Family Research Council

FRC Prepares For The Military's Imminent Collapse

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins condemned the certification of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in a message to FRC members yesterday, warning that the consequences will be disastrous. Perkins, who during the debate over the policy’s future claimed that elected officials who voted for repeal had blood on their hands, said that his group will be committed monitoring what he called the repeal’s devastating effects.

He writes that they will highlight supposedly suppressed stories of “the new victims of sexual harassment or assault, the soldiers exposed to HIV-tainted blood, the thousands of servicemembers who choose not to reenlist rather than forfeit their freedom of speech and religion, and the untold number of citizens who choose never to join the military,” concluding, “It’s clear this President is more interested in appeasing sexual revolutionaries than in fighting America's enemies”:

President Obama may not have created a lot of jobs for America--but he's creating plenty for his homosexual base. At 12:01 a.m. this morning, the radical Left celebrated one of President Obama's signature legislative accomplishments: the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," a 1993 law that codified the longstanding prohibition of homosexual conduct in the military. With the completion of the training and "certification" process, today became the day when political correctness officially trumps military effectiveness, and servicemembers actively engaged in homosexual conduct are now free to proclaim that preference.

FRC will continue to monitor the consequences of this reversal of 236 years of American military policy, limit the damage--and demand that the Defense Department do the same. Expect to see celebrations from homosexual groups and fawning stories in the media about how "the sky has not fallen." That's only because there will be no press releases from the new victims of sexual harassment or assault, the soldiers exposed to HIV-tainted blood, the thousands of servicemembers who choose not to reenlist rather than forfeit their freedom of speech and religion, and the untold number of citizens who choose never to join the military. It's clear this President is more interested in appeasing sexual revolutionaries than in fighting America's enemies.

Huckabee Lauds Personhood Mississippi, Slams Avaricious "Abortion Industry"

Only a few years ago Religious Right groups and Republicans were running as far as possible away from the Personhood Colorado campaign, the effort to pass an extreme anti-choice measure that was twice handily defeated by Colorado voters. Last year, the National Right to Life Committee, Americans United for Life, Colorado Citizens for Life all refused to back the Colorado personhood amendment, and the Colorado Eagle Forum called the personhood campaign a “disaster.”

But now, the Personhood Mississippi campaign –which is nearly identical to the Colorado effort – has received the support of prominent Republican leaders including Mike Huckabee and anti-choice groups such as the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel and the Family Research Council.

The campaign to pass the personhood amendment, called Amendment 26, is led by the head of the extreme Mississippi Constitution Party and a member of Christian Exodus, which wanted to have states secede from the U.S. in order to form a new theocratic system of government. Designed to challenge Roe v. Wade, the amendment would criminalize abortion in all cases and also ban the treatment of ectopic pregnancies, in vitro fertilization, stem cell research and certain forms of birth control.

Huckabee addressed a fundraiser for the personhood campaign and urged activists to give money because pro-choice activists only want to “make people rich” by keeping abortion legal. “This isn’t about elevating women,” Huckabee said, “this is about elevating wealth on behalf of those who profit from the sale of death.”


But here’s what I don’t assume. I do not assume that you comprehend the battle you’re gonna face over the next couple of months in this fight for Amendment 26. You have no idea how many millions of dollars are likely to be poured into your state and it’s not stimulus money and economic development and job creation, it is hardcore political money that is designed to preserve the abortion industry which is a multimillion dollar industry specifically designed in order to terminate life and make people rich. Let’s not kid ourselves; this is not about elevating women this is about elevating wealth on behalf of those who profit from the sale of death.

The reason that America is more pro-life than it ever has been is because the younger generation of Americans are more pro-life than their mothers and their grandmothers. And do you know why? Because science has affirmed what God has been trying to scream to us all along: that is a human life! Thank God for the science that’s affirmed it.

Perkins Blasts California HPV Vaccination Plan, Fails To Mention Perry

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins dedicated his radio alert today to blasting a plan to help girls receive the HPV vaccine…in California. The issue of HPV vaccination has been dominating the Republican primary since Michele Bachmann attacked Rick Perry for his executive order mandating the vaccine for Texas schoolgirls and for his close ties to the vaccine manufacturer Merck. While the executive order was ultimately overturned by the state legislature, Perry’s decision is facing more scrutiny on the national level.

Curiously, Perkins doesn’t mention Perry’s decision as he attacks legislation in California that, unlike Perry’s plan, isn’t a mandate. According to Capital Public Radio, the bill would ensure that “adolescents 12 and older would be able to receive the HPV vaccine and an HIV exposure medication without parental consent.” Perkins decries the bill as “a shot at parents’ rights,” but is strangely silent the Perry plan, which would have gone even farther:

In California, leaders are using a vaccine to take a shot at parents' rights. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Out in California, the state legislature just passed a bill that would let kids get vaccinated without their parents' knowledge or consent. Leaders argue that children should be protected from sexually transmitted diseases like HPV. But parents don't think that's the government's decision to make. Now, don't get me wrong. We're thrilled that scientists might have found a drug to stop cervical cancer. But this debate isn't about whether we want to protect our children from disease, but whether we want the government making decisions for our kids. The bill's been squeaking by without much media attention, but now that it's just a signature away from becoming law, families are outraged. Parents--not arbitrary politicians--should be the ultimate authority on their child's health. Check our pamphlet, "Gardasil: What Every Parent Should Know" at The last thing we need in the vaccine debate is to inject more government interference!

