Family Research Council

FRC: We'd Rather Lose The Seat Then See a Liberal Republican Win

Yesterday, David Weigel had a good piece on the Republican "civil war" unfolding in New York over the race for the open Congressional seat between Doug Hoffman, the choice of the right-wing base, and Dede Scozzafava, who is being backed by the RNC:

In July, Hoffman bid to become the Republican Party’s nominee for a special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. The nominee would be chosen by party leaders in the district’s 11 counties; few people were surprised when they chose Deirdre “Dede” Scozzafava, a five-term assemblywoman who’d voted with Democrats on abortion and labor issues, factors that could help the party hold a historically conservative district that had voted for the Obama-Biden ticket last year. Hoffman, a 59-year-old accountant making his first run for office, forged ahead and grabbed the nomination of the venerable Conservative Party.

Since then, Hoffman’s campaign has become this election cycle’s great conservative crusade. On Sept. 5, the candidate was endorsed by 9-12 Candidates, an offshoot of Glenn Beck’s 9-12 Project, and a reflection of the support he was getting on conservative blogs. On Sept. 28, both Fred Thompson and the Club for Growth put their weight behind Hoffman, with the Club putting $250,000 into TV ads attacking Scozzafava and Democratic candidate Bill Owens. Those endorsements, coupled with reports that Scozzafava was struggling, brought the American Conservative Union and the anti-abortion rights group Susan B. Anthony List into the fray to back Hoffman. On Monday afternoon, FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey announced that he’d campaign for Hoffman, putting the Tea Party movement’s seal of approval on the upstart campaign.

Two weeks out from the election, the battle in upstate New York is being portrayed in the press as a “civil war” between Republican factions. That might understate how much support for Hoffman, and how little for Scozzafava, there is in the conservative movement. As far as the roiling Republican base is concerned, support for Hoffman has become a test of whether a conservative leader can be trusted. Conservative media, from magazines to blogs, are using the low-stakes special election to test their ability to drive news cycles and raise money.

The Family Research Council is particularly incensed at the RNC's sell-out in this race, saying that what the GOP needs is "good women like Marsha Blackburn and Michele Bachmann in Congress" instead of more "pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, liberal candidate who fails to reflect the values the Republican Party."

In fact, so outraged is FRC that they are now declaring that their goal is to "bring down" Scozzafava rather than see a liberal Republican elected:

"This is ridiculous -- putting a liberal up like that and expecting everybody [in the GOP] to fall in line. It's just not going to happen," says [Connie Mackey, president of the Family Research Council Action Political Action Committee]. "And if we can't elect Doug Hoffman, frankly we do hope that we at least bring down the Republican candidate."

50+ Republicans Join Rep King's Anti-Jennings Crusade

It looks like Rep. Steve King is starting to find significant GOP support for his anti-gay crusade to fire Kevin Jennings:

Fifty-three House Republicans have written President Barack Obama asking him to remove "safe schools czar" Kevin Jennings from that position.

The lawmakers accused Jennings of "pushing a pro-homosexual agenda" and said that Jennings's past writings exhibit a record that makes him unfit for the position.

"We respectfully request that you remove Kevin Jennings, the Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, from your Administration," the Republicans wrote. "It is clear that Mr. Jennings lacks the appropriate qualifications and ethical standards to serve in this capacity."

...

The letter was primarily assembled by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), and was joined by 53 Republican colleagues, including two members of leadership: House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) and House Republican Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.).

As Greg Sargent points out, King continues to recklessly and unapologetically spread allegations that he knows to be false:

Rep Steve King, who’s been leading the charge against top Obama education adviser Kevin Jennings, today called for Jennings to be fired for allegedly “ignoring the sex abuse of a child” when he was a young schoolteacher.

But guess what: King’s office was informed at least a week ago that even Fox News, a lead tormentor of Jennings, corrected these allegations and acknowledged that the “child” was actually of legal consent age. I know, because I informed his office of this, in the course of seeking comment on an earlier story I was doing about the whole mess.

...

At least a week ago, after Rep. King attacked Jennings over the incident, I emailed his spokesman, letting him know that Fox had corrected the record. The spokesman replied, but I ended up not writing ... [The new letter] states as outright fact that this was “child abuse” and the “sexual abuse of a child.” King’s office knows this is false, and yet is repeating it, anyway.

UPDATE: FRC weighs in to praise those members of Congress who signed on to this letter:

Today, Family Research Council praised fifty-three House Republicans for calling on President Obama to fire Kevin Jennings, a homosexual activist who heads the Education Department's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.

...

"We applaud these fifty-three House members for seeking to uphold basic ethical standards within the Department of Education. We urge President Obama to heed the growing calls from Congress and the American people that he immediately remove Kevin Jennings as 'safe schools' czar. No Administration official is more deserving of removal than Kevin Jennings.

"Kevin Jennings has shown a disregard for parental rights and for our children's well being. The record shows that Kevin Jennings has neither the temperament nor the ethical standards needed for public service. "

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Memories

Back in 2005, it was reported that Tony Perkins, now President of the Family Research Council, "paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate for the US Senate in Louisiana."

Shortly thereafter, FRC released a statement refuting the assertion:

Tony Perkins was the manager of the 1996 U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Woody Jenkins in Louisiana where Impact Media was contracted to make pre-recorded telephone calls for the campaign. In 1999, an unrelated federal investigation uncovered that David Duke had a financial interest in the company, which he did not report to the IRS, resulting in his conviction on federal tax evasion charges. This connection was not known to Mr. Perkins until 1999. Mr. Perkins profoundly opposes the racial views of Mr. Duke and was profoundly grieved to learn that Duke was a party to the company that had done work for the 1996 campaign.

A year later, it was reported that on two occasions, Perkins had addressed the racist Council of Conservative Citizens:

The Boston Herald reported in an October 16, 2006, article, "In 2001, [Perkins] gave a speech at a meeting of the Council of Conservative Citizens, which the Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC] considers a hate group." Indeed, a Fall 2004 article in the SPLC's Intelligence Report asserted that Perkins "spoke to the Louisiana Council of Conservative Citizens on May 19, 2001," during his tenure as a Louisiana state legislator. The SPLC characterizes the CCC as a "white nationalist" organization, and has reported that the group is "the reincarnation of the racist White Citizens Councils of the 1950s and 1960s." The CCC declares in its statement of principles:

We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called "affirmative action" and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.

