Family Research Council

Organization Profile: Family Research Council

801 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
www.frc.org

President: Tony Perkins
Date of founding: 1983
Membership: 455,000 members.
Finances: $10 million (2000 revenue)
 

FRC's Craig James: Religious Right Should Be More Like The LGBT Rights Movement

On “Washington Watch” last week, the Family Research Council's Craig James and Josh Duggar spoke about a press conference that anti-choice groups, including FRC, organized in Arkansas to denounce Sen. Mark Pryor.

James said that Religious Right activists should take cues from LGBT equality supporters in getting organized: “I think what we are finding here, Josh, is that there’s a small percent of folks who are really organized and they are absolutely diligent in their task to silence us or to win their way. It’s like in the LGBT community, it’s out recently that the number of proclaimed gays in this country is like 3.3 percent, but it feels like 30 percent, so getting organized and rallying and calling and writing is absolutely critical to helping all of us succeed in this fight.”

For his part, Duggar called on churches across America to mobilize around a common platform focused on banning abortion and same-sex marriage, along with cutting taxes.

Tony Perkins: It's Obama's Fault People Think He's A Muslim

On yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said that if people believe President Obama is a Muslim, then that is Obama’s own fault.

In response to a caller who insisted that Obama is “a Muslim and every time he does something he’s scoring brownie points for his side, that’s why he can go golfing and not have no problems,” Perkins said that it is reasonable to believe that the president is in fact a Muslim or at least “sympathetic to Muslims.”

Perkins said Obama’s actions as president “only give credence to those that say” that he’s a Muslim, arguing that he did nothing to help Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese Christian and wife of a U.S. citizen who was imprisoned for apostasy until she was ultimately released.

However, administration officials worked to secure Ibrahim’s release and condemned Sudan’s government over the incident, and even Fox News reported that the government was “fully engaged” in the case. A Republican congressman who appeared on Perkins’ radio show back in June told him that “a number of agencies across the board [were] working hand-in-glove to make sure” that Ibrahim was released, and he was “hearted” and “really encouraged that this is a government that cares about people.”

Tony Perkins Praises Strict Gun Laws … In Israel

There is a trend among Religious Right activists to cheer on Israel’s policies towards the Palestinian territories while conveniently ignoring other Israeli programs, such as government subsidies for abortion coverage.

But on his radio show “Washington Watch” yesterday, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins went all in to praise an Israeli domestic policy that is at odds with what American conservatives are pushing at home, hailing Israeli gun laws and saying that Israeli cities are much safer than their American counterparts.

Does this mean that Perkins, of all people, is now a supporter of Israel’s very strict gun laws? Or does he just not understand what he’s talking about?

Back in 2012, the Washington Post attempted to clear up American conservatives’ “long-held misunderstanding of Israeli gun laws.”

The only problem is that Israel actually has quite strong gun restrictions and very low gun ownership rates, some of the lowest in the developed world. This confusion has gotten so bad that even Israeli government officials are now chiming in to knock back the claims, though the NRA is seen as a close ally of the U.S. Republican party, which positions itself as strongly backing Israel.



Israeli guns laws, it turns out, are much stricter than America's gun laws. This may help explain why Israeli gun ownership is just one thirteenth of what it is in the U.S. To bring that number into focus, it would likely be even lower if not for mandatory military service, which means Israelis are more likely to be familiar with guns. Israel's unique security challenges and its periodic bouts with terrorism would also seem to bolster an NRA-style case for allowing more privately owned guns so that more citizens can defend themselves. And yet, there are far fewer guns in private citizens' hands, and far less gun crime.

Why Are 'Sexual Radicals' Accusing Poor Matt Barber, Rick Scarborough And Daniel Lapin of Being Anti-Gay?

In the latest installment of the right-wing victimhood saga, the Illinois-based World Congress of Families has released an open letter accusing “sexual radicals” of launching a “smear campaign” against them in advance of a planned conference in Melbourne later this week.

“Sexual radicals have launched a smear campaign to discredit the Melbourne conference, which misrepresents the international pro-family movement and the positions of the World Congress of Families,” the letter says. “Specifically, it is alleged that advocacy of the natural (or normative) family is somehow unfair to other families and that we ‘shame’ single-parent families, homosexual ‘couples’ and the divorced.” (Scare quotes in the original.)

"The goal of sexual radicals is to deconstruct marriage and marginalize the family, and thus to transform society into something unrecognizable to generations past," the letter continues. "Like all social experiments that attempt to create a 'new man,' these are doomed to failure."

Yes, who could accuse the signers of the letter of shaming LGBT people? Among the 80 signatories are such notable LGBT allies as Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber, who started his very own website to publish off-the-charts anti-gay vitriol; Rabbi Daniel Lapin, who has said that homosexuality is a form of “barbarism”; Russian World Congress of Families activists Alexei Komov and Pavel Parfentiev, who have cheered on their country’s new spate of anti-gay laws; and Rick Scarborough, who claims that AIDS is God’s punishment for homosexuality.

Also joining the defense of the World Congress of Families are the Family Research Council’s Patrick Fagan, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, former House majority leader Tom Delay, the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Benjamin Bull, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, along with a number of international allies of WCF.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign has just released a new report detailing WCF’s support for repressive anti-gay laws throughout the world.