Perkins, Wildmon: God Will Judge America For Legal Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage

Yesterday on American Family Radio’s Today’s Issues, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and American Family Association head Tim Wildmon agreed that God is going to judge the U.S. over the issue of abortion and marriage equality. “God is going to hold us accountable for the death, the destructive policies of this country that have devalued human life and are redefining marriage,” Perkins said, and Wildmon concurred that as long as abortion continues to be legal in America “we will be judged and held accountable for it, as a country.”


Perkins: You and I Tim as Americans have been given a very unique role in the history of mankind to be a part of that process and choosing our leaders, but with that opportunity comes a responsibility and an accountability. I think we’ll give an account for who the leaders of this nation, who the leaders are, and the policies that they adopt. We can’t simply wash our hands and say ‘oh just because we have a pro-abortion president, a Democratic president, we don’t have anything to do with that.’ No my friends, we do. When only fifty percent of the church-going population is registered to vote and only half of them are actually voting, I have some really somber news: I believe God is going to hold us accountable for the death, the destructive policies of this country that have devalued human life and are redefining marriage.

Wildmon: Folks keep in mind the overarching principle here we need to look at is a Biblical one, in that it is immoral, it is evil, it is wrong in the eyes of God to kill unborn babies.

Perkins: And as long as it’s happening in the United States we’re a party to it.

Wildmon: We’re a party to and we are being and we will be judged and held accountable for it, as a country.

Indiana Republican Congressmen Use Taxpayer Money For FRC Training

Roll Call reports today that four Republican congressmen sent staffers to the Indiana Family Institute with funding from their congressional office accounts. “The April payments of $500 from Indiana GOP Reps. Larry Bucshon, Dan Burton and Todd Young and $1,000 from Rep. Todd Rokita to the Indiana Family Institute stand out because it is rare for Congressional offices to make direct payments to political organization,” Paul Singer writes, adding that “the Members also offer their time to the IFI for the training sessions.”

The Indiana Family Institute is the state affiliate of the Family Research Council, and led the push the defund Planned Parenthood in Indiana and for the legislature to place a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballot. The group also claimed it successfully defeated an anti-bullying bill because it would “allow homosexual activists to silence free speech.”

According to its manual Ignite: An Enduring Cultural Transformation, the IFI describes its political goals of fighting the “radical liberal agenda” and training leaders “grounded in a biblical worldview”:

You see, Indiana Family Institute (IFI) is unique. Strategically, IFI works at the state level to unite a coalition of allied national and local organizations. Operationally, IFI works effectively in all three areas – education, legislative, accountability – required to truly transform the culture. Philosophically, IFI works on a wide range of culture-defining issues. Organizationally, IFI works to engage churches, pastors, and their members in their government. God has blessed IFI with the unique opportunity to be a catalyst for cultural transformation.

Cultural transformation begins with leadership. Leadership of all ages and backgrounds. Leadership grounded in a biblical worldview. Leadership armed with the information and skills to influence others. IFI’s educational programs work to identify, train, and activate these leaders across Indiana both in the home and the public square.

IFI’s political goals include: Pass the Marriage Amendment. Pass a bill to stop tax dollars from going to Planned Parenthood, Indiana’s largest abortion provider. Oppose Indiana Equality, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, etc. efforts to push their radical liberal agenda.

IFI’s legislative programs provide a strong and respected voice for values in the legislature.

In the last several years alone, IFI has actively engaged on numerous critical pieces of legislation. By God’s grace and thanks to the generous support of loyal donors, IFI was successful in many of those battles – including working to pass the Marriage Amendment through the Indiana House once and the Indiana Senate five times (though former House Speaker Pat Bauer ultimately stopped it from being placed on the ballot) and defeating multiple bills by Indiana Equality, Planned Parenthood and other radical leftist groups that would have diminished religious liberty, used the government as a tool to promote homosexuality and expanded abortion in Indiana.

Staver Outraged Nobody Will Condemn "Bombastic Rhetoric"

Today's installment of Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom Radio" program was dedicated to promoting next month's Values Voter Summit, which Liberty Counsel is co-sponsoring along with the Family Research Council and the American Family Association.

During the broadcast, Matt Barber said that this year's gathering was more important than ever because conservatives must stand together as Liberals are realizing that their hold on government is about to disappear and, as such, are engaging in outrageous rhetoric and pointed to the recent remarks by James Hoffa as evidence.

At Mat Staver was absolutely outraged by this sort of "bombastic rhetoric," not to mention the fact that nobody is willing to condemn it:

You know, one of the things I am concerned about - and it really has gone on for quite a while and it gets even more and more escalated - and that is this rhetoric that people use within the political arena. Instead of really trying to deal with differences and try to understand each others differences and ultimately confront them, there's this bombastic rhetoric. And this rhetoric by Hoffa in regards to his idea, they've never been condemned by people in leadership and they should be. It's just completely uncalled for, the kind of rhetoric that he was dealing with.

