Family Research Council

Perkins' Revoked Invitation Is Just Like Dred Scott

I have to say that the American Family Association's decision to promote Bryan Fischer from the head of the Idaho Values Alliance to the AFA's Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy last year has been a real boon for this blog as be has since become a constant source of good posts.

Today he weighs in on the news that the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins had his invitation to speak at a Andrews Air Force Base prayer luncheon rescinded with a complete and utter meltdown, declaring it proof that the Constitution is on the verge of collapse and likening it to Dred Scott and McCarthyism:

The homosexual agenda represents a clear and present danger to virtually every fundamental right given to us by our Creator and enshrined for us in our Constitution.

Start with freedom of religion and freedom of speech, the first two of our inalienable rights secured for us in the Bill of Rights.

As a culture, we must choose between the homosexual agenda or the Constitution because we can't have both.

Further proof comes from the abjectly pathetic decision of the chaplains' office at Andrews Air Force Base to rescind a long-standing invitation to Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council. Perkins had been invited to give a non-political talk at a prayer luncheon on the base yesterday, but was abruptly dis-invited for one simple reason: he supports the current law which makes homosexuals ineligible for service in the United States military.

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The days of Dred Scott have returned. Christians now are the ones are being confined on the plantation, and warned about being too uppity ... McCarthyism has now struck the U.S. military with a vengeance. The question now that the military is asking is this: "Are you now, or have you ever been, a supporter of traditional morality?" If the answer is yes, you go on our blacklist, and we deprive you of your freedom of religion, speech and military service.

Realize the ominous portents here for the future of our military. Perkins' view represents the view of the vast majority of Americans, especially those considering military service. The new standard appears to be that, even if you are heterosexual, you must embrace the homosexual agenda or you will be banned from the military. That's where this is going, and at Andrews Air Force Base, we're already there.

Religious Right Now Exporting Its Anti-Marriage Equality Abroad

By now, we are all used to out-of-state Religious Right groups descending on places like Maine, Washington, DC, and elsewhere in order to set up shop in their nonstop effort to fight marriage equality ... but I have to admit that I never expected them to start exporting their efforts abroad.

But here they are, setting their sights on now fighting marriage equality in Mexico:

In response to a move to institute same-sex marriage in the Federal District which includes Mexico City (on March 4), more than 120 pro-family/pro-life leaders from 35 countries have signed the "World Congress of Families Leadership Petition To Save Marriage In Mexico City."

The Petition notes that "Mexico's Constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman." Further, that all social ills begin with the decline of the family. Also "marriage substitutes ... undermine marriage and the family." The Petition observes that "children need both a mother and a father" and that those raised by two men or two women are "psychologically and socially disadvantaged."

The Petition calls on the government of Mexico City to refrain from implementing same-sex marriage and demands that the issue be decided at the national level, "with due regard to the nation's religious traditions, the wishes of the Mexican people and the needs of children and families, and consistent with Mexico's Constitution." Click here (www.worldcongress.org/special/wcf.mexpetsig.1002.pdf) to access the full Petition along with a list of signers.

U.S. signers (signing as individuals) include: Gary Bauer (American Values), Allan Carlson (World Congress of Families), Tom DeLay (former Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives), Joseph Meaney (Human Life International), Tony Perkins (Family Research Council), Michele Velasco (Priests for Life), Don Wildmon (American Family Association), Wendy Wright (Concerned Women for America), Maggie Gallagher (National Organization for Marriage), Dr. Paige Patterson (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary),Yuri Mantilla (Focus on the Family) and Dr. Jerry Newcombe (Coral Ridge Ministries).

Right Mobilizes For Marriage Amendment In West Virginia

Yesterday, the West Virginia House of Delegates killed an effort to press for a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality in the state.

And, of course, that means the right-wing, anti-marriage equality groups are trotting out their standard "let us vote" rhetoric for a press conference tomorrow to complain about it:

The Family Policy Council of West Virginia will hold a press conference during its "Let Us Vote" marriage rally featuring Maggie Gallagher, President of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Randy Wilson, National Field Director for Family Research Council (FRC) and Jeremy Dys, President and General Counsel of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia. Several West Virginia lawmakers have also been invited to speak.

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WHAT: Almost half of West Virginia's state senators have signed on as sponsors to a marriage protection amendment resolution promoted by the Family Policy Council of West Virginia. The West Virginia Senate is sending a strong message that there is no legitimate reason to prevent the voters of West Virginia from settling the legal definition of marriage.