FRC's Craig James Stumped By Question Likening Gay Marriage Bans To Anti-Miscegenation Laws

Craig James — the former Fox Sports host who now works at the Family Research Council — hosted “Washington Watch” yesterday, where he attacked the federal judge who struck down Florida’s same-sex marriage ban for “overriding and striking down the will of the people.”

James’ statements prompted a caller to ask him if he believes a judge should then similarly uphold a ban on interracial marriage if it was supported by the state’s voters. James responded that the courts in that case should overrule the people because judges should decide cases based on the Bible and “the Bible doesn’t speak against that.”

Of course, a startling number of voters — including half of Mississippi Republicans — believe that interracial marriage should be illegal, and that was the view held by a majority of Americans only a few decades ago.

“Among religious groups, evangelicals remain the most opposed to interracial marriage,” Christianity Today notes, and leading Religious Right pastors like the late Bob Jones believed that the Bible unambiguously opposes miscegenation and desegregation and pastors who support integration have “gotten away from the Bible.” “The Bible is clear on this,” Jones said.

Later in the show, another caller said that while bans on interracial marriage are wrong, they are constitutional nonetheless: “If the people voted for it and it became the law, then we would have to abide by it…. If the people voted against interracial marriage and it became the law, then we would have to live by that. ”

James didn’t disagree: “You know, unfortunately, I’m 53 years old and the country is changing and the rule of law is something that now is kind of, use it when it is good to you and don’t in other times. We are definitely in a changing mentality in this country.”

FRC: 'People Need To Be Alarmed' About 'Very Dangerous' Gay Marriage

On yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” the Family Research Council’s Craig James and Travis Weber discussed a federal judge’s decision to strike down Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, warning that the decision will have dangerous and unforeseen consequences.

After James denounced the judge for “overriding and striking down the will of the people,” Weber lamented that the judge’s “inability to comprehend any moral components or any moral insight into marriage” is “very dangerous” as it could pave the way for Big Government tyranny.

“People need to be alarmed,” Weber continued. “We kind of need to step back from this issue — the issue of marriage. Mention it and people get all uptight and they come at it with their preconceived opinions.”

“If we just kind of step back and take a quick history lesson, we can look throughout history at many governments that viewed moral authority as simply ending with the state and there is nothing above that, there is no insight into law beyond what the state itself said it was. Do we want that? No, all we need to do is look at the horror which that view has wrought upon humanity.”

Jerry Boykin Edits Obama Quote To Claim He Ignored Murder Of Iraqi Christians

Family Research Council executive vice president Jerry Boykin yesterday charged President Obama with ignoring violence against Christians in his recent speech on ISIS.

Just like Religious Right broadcaster Rick Wiles, Boykin edited a quote from Obama’s speech to claim that the president is ignoring the murder of Christians.

Here is what Obama said about ISIS:

They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion.

Obama has also denounced the persecution of Christians in the Mideast in past remarks:

As ISIL has marched across Iraq, it has waged a ruthless campaign against innocent Iraqis. And these terrorists have been especially barbaric towards religious minorities, including Christian and Yezidis, a small and ancient religious sect. Countless Iraqis have been displaced.

And again:

We will continue to work with the international community to deal with the growing humanitarian crisis in Iraq. Even as our attention is focused on preventing an act of genocide and helping the men and women and children on the mountain, countless Iraqis have been driven or fled from their homes, including many Christians.

National Prayer Breakfast:

More broadly, I’ve made the case that no society can truly succeed unless it guarantees the rights of all its peoples, including religious minorities, whether they’re Ahmadiyya Muslims in Pakistan, or Baha’i in Iran, or Coptic Christians in Egypt. And in Syria, it means ensuring a place for all people -- Alawites and Sunni, Shia and Christian.

Orthodox Easter:

This weekend, Michelle and I extend our best wishes to members of the Orthodox Christian community here in America and around the world as they observe Holy Friday and the Feast of the Resurrection. For millions of Orthodox Christians, this is a joyful time. But it’s also a reminder of the sacrifice Christ made so that we might have eternal life. His decision to choose love in the face of hate; hope in the face of despair is an example we should always strive to follow. But it’s especially important to remember this year, as members of the Orthodox community have been confronted with persecution and violence, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. For centuries, the region and the world has been enriched by the contributions of Orthodox communities in countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. As a nation, we reaffirm our commitment to protecting universal human rights including the freedom of religion. And in this season of hope and restoration, we celebrate the transformational power of sacrificial love.

Tony Perkins: Obama Using Common Core To 'Attack Religious Values And Freedoms'

Tony Perkins today emailed members of the Family Research Council a conspiratorial message on the supposed dangers of Common Core, or as he calls it, “Obamacore.”

He warns that Common Core is pushing “attacks on religious values and freedoms” and using “propaganda” to ensure that “children are indoctrinated with a liberal ideology that celebrates sexual perversion, worships the creation rather than the Creator, all at the expense of academic achievement and our nation’s Christian heritage.”

We wonder if Mike Huckabee, a close ally of the FRC leader and a top figure in the Religious Right, is aware that Common Core is a liberal, anti-Christian plot, as Huckabee joined other GOP figures in calling on states to adopt the Common Core standards.

