Signs Of The End Of America

Author Jonathan Cahn has become a star in Religious Right circles over his new book, The Harbinger, which basically claims that biblical prophecy regarding ancient Israel applies to the United States today. Cahn states that the September 11 attacks were a warning from God to repent and prophesied in the Bible. Instead of repenting, however, America is increasingly rebelling against God and Cahn predicts that such defiance will lead to the country’s ultimate destruction.

He appeared on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins yesterday to mark the anniversary of 9/11 and discuss a recent prayer gathering in the Capitol, where Michele Bachmann delivered a Cahn-like speech about how 9/11 and the Benghazi attack represented divine judgment. Cahn also spoke at the event.

After Perkins asked Cahn if the US is “responding to these warning signs of the Lord” appropriately, since Cahn of course knows exactly how God views America, Cahn responded that while America is in spiritual decline, the good news is that lots of people are buying his book!

The End Times author reiterated his claim that members of Congress are reading The Harbinger, including members he met at the Capitol prayer summit.

Unfortunately, America is still going downhill thanks to gay marriage and the re-election of Obama, so we may all be doomed anyway.

What I’ve experienced is there’s a lot of people—The Harbinger’s been spreading across the country, it’s even been reaching Capitol Hill. You and I were there on that night of prayer and several congressmen came up to me about it, so it’s been spreading on one hand. So we’re seeing prayers, we’re seeing repentance; we’re seeing much of that. But, on the other hand, as a nation since The Harbinger came out, America has continued its descent, its moral descent, rapidly. And this has affected the church. I believe, when I look back at it, it came out in 2012 and 2013, this is a real tipping point time where for the first time you have more Americans in favor of gay marriage, you have a president who was re-elected after declaring this, you have states coming forward, you have so many tipping points. I think there’s a reason why The Harbinger came out at that time because it’s a warning and it’s a wakeup call. What happens with a tipping point is things accelerate, unless there’s an intervention of God, things accelerate and I believe we’re really watching an acceleration; the Supreme Court just came out with its decision, I mean so much.

Perkins: Boycott Betty Crocker For Baking Wedding Cakes For Gay Couples

When gay rights advocates criticized Chick-fil-A for the company’s financial support of anti-gay organizations, the Family Research Council decried their “gaystapo tactics.” Apparently, the FRC believes that boycotts are only acceptable if they are organized by conservative groups.

In fact, the FRC is already boycotting companies like Starbucks and McDonalds, and even the Girl Scout Cookies.

Today on his daily radio commentary, FRC president Tony Perkins urged listeners to also boycott Betty Crocker and offered a link to the National Organization for Marriage’s campaign at DumpGeneralMills.com.

Perkins was outraged that Betty Crocker donated custom cakes to three gay Minnesota couples who were married after the state legalized same-sex marriage, and upset that a company spokesman said that “Betty celebrates all families.” Perkins warned that Betty Crocker’s “latest promotion is a recipe for disaster” and claimed that it is offensive to a majority of Americans who have already “made it tough on companies like Target, Starbucks and JC Penney” for not opposing gay rights.

“When you’re at the store, think outside the Betty Crocker box!”

At Betty Crocker, the only thing they're mixing up is their priorities. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. If you ask conservatives, Betty Crocker's latest promotion is a recipe for disaster. This summer, the famous dessert line decided to jump on the same-sex marriage bandwagon and bring cakes to celebrate. In Minnesota, where parent company General Mills is headquartered, Betty Crocker decided to donate wedding cakes to the first homosexual couples who exchanged vows on the first day that counterfeit marriage was legal. "Betty celebrates all families…. We don't want to be old fashioned," the company explained. Unfortunately for General Mills, the majority of Americans think natural marriage is anything but old fashioned. And they've made it tough on companies like Target, Starbucks, and JC Penney who disagree. Know where your money is going. When you're at the store, think outside the Betty Crocker box!

Perkins: Use Health Care Funds To Bomb Syria

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) appeared on Washington Watch yesterday with Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, where he spent most of his time asserting that Republicans have a mandate to defund Obamacare because they did so well in the 2010 midterms and never mind that whole election last November.