WHY: The proposed amendment, which a recent poll indicates is supported by at least 78 percent of registered Democrat voters, was introduced with broad bipartisan support, including the chairmen of three major senate committees and the vice-chairman of a fourth. If approved, the resolution, SJR 14, would allow West Virginians to settle the legal definition of marriage at a special election in 2010. It proposes a simple 19-word definition of marriage: "Only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in West Virginia."

WHERE: West Virginia Capitol, North Steps

WHEN: Thursday, February 25, noon

Fischer, LaBarbera Hail Sorba For This Anti-Gay Rant at CPAC

Last week we posted this video of California Young Americans for Freedom's Ryan Sorba blasting CPAC organizers for allowing the gay conservative group GOProud to serve as a conference co-sponsor:

Not surprisingly, Sorba is now being hailed as a hero by the likes of Peter LaBarbera:

I am so proud of this young man, Ryan Sorba of California Young Americans For Freedom, for having the guts to hold CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, accountable for allowing a homosexual activist group, GOProud, to sponsor its conference. Organized homosexuality has no part in a truly “conservative” movement. We need a few dozen more Ryan Sorbas in our pro-family movement to put the “queer” activists on their heels for a change – instead of constantly being put on the defensive by a perversion lobby that equates sexual misbehavior and gender confusion with “civil rights.

The AFA's Bryan Fischer likewise praised him:

Sorba showed the courage of his convictions by simply declaring the truth. Said Sorba, "Civil rights are grounded in natural rights, and natural rights are grounded in human nature...and the intelligible end of the reproductive act is reproduction...civil rights, when they conflict with natural rights, are contrary..."

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Sorba was certainly right to condemn CPAC for this move. The bottom line here is if conservatives are looking for an annual convocation of genuine conservatives - those who are fiscal, national security and social conservatives - the place to be is the Values Voter Summit.

VVS, sponsored each fall by the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, will never waver on the truth that protecting one man - one woman marriage is the most fundamental conservative value of all.

The Mystery of Richard Viguerie's Sudden Support For The Mount Vernon Statement

Earlier today I wondered just what Richard Viguerie's name was doing on The Mount Vernon Statement since, on Monday, he called it embarrassing pablum.  But today he went ahead and signed it and even issued his own statement praising it as a good first step:

"I am pleased to be a signer of the Mount Vernon Statement.

"I feel it's a good first step, and I applaud those conservatives who have provided the leadership to produce this statement of conservative principles.

"In the coming weeks, I look forward to working with all principled conservatives, including the newest branch of the small-limited government coalition, the Tea Partiers, to take the steps necessary to maximize our victories in 2010 and beyond.

This doesn't really make any sense; why would he dismiss the statement as a meaningless joke on Monday only to turn around two days later and add his name to it?

I wonder if it might have had something to do with the fact that initially it looks like he wasn't asked to sign on. 

The first mentions of this statement appeared last week, first on The Atlantic and Politico, both of which listed key signers but didn't include Viguerie:

The Atlantic - "Some key conservative luminaries will be in attendance at the Collingwood Library and Museum in Alexandria, VA (an original part of George Washington's Mount Vernon properties): Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, David Keene of the American Conservative Union, former Reagan policy adviser Kenneth T. Cribb, Kenneth Blackwell of Coalition for a Conservative Majority, and Federalist Society co-founder David McIntosh."

Politico - "The big names attached to it include former Attorney General Ed Meese, Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, Media Research Center leader Brent Bozell, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and David Keene, head of the American Conservative Union, which is putting on CPAC, among others."

On Monday, the Washington Times wrote about it and quoted Viguerie dismissing the statement as meaningless.

And guess what? The very next day, Politico wrote another article about the statement and guess who's name appeared in the list:

The statement's drafters, who will sign it near George Washington's Mount Vernon home Wednesday afternoon, include figures from differing wings of the movement: former Attorney General Ed Meese, Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, Media Research Center leader Brent Bozell, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie and David Keene, the head of the American Conservative Union, sponsor of this week's Conservative Political Action Conference, with which the signing of the Mount Vernon statement is meant to coincide.

This list is nearly identical to the list Politico provided last week, with the exception of the sudden inclusion of Viguerie.

So what happened between Monday, when Viguerie was telling the Washington Times the whole thing was a pathetic joke, and Tuesday when he name was being listed among the statement's primary supporters? 