In just a few short weeks, millions of American students will head back to school. You should be very concerned about the spreading, hidden nightmare facing them in school today: public schools, private, religious, even home schools.

I'm not talking about bullies, playground predators, or school violence; I'm referring to . . .

The morally corrupt federal takeover of education called Common Core -- or as I prefer to call it -- OBAMACORE.

Common Core was originally an effort by the National Governors Association (NGA) to create national standards and tests to unify what children are taught in school. These standards were adopted by 45 states. Seems harmless enough, right? Wrong!

Since it's been hijacked by the Obama administration, Common Core has all the earmarks of the President's other power grabs: attacks on religious values and freedoms; central control; secrecy; skyrocketing costs; and catastrophic ineptitude.

It essentially takes away the rights of parents and local communities to direct their children's education and puts it under the control of an ever-expanding federal bureaucracy. Obamacore can -- and must -- be stopped!

Yes, stopped. Family Research Council (FRC) needs your help to advance our plan to expose and derail this disaster for our children!

If Obamacore is allowed to take control of America's educational system, I foresee a nation where children are indoctrinated with a liberal ideology that celebrates sexual perversion, worships the creation rather than the Creator, all at the expense of academic achievement and our nation's Christian heritage.

All indications are that the standards imposed by Obamacore will actually hamper education rather than improve it.

Obamacore opens education to even more propaganda in class than we are experiencing today. Its "one-size-fits-all" approach not only eliminates more advanced material, but also makes it difficult for teachers to teach students individually. Typical of other liberal programs, rather than raise up underperformers, Obamacore will lower standards of higher-performing states in order to "level the playing field."

The only way to save American education is for parents to take back the reins of control. That's why FRC has made it a top priority to work state by state and in Congress to save local education from the federal control lurking behind Obamacore.

• We have started a special coalition headed by nationally recognized educational and legal expert, Sarah Perry.

• FRC is providing conservative legislators at the federal and state levels, school administrators, teachers, and parents with key research that conclusively proves that this federal takeover will do more harm than good.

FRC helps give elected officials the information they need to build a compelling case with their colleagues to dismantle Obamacore, or at the state level, opt out.

Needless to say, the time to act is short and the costs of opposing Obamacore are mounting quickly.

No one will be exempt.

The future of America's children is at stake. As Christian citizens, we must never relinquish the education of our children to the federal government, which already has an abysmal track record wherever it has inserted itself.

In the past, parents concerned about what is being taught in the public schools could always resort to private schools or home schooling. Not anymore! The Obamacore standards will impact charter schools, parochial schools, and even parents who teach their children at home. Join with FRC to stop Washington radicals from taking over American education.

Tony Perkins Once Again Suggests Anti-Christian Holocaust In America Is Imminent

Back in June, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said that gay rights advocates are “going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians,” and yesterday he agreed with a caller named Janet who predicted on his “Washington Watch” radio show that anti-Christian violence will erupt in America.

After the caller wondered if we are “going to find ourselves being loaded in cattle cars like it was when the Nazis took over before we realize we are in such terrible danger,” Perkins hailed her claim as an “excellent point.”

“You’ve just hit the nail on the head,” he exclaimed, warning that “isolationist” and “libertarian” politicians like Rand Paul are leaving America’s national security vulnerable and that violent anti-Christian persecution taking place in the Middle East could soon find its way here.

Tony Perkins: Christian Businesses Should Donate Profits From LGBT Customers To Ex-Gay Ministries

On Monday’s “Washington Watch,” host Tony Perkins lamented how increasingly difficult it is for Christian business owners to actively discriminate against and refuse service to LGBT people or same-sex couples based on their “religious views on sexuality.”

Perkins said that business owners who fear challenges to their discriminatory practices from gay couples should prominently place signs in their businesses explaining their belief in “traditional marriage,” and emphasizing that any profits earned from LGBT customers will be donated to “ministries that actually help people who want to come out of the homosexual lifestyle.”

 Scoffing at the notion that anti-discrimination ordinances provide protection for marginalized groups, Perkins dismissed the laws as “clubs” that can be used by gay people to “force everybody to accept and participate and facilitate their lifestyle choices” and “sue people of faith.”

 He cited the recent repeal of a Chattanooga law preventing discrimination against LGBT employees as proof that Americans feel “bullied by the homosexual activists and spineless politicians who are doing the bidding of these activists.”

FRC Claims Citizens United Repeal Would 'Muzzle The Christian Viewpoint'

In a fundraising email today, FRC Action — the Family Research Council’s political arm — announced that it is “working closely with Senator Ted Cruz to take the lead” in opposing a proposed constitutional amendment to roll back Citizens United and related Supreme Court rulings that struck down federal campaign finance rules.

FRC president Tony Perkins has also picked up Cruz’s talking points about the subject, claiming in the email that an amendment restoring the power of Congress to regulate election spending would “scrap” the First Amendment and ultimately allow liberals to “quash our freedom of speech; to silence our calls for liberty and self-government; to muzzle the Christian viewpoint; to make the debate totally one-sided; to brainwash the next generation into believing that this is how it should be.”