Let us just point out that Staver has accused President Obama of seeking to become a global dictator who seeks to destroy America and who has made this nation so immoral that that Liberty Counsel has had to declare its independence from the "abusive and lawless regime in the Executive Branch and in the United States Congress."

At the time he said this, Staver was seated across from Matt Barber, who asserts that all gays are pedophiles who seek to poison the minds of children and want to put Christians in jail and who openly states that Liberalism is rooted in hatred of God.

Not to mention that Liberty Counsel is co-sponsoring the Values Voter Summit with the organization that employs Bryan Fischer and that Fischer will be given a key speaking slot during the conference.

If Staver really wants to see people step up and condemn the "uncalled for" rhetoric people are using in the political arena, maybe he ought to start looking a little closer to home.

Perry to Address Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit

Family Research Council Action, the political arm of the Family Research Council, just announced that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will address the upcoming Values Voter Summit in Washington. As Religious Right leaders continue to coalesce behind Perry — FRC president Tony Perkins was among those attending a pro-Perry gathering of conservative leaders at James Leninger’s ranch earlier this month — addressing the Values Voter Summit should only help his standing among social conservatives. Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum are the only other presidential candidates who have so far committed to the event. Other Religious Right leaders scheduled to speak include Gary Bauer, Brent Bozell, Mathew Staver, Phyllis Schlafly and Bill Bennett, along with lesser known but radical activists like Lila Rose, Jerry Boykin and Star Parker:

Family Research Council Action (FRC Action) has confirmed that GOP presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) will speak at the Values Voter Summit this October 7-9 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Perry joins other Republican presidential candidates, including U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), at the largest annual gathering of pro-family activists in the nation's capital.

The annual event, which is expected to draw 2,000 grassroots activists from across the country, will have a speaker line-up that includes House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Steve King (R-IA), Dr. Bill Bennett, Mark Levin, Lt. Gen. William Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.), Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Erick Erickson, Ed Morrissey, Heritage Foundation fellow Edwin Meese III, Lila Rose and Phyllis Schlafly. The 2011 Values Voter Summit is cosponsored by AFA Action, American Values, The Heritage Foundation, Liberty University, and Liberty Counsel. A presidential straw poll, exhibit hall, book signings, breakout sessions and much more will be packed into this three-day conference. On Saturday evening Family Research Council will award Heritage Foundation fellow Edwin Meese, III with its 2011 Vision and Leadership Award.

FRC Launches Ads Pushing Marriage Amendment in North Carolina

The Family Research Council has released a series of radio ads in North Carolina, calling for the state legislature to place a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality for gays and lesbians on the ballot this November. North Carolina already prohibits same-sex marriage by statute, but the FRC says it’s not enough, warning, “Our laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman could be overturned.”

Organizers of the marriage amendment have called marriage equality an evil plot concocted by Satan and said an amendment is needed to “put a big letter of shame on the behavior.” According to findings from Public Policy Polling published today, while 61% of state voters oppose legalizing same-sex marriage, just 30% support the constitutional amendment.


Marriage is at risk in our state. Our laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman could be overturned. Marriage between one man and one woman benefits families in society so we must preserve the marriage laws in our state Constitution.

On September 12, the North Carolina legislature will vote on putting a marriage amendment to a vote of the people. Powerful voices in our state capitol are threatening your right to vote on marriage. Take a stand for marriage. Call Rep. Chuck McGrady and ask him to vote yes to the marriage amendment. It's not about party, it's about marriage.

And on September 12, join us for a rally supporting marriage at 11 a.m. in front of the legislative building in Raleigh. Bring a sign and take a stand for marriage.

Perkins: "At Elmhurst College, It Pays To Be Sexually Deviant"

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is arguing that a Christian college’s effort to boost its LGBT student community is “incentivizing sin.” Elmhurst College, which is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, added an optional question to its application: “Would you consider yourself a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community?” Other optional questions include the applicant’s religious affiliation and the language spoken at home. In today’s Washington Watch radio alert, Perkins mocks the college’s religious affiliation, using scare quotes to describe it as Christian. Perkins goes on to imply that students will lie on their applications, claiming that they identify as LGBT in order to compete for enrichment scholarships for underrepresented groups. The school found no evidence that would occur.

Elmhurst president S. Alan Ray responded to criticisms last week, saying “Creating a positive, welcoming environment for all of our students is part of our mission. The UCC describes itself as ‘extravagantly welcoming.’ We are, too.”

Perkins: What happens in the bedroom might decide if you have a seat in the classroom. At least in one Illinois college. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. At Elmhurst College, it pays to be sexually deviant. Literally. As part of the application process, the quote-unquote "Christian" school is asking prospective students if they're gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Anyone who answers "yes" will be eligible for the school's Enrichment Scholarship. "Increasing diversity is part of our mission statement," the Dean said. But this isn't increasing diversity--it's incentivizing sin! Considering the risks, no school--whether it's religiously affiliated or not--should be encouraging sexual activity of any kind! Nathan Harden, at NRO, asks if heterosexual students, who are facing big loan burdens, might be compelled to "broaden their sexual horizons." Or what's to keep a student from lying if they know admissions will knock 33% off sticker price? This is nothing more than higher education pandering. And if you ask me, Elmhurst should be the one making admissions...about their agenda.