In a July 30, 2005, article, The Vancouver Sun reported that Perkins acknowledged his speech before the CCC in an interview. The Sun also reported that Perkins claimed he could not recall what he said to the group and that he said he had been unfamiliar with the CCC's history at the time. From the Sun article:

The magazine [The Nation] also reported that Perkins, while a Louisiana state congressman, spoke in 2001 to the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC).

Perkins said he was invited by a constituent to speak to the group, and said he wasn't aware of its history.

"Never spoke to them again. That was over a decade ago," Perkins told The Sun, suggesting the speech happened in 1996, not 2001.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre, which keeps track of politicians close to the CCC, forwarded The Sun a March-April 2001 copy of Citizens Informer, the newsletter put out by the CCC, which included the following notice:

"The Louisiana CofCC met at the Mandarin Seafood in Baton Rouge May 19 to hear State Representative Tony Perkins discuss the current legislative session. At that meeting a recruitment project was developed."

When informed of the item by The Sun, FRC spokesman J.P. Duffy does not dispute the assertion that the event happened in 2001, not 1996, but added that Perkins "cannot remember speaking at the event, as he speaks to hundreds of groups each year." Duffy added that Perkins opposes racial discrimination and offered the names and phone numbers of two black pastors who support him.

Since Perkins claims that he "cannot remember speaking at the event," maybe this photo that recently surfaced online will help to jog his memory:

Perkins To Be Honored For His Anti-Choice Efforts

It's not quite the Nobel Peace Prize, but Tony Perkins is getting an award too:

The National Pro-Life Religious Council (NPRC) announced today the recipient of its annual Pro-life Recognition Award. This award is bestowed each year upon a leader who has made a significant difference in the effort to restore protection to unborn children. This year's recipient is Mr. Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council.

Rev. Frank Pavone, President of the NPRC, praised the work and example of Mr. Perkins: "Tony has an incredible record of uniting Christians of all denominations in legislative efforts that protect the rights of unborn children. We are particularly grateful for the pioneering way he has inspired and empowered pastors to join in this cause."

The pro-life award will be presented at the annual National Memorial for the Preborn, to be held on Capitol Hill on the morning of Friday, January 22, 2010, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Is Yes On 8 Ashamed of Its Past?

As the vote on California's Proposition 8 neared last November, the organizers of the Yes on 8 effort suddenly began working hard to appear moderate and fair-minded in hopes of downplaying the radical nature of the groups that had endorsed the effort, including:

Alliance Defense Fund
American Family Association
California Family Alliance
California Family Council
Concerned Women for America
Coral Ridge Ministries
Eagle Forum of California
Eagle Forum of Sacramento
Faith2Action
Family Research Council
Focus on the Family
Liberty Counsel
Pacific Justice Institute
Traditional Values Coalition

Liberty Counsel's appearance on this list is especially interesting, considering that since Prop 8's passage, the folks behind Yes on 8 have gone into overdrive trying to prevent the organization from getting involved in the subsequent lawsuits and regularly fighting LC's efforts to intervene ... and succeeding:

It was a sunny summer morning, but inside a San Francisco federal courtroom the outlook for Rena Lindevaldsen of Liberty Counsel was cloudy.

Charles Cooper, representing the official anti-gay marriage forces in a federal court challenge to Proposition 8, wasn't fighting hard enough, she insisted. He wouldn't try to prove, for instance, that homosexuality is an "illness or disorder."

"Individuals should be entitled to treatment to change your sexual orientation," Lindevaldsen argued.

Cooper's team quickly deflected Liberty Counsel's attempt to intervene, saying it just wanted to fight battles that "can't be won." That left Cooper -- a consummate Beltway insider who avoids the kind of language favored by Lindevaldsen -- and his firm the sole legal representatives for 7 million Californians that supported Prop 8.

...

The official Yes on 8 effort has tried to distance itself from "fringe" groups that are too "strident or combative," [Yes on 8 General Counsel Andrew] Pugno said.

"I think it's fitting that the demeanor and tone of our lead counsel would reflect the demeanor and civilized tone that we tried to maintain during the campaign," he said.

So it seems that Yes on 8 was perfectly happy to have Liberty Counsel's support - along with the support of other militantly anti-gay organization like TVC, AFA, and Faith2Action - when they were trying to pass Prop 8, but now wants to distance itself from those sort of "strident and combative fringe" groups, even though those groups were the backbone of the organization and played a key role in its passage.

Freedom Federation Welcomes Huckabee

We've written several posts about the new right-wing supergroup known as the Freedom Federation over the last few months.  Consisting of various right wing groups including the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, the American Family Association, Traditional Values Coalition, Wallbuilders, Vision America, and many others, the group's mission is to create a unified political front for the Religious Right.

Today, Deacon Keith Fournier writes in Catholic Online that he was recently invited to attend a meeting of the Freedom Federation's steering committee but was reluctant to go ... until he found out that they were going to have a special guest speaker - Mike Huckabee:

I have made some inspiring new friendships with champions such as Rev. Sam Rodriquez and Bishop Harry Jackson. And, it is a joy after several years to renew old ones with my friends Ken Blackwell and Matt Staver. However, the drive to Washington D.C., even with good “beltway traffic” is at least four hours for me since I moved back to Chesapeake, Virginia. I am “swamped” these days, on every front of my life. So, let me be honest. I accepted the invitation because a special guest had promised to drop by and share his thoughts. That special guest is one of my favorite public servants, the former Governor of Arkansas and former Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee.

I have long admired this genuinely good man. I had the privilege of interviewing him for Catholic Online during the last Presidential campaign. We have published those interviews as related stories under this article. When he entered the meeting, filled with dedicated people (mostly evangelical protestant leaders, though this time I was not the only Catholic) who themselves possess leadership gifts, he filled the room with his presence. Real leaders have a presence about them which just fills the room. His warm smile and attention to every person he greeted was impressive. His warmth toward me made the long drive worthwhile. However, it was his insights, shared over the course of a long and dynamic meeting which convinced me that this is a man who has not even begun to give his gifts to the service of his Nation.