After Jordan insisted that the GOP-led House should strip funding from Obamacare by using the budget and debt ceiling debates as leverage, the Religious Right leader came up with a brilliant plan to tell President Obama that Congress will only approve military action against Syria if the money comes out of Obamacare: “You could even take it to the issue of Syria. If the President wants to expend resources in going into Syria, maybe you should have to choose between funding Obamacare and funding a war in Syria, can’t do both.”

Of course, conservative leaders were not as concerned with the trillions of dollars spent in the Iraq war.

Tony Perkins' Scary Back-to-School Message

The fear-mongering in the Family Research Council’s latest mailing starts on the envelope:  “Beginning THIS MONTH…they don’t want any American child to escape. Read how we can STOP them.”

“They” turns out to be “government-run schools” and the “radical” teachers that infest them.

If a foreign enemy had plotted to infiltrate America, I’m not sure an army of undercover subversives could have done more damage than our government-run schools….

Leftists don’t want a single American child to escape their thought control.  And they are crowding out true education.

Of course, Perkins has a skewed idea about what a “true education” includes. He complains that America used to be the tops in science – after all we put a man on the moon. But not any more:

Today’s science classes often feature big-government political propaganda, taking time and focus away from true science. Not to mention attacks on the Bible and arrogant censoring of any theories like intelligent design that challenge their Darwinism.

Yes, nothing will boost American students’ science scores faster than a little the-universe-is-6000-years-old Creationism. Perkins doesn’t say exactly what big-government propaganda he’s talking about. Evolution? Astronomy? Climate change?

Even worse, says Perkins, “the federal government has endorsed and sponsored an ‘anti-bullying program’ created and run by Dan Savage, a radical homosexual activist…” Perkins thinks sex education is all about promoting promiscuity and homosexual behavior. “This obsession with liberal sex ‘education’ shows how the minds and souls of our young people are being deliberately sabotaged.”

Accompanying Perkins’ letter is a “Protect America’s Children Survey” which asks whether their local schools are experiencing a range of problems, including “Positive portrayals of homosexuality or negative portrayals of those who don’t affirm homosexuality,” “Not enough teaching of the Christian roots of America,” “Absence of presentation of intelligent design theory,” and “Not enough teaching on the virtues of limited government and free enterprise.”

There is hope, says Perkins, bragging that he was able to “assist” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in passing “one of the most family-friendly school choice laws in America.” Jindal’s privatization scheme has resulted in public money being diverted into often  unaccountable schools wasting taxpayer dollars and teaching Religious Right curricula – no wonder Perkins loves it. 

Rep. Jim Bridenstine: 'We Would Be Heroes' for Shutting Down Government to Defund Obamacare

Even though only thirty-four percent of Americans want to repeal health care reform (and even fewer support shutting down the government in order to do so), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) confidently predicted that Americans — Republican and Democrat alike — will treat GOP members of Congress as “heroes” is they shut down the government over Obamacare funding.

“We would be heroes,” Bridenstine said while speaking with Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, “you know somebody was showing me polling about government shutdown this and government shutdown that, we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to fund the government, we just want to have a limitation amendment that defunds Obamacare.”

The congressman’s remarks echoed those of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who believes that President Obama is actually the one threatening a government shut down because he won’t bend to his demands to defund the health care law.

Bridenstine added that Obama should be grateful that Republicans would support any resolution funding the government at all: “Look, we’re willing to reluctantly fund all of the rest of the government; all we’re asking for is this one item.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/2/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/1/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/15/13

Tony Perkins: Obama 'Scandals' a Gift from God

A new fundraising pitch from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins comes in a black envelope with a photo of a door cracking to allow light into the darkness and the message, “URGENT: God has opened a door to STOP America’s decline.” The letter inside, dated July 1, portrays the “scandals” surrounding the Obama administration – including the discredited IRS and Benghazi “scandals” hyped by right-wing media and GOP members of Congress – as an act of God:

The opportunity we have prayed for may be here . . . if we seize it.