Perkins Assails ABC For Having Chaz Bono In 'Dancing With The Stars'

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins used his daily Washington Watch radio alert to slam ABC for selecting Chaz Bono to appear on the upcoming season of Dancing With The Stars. Bono, a transgender man, said he hasn’t “been paying that much attention” to critics like Fox News and conservative activists who have attacked his selection. The American Family Association’s One Million Moms accused ABC of trying to “promote this destructive lifestyle” by selecting Bono and Carson Kressley, who is openly gay and best known for his role on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and urged members to contact ABC and demand that “these cast members are replaced”:

Email ABC Network and let them know that we will not tolerate these subjects being forced into our homes. DWTS airs 8/7 central when children are awake and Christian families will not enhance the ratings by watching the show when it returns September 19 unless this issue is taken care of and these cast members are replaced (Kressley was added last minute anyway because of another cast member's injury).

Today, Perkins slammed the network and advised parents not to watch DWTS, warning, “The indoctrination is in full swing.” He claimed that the show is working “to advertise for the radical Left” and has become “an hour-long political statement.” Perkins said:

Forget "Dancing with the Stars." ABC is dancing with the transgenders. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. On the 13th season of Dancing with the Stars, the indoctrination is in full swing. This fall, ABC's picked its first transsexual to compete. Chaz Bono, the famous child of Sonny and Cher, may have been born a woman--but she'll be dancing as a man. And while the gay community approves, fans certainly don't. ABC's been blasted by thousands of viewers for turning a popular show into an hour-long political statement. The message boards are full of angry parents who think ABC's gone too far. One mom wrote, "I am not about to risk the potential for on screen dialogue about sex changes and gender confusion while my 7- and 9-year old are watching... We are NOT tolerant--[if tolerance means allowing] any influences to come unfiltered into our home..." I guess if "Dancing" wants to advertise for the radical Left, they'll find out how out of step they are!

Gingrich's Lone Religious Right Supporter Being Wooed By Perry

As we noted last week, Rick Perry gathered with a whole range of Religious Right leaders at the ranch of right-wing megadonor James Leininger over the weekend and details continue to emerge about what took place during the event, like Perry vowing to them that there would be no revelations about his past that would ever embarrass them.

We are also seeing more reports about which leaders were in attendance:

The meeting received little public attention, though the 200 or so in attendance included luminaries of the Christian right such as Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, California pastor Jim Garlow, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Washington-area Bishop Harry Jackson, who presides over one of the largest African American churches on the East Coast.

It is especially interesting to see that Garlow was present at the gathering, given that he had pretty much been the only Religious Right leader supporting Newt Gingrich's presidential bid.

The fact that Garlow traveled to Texas to participate in this meeting with Perry seems to suggest that even Gingrich's most ardent supporters know that his campaign is dead in the water.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • WND sure does love promoting anti-gay books.
  • Phyllis Schlafly sure does get worked up over the oddest things.
  • Judicial Watch has filed a FOIA lawsuit on behalf of the Family Research Council "for records related to the DOJ's decision not to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act."
  • Poor Frank Turek.  He keeps losing jobs because of his anti-gay activism.
  • Finally, Gary Cass says that ten years after the 9/11 attacks "this murderous ideology has infiltrated all the way to the White House."

Religious Right Makes Michael Bloomberg Enemy Number One For His "Insult To God"

In planning a ceremony to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has kept a policy observed in previous years and declined to invite religious leaders to speak at the events, which a spokesman says is to make sure “the focus remains on the families.” Of course, the Religious Right is now apoplectic and using their outrage at Bloomberg as their latest fundraising tool.

The Traditional Values Coalition emailed members today pleading for donations to stop Bloomberg’s attempts “to exterminate expressions of faith” and set up a fundraising page warning that “Islamists Continue Conquest of New York City…Islamists are spiking the football at Ground Zero! All while Mayor Bloomberg bans faith from New York's 9/11 ceremonies?!”

The American Center for Law and Justice, the right-wing legal outlet founded by Pat Robertson and led by Jay Sekulow, launched a petition demanding Bloomberg change his “damaging policy now” and include clergymen and prayer in the event. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association said it was a “travesty that Mayor Bloomberg is so confused and clueless about America’s history, and so confused and clueless about the threat Islam poses to the West,” arguing that prayer should be included in the ceremonies but restricted to only Christian and Jewish clergy.

The Family Research Council has its own petition and prayer alert to oppose Bloomberg’s “shocking assault on religious liberty,” calling on members to pray to “Help the Mayor see that he has made a mistake and reverse his decision. Stir the families who will attend the 9/11 memorial service to insist that You, Lord, be honored there”:

The beginning of America's precipitous moral decline can be traced, statistically, to 1962, when atheist Madeleine Murray O'Hare's [sic] legal assault resulted in prayer being removed from public schools. Since then, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld prayer in public ceremonies. Bloomberg's behavior is not a matter of legal philosophy, dullness or insensitivity; it is a deliberate defiance and insult to people of faith across America.

More important to Bible believers, it is an insult to God upon whom our nation depends for our safety. Amid unprecedented natural disasters, economic calamity, homeland threats, wars abroad, troubles in our families and schools, etc., we must not insult God.