In reality, the amendment would return to Congress and state governments the ability to place reasonable regulations on campaign spending, a power they had until very recently.

I thought I'd seen it all.

I thought the First Amendment was settled. I thought freedom of speech -- the fundamental bulwark of liberty at the very heart of our republic -- was so basic to our American way of life, no liberal would have the audacity to suggest scrapping it.

But I was wrong.

It's utterly outrageous to suggest gutting the First Amendment. It is critically important to our national life. Freedom of speech, especially political speech, sets us apart from most other countries in the world. It keeps liberty alive.

It seems Democrats want "free speech" to consist only of government-authorized speech.

They claim they want to cut back on the influence of "special interests" in election campaigns. But of course, the "special interests" they want to silence are organizations like FRC Action. They want to muzzle you and me.

This is not about "election accountability." This is a naked power grab.

This amendment to the Constitution would give the foxes the keys to the henhouse. Those in power -- whom FRC Action is committed to holding accountable -- would now have the ability to silence us, to gag us, to strip us of our right to fully engage in the political process.

Interestingly, if such a far-fetched alteration of our Constitution were to actually take place, there is a particularly strong group that would be protected -- the press! Democrats' liberal allies in the mainstream media would retain their free political speech, while organizations like FRC Action would lose theirs.

Maybe you're thinking: they can't seriously think such a proposal would make it through Congress. And you would be right: they don't.

This is a bald-faced tactic for firing up the Democrats' base -- to get more liberal voters to swarm the polls in the midterm elections this November.

But if we remain silent, if we simply sit and roll our eyes at the absurdity of it all . . . liberals in Congress will be emboldened to keep pushing in this deadly direction.

The Left would love nothing more than to quash our freedom of speech; to silence our calls for liberty and self-government; to muzzle the Christian viewpoint; to make the debate totally one-sided; to brainwash the next generation into believing that this is how it should be.

We're working closely with Senator Ted Cruz to take the lead in exposing this outrage and in challenging any attempt to rewrite our Bill of Rights.

The Family Leadership Summit: Right-Wing Activists Converge On Iowa

This weekend, a who’s who of far-right activists and politicians will convene in Iowa for the 3rd annual Family Leadership Summit, hosted by anti-gay and anti-choice organization The Family Leader and sponsored by Religious Right groups including the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council’s political wing, Alliance Defending Freedom and Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink.

In an effort to establish themselves with social conservative voters, potential Republican presidential candidates including Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum are joining a roster of speakers who push far-right views on LGBT rights, women’s equality and religious pluralism.

Below is an introduction to the sponsor and some of the featured speakers at The Family Leader Summit.

The Family Leader

The Family Leader is conservative political advocacy group based in Iowa that serves as the parent organization of The Family Leader Foundation, Marriage Matters, Iowa Family PAC, and Iowans for Freedom. The group is currently run by three-time failed gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats, who made a name for himself when he led the successful 2010 campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices who joined a unanimous marriage equality decision.

Under Vander Plaats’ leadership, The Family Leader has become influential in national GOP politics, helping presidential hopefuls to court Religious Right activists in the first-in-the-nation caucus.

The Family Leader has:

  • Defended the Boy Scouts’ ban on openly gay members and leaders as a “policy designed to protect Scouts from sexual abuse.”

Vander Plaats has:

  • Compared same-sex unions to polygamy and asserted that recent marriage equality laws will pave the way towards marriages between parents and children for the purposes of tax evasion.
  • Implied that same-sex marriage produces a threat to the United States equivalent to terrorism.Said that God won’t “bless the country” if the U.S. continues with marriage equality and legal abortion.

Tony Perkins

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins — whose organization is a major sponsor of the Family Leadership Summit — is one of the far Right’s top spokesmen in the national media.

Perkins has:

  • Warned that LGBT rights advocates will launch a Holocaust against Christians, placing those that oppose same-sex marriage into “boxcars.”
  • Praised a Uganda bill condemning homosexuals to death as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.”
  • Agreed with a caller on his program that Obama might attempt a “hostile government takeover” that would cancel the 2016 presidential election.

The Benham Brothers

Jason and David Benham are twin brothers, Religious Right activists and entrepreneurs who operate Benham Companies, a conglomerate providing real estate, property management and marketing services, as well as the Benham Foundation, which channels company profits towards conservative social causes.

The brothers were catapulted to national attention after an HGTV show that they were set to star in was cancelled following revelations about their anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Muslim activism. Since the show’s cancellation, the brothers have become a cause celebre for the Religious Right movement, which has lifted them up as an example of the supposed persecution of conservative Christians in America. One or both of the brothers have:

  • Organized a prayer rally to coincide with the 2012 Democratic National Convention, declaring that America must repent for “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.”
  • Called an Islamic community center a “den of iniquity” and referred to Muslims as “the enemy attacking America.”Compared the fight against marriage equality to opposing Nazi Germany.
  • Urged the city of Charlotte, NC to deny permits to an LGBT Pride event, calling it a “vile” and “destructive” activity that “should not be allowed in our city.”
  • Asserted that the LGBT equality movement is part of a “spiritual war” between God and Satan.Led protests outside of abortion clinics, praising anti-choice demonstrators for taking a stand at “the gates of hell” and confronting the “altars of Moloch.”