I sat next to the Governor and, I must admit, I invited some of his responses through my own questions and observations. I could say he “had me” when he called my champion, the late Servant of God John Paul II, “one of the great spiritual and Christian leaders of our lifetime” and shared anecdotal stories from the late Pope’s life. However, there was much more to come in the rich content of his intelligent public policy positions. It was the substance of those deeply held positions on the issues which matter most which won the day and only deepened my admiration for the man. He breaks the molds of the empty political labels of “left/right”, “liberal/conservative.” He espouses truly human, just and concerned positions. I will be returning to them, I am sure, in future articles. However, permit me to share just one of his comments.

In the context of discussing the fundamental human rights issue of our age, the right to life from conception, to birth, throughout life and up to and including a natural death - what I call the “whole life/pro-life” position, which the Governor clearly embraces - he said these words: “To say that one person has value, but another does not, that one has human dignity but another does not, or somehow has less… that is the kind of thinking that slavery was built upon, and worse… . The dignity of every human person and the value of every human life must be the pole star of all public policy.” These words are not a slogan, they are a creed to the Governor, a deeply help vision of life and worldview. They flowed from the heart of a man who cares deeply about this nation and about our future together.

Many of the leaders of the Freedom Federation's member organizations backed Huckabee's presidential bid back in 2008, but many others did not, for which Huckabee regularly and roundly blasted them as sell-outs.  Since then, he has been hard at work positioning himself as the Religious Right's most ardent defender and the effort has recently begun paying dividends.

Huckabee continues to insist that he has not decided on whether he will make another run for president in 2012 ... but he certainly seems to be working hard to win over and unify the Religious Right behind him in case he decides to do so. 

How Many Coalitions Does The Religious Right Need?

Over the last several months, we've been chronicling the seemingly endless emergence of new Religious Right groups and coalitions. 

In recent months we've witnessed the arrival of the American Principles Project and the Faith and Freedom Institute, which was followed by Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition, while Newt Gingrich was unveiling his Renewing American Leadership effort, and Lou Engle was announcing his Call to Action.  And then a bunch of Religious Right leaders came together under the banner of the Freedom Federation, but apparently the Freedom Federation wasn't enough because now there is something Conservative Action Project which has been sending out "memos for the [conservative] movement" on a regular basis [PDF]:

The Conservative Action Project, chaired by former Attorney General Edwin Meese, is designed to facilitate conservative leaders working together on behalf of common goals. Participation is extended to leaders of groups representing all major elements of the conservative movement—economic, social and national security.

The Conservative Action Project doesn't seem to have a fixed membership, though the memos usually carry the names of people like Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Gary Bauer of American Values, among others.

To date, the coalition has issued memos demanding that heathcare legislation contain lawsuit reform and doesn't include coverage for abortion, one blasting President Obama for supposedly carrying out an "apology and appeasement tour," one decrying the "culture of corruption," and a new memo "requiring that legislation be available on the Internet for 72 hours before consideration by the House."

This new group seems to have some sort of link to the Center for National Policy, considering that the contact info listed on this memo uses the email address: @cfnpaction.org. The Council for National Policy's URL is cfnp.org, and it has an affiliated c4 known as CNP Action.

The Continuing Right Wing Attacks On Obama's Faith

For the last several years, every time a Religious Right leader or conservative politician or nominee was criticized for their positions or views, the immediate response from the Right was to accuse the critics of attacking that person's faith (see, for example, the Family Research Council's first "Justice Sunday" event.) And these sorts of direct attacks on someone's faith, according to the Religious Right, amounted to a personal affront that was beyond the pale of accepted political discourse.

But then Barack Obama ran for president and suddenly that standard went completely out the window.

So now we have Gary Bauer writing entire op-eds for Politico directly criticizing President Obama's use and interpretation of Scripture:

Obama has referenced the Sermon on the Mount in support of special rights for homosexuals, despite the Scriptures’ clear support of marriage between one man and one woman and its admonitions to celebrate sex inside the married relationship only.

While the Bible details that human beings are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that life is a gift from God, Obama uses Scripture to support a mentality in support of abortion rights. Explaining his decision to lift an executive ban on federal funding of embryo-destructive stem cell research, Obama said, “As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research — and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly.”

At the University of Notre Dame, he told graduates, “Maybe we won’t agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions.”

Obama has played the faith card during the health care debate, too. When prospects for passing Obamacare started to go south, Obama framed the debate as “an ethical and moral obligation.” “We are God’s partners in matters of life and death,” he told rabbis during a conference call to sell his reform proposals.

Life and death issues became the spark igniting the public backlash against Obama’s plans. They arose from concerns over possible death sentences for the ill and elderly should care be rationed and from concerns about tax-payer funded abortions, to name a few. Obama wrapped himself in Scripture to combat opposition to his plans. At one point, he alleged that Obamacare opponents were not just mistaken but also immoral and “bearing false witness” for worrying about taxpayer funding of abortion under his plan.

Bauer says that he believes that "elected officials should talk about faith" ... but apparently that doesn't apply to cases where the use of Scripture does not reinforce Bauer's right-wing interpretation of it:

I don’t mean to question the sincerity of Obama’s faith. This is a discussion of language. Increasingly, it seems as though the president’s deepest belief is in his own ability to disregard his critics’ moral objections by touting abstract religious principles and embracing empty religious symbolism. Obama seems to think that Americans will accept his out-of-the-mainstream views on moral issues as long as he claims those views arise in part from his religious beliefs.

Of course, if someone were to have written that "Bauer seems to think that Americans will accept his out-of-the-mainstream views on moral issues as long as he claims those views arise in part from his religious beliefs," he and his allies in the Religious Right would have wasted no time in proclaiming the remark to be an attack on Bauer's "deeply held beliefs" and held it up as evidence of anti-Christian bigotry.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Janet Porter's "nuclear option" is really rather pathetic.
  • A resolution has been introduced in the House of Representatives to honor anti-abortion demonstrator Jim Pouillon, who was killed in Michigan earlier this month.
  • Sarah Palin's book will be entitled "Going Rogue" and is set to be released in mid-November.
  • Bill Donohue is not amused by International Blasphemy Day.
  • Finally, the Family Research Council released its anti-ENDA testimony, in which it claims that "homosexuality is [not] biologically determined" and "'transgender' people have a mental illness."