The FRC referenced the 1962 Supreme Court case Engel v. Vitale and the 1963 Abington v. Schempp, in which Madalyn Murray O’Hair, an atheist, and Edward Schempp, a Unitarian Universalist, sued against laws in their states that required their children to partake in religious exercises like Bible study and reading the Lord’s Prayer. The Court found such policies a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause.

Many in the Religious Right see the cases as the critical juncture where America turned its back on God. Pat Robertson writes in The New Millennium:

On June 25, 1962, the Supreme Court ruled in a case titled Engle v. Vitale [sic] that state-sponsored prayer could not be said in public school rooms. On June 17, 1963, the court ruled in the case of Abington v. Schempp that the Holy Bible could not be read to students in classrooms.

Acting on behalf of all the citizens of the United States, our government has officially insulted Almighty God and has effectively taken away from all public school children any opportunity for even the slightest acknowledgment of God’s existence. By rejecting Him, we have made the Protector and Champion of the United States his enemy.

The events that followed are not coincidence. On November 22, 1963, less than six months after the Bible-reading decision, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Within two years after that decision, America was massively embroiled in its second most painful war, which decimated our treasure, our servicemen, and our national resolve.

Robertson goes on to blame Watergate, the 1973 oil crisis, stagflation and the Iranian revolution on the rulings.

David Barton got his start in Religious Right politics by authoring the booklet, What Happened in Education?, where he argues that the removal of school prayer caused SAT scores to plummet. Barton claimed that the two cases represented “the first occasion in national recorded history that the public inclusion of God in academic endeavors had been officially prohibited,” as the only event “corresponding to the time of the beginning of the downturn in scores was the banning of God and of religious principles from schools.” He concludes by urging schools to reintroduce explicitly Christian teachings if they want to reverse the trend.

It’s interesting that the FRC brought up the school prayer cases: both the case of school prayer and clergy participating in the September 11th anniversary ceremonies show the Religious Right trying to gin up panic over a supposed but not actual infringement on religious freedom, and then warning of divine punishment when they don’t get their way.

The Religious Right's Twisted View Of Religious Freedom

For the last several weeks, the Religious Right has been hyping allegations from Kelly Shackleford and his Liberty Institute claiming that the Department of Veterans Affairs has instituted a ban on "the use of Christian words or phrases at veterans’ funerals."

Liberty Institute has even launched a website called "Don't Tear Us Down" which claims that "Jesus is not welcome at gravesides" and the campaign is receiving support from other Religious Right groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association.

Today the New York Times took a look at the controversy and discovered - shockingly - that the claims being made by the Religious Right are totally misleading.  As the NYT explains, the Bush administration instituted a policy in 2007 that "prohibits volunteer honor guards from reading recitations — including religious ones — in their funeral rituals, unless families specifically request them." 

In essence, the policy states that volunteer groups are not allowed to attend military funerals and inject their religion in to it unless their presence is requested by the family.  Conversely, if a family does want to included such prayers in the service, they have that right as well.

But to the Religious Right, preventing outside groups from attending funerals and offering prayers at services where they are not wanted or requested is a violation of the religious freedom of the volunteers:

The plaintiffs, aided by a conservative legal group, the Liberty Institute, contend they should be allowed to use a Veterans of Foreign Wars script dating from World War I that refers to the deceased as “a brave man” with an “abiding faith in God” and that seeks comfort from an “almighty and merciful God.” The institute has broadcast the dispute nationwide with slick videos and a Web site declaring that “Jesus is not welcome at gravesides.”


The lawsuit, which alleges religious discrimination by the government, and videos have generated angry letters and Internet commentary against the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as demands from members of the Texas Congressional delegation, mostly Republicans, that the Obama administration fire the Houston cemetery director, Arleen Ocasio.

Department of Veterans Affairs officials say that the original policy, enacted under President George W. Bush, resulted from complaints about religious words or icons being inserted unrequested into veterans’ funerals. They noted that active duty military honor guards, including the teams that do funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, say almost nothing during their ceremonies.

“We do what the families wish,” said Steve L. Muro, the under secretary for memorial affairs. “I always tell my employees we have just one chance to get it right.”

Though two of the largest veterans organizations, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, have criticized the Houston National Cemetery, some veterans’ advocates have risen to the department’s support. Those advocates say that families who want prayers can have them and assert that the Liberty Institute has blown the dispute out of proportion to embarrass the Obama administration.

Lawyers with the Liberty Institute deny that ... The Department of Veterans Affairs said that funeral directors, rather than the veterans themselves, should tell families the details of the V.F.W. or other rituals, to give those families room to make their own decisions on what is recited.

“If the family wants prayers, the family will get them,” said John R. Gingrich, the department’s chief of staff.

Sprigg: "Nothing That We Have Done Can Reasonably Be Called Hate"

Family Research Council senior fellow Peter Sprigg appeared today on The Matt Friedeman Show on the American Family Association’s American Family Radio to discuss the budding controversy over the right-wing “charity” service CGBG. The progressive groups and have persuaded over 200 retailers to leave the CGBG, a for-profit group that allows customers to shop at companies online and direct part of their proceeds to right-wing organizations like FRC and Focus on the Family – success that, unsurprisingly, has got the Religious Right up in arms.