As I witness the astounding scandals exploding within President Barack Obama’s administration, I believe Almighty God—who founded America and saved us through trials before—may be giving the American people an opportunity to stop today’s tyranny.

I believe He may be giving us an open door to turn back the plans of today’s arrogant big government: a secularist, anti-faith tyranny that is trying to snuff out religious freedom and biblical influence in the United States.

The letter calls for abolishing the IRS and opposing the enforcement of “ObamaCare,” and urges donations to help FRC:

Work with Congress and government officials to stop “hidden scandals” such as the Obama administration’s attempt to drive Christian values and religious freedom out of the military . . . impose the principles of the Employment non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which attack Christians in the workplace who refuse to affirm immoral sexuality . . . and more.

Perkins’ letter hypes the now-disproven claims that the IRS was waging jihad against conservatives:

We now know that the IRS was selectively auditing—harassing a growing number of ministries, conservative groups, Tea Party groups, and others who opposed President Obama.

The IRS threatened to remove the tax-exempt status of these citizens! These attacks by the IRS threatened to financially cripple them, costing them untold sums of money just to defend themselves against the IRS agents. The common link: ministries and organizations targeted for audits had stood against President Obama’s secularist, antireligious freedom agenda.

Actually, what we know is quite the opposite. The IRS “scandal” has evaporated as more evidence has some to light. Even some Republican officials have admitted as much. According to the New York Times, “Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, said that in retrospect, suggestions that Mr. Obama had orchestrated an I.R.S. attack on his political enemies were unwarranted.”

In addition, Perkins’ letter says a State Department “cover-up” in connection with the assassination of American officials in Benghazi, Libya “might have saved the election for President Obama. Yet it might render him paralyzed in his second term.”

Actually, that’s another “scandal” that has largely evaporated under revelations that much of it was based on a bogus story peddled by Karl Rove.

Perkins says that FRC intends to “turn the tide of the past five years.”

The scandals will help show Americans why the Bible is right when it cautions against big government. Because of sin, power corrupts, and concentrated power corrupts completely. Bit government will always see God as a rival and try to replace Him, attacking God’s people and Biblical values and principles.”

Actually, as journalist Jonathan Chait wrote in New York magazine in late June, “the entire scandal narrative was an illusion.” It lives on, of course, in the world of far-right activists and conspiracy theorists like Tony Perkins.

The ENDA is Near: The Top Five Religious Right Claims About the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

With the Employment Non-Discrimination Act scheduled for a Senate committee vote this week, here’s a look at Right Wing Watch’s collection of recent – and classic – claims from the Religious Right about ENDA.  Because ENDA is common-sense civil rights legislation that would expand federal employment protections against discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity, the Right cannot gain much traction by opposing ENDA on its merits.  Instead, resorting to fear-mongering and lies, they contend that ENDA will lead to everything from the end of religious freedom to sexual assault and death.

Here are highlights of Right Wing Watch’s reporting on right-wing opposition to ENDA:

5. Tony Perkins: ‘Totalitarian Homosexual Lobby’ Out to Destroy Religious Freedom with ENDA (March 2013)

“Like a B-grade 1950’s horror-movie, ENDA is coming back from the dead,” warned Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a recent mailing. Perkins said President Obama is working with the “totalitarian homosexual lobby” to sneak ENDA into law, and if that happens, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.”

“In fact,” says Perkins in his letter, “under ENDA biblical morality becomes illegal.”

Read the full article here.

4. Steve Crampton: ENDA is Insanity (June 2012)

Speaking about a Senate hearing on ENDA, Liberty Counsel’s “Faith and Freedom” radio host Steve Crampton marveled that a transgender person was actually allowed to testify on behalf of the legislation and complained that ENDA is not about “equal rights” but rather “special rights” for gays and cross-dressers.

Crampton stated that if ENDA passed, he could come into work – “God forbid,” he said – wearing a dress and would be allowed to use the women’s restroom.  “In years past,” Crampton said, “we had another word for this: it’s called insanity.”