Rafael Cruz

Rafael Cruz is an evangelical Christian pastor who currently serves as the director of the Purifying Fire International ministry, an organization that espouses Christian dominionism and advocates for a theological grounding in government and public service. Cruz rose within the ranks of conservative far-right activism largely thanks to his son, Ted Cruz, the junior Republican senator from Texas and darling of the Tea Party movement, and has made a name for himself as a frequent public speaker and political commentator. The elder Cruz is a frequent campaign surrogate for his son.

Rafael Cruz has used his sudden prominence to:

  • Lament that the admission of openly gay members to the Boy Scouts would expose children “to sexual predators.”
  • Promote the theocratic Seven Mountains Dominionism theory, asserting the need for Christian leadership to have “an influence upon every area of society, upon arts and entertainment, upon media, upon sports, upon education, upon business, upon government.”

Alveda King

Alveda King is a conservative activist and Christian minister who serves as a Pastoral Associate and the Director of African American Outreach for Pastors for Life, an organization that opposes reproductive rights. The niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., King also campaigns against LGBT equality. King has:

  • Compared the murder of Trayvon Martin to legal abortion.
  • Condemned the wife of the late Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King, for her pro-choice and pro-equality stances, saying the stances would bring “curses on your house and your people…cursing, vexation, rebuke in all that you put your hand to, sickness will come to you and your house, your bloodline will be cut off.”
  • Denied that her uncle supported legalized abortion, despite his acceptance of an award by Planned Parenthood and public support for family planning.
  • In response to a plaque commemorating African American slaves, said, “If Congress really wants to honor African Americans, they can start by ending federally funded programs that allow abortion.”

Joel Rosenberg

Joel Rosenberg is a conservative activist, author and former political strategist who is widely known for writing End Times-themed books.  Rosenberg is also the founder and president of the Joshua Fund, a non-profit organization that proselytizes to Israeli Jews and attempts to convert them to Christianity. A familiar presence on the right-wing talk show circuit, Rosenberg has repeatedly linked disasters and public tragedies to secular government. Rosenberg regularly employs apocalyptic prophecies to help enact an aggressively conservative social agenda. He has: 

  • Depicted the Newtown, Conn. shootings as divine punishment for Americans waging a “cultural war against Jesus and Christmas” and trying to “drive [God] out of our society.”
  • Written that Hurricane Sandy was a response to  the legalization of abortion and part of God’s plan to “get our attention and call us to repent of our sins and turn back to faith in Jesus Christ and back to reading and obeying the Bible”. 
  • Implied that legal abortion is a greater sin than exterminations during the Holocaust, predicting that since the Roe v. Wade decision “we have killed ten times more Americans than the Nazis killed of the Jews.”
  • Following the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008, pointed to home foreclosure as one feature of the Rapture, creating a “ripple effect” that will lead to the “implosion of America.” 

Christian Reconstructionism And The GOP: 'Biblical Justice' vs Social Justice

There’s a reason so many Republican politicians seem to bring a religious fervor to their efforts to gut public institutions and social welfare spending. The modern day Religious Right draws much of its ideology from Christian Reconstructionists who teach that God gave specific duties to the government, the church, and the family.

According to this theological worldview, education and taking care of the poor are the responsibility of families and churches, and it is unbiblical for the government to take on these roles. That meshes well with the view of “constitutional conservatives” who believe, for example, the Constitution does not authorize any federal government role in education.

A stark example of the increasingly indistinct line between conservative Republicans and hard-core Christian Reconstructionists and dominionists (who believe the right kind of Christians are meant to have dominion over every aspect of society) can be found in the recent Republican primary victory of Michael Petrouka in a race for a county council seat in an Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Peroutka believes that any law that runs counter to God’s law is invalid, and that the Maryland General Assembly is itself no longer a valid legislative body. Here’s a concise summation of his approach to government:

Since civil government is ordained by God in order to protect God-given rights, then the function of civil government is to obey God and to enforce God’s law – PERIOD.

It is not the role of civil government to house, feed, clothe, educate or give heath care to…ANYBODY!

This religion-inflected ideological view of government is not relegated to inhabitants of the far-right fringe like Peroutka. David Barton, an influential Republican activist and “historian” who helped write the GOP’s national platform in 2012, claims that the Constitution was drawn directly from the Bible and the sermons of colonial preachers, and that its focus on individual freedom reflects the founders’ theology of individual salvation. In this view, the Tea Party’s belief in a radically limited federal government is not only a question of constitutional interpretation, it is a mandate of Holy Scripture.

Just this month, Barton promoted these views on “Praise the Lord,” the flagship program of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, which bills itself as the world’s largest religious network and America’s most-watched faith channel. “In the Bible, Jesus has a teaching about minimum wage,” Barton said. “In the Bible, Jesus has two teachings on capital gains tax.” The Bible, according to Barton, opposes those taxes as well as estate taxes and progressive income taxes. A flat tax is “what the Bible supports.”

On the same show Barton denounced government spending on welfare. “It’s not the government’s responsibility to take care of the poor and needy,” he said, “it’s the church’s responsibility.”