I'm guessing that organizers reached out to him and asked him to add his name, which was all it took to make this embarrassing pablum into a demonstration of conservative leadership and principles.

Look Who's Joining TFP For DADT Press Conference

In my earlier post about the absurdly anti-gay Tradition, Family and Property "report" opposing the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I wondered who would be joining them at their press conference tomorrow to unveil it at CPAC.

Now we know

* Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness
* Tom Minnery, Vice President, Public Policy, Focus on the Family
* Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
* Frank Gaffney, President, Center for Security Policy
* David Keene, President, American Conservative Union
* Penny Nance, CEO, Concerned Women for America
* Matthew Staver, Dean, Liberty University School of Law
* Jordan W. Lorence, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund
* Adm. James A. “Ace” Lyons, USN (Ret.), Flag & General Officers for the Military

Leaders from other prominent organizations, such as Eagle Forum, Let Freedom Ring, the American Family Association, Traditional Values Coalition, and Tradition, Values & Property (partial list) are lending support to the Military Culture Coalition, an informal network of individuals and organizations who support the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military (Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C.).

Right Wing Groups Heading to Rhode Island

The Family Research Council announces a day long summit is being held in Rhode Island at the end of the month featuring a variety of right-wing groups:

Don't miss this valuable opportunity to learn about the cutting-edge family, life and marriage issues affecting Rhode Island and all New England! Experts from the Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage Rhode Island, Alliance Defense Fund, and Family Policy Councils from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Connecticut will discuss the latest state legislative trends affecting you and your family. Don't miss this opportunity to get informed as to how you can make a critical difference in your community!

Scarborough Unveils Yet Another Right Wing Coalition and Declaration

Devin Burghart of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights attended the National Tea Party Convention and notes that Rick Scarborough used his address at the event to unveil a new coalition called "Mandate to Save America":

A workshop by Dr. Rick Scarborough indicated a shift taking place at the convention, transforming the focus from bailouts and deficits to the culture war. Scarborough is a former Southern Baptist pastor from Pearland, Texas, and a he heads up a corporate constellation including Vision America, Vision America Action and the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration. He has been fixture on the Christian Right for several years (Jerry Falwell published his first book).

After showing an eight minute video cataloguing his many television appearances, the jovial Scarborough told a packed room of around 215 people that the gap between “fiscal and social conservatives has got to cease.” In addition to attacking the Obama administration for its commitment to ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and supporting the inclusion of gays and lesbians into federal hate crimes protections, Scarborough warned that we "now have a government of thieves" and that we are moving towards a “collectivist” society. We have a Godly duty to defend “American exceptionalism,” he said.

Scarborough used much of his speech to launch a new campaign, called the Mandate to Save America, a project of the S.T.O.P. Obama Tyranny National Coalition.

The pamphlet he distributed read, “We, the undersigned, and millions of other American patriots, including many who comprise the growing TEA Party movement, are no less determined than patriots of the past, who fought for our freedom. We will make any sacrifice, endure any hardship, and confront any foe to keep the flame of freedom burning bright; so help us God.”

The list of signers reads like a who’s who of the Christian Right: Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association, Gary Bauer of American Values, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, and many more. The ten campaign demands marked an overt attempt to fuse Tea Party desires with the broader agenda of the Christian Right into a more potent form of Christian nationalism.

Scarborough worked up the crowd in the room, and got a standing ovation when he demanded, “enough is enough!” When he finished, an older woman in the front row stood up and stated, “What we need is revival and revolt!” which also brought enthusiastic cheers from the audience.

And sure enough, Mandate to Save America has a website carrying this declaration:

So far the list of signers includes Gary Bauer, Tom DeLay, Janet Porter, Tony Perkins, Phyllis Schlafly, Mat Staver, Tim Wildmon, Wendy Wright, Richard Viguerie, and several others.

Anxiously Awaiting The Conservative Movement's "Definitive Statement"

It seems that the Right's efforts to unify in opposition to President Obama and the Democratic Congress are continuing ... with yet another coalition/declaration to be unveiled next week at CPAC

They're calling it "The Mount Vernon Statement": a group of leaders of conservative groups will gather in Washington, DC on the eve of the yearly national Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and sign a pact--a "definitive statement," as it's being billed, defining the principles of the conservative movement.