Read the full article here.

3. Andrea Lafferty Cites CT School Shooting to Rally Opposition to Non-Discrimination Policies (December 2012)

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition used the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in order to bolster her campaign against ENDA. While speaking to Janet Mefferd about the Orange County, Florida, school system’s new non-discrimination policy that is similar to ENDA, Lafferty said that just as parents are upset about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and are concerned about keeping their children safe, they should also be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as schools will have “people with some real issues playing out their personal problems in the classroom.”

Lafferty maintained that ENDA is part of the left’s “open season” on Christians on behalf of “fringe minorities and people that are truly sick.”  She warned that Chick-fil-A restaurants may soon be “forced” to hire “weirdos” seeking to undermine Christian businesses, warning that transgender people are committing “the ultimate act of self-hatred” and need “special medical treatment” rather than job protections.

Read the full article here.

2. Bryan Fischer: Businesses Threatened by ‘Flaming Homosexual’ Job Applicants and the ‘Return of Jim Crow Laws’ (January 2013)

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer warned in a blog post that “ENDA would represent the return of Jim Crow laws.” On his radio program Focal Point, Fischer warned that if ENDA is signed into law businesses will be faced with a barrage of “flaming homosexual” job applicants. “The homosexual lobby,” Fischer said, “will send a guy in there wearing stilettos, a dress and dangly earrings” in order to provoke Christian business-owners “not to hire him.”

Read the full article here.

1. Mat Staver: ENDA Will Result in the 'Death of Some Individuals' (June 2012)

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver is ratcheting up the rhetoric in opposition to ENDA, even going so far as to say that if passed the legislation may lead to child molestation, sexual assault, and death. Staver told Jim Schneider of VCY America on Crosstalk that ENDA “will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals”:

Staver: So you can go into these restrooms or changing rooms, if you’re a man, and want to go in and molest, or watch, or sexually assault young girls. So, I mean, the absurdity of this is just beyond understanding how someone could be in favor of it. This will ultimately, in addition to colliding with religious liberty, in addition to forcing a radical agenda on people, this also will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.

Read the full article here.

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Perkins: SCOTUS Gave Gays Benefits Meant for 'Real Spouses'

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins has already called the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act “absurd,” and warned that it presents “a clear and present danger to the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion in our country” and pushes America further down the road to becoming Sodom and Gomorrah.

In a member email today, Perkins elaborates on his outrage, claiming that the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision means “the landscape has been fundamentally altered in a society where the rule of law is slowly unraveling.” In guaranteeing that legally married same-sex couples are treated as married by the federal government, Perkins writes, the Supreme Court requires the government to provide benefits to married gay couples that “until yesterday, were reserved for real spouses.”

And, of course, Perkins added that we are on our way to legalized polygamy, which he claims is a part of the liberal “agenda.”

That said, the landscape has been fundamentally altered in a society where the rule of law is slowly unraveling. Twelve states can now force taxpayers to supply more than 1,100 benefits which, until yesterday, were reserved for real spouses. And both the court and rogue leaders like Jerry Brown have, in the words of Justice Antonin Scalia, "declared open season on any law that... can be characterized as mean-spirited." In a nation where our own President feels no obligation to defend the law, it's no wonder the Human Rights Campaign thinks it can impose same-sex "marriage" on every state in five years.

When the Left fell short of their goals yesterday, it gave our movement the most valuable commodity of all: time to persuade the country of the consequences. But it also meant that the waves of attack will keep coming -- stronger and more vicious than ever before. Emboldened by Justice Anthony Kennedy's sharp rebuke of our side, liberals aren't even bothering to hide the rest of their agenda. Polygamists popped the corked on a little champagne of their own after Wednesday's rulings, as they wait their turn for nationwide acceptance.

Rep. Pitts Claims Gay Marriage Harms Children, Perkins Wonders If We're Becoming Sodom and Gomorrah

On Washington Watch today, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins said that while this morning’s Supreme Court decisions represent “major setbacks for marriage, for family and for freedom,” conservatives can take relief in knowing that “our zip code has not yet been changed to Sodom and Gomorrah, at least not yet.”