According to Barton, there are 205 verses in the Bible that instruct the family or church to take care of the poor, but not the government. “The government is told to do only one thing with taking care of the poor and that one thing is to make sure that when the poor come into court they get justice. That’s the only thing government is told….What we’re doing right now is for the first time in America we have ignored what the Bible says, the Bible says you don’t work, you don’t eat.” He went on to say that people “not having to work and getting free money…violates everything the Bible tells us” about dealing with the poor.

These themes are repeated in Social Justice: How Good Intentions Undermine Justice and Gospel, a booklet published last year by the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the anti-environmentalist Cornwall Alliance. The booklet, written by Cornwall’s Calvin Beisner (according to him, at the request of the Family Research Council), was distributed at last month’s “Road to Majority” conference, which was organized by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition.

The premise of the booklet is that “social justice” is contrary to “Biblical justice.” If that sounds familiar, you may be recalling Glenn Beck’s diatribes against “social justice” a few years ago, when he urged people to leave their church if its website included the phrases “social justice” or “economic justice.”

It is wrong, Beisner writes, to try to mitigate inequality “through force of government.” Why? “Because God ordained the state to dispense justice, and the church to dispense grace.” According to Beisner, giving someone “unearned” benefits is grace, not justice. People should graciously serve the poor, he writes. “But if care for the needy is made a matter of justice to the needy rather than to God, then grace becomes law. Then, the needy—and those who merely profess to be needy—may claim the benefits of grace as their due by justice.”

In other words, government has no right to tax someone in order to help feed someone else.

That is a widely shared belief on the Religious Right. Speakers at Religious Right conferences like Reed’s June event, and Republican Members of Congress, can be heard justifying cuts in food stamps with an appeal to the Bible passage that David Barton quoted on TBN. That verse, depending on your translation, says something like “he who will not work shall not eat.”

Reps. Kevin Cramer and Rep. Stephen Fincher of Tennessee cited that verse last year. Fincher said, “The role of citizens, of Christianity, of humanity, is to take care of each other, not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country.” In equating taxation for social services with theft, Fincher echoes Barton, Beisner, and others. (In context, by the way, the work-to-eat verse referred to early Christians who were so confident of the imminent return of Christ that they quit doing anything.)

Poor people turning to the government, Beisner writes in his anti-social-justice booklet, results in “the stultifying effects of wealth redistribution by the coercive power of the state.” Even worse, he says, “it blinds [poor people] to their deepest need: the grace of God offered in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

This is another theme of the Republican Party’s right wing. Sharron Angle, the GOP’s 2010 Senate nominee in Nevada, said during her campaign that entitlement programs are “idolatry” because they “make government our God.” Farris Wilks, the Texas fracking billionaire who gives huge amounts to the Heritage Foundaiton and other right-wing groups, declares that “the Torah is set up on the free enterprise system” and that “Yahweh never intended for us as a people to be afraid and reliant on government.” Former Sen. Jim DeMint, who now heads the Heritage Foundation, says “the bigger government gets, the smaller God gets.

Heritage is just one of the institutions working to make right-wing economics an article of faith just like opposition to gay rights and abortion. The Freedom Federation, one of the many right-wing entities created in the wake of Barack Obama’s 2008 election, brings both "mainstream" and fringe Religious Right groups together with the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity. The Freedom Federation’s “Declaration of American Values” includes not only the expected rhetoric about traditional values, but also opposition to progressive taxation.

John Lofton, a right-wing pundit, is the spokesperson for Republican county council candidate Peroutka, and for Peroutka’s Christian Reconstructionist Institute on the Constitution, which has trained Tea Party activists on the biblical basis of the Constitution. Lofton has spoken on “God and Government” at Liberty University’s Helms School of Government. In 2012, in reference to an article about evangelicals disagreeing on budget priorities, Lofton wrote that “there should be no disagreement among those who believe the Bible is true. Because it is crystal clear that in God’s Word He gives NO AUTHORITY to civil government (Caesar) to give health, education or welfare to ANYBODY. If people need help, it is the role of the Church – God’s people – to provide this help and NOT government.”

Tea Party? Religious Right? GOP? Or all of the above?

Personhood Supporter Ted Cruz Shocked Anyone Thinks GOP Wants To Curtail Contraception Access

On Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz denounced Democratic legislation to ensure that employees receive contraception access in their health insurance plans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, accusing Democrats of fooling voters through “misdirection.”

Cruz told the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins that the GOP-blocked Senate bill to prevent employers from refusing to cover contraception was simply a way to “distract people” from President Obama’s purported litany of scandals.

“They tried to convince Americans, and sadly they succeeded in convincing a number of Americans, that were somehow some people in the political sphere out to stop people from using contraceptives,” Cruz said. “I have literally never met anybody who wants to prohibit Americans from using contraceptives if they so desire. The allegation that there is somehow any effort at all to restrict access to contraceptives is looney, in the U.S. Senate the number of Senators advocating doing that is zero, they never have.”

While Cruz seems to miss the link between Hobby Lobby and access to contraception, he also doesn’t seem to understand a bill that he pledged to support: the Life at Conception Act. Like other personhood bills, the Life at Conception Act would outlaw some forms of birth control, along with abortion in all cases.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists points out that “some of the most effective and reliable forms of contraception, such as oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and other forms of FDA-approved hormonal contraceptives could be banned” under personhood bills.