"Loose Forth the Blood-Drenched Sword of Jesus Christ"

In the post I wrote last week featuring audio excerpts from the right-wing anti-Islam conference call organized by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, Lou Engle, and Tony Perkins, there was an exchange near the end that I didn't manage to record due to technical problems. 

The exchange came when Cindy Jacobs was leading the prayers near the end of the call, and fortunately Beliefnet caught it

On Thursday evening, officials from the Family Research Council and the National Day of Prayer Task Force hosted a national call-in prayer-a-thon in which one woman prayed, "We take together (God's) sword and break the sword of Islam over this nation, and we loose forth the blood-drenched sword of Jesus Christ."

On a related note, I thought this article about Al Mohler warning that Christians should not recognize or honor Muslim holidays was rather interesting, especially his claim that Muslims do not really understand Islam:

On a recent radio broadcast, Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr. tackled the issue, saying it is dangerous and confusing when Christians adopt the practices of other religious beliefs which do not acknowledge Jesus as Savior and Lord. Instead, Mohler said Christians must focus on Christ and sharing the gospel with Muslims.

"It is the love of Christ that leads us to love our neighbor enough to share the gospel with them, which takes on the very tangible expression of seeking to have them, by means of the gospel, come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. That is love, in that God loved us so also we love our neighbor -- and love of neighbor is not just in terms of living peaceably among our neighbors," he contends.

"From a Christian perspective, from a New Testament perspective, loving our neighbor is not just not putting our grass clippings on his lawn; it's loving our neighbor enough to share the gospel with him, to be motivated to share the gospel."

Mohler said many Muslims do not understand the true nature of Islam.

I don't know about you, but when I am looking for someone to explain the "true nature of Islam," the first place I turn is to the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Michele Bachmann action figures - get 'em while they're hot.
  • Politico: Tonight, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and his wife Callista Gingrich host the premiere of their documentary — “Rediscovering God in America II: Our Heritage” — at the Capitol Visitor Center.
  • FRC: Wednesday, September 30th, at 1:00 pm, at a National Press Club luncheon, Family Research Council will release a groundbreaking report, A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life, which shares the tremendous contributions of pregnancy resource centers since the inception of the movement over forty years ago.
  • The "personhood" effort comes to California.
  • Finally, a variety of right-wing leaders are blasting the "Obama Apology Tour."

Highlights From the Religious Right's Anti-Islam Counter Offensive

Last night we posted audio of Rifqa Bary's surprise appearance on the National Day of Prayer Task Force's effort to mobilize its Christian warriors to counter the "dark spiritual content" of the scheduled Muslim prayer rally in Washington, DC, which, as we've seen over the last several days, and continue to see, seems to be causing the Religious Right to completely freak out:

Robert Knight is a senior fellow at the American Civil Rights Union and a senior writer for Coral Ridge Ministries. He says having 50,000 Muslims on Capitol Hill paints a very potent picture for Muslims around the world.

"It's adding up to a picture that the United States may not want to paint because there are a lot of Muslims who will be inspired, perhaps, to get more militant if they think the United States is falling into Muslim hands, basically," he points out.

According to Knight, many Muslims believe they have a sympathetic ear in President Barack Obama. "Obama held no National Day of Prayer events at the White House this year, but gave a very positive eloquent speech about Ramadan," he recalls. "And he also has said some very interesting things overseas about the emergence of Islam."

Organizers say it was President Obama's inauguration speech in January and his speech broadcast from Egypt in June that inspired them to hold Friday's event, scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

At least one pro-family organization has expressed deep concern about the individuals who have organized the gathering and who are scheduled to speak. In an Action Alert to its constituents, the American Family Association has described those individuals as "men who harbor both anti-Semitic and fundamentally anti-American views." And like Knight, AFA notes President Obama's refusal to participate in the National Day of Prayer in May -- in contrast to his hosting of a White House dinner celebrating what Obama called "the Holy Month of Ramadan."

Meanwhile, Christians alarmed at today's scheduled gathering of tens of thousands of Muslims outside the U.S. Capitol have prayed together in a national conference call. Shirley Dobson, who heads the National Day of Prayer Task Force, said she and other Christians "are so troubled at what we see going on in our nation -- we're watching the foundations crumble."

Associated Press says Christian leaders in last night's conference call were unconvinced the gathering will be a time for Muslims to pray together, read the Quran, and celebrate America's religious freedom -- as its organizers insist. Family Research Council president Tony Perkins wondered if the Muslims would be "praying for the well-being of our nation."

Perkins called the Muslim gathering "a wake-up call for the church" and a warning that if Christians do not "fill the void that's in this nation with the truth, it will be filled with something else."

We've put together this clip featuring some of the highlights from the call itself, featuring Dobson saying the effort was designed to "put a shield of prayer around the United States of American and our world, while just praying for God's intervention." She was followed by Perkins, who insisted that it was not a question of whether Muslims had a right to gather to pray but rather "the focus of their prayers, are they praying for the well-being of our nation," saying that the Islamic community has been silent when acts of terrorism have been committed against America and has been equally silent on the "threats" facing Rifqa Bary and, as such, "we have reason to be suspicious about the motives this community has for the well-being of this country. Perkins then introduced his "good friend" Lou Engle, who proceeded to warn that Americans did not "understand the spiritual implications of what is taking place" with this Muslim rally, saying they were "taking the spiritual power of 40 days Ramadan and then channeling it like an arrow right into the White House."  Eventually, others began to pray as well, asking God for a "great turning in education, a great turning in the political arena, [and to] turn the media in America over to your son" at which point Engle took over again asking God to help them win "the challenge in the spirit realm" and defeat "every demonic ideology [and] every spirit of darkness":

When Two Become One: Rifqa Bary And The Religious Right's Battle Against Islam

For the last few days, I've been covering the right-wing effort to mobilize it own Christian forces to counter the "dark spiritual content" of the upcoming Muslim prayer rally.  Tonight, activists gathered for a conference call/prayer rally hosted by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, headed by Shirely Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family's James Dobson, Lou Engle of The Call, and featuring other activists like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Cindy Jacobs.

Tonight, this effort revealed itself to be part of the much larger Religious Right battle against Islam in America when the Religious Right's latest cause célèbre, Rifqa Bary, joined the conference call.