Perkins called on anti-gay activists to imitate the prophets of the Old Testament in warning people about the imminent demise of society, which will occur if people refuse to “turn from their destructive and harmful activities.” He continued: “When the bottom fell out, the people had no excuse and they had no one to blame but themselves, because they had been warned.”

Perkins later chatted with Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), who said that marriage equality will threaten religious freedom and the wellbeing of children by “changing the form of families.” The congressman said that same-sex unions won’t provide children with a “stable loving family” and as a result “the cost of our social service welfare programs are going to be greatly impacted by this negative consequence of a social experiment that is less in age than the iPhone. This is the leftist redefinition that is happening here on our watch.”

Tony Perkins Cheers Gutting of Voting Rights Act

While civil rights leaders are denouncing the 5-4 Supreme Court decision gutting the Voting Rights Act, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins is cheering.  In an email alert sent at the end of the day on Tuesday, Perkins says, “With help from the U.S. Supreme Court, America may finally be turning a page on the racial politics that have haunted our last 50 years.”  Oh, yes, giving a green light to the kind of blatantly discriminatory voter disenfranchisement efforts that we’ve seen in recent elections is certainly going to help America “turn the page” on racial politics.

Like other Religious Right leaders, Perkins loves to denounce “judicial activism” when judges uphold reproductive choice or legal equality for LGBT people. But he happily embraces this ruling in which a narrow Court majority rejected a huge bipartisan congressional vote that reauthorized the Voting Rights Act in 2006 on a matter in which the Constitution specifically and intentionally gives Congress wide discretion. Perkins complains that “Congress insisted on reauthorizing a Voting Rights Act that was rooted in one of the darkest chapters of U.S. history.” And he claims that “In recent days, the Voting Rights Act has been a tool for a liberal and politically-motivated DOJ to shape laws to its advantage.”

Perkins seems deeply concerned about “the red tape of the Voting Rights Act” that he said has been “unnecessarily handcuffing” states whose history of disenfranchisement meant that they had to have changes in voting procedures pre-approved by the Justice Department or by a three-judge District Court in the District of Columbia. In contrast, Perkins seems utterly unconcerned about more recent voter disenfranchisement campaigns waged by the GOP and its allies. 

Perkins cites Chief Justice John Roberts’ disingenuous suggestion that the court was not acting in a way that would encourage discriminatory disenfranchisement. "Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting," Roberts insisted. "Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions."

Is there anyone who thinks Roberts and Perkins actually want the federal-government-hating Tea Party Republicans who are calling the shots in the House of Representatives to support the creation of a new formula that would subject more states to federal oversight?  Perkins makes his thoughts on that point abundantly clear with this comment about the Justice Department: “And in an administration as corrupt as President Obama's is proving to be, the less power it has over the states, the better!”

Perkins: Gay Marriage Ruling Will Undermine Court's Legitimacy, Freedom in America

Family Research Council head Tony Perkins yesterday chatted with Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association on Today’s Issues to discuss the Supreme Court’s imminent decisions on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. Perkins warned that if the Proposition 8 is overturned, then the “legitimacy of the court” will be called into question.

Despite all evidence pointing to overwhelming support for marriage equality among young voters and heaviest resistance among seniors, Perkins said in reference to gay rights advocates that “time is not on their side.”

“They need the court to impose this on the entire nation, because the more time that it takes them to push their agenda, the more Americans will realize the unintended consequences of it,” Perkins claimed. “It’s going to be a clear and present danger to the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion in our country.”

After Perkins bizarrely argued that marriage equality supporters are in a race against time, Wildmon wondered if opponents of gay marriage would be “hauled off to jail” in a few years. Perkins added that anti-gay activists may be “prosecuted by our government” soon as marriage equality eviscerates freedom.

Watch:

Perkins: I would think they’re going to be hard-pressed to overturn California’s Prop. 8. That would have serious ramifications, I think, for I really think the legitimacy of the court to undermine what the voters of California did.