Family Research Council Attacks 'Burger Queen' For 'Catering To A Fringe Group' During LGBT Pride Month

The Family Research Council is adding its voice to growing outrage from the Religious Right over Burger King’s unveiling of the LGBT Pride Month-themed Proud Whopper.

In the prepared text of FRC president Tony Perkins’ daily radio bulletin, posted on the group’s website today, Perkins asks: “Is it Burger King or Burger Queen?

When Burger King says "have it your way," they aren't just talking about food. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. Is it Burger King or Burger Queen? Customers in San Francisco aren't so sure after the chain's new Proud Whopper. Local stores unveiled the rainbow menu to coincide with LGBT week. Although nothing's different about the burger, executives hope the wrapper will make a statement. But even in liberal San Francisco, Time reports, some customers have a beef with the burgers. "If that's what they're gonna do," said one person, "they won't [have] my business anymore." That's the beauty of the free market. If Burger King wants to cater to a fringe group at the expense of other customers, that's their choice. Just like it's Cracker Barrel's decision to support natural marriage and the celebrities who advocate it. The problem is those companies who say they believe in debate and then try to silence it. That's the biggest whopper of them all.

In his audio version of the remarks, Perkins dropped the swipe at “Burger Queen,” but still suggested that the fast-food company will face boycotts for supporting LGBT Pride Month.

Jerry Boykin Wants To Know Why The US Didn't Kill Bowe Bergdahl

Yesterday, The Daily Caller posted an interview that Ginni Thomas conducted with the Family Research Council's Jerry Boykin in which he called for President Obama to be impeached over the Veterans Affairs scandal and Benghazi while wondering why captured Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was not killed by the US government like Anwar al-Awlaki had been.

As Boykin sees it, the trade of five Taliban leaders in exchange for Bergdahl's return was "so phony" because Bergdahl was a known deserter who was no different than al-Awlaki.

"Al-Awlaki was an American citizen," Boykin said. "He was assassinated by the Obama administration because he was a traitor, he had turned on America. I'm glad he's dead. I have no issue with that. But what's the different between al-Awlaki and Bowe Bergdahl?"

Saying that Bergdahl had already been found guilty of desertion by the military, for which the punishment is death, Boykin declared that "there's no logic" to the swap "except that this was all about closing Guantanamo and they had to have the sequence of events unfold the way they did so they could release these five people out of Guantanamo":

Tony Perkins Falsely Claims The Military Is Instituting Sharia Law

Citing the supposed persecution of Christian service members, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said today that the Obama administration is imposing Islamic law in the military.

Perkins’ commentary suggests that the military is enforcing Islamic law on service members stationed in Bahrain during Ramadan. But the Stars and Stripes story he cites explains that the military has merely informed American service members about how to stay in compliance with local laws in Bahrain, where the U.S. has a large base, during Ramadan: “While not required to fast during Ramadan, in Bahrain, Americans can be fined or detained by local authorities for eating, drinking or smoking in public when off-base during daylight hours.”

The Navy is, however, requiring conservative long-sleeved shirts and blouses and long pants and skirts to adhere to local customs.

The myth-busting website Snopes has knocked the “greatly exaggerated” claims based on the Stars and Stripes article, noting that service members stationed in Islamic countries have traditionally had to observe local laws during Ramadan, noting that “as with other local laws, they can be detained by authorities for breaking them.”

Thanks to the Obama administration, our military can finally practice a religion: Islam's! Hello, I'm Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. While the military is kicking Bibles off of bases and forcing verses to be erased from personal spaces, it seems there is plenty of room for Ramadan. The month-long Muslim holiday kicked off last week, and plenty of troops are celebrating -- whether they want to or not. According to the Stars and Stripes newspaper, the Pentagon is forcing service members to honor the Ramadan rules on everything from clothing to smoking to drinking coffee. During the fast, soldiers were even told they'd be fined for eating or drinking off-base. To most of our troops, who can't even practice their own religion under this administration, this a slap in the face. Our troops are expected to observe the Muslim faith while the expression of their own Christianity is unwelcome in the military fighting for freedom. “Let us redeem the time for certainly the days are evil.”

Tony Perkins Claims 'Liberal Jewish Folk' Are Undermining Israel By Supporting Marriage Equality

In a June address to the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council lamented the support for same-sex marriage and abortion rights among “liberal Jewish folk.”

Perkins cited the rise of gay rights as a sign that American society is abandoning the Bible, warning that the U.S. may next disregard biblical directives to support Israel.

He also pointed to the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s recent decision to allow pastors to officiate same-sex weddings and to divest from three American corporations that are involved in West Bank settlements.

Tony Perkins' Christian-Persecution Report Highlights Persecution of Tony Perkins

The Family Research Council came out yesterday with a report on "hostility to religion in America," a collection of anecdotes from the past 14 years supposedly illustrating the persecution of conservative Christians in the U.S.

Some anecdotes highlighted in the report are troubling incidents that FRC admits were later rectified. Others are incidents that we might not all count as examples of religious hostility — for instance Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean being “mocked and ridiculed” for her answer to a question on same-sex marriage in 2009. Still others are stories of dubious accuracy — for instance, the story of a girl in Florida supposedly punished for praying at school, who just so happened to be the daughter of the man in charge of promoting Todd Starnes’ book on Christian persecution.

