In an interview with Rick Santorum on Tuesday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that American Christians are being persecuted because the U.S. “began to normalize behavior that had long been considered inappropriate” and that such supposed persecution in the U.S. is contributing to violent religious persecution around the globe.
“You hate to use the term persecution, because when you look around the world, we see real religious persecution,” Santorum, who was guest hosting Steve Deace’s show, said. “We see people dying, churches being burned, we see mass killings of Christians, so I sort of tread lightly on the world persecution.”
But, he added, “this is really the first time in this country where we’ve seen any kind of coordinated effort of government really imposing its will on the American public and forcing them to comply or else.”
Perkins told Santorum that he need not use caution in referring to things like nondiscrimination ordinances in the U.S. as “persecution,” telling him “there is a correlation…between the increase in persecution abroad and the increase of intolerance from our own government here at home.”
“They feel like if it’s not a priority for us to have religious freedom here at home, then certainly it’s not going to be a priority for us to speak out for the persecuted peoples abroad,” he said.
Perkins routinely attacks the Obama administration for “doing nothing” to stop the persecution of Christians abroad, even in cases when the administration is demonstrably doing things to combat such persecution.
Earlier in the program, the two gave a clearer idea of what they mean by the “persecution” of Christians in America, discussing the situation in Houston where a number of pastors received subpoenas as part of a lawsuit filed by anti-gay activists trying to take down the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance.
Perkins commended Santorum for warning America that “this was coming if we began to normalize behavior that had long been considered inappropriate and began to protect it and provide preferential treatment to it.”