At the beginning of the clip, Lou Engle is told by one of the other participants that "their little sister" is on the line, at which point Engle introduces Rifqa Bary to the conference call participants and asks her to share her story.  Bary, sounding like a somewhat nervous but otherwise perfectly average teenager, recounts her conversion to Christianity and her decision to flee from the home of her Muslim parents in Ohio.  Following that, Engle declared Bary to be "an Esther for such a time as this" and asks her to lead the call in prayer, which she agrees to do, at which point she becomes seemingly hysterical and rather incoherent while sobbing and praying, making it nearly impossible to understand what she is saying outside of her repeated cries to Jesus.

And then, just like that, she stops, seemingly catching the other participants off guard until Engle then chimes in with his own fervent prayers to God to "use Rifqa to be an Esther." Soon Engle is joined by various others, all of whom pray for this modern day Esther who will lead Muslims out of Islam and into Christianity while asking God to spread Rifqa's "so that the testimony of Jesus will go out to CNN, will go out to talk shows and use this little story so that all across America the Gospel will be preached" and to "expose the hidden darkness that is rolling into the nation through these ideologies."

Eventually, Engle unmutes the conference call's participants and asks them all to pray for Rifqa, at which point the call the descends into little more than chaos and static:

Muslim Prayer Rally Sets Off a Full-Blown Right Wing Crusade

In my last post, I noted that the upcoming Muslim prayer rally has, over the last few days, suddenly become a full-fledged Religious Right crusade to save America from the Islam's "dark spiritual intent" and that activists are vowing to "storm the gates of hell to defeat the false god of Islam."

It seems that with every hour that passes, more and more Religious Right leaders are getting involved, to the point that this is now pretty much a full-blown holy war between the right-wing Christian activists and the organizers of this Muslim prayer rally.

The latest development is this press release highlighting a letter signed by a variety of Religious Right leaders under a newly formed group called The Ad Hoc Committee of Americans for Transparency and Honesty in Religion demanding that organizers of rally to denounce acts of terrorism:

Muslim Americans assure us that Islam categorically rejects terrorism and that the concept of "jihad" refers to a "spiritual struggle," and has nothing whatsoever to do with "holy war."

However, the Letter notes that, "Around the world, the overwhelming number of terrorist acts are carried out by Muslims, that many Muslim-American groups have terrorist ties and that justification for acts of violence against 'infidels' is found in the Koran."

Signers of the letter ask rally organizers to disavow the following acts of terrorism, "committed by Muslims, in the name of Islam":

• The 9/11 attacks (more than 3,000 dead)

• The 2002 bombing of a hotel in Netanya, Israel (30 killed)

• The 2002 Bali bombings (202 dead)

• The 2007 plot to murder soldiers at Ft. Dix

• The 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India (173 dead)

• The 2009 conspiracy to bomb a synagogue and Jewish community center in the Bronx

The letter asks recipients if they are "willing to join millions of other people of faith in America and denounce these and similar acts of terrorism?"

The letter can be found here [PDF] and appears to have been organized by Rick Scarborough of Vision America, as his is the only name listed on the above press release while the letter itself is hosted on his organization's website. Below is the list of signers:

Ted Baehr – Christian Film and Television Commission
Brian Camenker – President, Mass Resistance
Christopher Carmouche – Chairman, GrassTopsUSA
Joseph Farah – Editor and CEO, WorldNetDaily
Don Feder -- former syndicated columnist, Don Feder Associates
William J. Federer -- American Minute
Linda Harvey – President, Mission America
Bishop E.W. Jackson -- Exodus Faith Ministries
Phillip Jauregui – President, Judicial Action Group
Rabbi Daniel Lapin – President, American Alliance of Jews and Christians
William J. Murray – Chairman, Religious Freedom Coalition
C. Preston Noell – President, Tradition, Family and Property
Tony Perkins – President, Family Research Council
Dr. Kevin Roberts – Executive Director, Catholic Families of America
Rick Scarborough -- Vision America Action
Mat Staver – founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel
Mike Valerio – Mike and Helen Valerio Foundation
Richard Viguerie – Conservative HQ.com
Herb Zweibon – Chairman, Americans for A Safe Israel

In fairness, I feel I ought to point out that not all Religious Right leaders are joining in this effort to wage a holy war against Islam, as earlier this week Rob Schenck and Patrick Mahoney issued a statement welcoming the prayer vigil:

Rev. Rob Schenck, President of the National Clergy Council, comments,

"With over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, it is important that Christians have an open dialogue with the Islamic community. The church must never be timid in reaching out to peoples and groups with differing beliefs and traditions. Too much is at stake for future generations not to begin this historic conversation. This is an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss."

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, adds,

"The heart of Christ is to reach out and build bridges to all peoples regardless of what their faith traditions or beliefs might be. Several years ago the Christian Defense Coalition began reaching out to the Muslim world which resulted in a prayer delegation going to Baghdad to pray for the nation of Iraq and Prime Minister Maliki (see photo).

"Since then we have had many conversations and discussions with Islamic leaders in Washington, D.C. and around the world. This news conference gives us another chance to dialogue and share with our Islamic neighbors.

"It also gives us the platform to celebrate the greatness of America where everyone is allowed to practice their faith tradition in the public square free from government interference of harassment. The prayer vigil on the lawn of the Capitol this Friday highlights that timeless truth.

"Since 9/11, the church should not run from Muslims in America but begin reaching out with God's love."

Religious Right Mobilizes to Counter Muslim Prayer Rally's "Dark Spiritual Intent"

Earlier today I wrote about the fact that Lou Engle, David Barton, and the Family Research Council were raising warning flags about the Muslim prayer rally in Washington, DC on Friday and urging their own activists to hold their own prayer rallies in an effort to convent Muslims to Christianity and fight the elevation of Islam in America.

Now, these forces are teaming up with the National Day of Prayer Task Force to mobilize their own Christian forces for a rival prayer rally/conference call:

It is critical that the church in America understands the times and what needs to be done now. The natural things speak of the invisible. Natural happenings on the earth are revealing something that is going on in the spiritual realm. There is a great spiritual conflict with a rising tide of Islamic boldness being manifested.