It’s rather ironic that the AFA is helping the FRC denounce the pressure campaign against the CGBG, as the AFA itself led boycotts against Ford, Home Depot, Old Navy, Pepsi, and Glee along with pressure campaigns against Burger King, Toyota, Lexus and Cellular South to stop running ads on Glee and Google and Disney to drop out of the It Gets Better Project. But this double-standard should come as no surprise, as the FRC endorsed the AFA’s boycott campaign against McDonalds and led its own campaign against Wal-Mart.

Sprigg and Freideman alleged that FRC is only facing a backlash from gay rights and women’s rights groups because the group oppose marriage equality. However, the petition urging companies to drop CGBC doesn’t mention the FRC’s position on marriage at all, instead focusing on FRC’s advocacy for laws criminalizing homosexuality, opposition to anti-bullying efforts and dishonest attempts to tie homosexuality to pedophilia.

Sprigg: People are afraid of the homosexual activists and they’re particularly afraid of this character assassination that comes in the form of the word ‘hate.’ Nobody wants to be accused of participating in ‘hate’ and so throwing that word  ‘hate’ around becomes a trump card even when nothing that we have done can reasonably be called  ‘hate.’ On the contrary, everything we do is motivated by love for the people who are hurt by this lifestyle.

Friedeman: Well, again I think what Tony Perkins has done and Peter Sprigg you by extension, you just say, we’re asking people, and AFA does this all the time as well, you urge retailers to remain neutral in the culture wars, the current cultural battles, particularly when you come down to something like homosexuality.

Such a claim is hard to believe coming from Peter Sprigg, who:

  • Argued that gays and lesbians shouldn’t be judges because a gay judge can’t “be held up as a role model.”
  • Opposed allowing same-sex partners or their adopted children from collecting their deceased partner or parent’s Social Security benefits.
  • Cheered on Lisa Miller after she kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America in order to evade court order granting custody to her former partner.

But the LGBT community, Sprigg says, should see all these as acts of love.

Barber: Gays Want To Put Conservatives "Behind Bars"

On an episode of Faith & Freedom scheduled to air tomorrow, Liberty Counsel’s Matt Baber dedicates the program to discussing how “homo-fascists” are unfairly pressuring businesses to drop out of the “charity-giving” program run by the right-wing CGBG. As noted in previous posts, the CGBG sets up a virtual mall for consumers to shop at companies and donate part of their proceeds to charity groups. However, these charities include the far-right, anti-gay Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and Liberty Counsel. Barber, who in 2008 personally led a boycott rally in front of McDonalds’ corporate headquarters, now complains that LGBT rights and women’s rights advocates are using “economic terrorism” to convince retailers to leave the CGBG.

Taking a page from Tony Perkins and Bill Donohue, Barber claims that the Religious Right are victims of persecution from gays and lesbians.

Barber: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it right now. The sexual anarchist lobby, this radical, militant lobby, wants three things in this order: they want to see those of us who hold traditional values and have a biblical view of sexual behavior and sexual morality; they want to see us behind bars. Absent that, if that doesn’t work, they want to see us discredited, our licenses, my law licenses revoked, unable to teach in schools and so forth. They want us completely discredited and marginalized to the fringes of society. Finally and included in that is the inability, they want to see people like us not able to make a living. And that’s why they’re going after these organizations and they’re using economic terrorism, for lack of a better phrase.

Donohue Likens LGBT Rights Movement To Apartheid, Denies Ever Leading Pressure Campaigns

The Catholic League has rallied to the defense of their anti-gay allies the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family as a reaction to a campaign by LGBT rights and women’s rights advocates to have corporations drop out of the Charity Give Back Group, which sponsors the FRC and Focus. The Charity Give Back Group (formerly known as the Christian Values Network) allows customers to shop in a virtual mall and direct proceeds to CGBG affiliated groups, which led to complaints as a number of the CGBG’s charities are actually anti-choice and anti-gay political groups.

Yesterday, Bill Donohue joined Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, on his radio program Washington Watch. “Radical proponents of gay marriage have taken the culture war to the marketplace,” Donohue said in a statement on the CGBG controversy, charging them with declaring “economic war against any organization that embraces the Judeo-Christian understanding of marriage.” He told activists: “If these extremists get their way, they will silence the Christian voice. Which is why the bullies must be defeated.”

Of course, it is ironic for the Catholic League to accuse “extremists” of trying to “silence” the voices of their opponents, seeing as that Donohue led the successful push for the Smithsonian to censor their exhibit on LGBT-themed art.

But the irony doesn’t end there.

During his interview with Perkins, Donohue denied that Religious Right organizations like the Catholic League or the Family Research Council lead similar pressure campaigns, saying “our side doesn’t do likewise,” continuing, “I don’t want people to say, ‘oh well you know Catholics and Protestants and Christians in general when we don’t get our way we try to do the same thing through retaliation,’ we do not.” He asserted, “we’re not asking companies, corporations to take sides in the culture war…we’re not asking for reprisal against those people with whom we disagree, we just leave the marketplace to itself.”