And then there was this:

Minister’s Invitation to National Prayer Luncheon Revoked because of His Comments on Homosexuality in the Military – February 2010*

An ordained minister and Marine Corps veteran was punished for speaking out on a topic unrelated to his planned comments at the National Prayer Luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, D.C. The minister criticized President Obama’s call to end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, resulting in his invitation to speak at the National Prayer Luncheon being rescinded. The minister criticized the action as “black-listing” to suppress unwanted viewpoints.

Who is this unnamed minister who was disinvited from the National Prayer Luncheon? He wasn’t just a minister who had criticized “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal. He was none other than the Family Research Council’s own president Tony Perkins.

This attempt to gloss over Perkins’ identity to make him seem like an innocent bystander to a vast anti-Christian agenda highlights a key strategy in the Religious Right’s persecution narrative. Like David and Jason Benham, who lost a TV contract with HGTV after Right Wing Watch reported on their vocal and public anti-gay, anti-choice activism (and who are also featured in FRC’s report), Tony Perkins is not just a private citizen who holds anti-gay views. He’s the leader of a major organization that opposed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” with misleading claims and demeaning rhetoric. You can agree or disagree with Perkins being disinvited from the prayer luncheon. But FRC would like us to believe that disagreement with Tony Perkins is the very same thing as hostility to religion.

Syndicate content

Family Research Council Top Posts

801 G Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 www.frc.org President: Tony Perkins Date of founding: 1983 Membership: 455,000 members. Finances: $10 million (2000 revenue)   MORE >

Family Research Council Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/02/2014, 4:40pm
On “Washington Watch” last week, the Family Research Council's Craig James and Josh Duggar spoke about a press conference that anti-choice groups, including FRC, organized in Arkansas to denounce Sen. Mark Pryor. James said that Religious Right activists should take cues from LGBT equality supporters in getting organized: “I think what we are finding here, Josh, is that there’s a small percent of folks who are really organized and they are absolutely diligent in their task to silence us or to win their way. It’s like in the LGBT community, it’s out... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 08/27/2014, 2:00pm
On yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said that if people believe President Obama is a Muslim, then that is Obama’s own fault. In response to a caller who insisted that Obama is “a Muslim and every time he does something he’s scoring brownie points for his side, that’s why he can go golfing and not have no problems,” Perkins said that it is reasonable to believe that the president is in fact a Muslim or at least “sympathetic to Muslims.” Perkins said Obama’s actions as... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/26/2014, 2:10pm
There is a trend among Religious Right activists to cheer on Israel’s policies towards the Palestinian territories while conveniently ignoring other Israeli programs, such as government subsidies for abortion coverage. But on his radio show “Washington Watch” yesterday, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins went all in to praise an Israeli domestic policy that is at odds with what American conservatives are pushing at home, hailing Israeli gun laws and saying that Israeli cities are much safer than their American counterparts. Does this mean that Perkins, of all... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 08/25/2014, 3:23pm
In the latest installment of the right-wing victimhood saga, the Illinois-based World Congress of Families has released an open letter accusing “sexual radicals” of launching a “smear campaign” against them in advance of a planned conference in Melbourne later this week. “Sexual radicals have launched a smear campaign to discredit the Melbourne conference, which misrepresents the international pro-family movement and the positions of the World Congress of Families,” the letter says. “Specifically, it is alleged that advocacy of the natural (or... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/22/2014, 4:35pm
Craig James — the former Fox Sports host who now works at the Family Research Council — hosted “Washington Watch” yesterday, where he attacked the federal judge who struck down Florida’s same-sex marriage ban for “overriding and striking down the will of the people.” James’ statements prompted a caller to ask him if he believes a judge should then similarly uphold a ban on interracial marriage if it was supported by the state’s voters. James responded that the courts in that case should overrule the people because judges should decide... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/22/2014, 3:10pm
On yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” the Family Research Council’s Craig James and Travis Weber discussed a federal judge’s decision to strike down Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, warning that the decision will have dangerous and unforeseen consequences. After James denounced the judge for “overriding and striking down the will of the people,” Weber lamented that the judge’s “inability to comprehend any moral components or any moral insight into marriage” is “very dangerous” as it could pave the way for... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/22/2014, 12:45pm
Family Research Council executive vice president Jerry Boykin yesterday charged President Obama with ignoring violence against Christians in his recent speech on ISIS. Just like Religious Right broadcaster Rick Wiles, Boykin edited a quote from Obama’s speech to claim that the president is ignoring the murder of Christians. Here is what Obama said about ISIS: They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 08/14/2014, 3:50pm
Tony Perkins today emailed members of the Family Research Council a conspiratorial message on the supposed dangers of Common Core, or as he calls it, “Obamacore.” He warns that Common Core is pushing “attacks on religious values and freedoms” and using “propaganda” to ensure that “children are indoctrinated with a liberal ideology that celebrates sexual perversion, worships the creation rather than the Creator, all at the expense of academic achievement and our nation’s Christian heritage.” We wonder if Mike Huckabee, a close ally of the... MORE >