"A Who's Who of the conservative movement's leaders will unveil and sign the Mount Vernon Statement: a document defining the movement's principles, beliefs and values in light of the challenges facing the country and the need for Constitutional Conservatism since the Obama administration came to power," CRC Public Relations says in a press release announcing the solemn document.

Some key conservative luminaries will be in attendance at the Collingwood Library and Museum in Alexandria, VA (an original part of George Washington's Mount Vernon properties): Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, David Keene of the American Conservative Union, former Reagan policy adviser Kenneth T. Cribb, Kenneth Blackwell of Coalition for a Conservative Majority, and Federalist Society co-founder David McIntosh.

Gee, do you think it'll focus on things like cutting taxes, shrinking government, killing terrorists, opposing gay rights, and outlawing abortion?

Do they want me to write it for them?  Because I am pretty sure that I could.  

Three Times Makes a Trend

For the third time in the last week, a leading Religious Right activist has declared that his goal is to see homosexuality criminalized.

First it was Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association and Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council who made such declarations and now Gary Glenn of the AFA of Michigan has joined the call as well:

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, has added his voice to a growing course of American leaders calling for the re-criminalization of homosexuality in the U.S.

In an e-mail to Michigan Messenger, here’s how Glenn responded when asked if he supported the criminalization move proposed by the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg’s comments last week on Hardball:

“The short answer to your question is yes, we believe that states should be free to regulate and prohibit behavior that’s a violation of community standards and a proven threat to public health and safety — including, as most of the United States did throughout its history, homosexual behavior.”

It should also be pointed out that Glenn is among the plantiffs in the Thomas More Law Center's lawsuit challenging the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 on the grounds that protection for gays is part of an effort to "criminalize the Bible and use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically-based religious belief that homosexual conduct is a sin."

Tea Party Activism and The Religious Right

I have to take issue with Andrew Sullivan's assertion that the Tea Party movement is "Christianist" at its core.

By "Christianist," Sullivan means essentially the Religious Right and the idea that the Religious Right's anti-gay, anti-choice political agenda has played a central in Tea Party activism is ludicrous. 

When the movement began last year, the "TEA" in Tea Party stood for "Taxed Enough Already" and was aimed at the bailouts and stimulus measures put in place in an attempt to stabilize our economy.

At first, the Religious Right more or less watched from the sidelines as the fiscal conservative groups like Freedomworks, National Taxpayers Union, Americans For Tax Reform, and The Club for Growth started to institutionalize the Tea Party effort. 

Eventually, groups like the American Family Association climbed on board, as did leaders like Ralph Reed, but that was done in order to try and capitalize on the Tea Party success and tie their "Christianist" agenda to the already established Tea Party activism.  

The presence of Religious Right fringe figures like Roy Moore and Rick Scarborough at the National Tea Party Convention is more a sign of the power of the Tea Party narrative than it is of Religious Right control or influence over the movement or its agenda.

Perhaps nothing better illustrates the fundamental merging of overall right-wing movement under the banner of the Tea Party than the fact that the Tea Party front-runners at Freedomworks recently partnered with Religious Right powerhouses like the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America despite that fact that, just a few years back, Freedomworks' founder Dick Armey was calling the socially conservative wing of the movement a bunch of stupid, lazy demagogues.

At the moment, Tea Party activism is the face of the conservative movement and so it is no surprise that Religious Right groups are climbing aboard the bandwagon in an effort to try and utilize it to press their own agenda.  

The Tea Party movement does not have a Religious Right agenda at its core, but rather as a component ... and that is only because Religious Right groups have set out aligning themselves with the movement in order to co-opt and exploit it.

The Religious Right Will Decide What Is Best For Women in Uniform

I didn't realize that in joining the military, women agreed to give up their right to medical treatments to which the Religious Right objected ... but apparently they do:

Late Thursday, the Obama administration issued a new order for the U.S. military requiring all military hospitals and health centers to stock the morning after pill. The Department of Defense will soon begin having military medical facilities stock the Plan B drug, which can sometimes cause an abortion.

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Obama's decision is not going over well with Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America.

"The military needs to focus on its prime mission, yet leftists view it as a means to promote their agenda," she told LifeNews.com. "The morning-after pill is highly ineffective in preventing pregnancies and completely useless in preventing sexually-transmitted diseases. But it's a political tool for abortion advocates."

Wright worries the decision is the first step to pushing abortions at military hospitals.

"By making this drug required, the next step will making drugs like RU-486, the abortion pill, mandatory," she said. "And doctors or pharmacists who have objections will be purged from the ranks."