Our President has recently honored the Muslim holy days of prayer and fasting called Ramadan. Interestingly at the same time a major Christian leader of the Emergent Church called for forty days of fasting and prayer in the same Ramadan period with the goal that the church will better understand our Muslim friends. We advocate for understanding, but we must have spiritual discernment as to the spiritual dark powers that are being invoked into our nation.

At the same time, on the 25th of September, Muslims are calling for a Muslim Day of Prayer in Washington DC (http://www.islamoncapitolhill.com/). They are calling for 50,000 Muslims to gather and pray on the DC Mall. This is the exact word of one of the Sheikhs who is leading this historic gathering, "Muslims should march on the White House. We are going to the White House so that Islam will be victorious, Allah willing, and the White House will become into a Muslim house." These are not empty words. They speak of a dark spiritual intent and a coming day of great trouble to America.

Therefore we are calling Christians all over America to join Lou Engle, Shirley Dobson, Tony Perkins, David Barton, and many other major leaders in America to a national conference call to pray for America. Please join us on Thursday, September 24th from 7:30PM to 9:00PM Eastern Time for possibly one of the greatest moments in American history.

Call: 712-338-8100
Alternate Dial in Numbers: 218-486-1400, 507-726-3200
Participant Passcode: 637# (NDP#)

Time Zones:
7:30 - 9 pm EASTERN
6:30 - 8 pm CENTRAL
5:30 - 7 pm MOUNTAIN
4:30 - 6 pm PACIFIC

Rifqa Bary and "The Strange Case Of The Philandering, Muslim-Threat-Hyping FBI Agent"

Talking Points Memo has a good profile of former FBI agent John Guandolo:

An FBI agent who worked on the corruption case of former Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson resigned after superiors found a list he wrote of his sexual conquests with agents and a confidential source, according to court documents.

The same agent, John Guandolo, who is married and who unsuccessfully solicited a $75,000 donation for an anti-terrorism group from a wealthy witness in the Jefferson case with whom he was having an affair, resigned from the FBI and appears to have landed on his feet on the speaking circuit playing up the threat of Islamic terrorism.

What does that have to do with what we write about here at RightWingWatch, you ask?  Well, it turns out that one of the ways in which he's been "playing up the threat of Islamic terrorism" is by injecting himself into the Rifqa Bary saga.

For instance, last week he penned a piece entitled "Florida Department of Law Enforcement earns an F" for the Center for Security Policy website, claiming that, in his "professional opinion," the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's investigation stating that there was no evidence to support the right-wing allegations against Bary's parents was false, due to "negligence-- and willful blindness" on the part of Florida authorities:

The significant errors and omissions that Mr. Guandolo and other experts have found in this FDLE investigation show a failure in FDLE’s professional responsibility in handling the Rifqa Bary case. Governor Crist and FDLE management need to get new investigators on the job, start over, and this time do it right.

He recently reiterated those claims in a piece in Human Events, and his "expert opinion" is now being cited by groups like the Family Research Council and activists like Robert Knight who are supporting Rifqa in their battle against Islam.

Will Perkins Back Huckabee 2012?

During his presidential campaign, one of Mike Huckabee's biggest and most frequent complaints was that Religious Right insiders were refusing to back his presidential campaign while they were frequently saying nice things about Mitt Romney.

The most notable glaring examples came from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council who, though he had nice things to say about Huckabee, not-so-subtly made it clear that he supported Romney.

Following the election, Huckabee continued to complain about this, but there were signs that he and Perkins were beginning to overcome the rift.

And now that Huckabee has won the Values Voter Summitt straw poll, it looks like Perkins might be willing to give serious consideration to the possibility of backing Huckabee if he decides to run again in 2012:

Mike Huckabee was the summit's choice to get the Republican nomination in 2012. Perkins said "When Huckabee spoke this weekend, it's as if he never walked away from his Presidential campaign. He is in touch with people through his many speaking engagements and his talk show." There is no official endorsement of Huckabee by the Family Research Council, but Perkins said, "He looks forward to talking with Huckabee in the upcoming months." Perkins also appeared last Sunday night on Huckabee's show on the Fox News Channel.

The Right Wing Campaign Against Kevin Jennings Hits Fox News

Here we go again.

The right-wing campaign against Kevin Jennings is now getting picked up by the "mainstream media" ... if one can consider Fox News to be a part of the MSM.  Either way, Fox has now posted this long article on Jennings that is basically a collection of the greatest hits of right-wing attacks against him and features quotes from the likes of Peter LaBarbera and Peter Sprigg:

Social conservatives are up in arms about yet another White House czar. This time it's Kevin Jennings, President Obama's director of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools (OSDFS).

Jennings was appointed to the position largely because of his longtime record of working to end bullying and discrimination in schools. In 1990, as a teacher in Massachusetts, he founded the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which now has over 40 chapters at schools nationwide. He has also published six books on gay rights and education, including one that describes his own experiences as a closeted gay student.

But critics say Jennings is too radical for the job, citing what they say is his promotion of homosexuality in schools, his writings about his past drug abuse, his onetime contempt for religion and an incident in 1998 in which he did not report an underage student who told him he was having sex with older men.

...

"Jennings was obviously chosen for this job because of the safe schools aspect... defining 'safe schools' narrowly in terms of 'safe for homosexuality'," Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, told FOXNews.com.

"But at least half of the job involves creating drug-free schools, and we've not been offered any evidence about what qualifications Jennings has for promoting drug-free schools."

...

Sprigg countered that nobody has adequately answered the questions that are being raised about Jennings.

Speaking of Jennings' job, he said: "I think it's unfortunate that [it] is a position that did not require any sort of confirmation process, because there are a lot of serious questions about Jennings and there has not been any forum in which Jennings has been required to answer the questions."

Religious Right Mobilizes To Fight Muslim Prayer Rally

A few weeks back, we noted that there is a national prayer rally scheduled for Washington, D.C. this weekend that organizers expect to attract tens of thousands to pray for the soul of America.  The only difference this time is that the organizers and participants are Muslims, and so of course the Religious Right is upset and voicing concerns.