Donohue also warned Perkins that just as South Africa’s white minority held power for decades under the racist Apartheid system, supporters of gay rights can do the same in America:

If people don’t realize what we’re up against here, they may be a minority but you know it was a minority of people in South Africa who took away the rights of Black people. You can be a well-organized minority in this country here such as those on the left, gay and straight alike, and have a tremendous amount of influence if you have this lust and appetite for power.

While we already know that the Family Research Council backed pressure campaigns against companies like Wal-Mart and McDonalds, the Catholic League under Donohue has led countless boycotts and pressure campaigns.

Here are some of the companies and programs that Donohue launched what he would call “retaliation” and “reprisal” campaigns against: Disney; 20th Century Fox; Wal-Mart; ‘The Golden Compass;’ Miller; Showtime, and CBS, which it promised to face the “biggest boycott in history” if CBS hired Howard Stern.

So remember, when LGBT rights and women’s rights advocates ask companies to drop out of a service that directs money to right-wing political organizations, it’s “economic war,” but when Religious Right groups lead boycotts and pressure campaigns against companies, they are simply standing up for their values.

CGBG Helps Finance Rabidly Anti-Gay Liberty Counsel

Since the Charity Give Back Group was forced to defend its financing of right-wing organizations like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, spokesman Kevin McCullough (who himself has propagated virulent anti-gay rhetoric) has stated that the campaign to have companies withdraw from the CGBG represents bullying. Tony Perkins, the president of the FRC, even said it was an attempt to “censor” Christians. After Apple dropped out of the CGBG, which was previously known as the Christian Values Network, McCullough told The Christian Post, “We're not asking Apple to embrace our position or the other side's position. We just want them to stay neutral,” and the FRC is calling on activists to tell companies to “remain neutral in the current cultural battles.”

But by indirectly assisting the FRC and Focus on the Family, two of the major ‘culture war’ players, companies listed in the CGBG’s virtual mall are inadvertently finding themselves anything but ‘neutral’ parties. Both groups are heavily involved in the electoral politics and lobbying, which makes it difficult to consider them purely charitable organizations. FRC is one of the most prominent Religious Right advocacy groups in Washington D.C., and Focus on the Family has a policy arm (CitizenLink) dedicated to political activism. If companies really wanted to ‘remain neutral in the current cultural battles,’ that is more reason to drop out of the CGBG’s list.

While FRC and Focus have received the most attention, another group listed as an affiliated organization is Liberty Counsel.

Liberty Counsel is a sister organization of Liberty University and Liberty Action, part of the network established by the late Jerry Falwell. Liberty Counsel’s Liberty Alerts depict their legal victories as “Gaining Ground in the Culture War,” and the head of Liberty Counsel, Mat Staver, wrote a book called Take Back America that he descried a Liberty Action flyer called “an Invaluable Resource to Help Win the Intensifying Culture War!” Staver’s deputy at Liberty Counsel Matt Barber even described liberalism as “hatred for God” and demanded President Obama’s impeachment for providing family benefits to federal employees in domestic partnerships. Most recently, they defended Lisa Miller, who kidnapped her daughter and fled the country to escape a court order granting her former partner custody of the child, and the Florida teacher who used his Facebook to post anti-gay messages. Like FRC and Focus, Liberty Counsel consistently propagates the most stringent anti-gay rhetoric.

Barber has argued that marriage equality is “rebellion against God,” held that gay and lesbian youth who commit suicide do it because they intuitively know homosexuality is “immoral” and called anti-bullying programs part of a “a homosexual activist political indoctrination agenda.” Such anti-gay rhetoric is extremely similar to that used of the FRC and Focus. The FRC’s Perkins claimed that homosexuality is “man shaking his fist in the face of God” and said that gay and lesbian children are likely to commit suicide because they “recognize intuitively that their same-sex attractions are abnormal.” Focus on the Family led the push against anti-bullying programs across the country, calling them efforts “to promote homosexuality to kids.”

Liberty Counsel and the FRC also defended Malawi’s law that criminalizes homosexuality and attacked American efforts to alter it.

Despite right-wing criticisms of the pressure campaign on companies tied to the CGBG, Liberty Counsel launched their own pressure campaign against schools that allowed students to participate in the ‘Day of Silence,’ which protested anti-gay bullying. Liberty Counsel also conducts an annual campaign against companies that they believe are supposedly undermining Christians, and Staver calls on customers to “shop elsewhere” if the store is not seen as sufficiently respectful of Christmas.

Liberty Counsel even joined forces with the militantly anti-gay Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Illinois Family Institute, and the American Family Association to launch a boycott and pressure campaign against McDonalds after it made a donation to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Barber lashed out at McDonalds for working with “militant homosexual activists” in front of their company headquarters.

Who else supported the boycott and pressure campaign against McDonalds?

Why, none other than the Family Research Council, which supported the boycott against McDonalds and lauded “McDonald’s agreement to stop financing the homosexual agenda.”

Now, will FRC and its allies please stop complaining that pressure campaigns against companies represent “discrimination” and the undue influence of ‘cultural battles’ into the corporate world? Probably not.