Perkins: There’s this idea that this is inevitable, that’s what they want to present, this idea that this is inevitable, I think certainly to influence the court and the American people. The reason they’re trying to make it appear to be inevitable is because time is not on their side. They need the court to impose this on the entire nation because the more time that it takes them to push their agenda, the more Americans will realize the unintended consequences of it. This is not just about the marriage altar; this is about fundamentally altering America: religious liberty, parental rights, free speech, all of that goes by the wayside if we embrace this notion of redefining natural marriage.



Wildmon: For the next year or two, three years perhaps, in terms of the Christian community in this country that wants to defend natural marriage and believes in Romans 1 among other biblical verses that homosexuality is sin, are we going to be able to believe that teaching anymore without being hauled off to jail?

Perkins: Well you certainly can believe it. I do think there is coming a choice, whether or not that happens immediately, that we have to choose between not only believing scripture but living according to it and being prosecuted by our government, the time frame in which that happens I’m not certain. But clearly we’re already saying those who hold to a biblical view of morality are being marginalized and stigmatized with the intention of silencing them in the public square. It’s going to be a clear and present danger to the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion in our country.

Rep. John Fleming: Overturning DOMA Would Lead to Sham Marriages

On the Family Research Council’s Washington Watch last night, Rep. John Fleming (R.-LA) weighed in on the pending Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality. Fleming likened gay marriage to marriage between a U.S. citizen and a foreigner, claiming that federal recognition of gay marriage would cause straight people to enter into same-sex marriages for practical benefits. Same-sex marriages would then have to be questioned to determine if they were “done for convenience” or as the result of a bribe. Host Tony Perkins added that gay marriage would never be legitimate, because there is no way to “verify” the validity of the couple.

Fleming: But you know, it’s interesting. Humans can be very innovative sometimes and I can actually see where two people of the same sex, even who are not themselves homosexual in any way, could find a way to get married just for the purpose of sharing those benefits and only for practical reasons. So you can see the ramifications if the Supreme Court comes out and allows that.

Perkins: No question about it. And there’s no way to necessarily verify that. What you can then set up is a case where you discriminate against couples who are in some jurisdictions, because if they move their marriage is not recognized. And they could then be treated in a way that’s different than heterosexual couples that are cohabitating. It’s a mess once you go down this path.

Fleming: It is. It would be similar to marrying someone from a foreign country. Is it done for convenience? Did someone pay somebody to be married? I mean you can see how the whole institution of marriage could be demeaned. It could certainly be reduced in its importance and taken off the lofty place that we now hold marriage.

Fleming also said that fathers are being “marginalized” as a result of the decline of the traditional family. He stated that “fathers have a less and less important role in procreation now,” although the biology behind that last point was a little unclear.

Perkins: There’s really an alarming rate of fatherlessness in America. And we’re beginning to see the consequences of that as we’ve moved away from that normative definition of what marriage and family has been and should be.

Fleming: No question, Tony. The long term trend over the last three decades is to marginalize fathers. Fathers have a less and less important role in procreation now, in rearing children, in providing for families. Even in many cases, even when they’re actually in the marriage and they exist as a father, oftentimes being marginalized in their importance there. So it’s an alarming cultural direction.

Tony Perkins Attacks Red Sox for Hosting 'Pride Night,' Lauds Museum that Discriminates Against Same-Sex Family

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins joined MassResistance president Brian Camenker in condemning the Boston Red Sox for hosting a “Pride Night,” which included Jason Collins throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Red Sox fans gave Collins a standing ovation, despite Perkins’ erroneous claim that “most parents object to” gay rights. Perkins quoted Camenker in calling homosexuality “destructive” and called on fans to tell the franchise not to “bombard families with a controversial message.”