"The military needs to focus on discipline and proper behavior - because lives depend on it - not promoting risky behavior," Wright continued.

The Family Research Council is likewise demanding that women in the military be denied access to this option:

"Family Research Council opposes requiring military bases worldwide to carry Levonorgestrel, or 'Plan B,' because the drug can prevent a fertilized embryo from implanting in the uterus and thereby destroy a human life. We can all agree that there is a huge difference between preventing and destroying human life. And women in uniform deserve to know the truth about their medications.

"In the last year we have witnessed the Obama Administration move from the status quo of abortion as legal and available in health care plans to aggressively promoting U.S. government funded abortions. In the same way, the fact that Plan B is optional for military facilities is not sufficient for the Obama Administration, so now military facilities will be compelled to carry and disseminate Plan B.

"Moreover, a requirement to carry this drug would be a violation of the conscience rights of military personnel who have moral objections to providing it, not to mention the majority of American taxpayers supporting military operations. Taxpayers should not be required to pay for military medical personnel to carry Plan B anywhere in the world ... Forcing military professionals to carry over-the-counter Plan B will make it more difficult to enforce age requirements for a drug not widely tested on young girls.

"Finally, the requirement to carry Plan B on military bases doesn't include a parental notification provision in cases in which a minor obtains Plan B by prescription. This new policy undermines the right of parents to properly care for their daughters' physical well-being. In a society that requires teachers to send students to the nurse for a band-aid, the Administration's approach on something profoundly more important than a paper cut defies common sense."

Peter Sprigg: Run Lisa Run

Does anyone find it entirely predictable that the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg, who thinks that gay behavior should be outlawed and carry criminal penalties, supports Lisa Miller's kidnapping of her daughter and disappearance so as to avoid adhering to court ordered custody arrangements? 

Imagine that you are a mother (perhaps you are). You have only one child -- your own flesh and blood, conceived with your egg, borne in your body, pushed out into the world by your own exertions.

She is seven and a half years old, and for the last six years you have been her sole caretaker. Single parenthood is tough, but your parents help, and it seems your daughter is doing well. She is happy and well-adjusted. You have worked hard to support her and transmit your values to her. She goes to church with you every week.

Now, someone wants to take her away from you. Her father? No -- another woman wants to be her mother. This woman lives in a different state hundreds of miles away. Your daughter once knew the woman, but so long ago that she has no memory of her. The woman has no biological relationship to your child. She has no adoptive relationship to your child. But she wants to take your daughter away from you and be her mother now.

No court has ever found you to be an unfit mother. And yet -- unbelievably -- the courts of two states have ordered you to transfer custody of your child to this other woman.

What would you do? Do you simply give your child away?

This is not the plot for a Hollywood thriller. This nightmare scenario is the real-life situation that Lisa Miller found herself in recently.

Apparently, Lisa couldn’t give her daughter away. She chose to run instead.

Of course, there is more to the story. But if reading the description above leaves you with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, it should. This is the brave new world of family law, thanks to the gains made by the homosexual movement.

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Lisa was told to transfer custody of her daughter on New Year’s Day. She never showed up.

Would you?

In Sprigg's world, it's gays who are the criminals while ex-gay Christian women kidnap their daughter and violate court orders are heroes. 

And on a related note, in my post yesterday on Sprigg's "gay behavior should be illegal" comment, I wondered if FRC would make him issue an apology.  Well, apparently they won't be since they are featuring his "Hardball" appearance on their website and touting it in their most recent "Washington Update"

Judging by our busy press room, FRC continues to be the go-to organization on this issue in the media. Apart from a series of print interviews, Peter Sprigg and I took the lead on a few national talk shows yesterday, debating the fallout of homosexuals in the military with experts from the other side. You can watch all three appearances--on CNN, MSNBC's "Hardball," and "Larry King Live"--by visiting our newsroom. 