And so Lou Engle is now rallying his own forces to counter the rally:

[O]n the 25th of September, Muslims are calling for a Muslim Day of Prayer in Washington D.C. They are calling for 50,000 Muslims to gather and pray on the D.C. Mall. This is the exact word of one of the Sheikhs who is leading this historic gathering, “Muslims should march on the White House. We are going to the White House so that Islam will be victorious, Allah willing, and the White House will become into a Muslim house.” These are not empty words. They speak of a dark spiritual intent and a coming day of great trouble to America.

Now one of these events is enough to awaken us to this significant throbbing moment, but when they all converge it becomes a massive spiritual alarm that must be responded to by the praying Church.

...

This convergence, I believe, is urgently summoning us in the midst of the rising tide of Islamic influence in America to recognize that our God is above every god and that if we return to Him with all of our hearts and call upon Him with fasting and prayer then God could use what the enemy meant for evil to bring about a great day of salvation for Muslims in America.

First of all, we cannot be passive as a Church to let these kinds of developments go on without being challenged in the spirit. Our fight is not against Muslims, it is against principalities, powers, and forces of darkness. We are calling the Church of America at the end of Ramadan, from September 21st through 25th, to five days of concerted prayer ... On Friday, Sept. 25, the Muslim Day of Prayer, we are calling the Church of America to fast and pray that Muslims would be moved by the Holy Spirit, convicted by the testimony of Christ, and even be visited by Jesus in dreams. We must pray that God would restrain the spiritual powers behind Islam and grant us the great awakening that we desperately need for America.

And the Family Research Council is getting in on the act as well, urging its activists to use the gathering as an opportunity to pray for the conversion of Muslims:

Muslims are preparing for a Friday gathering on Capitol Hill. Group organizers are touting a possible 50,000 attendees for what they say will be a peaceful assembly for purposes of prayer only. We shall see ... Will any of the expected 50,000 attendees affirm loyalty to the U.S. and our constitutional liberties? Or will they pray for shari'ah law to come to America? Join us in praying that the conversion of Muslims to Christianity would not only continue, but accelerate.

As is David Barton, who is warning that Christianity's place at the top of the heap in America is coming under attack:

Historically, on this continent Christian America adopted an open free-market approach to all religions from the beginning. American Christians then (and now) were not fearful of other religions. They were confident that Christianity would prevail on its own merits and they therefore followed the Biblical precedent set forth in both the Old and New Testaments of simply presenting God's word in a straightforward manner, expecting that the Holy Spirit will confirm His word in the hearts of hearers. Christians believe that on a level playing field, Christianity will always prevail through the voluntary choice of the people.

As a result, Christian America welcomed all religions, with Muslims arriving here by 1619, Jews establishing their first synagogue in 1654, and Buddhists, Hindus, and others also being present from the early days. Significantly, only America extended (and continues to extend) a free-market religious tolerance to others while still preserving the core societal values of our Christian heritage. But the culture has begun to shift. The level playing field is being eroded. As in Europe, Christianity is being knocked down and Islam elevated.

...

As Bible-believing people, let's also make this Friday a day of prayer – and please encourage others to participate with you. We know that our contest is with spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12), and we firmly believe that He Who is within us is greater than any other god or force (1 John 4:4), so I encourage you to fill America with prayer to the True God this coming Friday.

Interestingly, Barton attempts to defend his effort by claiming that he is not calling on Christians to compete with Muslims:

This call for Christians to pray this Friday is not a prayer "competition" between Christianity and Islam, nor is it a spiritual Christian "jihad" or "holy war" (what an oxymoronic term – a holy war!). After all, in I Kings 18, Elijah encouraged the prophets of the god Baal to take more time in their praying; he didn't object to their prayers, he just wanted to make sure that he was able to make his own prayers to the True God. This Friday offers a similar opportunity for those who fear God and believe His Scriptures to offer up their own prayers to Him.

You know, if Barton is going to claim that he is not calling for Christians to compete or wage holy war on Muslims, he should probably not be citing I Kings 18 ... or at least ought to cite it properly to note that Elijah did not merely "want to make sure that he was able to make his own prayers" but actually pitted his god against Baal in competition and then "taunted" Baal's prophets for their god's failure to win - and then killed them all:

38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD -he is God! The LORD -he is God!"

40 Then Elijah commanded them, "Seize the prophets of Baal. Don't let anyone get away!" They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.

Rifqa Bary Wins More Right Wing Support

Rifqa Bary was back in court yesterday as her parents tried to get the case moved from Florida, where she fled, back to Ohio and filed a complaint against the couple who harbored her after she ran-away:

Rifqa's father stepped up a strategy to bring his daughter back to Ohio. Mohamed Bary filed a criminal complaint against the Orlando pastors who helped shelter Rifqa for more than two weeks before the state intervened.

Lawyer Shayan Elahi told the Orange County court that Rifqa's parents, Mohamed and Aysha Bary, filed a complaint about Blake and Beverly Lorenz with law-enforcement officials.

A letter sent to Orlando police by Mohamed Bary claimed Rifqa was "indoctrinated and coerced" by representatives of Global Revolution Church and "was hidden" by the Lorenzes. Orlando police said they are not investigating.

A Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman confirmed the agency received a complaint against the Lorenzes, but she could not comment further.

...

Mat Staver, the Lorenzes' lawyer and longtime friend, said there is "no solid basis for the complaint" filed against them.

He said the Lorenzes did what any person would do given the circumstances. Staver said the Lorenzes took multiple steps to notify authorities.

Given the deepening involvement of Staver in this case, it is not surprising to see that Bary's case is rapidly becoming a cause for moer and more Religious Right groups and activists, like Lou Engle, who see it as a call to battle against Islam:

Four years ago, while living in a very devout and radical Muslim home, Rifqa met Jesus in a powerful way as her savior. She hid her conversion, began praying secretly, and began hiding her bible from her parents. Then, on Facebook, her love for Jesus was exposed to the radical Muslim community in Ohio. Rifqa’s father demanded that she renounce Jesus or he would kill her as is commanded by the Koran. As a radiant believer in Jesus she refused to renounce her Lord and fled to Orlando where she was taken in and cared for by a Christian Church and family. Now, the father is appealing to the courts to bring her back under his custody. Major television networks have already covered her story. How must the Church of America respond in this moment for our sister who is a part of the Body of Christ?