This month, the Red Sox are delivering a new pitch--for homosexual rights. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. The Red Sox may have won their game on June 6th, but they sure struck out with some fans. People who paid to watch baseball had to sit through a celebration of homosexuality, too. For the first time in franchise history, Boston decided to host "Pride Night" and bombard families with a controversial message. Jason Collins, the openly gay NBA player, threw out the first pitch. And the Sox even donated a portion of the proceeds to a radical LGBT group. Unfortunately for parents, the team kicked off its "Calling All Kids" program the same night, meaning that a lot of children were exposed to an agenda--and a topic--most parents object to. "For a professional sports team to promote behavior that's destructive," said conservative Brian Camenker, "... is problematic." Let's hope the Sox hear from a lot of fans who tell Fenway that's no way to run a franchise!

While Perkins was upset that the Red Sox welcomed gay fans, he thanked a Florida museum that discriminated against a family headed by same-sex partners by revoking their “family membership.” He even accused the parents of persecuting the museum:

At a Jacksonville children's museum, they've got one thing on display: religious conviction. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. When it comes to the family, there are no substitutions. That's what a Florida children's museum tried to explain to a lesbian couple, who wanted a family discount. We're sorry, the director said, but the museum's policies are very specific about families needing a mom and a dad. So is Florida law, which defines marriage as a union of a man and woman. So when a mom put her name where the application said "dad," the office was justified in saying no. The difference was only $10, but that didn't matter to the woman, who shouted down the director and threatened to sue. In a statement, the museum said it did nothing wrong by making a policy consistent with their religious beliefs. These days, people care more about political correctness than right and wrong. And if America isn't careful, this museum's freedom will be just another relic from a bygone age.

Tony Perkins: Totalitarian Obama Colluding with ‘Anti-Christian Extremists’ to ‘Neuter the Church’

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins is out with his latest anti-Obama screed. In a fundraising letter dated July 17, Perkins slams the president and his administration for “colluding” with the Southern Poverty Law Center as part of a nefarious plan to create a totalitarian government. Perkins complains about the Justice Department utilizing SPLC’s expertise on extremist groups in training sessions; his letter includes a petition to congressional leaders calling for a formal investigation of the SPLC and its relationship with the Obama administration.

Perkins has been on the rhetorical warpath against the SPLC since it labeled FRC an anti-gay hate group for a history of false and denigrating statements about gay people. In addition, he blames the SPLC for an attack on FRC’s headquarters by a gunman last year. In the new letter, Perkins repeats those claims and ties the SPLC and the Obama administration together in a conspiracy to “sow discord, undermine the Constitution, and bully people of faith.”  Here are some excerpts from the four-page letter:

The anti-Christian crusade instigated by the SPLC has already resulted in an armed terrorist attack on Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, D.C…

The President needs to be exposed for colluding with the SPLC to stifle debate on social policy issues by means of intimidation, fear-mongering, and spreading lies…

The majority of Americans do not agree with the President’s leftist agenda to remake our country into a socialist state ruled by a totalitarian government bureaucracy. And the President knows this. So he is using—and abusing—his presidency to steamroll the American people and implement his radical vision for America…

With less than four years left in office, President Obama is going for broke to accomplish his far-left agenda. In addition to the collusion between his administration and the SPLC, Planned Parenthood, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations, President Obama is using the bully pulpit and power of the presidency to promote abortion and same-sex “marriage” while stifling religious freedom at the same time…

This assault on religious freedom in the military is part of a wider plan to neuter the Church and its stand for the timeless values of faith, family and freedom in America…

Moreover, it’s no secret that President Obama is willing to spend your tax dollars to further his plans for legalizing same-sex “marriage”, increasing access to abortion, and silencing Christians...

We cannot side on the sidelines. We cannot close our eyes and hope this will go away. We must stand boldly, yet in love, against hate-filled anti-Christian groups who incite hatred and violence to intimidate us into silence.

Thank you in advance for standing with us in defense of what is right. With God’s grace, we will stop this pernicious evil against people of faith in America.

Given Perkins’ belief that Obama’s re-election was a symptom of “a deeper moral and spiritual problem” in America, and his willingness to promote rabid anti-Obama conspiracy theories, his new letter is not terribly surprising. But it’s good to keep in mind the next time you hear him or some other FRC spokesperson calling for more civility in the public arena.

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