A Horrifying Picture of Life With Christians In the Workplace

Want to know why we shouldn't repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell?  Because all gays are sexual predators who will immediately attack their fellow soldiers - at least that seems to be the message from the Family Research Council which can barely stomach the "horrifying picture of life with homosexual soldiers":

Under this administration, the new policy seems to be ordering the military to disobey the rule of law--the very thing they've been sworn to protect. Richard Black (U.S. Army-Ret.), former chief of the Army's Criminal Law Division, explains why that's an irresponsible and potentially dangerous decision. In today's Washington Times, Black paints a horrifying picture of life with homosexual soldiers that would only worsen once gays and lesbians are empowered to flaunt their sexuality. "...At Fort Sill, Okla., in 1991, two homosexual recruits caught a lone soldier showering at night. They violently sodomized the soldier, forcing him to submit by strangling him with a bath towel. At the time of trial, the victim was hospitalized under psychiatric care... Recruit training is especially problematic. Male recruits had to physically subdue one homosexual drill instructor at an Army base to keep him from raping a male recruit as that recruit struggled to escape out a second-story window... At Marine Corps Base Quantico, a company gunnery sergeant sexually attacked a young officer candidate who had stayed back at the barracks while his platoon was out training." The other side drones on about "political correctness" but says nothing about the safety forfeited to achieve it.

Apparently, a few isolated, decade-old instances is sufficent proof that all gays are a sexual menace. 

And so, using that logic, I hereby demand an end to the practice of allowing Christians to work at Religious Right organizations ... 

A former Focus on the Family radio-ministry employee has been sentenced to five years of intensive probation for attempting to lure an underage teen into having sex with him.

... or universities ....

A judge has granted $25,000 bond to a Liberty University professor accused of a sex crime with a student. Joshua Young Moon is charged with object sexual penetration by force.

... because they are all sexual predators

Court records show the McPhersons manipulated the teens into submitting to fondling, kissing and other sex acts. They cited Bible verses that they said justified the abuse and, afterward, would pray together for God's forgiveness.

On Wednesday, the McPhersons admitted in separate hearings in Virginia Beach Circuit Court to committing the crimes. Stephen McPherson, a former assistant dean at Regent University, pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with two of the girls; his wife pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with the third.

Stephen McPherson, 40, already is serving a 16-year sentence after being convicted of similar charges in Chesapeake. He pleaded guilty in January to forcible sodomy and object sexual penetration stemming from incidents involving two of the girls in his Chesapeake home.

Clearly, this horrifying picture of life with Christians in the work place will only worsen if we don't act now to end this abomination.

Or would that kind of offensive smear job be wildly unfair?

FRC's Sprigg Wants To See Homosexuality Criminalized

I don't know what has gotten into Religious Right spokespeople in the last week, but twice now they have called for criminal penalties for gays simply for being gay. 

Last week, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer declared that we should "impose the same sanctions on those who engage in homosexual behavior as we do on those who engage in intravenous drug abuse," and force them into therapy. 

And yesterday, the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg appeared on Hardball in opposition to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell where he declared that Lawrence v. Texas was wrongly decided and that gay behavior should be outlawed:

Matthews: Let me ask you Peter, so you think people choose to be gay.

Sprigg: People do not choose to be have same sex attractions, but they do choose to engage in homosexual conduct. And that conduct also which incidentally is against the law within the military. It violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It doesn't make any sense for us to be actively recruiting people who are going to violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Matthews: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?

Sprigg: Well I think certainly...

Matthews: I'm just asking you, should we outlaw gay behavior?

Sprigg: I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas which overturned the sodomy laws in this country was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.

Matthews: So we should outlaw gay behavior?

Sprigg: Yes.

The last time Peter Sprigg made a statement like this, the Family Research Council forced him to quickly apologize, though I doubt they will make him do so for this statement.

More interestingly, Sprigg is also on the Board of Directors of PFOX and frequently serves as a spokesperson for the organization.  Since PFOX's mission is to encourage and support "ex-gays," I wonder how the organization feels about Sprigg's assertion that all of its members and activists ought to have been treated like criminals.  

Conservative Action Project: A New Name For the Same Old Right-Wing Agenda

Several months ago, I wrote a post noting the emergence of the new right-wing coalition calling itself that Conservative Action Project. At the time, all that I could figure out about it was that its membership included several Religious Right leaders and it seemed to operate out of the Council for National Policy.

Today, the Washington Post examines the role that new media is playing in shaping and disseminating conservative messaging throughout the right-wing echo chamber and reports that the Conservative Action Project is playing a a key role in that effort through the weekly meetings hosted by the Family Research Council:

Inside the Beltway, much of it is fueled by the Conservative Action Project (CAP), a new group of conservative leaders chaired by Reagan-era attorney general Edwin Meese III. CAP, whose influential memos "for the movement" circulate on Capitol Hill, is an offshoot of the Council for National Policy, a highly secretive organization of conservative leaders and donors.