Perkins: Homosexuality Is "Man Shaking His Fist In The Face Of God"

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins joined Janet Mefferd yesterday to discuss the campaign progressive groups are leading to get companies drop ties to the Charity Give Back Group (formerly the Christian Values Network). The CGBG is a for-profit company that helps consumers direct a percentage of their purchases at participating retail outlets to a variety of right-wing organizations including the FRC and Focus on the Family. LGBT rights and women’s rights advocates are calling on companies to leave the CGBG over its support for FRC and Focus on the Family. CGBG’s spokesman is also an ultraconservative, anti-gay activist. Perkins told Mefferd that the pressure campaign represents bullying, even though the FRC, Focus on the Family and the spokesman of the CGBG have their own history of using pressure campaigns to influence companies.

Perkins went on to explain that the conflict has a spiritual component, arguing that homosexuality “is essentially man shaking his fist in the face of God”:

Perkins: They will not be satisfied until those who hold to a traditional, natural view of marriage are completely silenced….They are so intent on accomplishing this that anyone and everyone who would challenge them must be silenced. And we are seeing this in the media, and now we’re seeing this into the marketplace. It’s an effort to stigmatize, to marginalize and ultimately to cause people to self-censor.

I don’t think you can look at homosexuality and what is taking place without examining the spiritual dynamics here. This is essentially man shaking his fist in the face of God and saying I don’t need you, that we will do it our way. It is the height of humanism.
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Family Research Council Top Posts

In an interview with far-right radio host Rick Wiles on Tuesday, Family Research Council Vice President Jerry Boykin blamed President Obama and his supporters for the recent mass shooting in Oregon and then suggested that we at Right Wing Watch encourage “lone wolf” attacks on Christians “using the exact same tactics” as ISIS and Al Qaeda. Wiles spoke with Boykin about the massacre following a monologue in which the conspiracy-theory-minded radio host suggested that the shooting at Umpqua Community College was “staged” by a government “death squad... MORE >
801 G Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 President: Tony Perkins Date of founding: 1983 Membership: 455,000 members. Finances: $10 million (2000 revenue)   MORE >

Family Research Council Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 05/16/2014, 5:45pm
Fox News has found its latest “victim” of the “left-wing agenda.” Liberty Counsel filed an amicus brief in Michigan’s marriage equality case, insisting that “it would be rational for the voters of Michigan to seek to minimize the deleterious effects” of “homosexual activity.” Meanwhile, the Kentucky governor’s appeal in the state’s marriage equality case is “so illogical” that some lawyers believe he “may be trying to lose the case while appearing to defend the ban.” The Family... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 05/15/2014, 10:36am
Benham Brothers Reveal What Love and Liberty Mean To the Religious Right MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 05/08/2014, 4:45pm
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes joins the parade of right-wing outrage about the Home & Garden Television Network pulling the plug on a show featuring David and Jason Benham after Right Wing Watch reported on David’s anti-gay activism.  Starnes posted a story about HGTV’s decision, then promoted it with a tweet that said, Won't be long before the LGBT activists demand Christians be deported... — toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) May 8, 2014 Hmm, you mean the way Family Research Council spokesman Peter Sprigg said in 2008 that he would like to... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/08/2014, 2:25pm
Yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins responded to the news that the Department of Education will investigate 55 colleges and universities for “mishandling sexual assault claims” by claiming that contraception distribution “leads to tyranny.” Speaking on his “Washington Watch” program, Perkins lamented “the sexualization that is taking place in our culture in general but on college campuses.” “Contraception is made available as if it were candy which sends a message, well it’s there, it must be there for a reason... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Thursday 05/08/2014, 2:02pm
The House voted 383-33 last night to move forward with a plan to build a National Women’s History Museum on the Mall, despite an effort by Religious Right groups to prevent the museum from going forward. Now, we learn that Concerned Women for America's Penny Nance, the activist leading the fight against the museum, was offered a spot on its planning board but refused to participate unless an anti-feminist activist like herself was allowed to head the planning effort. The Daily Caller reports that in an effort to shore up support for a bill authorizing a planning study for the... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/08/2014, 1:15pm
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins implied today that Christians who support gay rights don’t have the same religious rights as conservative Christians because “true religious freedom” only applies to “orthodox religious viewpoints.” Last month, a group of North Carolina ministers and same-sex couples, along with the United Church of Christ denomination, filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The clergy argue that because of a law that makes it a misdemeanor for a member of the clergy to perform a... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 05/07/2014, 3:12pm
Two incumbent Republican state representatives in Indiana lost primary elections after national anti-gay groups targeted them for their votes against a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Kathy Heuer and Rebecca Kubacki were among eleven Republicans who voted against the marriage amendment in January. The amendment will next have to be placed on the statewide ballot, which won't happen until 2016 at the earliest . According to the National Organization for Marriage, NOM, the American Family Association of Indiana, Focus on the Family’s political arm... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 05/06/2014, 12:38pm
Religious Right groups are celebrating yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding sectarian prayer at official public meetings – like city council sessions – and narrowly defining what would amount to unconstitutional religious coercion of people attending. The case is Town of Greece v. Galloway. Though divided on their reasoning, the Court’s five conservative Justices upheld a practice in which, month after month, year after year, town leaders reached out to Christians and Christians only to offer opening prayers at town meetings, prayers that were often quite... MORE >