This convergence, I believe, is urgently summoning us in the midst of the rising tide of Islamic influence in America to recognize that our God is above every god and that if we return to Him with all of our hearts and call upon Him with fasting and prayer then God could use what the enemy meant for evil to bring about a great day of salvation for Muslims in America, of which Rifqa is but a major sign.

First of all, we cannot be passive as a Church to let these kinds of developments go on without being challenged in the spirit. Our fight is not against Muslims, it is against principalities, powers, and forces of darkness. We are calling the Church of America at the end of Ramadan, from September 21st through 25th, to five days of concerted prayer. On Monday, we must pray that God would grant supernatural wisdom to the courts so that the testimony of Jesus would be proclaimed and that the best situation for Rifqa and her family would take place. We must pray for Rifqa to be bold in proclaiming Jesus that even thousands of Muslims would hear and be awakened to the love of Christ. She has already said that this is not about her but about many Muslims coming to Jesus. We must pray for her lawyers who are being bullied, threatened, and challenged on every side. On Friday, Sept. 25, the Muslim Day of Prayer, we are calling the Church of America to fast and pray that Muslims would be moved by the Holy Spirit, convicted by the testimony of Christ, and even be visited by Jesus in dreams. We must pray that God would restrain the spiritual powers behind Islam and grant us the great awakening that we desperately need for America.

Even the Family Research Council is getting involved, picking up on Engle's call to prayer and sending out its own urgent prayer request:

This prayer request is extremely urgent! Please pray and forward it to praying people within your sphere of influence!

The fate of Rifqa Bary may be decided today. In July, in fear for her life, the radiant 17 year-old fled her parent's Ohio home to seek refuge with the family of an Orlando, Florida pastor. Florida attorney and pro-family leader John Stemberger took up Rifqa's case and is fighting to save her life.

...

Pastor Lou Engle, a longtime leader in the national prayer movement, is asking Christians everywhere to pray September 21-25, and to fast on Friday, September 25th when fifty thousand Muslims will meet on the Washington Mall to "pray for America."

* Please Pray for Rifqa and her attorney, that God will give them wisdom and victory in their legal effort. May God protect Rifqa, keeping her safe, even as He uses her to minister Christ to the Christian and Muslim worlds (Ps 91: all; 121: all; Eph 6:10-20).

* May America's pastors and churches awaken to the challenge that the Muslim faith and activist political agenda poses to our nation and Christian heritage. May believers arise to pray and may Biblical truth and the power of the Holy Spirit mightily prevail as those with competing religious views vie for our nation's soul. May the advance of Islam be used of God to stir believers to ever greater faithfulness to Christ and may the Church learn how to love and effectively minister to those in the Muslim and other religious communities! (Ex 20:2-5; Ps 96:5; Acts 4:12; Gal 2:4-5; Mt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15).

Thank you for your prayers over these critically important matters!

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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

Kyle Mantyla, Monday 06/25/2012, 11:20am
Last month, shortly after President Obama announced his support for marriage equality, Sen. Rand Paul spoke at an Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition event where he joked that he "wasn’t sure that [Obama's] views on marriage could get any gayer." A few days later, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins was asked about the remark on "Face the Nation" where he mildly rebuked Paul, saying “I don’t think this is something we should joke about. We are talking about individuals who feel very strongly one way or the other, and I think we should be civil,... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 06/22/2012, 1:30pm
Bob Maginnis of the Family Research Council spoke to Lee Webb of CBN News this week about the Defense Department’s decision to recognize June as Gay Pride Month, warning that it is part of a plan by gays and lesbians “to advance their radical agenda.” The FRC senior fellow began the interview by falsely claiming that a Pentagon survey “found that there would be many that would leave and some that would reconsider” if Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is repealed, however, the survey actually noted that very few service members would consider leaving the military... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 06/20/2012, 10:32am
Last night, the Family Research Council hosted a webcast entitled "Two Weeks for Freedom: Catholics and Evangelicals Together for Freedom" that was billed as kicking off "a two week period of nationwide prayer and action in support of religious liberty" by mobilizing conservative Christians to oppose the Obama administration's contraception mandate. The first guest on the program was Mike Huckabee, who declared that it was become clear that "this administration is not just indifferent to people of faith, it's hostile" and warning that if all Christians don't... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 06/14/2012, 5:20pm
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-TX) today spoke to the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and the American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon about the sale of bibles in LifeWay stores, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The stores were selling Bibles with the emblems of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. However, the store’s permission to use such trademarks “was revoked when the military revamped its trademark licensing regulations in 2011.” A LifeWay spokesman told Fox News that “after selling existing inventory of those bibles, B... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 06/14/2012, 10:30am
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on his daily radio bulletin applauded ExxonMobil shareholders for voting down a proposal to prohibit job discrimination based sexual orientation, even claiming that the vote was part of a “backlash” against President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality. By not “fueling the homosexual agenda,” Perkins said the oil giant’s decision showed “courage” and was a “stand for true American values.” Perkins: At ExxonMobil, the shareholders put their stock in something other than... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 06/12/2012, 4:00pm
As Kyle pointed out, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) while speaking on Today’s Issues suggested that he doesn’t believe reports that Commerce Secretary John Bryson suffered a seizure before crashing his car. Host Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council later asked Gohmert about his concerns regarding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill which today received a Senate committee hearing. The Texas congressman said the anti-discrimination legislation is “part of this administration’s ongoing war on religion, on particularly Judeo-Christian values,” and... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 06/11/2012, 2:40pm
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council filled in for Sandy Rios on her morning talk show last week on the American Family Association’s radio network and had to respond to a caller named J.R. who said that anti-gay activists like Perkins were promoting misconceptions about gays and lesbians while ignoring societal ills. Perkins tried to explain that equality for gays and lesbians has damaging consequences for society, warning that gay rights will end religious freedom and twist public accommodations laws. He insisted that the Religious Right isn’t overlooking issues like... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 06/05/2012, 5:20pm
In New Mexico today the state Court of Appeals upheld decisions by the state’s Human Rights Commission and a district court and found that a photography business which refused to photograph a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony violated the state’s Human Rights Act, which declares that public accommodations like photo studios can’t discriminate on the basis of “race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex or sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical or mental handicap.” The court rejected the business’s claim that they are like a... MORE >