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At 7:30 a.m., members of the Conservative Action Project gather at the Family Research Council, a social conservative group.

CAP grew out of a series of meetings of conservatives, determined to engineer a political comeback, in the weeks after Obama's election. One took place during a Council for National Policy meeting at a D.C. hotel, conservatives said. The secretive council was formed in the early 1980s to coordinate what was then called the "New Right."

Key players in CAP, members said, include Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway; Greg Mueller, president of CRC Public Relations; and former congressman David M. McIntosh (R-Ind.). Its only paid staff member is Patrick Pizzella, an official in the George W. Bush administration, who works out of the Council for National Policy offices.

Among CAP's projects was supporting the Health Care Freedom Coalition, whose more than 50 economic and social conservative groups quietly built health-care opposition, CAP members said. The coalition is a spinoff of FreedomWorks, the D.C.-based group that works extensively with tea-party activists.

CAP also worked unsuccessfully to defeat David F. Hamilton, Obama's first appellate judicial nominee. A Nov. 9 CAP memo calling Hamilton "an ideologue first and a jurist second" helped trigger blog blasts from Erickson and an anti-Hamilton speech at the conservative Federalist Society by Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Judiciary Committee Republican.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Family Research Council is seeking signatures for a petition opposing efforts to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
  • Self-proclaimed King of the Tea Partiers Dick Armey tells Michael Steele that he has to gain their trust by proving his bona fides on fiscal issues.
  • Gov. Tim Pawlenty's PAC took in $1.3 million in its first few months.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann has $1 million in the bank for her re-election bid.
  • Religious Right activists are holding a prayer vigil outside of CBS headquarters in support of Focus on the Family's anti-choice Super Bowl ad.
  • Finally, will Sarah Palin still be attending the National Tea Party Convention, even though all the other political leaders have dropped out?  You betcha.

Janet Jenkins on Nightline

As we noted yesterday, the Janet Jenkins/Lisa Miller story was featured on "Nightline" last night, and while Liberty Counsel still refuses to comment, "Nightline" did manage to get Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, to go on the record about it, though he did so in his capacity as a spokesperson for PFOX:

Armey Partners With Stupid, Lazy Demagogues

It was just the other day that I was noting that Mike Huckabee, who had long been identified with the socially conservative wing of the movement, had suddenly jumped on the Tea Party bandwagon.

But for those who need more proof that tea party activism has become the driving force of the entire right-wing movement, look no further than fact that the Family Research Council is hosting an event next week featuring several tea party groups

On Tuesday, February 2 at 8 p.m. EST, Family Research Council's headquarters will be the host site for a special webcast, State of the Union, Voice of the People. This live webcast, one week after the President's address, will provide a voice to the American people and an opportunity for them to give their own State of the Union response. Family Research Council is partnering with TVTownhall.com and eight leading national conservative organizations that represent a combined membership estimated to be over 15 million Americans.

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Organizations joining Family Research Council include THE New Voice, the Institute for Liberty, Media Research Center, Let Freedom Ring, Americans for Prosperity, Concerned Women for America, TEA Party Patriots and Freedomworks.

The inclusion of Freedomworks is especially telling.  While the organization has been at the forefront of the tea party activism, it has long had a rather icy relationshyip with the Religious Right.  Back in 2006, right around the time Republicans lost control of Congress, Freedomworks' chairman Dick Armey had this to say about the socially conservative wing of the party: 

"[James] Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies. I pray devoutly every day, but being a Christian is no excuse for being stupid. There's a high demagoguery coefficient to issues like prayer in schools. Demagoguery doesn't work unless it's dumb, shallow as water on a plate. These issues are easy for the intellectually lazy and can appeal to a large demographic. These issues become bigger than life, largely because they're easy. There ain't no thinking."

That set off a round of attacks and counter attacks between Dobson's supporters and Armey that eventually involved FRC's Tony Perkins.  It continued into 2008, when Armey even attacked Perkins outright and questioned his conservatism.

Tea party activism is so entirely driving the right-wing movement at the moment that the most influential Religious Right organization is willing to co-host an event with a group lead by a man who publicly and repeatedly insulted them as stupid, shallow demagogues just to get in on the action.

If that doesn't tell you just where the Religious Right fits in to the conservative movement, I don't know what does.

Religious Right Vows to Fight Effort to "Sexualize the Military"

In his State of the Union Address last night, President Obama pledged to "work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are" and Religious Right groups wasted no time in pledging to fight his "sexualize the military":

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to President Obama's first State of the Union Address:

"At a time of enormous economic challenge, two on-going wars in which Americans are fighting and increased terrorist threats to Americans at home, President Obama seems untethered from that reality as he called on Congress to force the military to allow open homosexuality. As a veteran of the Marine Corps, the timing of the President's call in the midst of two wars shows that he is willing to jeopardize our nation's security to advance the agenda of the radical homosexual lobby.

"The military is a warrior culture for a reason: Our service members wear the uniform to fight and win wars, not serve as liberal social policy guinea pigs. The sexual environment the President is seeking to impose upon the young men and women who serve this country is the antithesis of the successful warfighting culture and as such should be rejected.

While Rob Schenck doesn't seem to realize that gays are already serving in the military

Come ‘on, let’s be grown ups. There’s a reason the military doesn’t have men and women showering together. Please don’t dismiss this one as a childish vestige of a now distant Victorian past. The fact is you don’t want people around you in a shower that are erotically stimulated by your naked body. Now, I may be betraying my naïve ignorance here about how gay people get excited, but none of my gay acquaintances have ever said it works terribly different for them then it does for straights. The site of an attractive nude body probably does for gays what it does for straights. (Unless, of course, you are gifted with a disinterest in sex, period. That’s another matter.) For most of us, testosterone, estrogen and libido are forward moving forces that need at least a modicum of external controls, including segregated showering and dressing spaces.

I’ve purposely left until last the most incendiary element of this State of the Union attack on personal, moral, social and religious sensibilities—its affect on our relations with the Muslim world. When I participated in my first face-to-face formal dialogue between Christian and Muslim leaders in an Islamic country, I was asked at the start, “Do you accept homosexuality?” Homosexuality is a deal-breaker for the vast majority of Muslims. I know, we don’t want to kowtow to oppressive religions, no matter how many adherents they have, but, again, if we’re looking to solve problems, this is not the way to do it.

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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

Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 11/07/2012, 6:03pm
Election Day was a lousy day for the Religious Right. But movement leaders have been quick to assert that they are not to blame, pointing fingers variously at Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney, the unknown waiter who recorded Romney’s dismissive “47 percent” remarks, and the strong turnout of young voters and people of color. Religious Right leaders had spent four years attacking Obama an enemy of faith, freedom, God, and America, only to see him re-elected in an Electoral College landslide. They had warned that defeating him might be a last chance to forestall God’s... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 11/07/2012, 2:20pm
A despondent Tony Perkins hosted the Family Research Council’s post-election special “Election 2012: Aftermath & Aftershocks,” which featured Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep-elect. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Derek McCoy of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, Jim Garlow and FRC Vice President Tom McClusky. The group suffered a huge blow as marriage equality won victories in four states and their effort to oust a pro-equality Iowa justice failed, in addition, FRC’s Faith Family and Freedom Fund invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid Todd Akin, who lost in a landslide... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 11/06/2012, 2:00pm
Kirk Cameron told his fellow anti-Obama activists Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association that Christians must use the election to “hold back the flood of moral and spiritual evil that has been pouring into the country and give moms and dads and grandparents the opportunity to begin rebuilding morality and spirituality.” Wildmon added that Obama must be defeated for “freedom to reign.” Perkins, who once claimed Obama voters must “repent,” described a conversation he had with prominent conservative... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 11/02/2012, 4:31pm
Ralph Reed declares that that the entire presidential race "can now be boiled down to two key counties" in Ohio. William Owens is outraged by an ad urging African Americans to vote in favor of marriage equality in Maryland. The Family Research Council is out with a new ad urging people to vote against President Obama ... because of Dan Savage? Glenn Beck says media outlets are sitting on incriminating emails regarding the Libya attack in order to protect President Obama and that if they aren't released, he will "expose them." Finally, Penny... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 10/30/2012, 3:25pm
Today, Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon welcomed Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn onto their "AFA Today" radio program to discuss the open letter she recently wrote to President Obama expressing her outrage over the "offensive [and] repulsive" campaign ad featuring HBO's Lena Dunham. Like Blackburn, both Wildmon and Perkins were deeply offended and disappointed by the ad, but were not shocked by it because what can you really expect from a party that "booed God." Perkins said the ad was just the latest example of the Democratic Party treating women as "sex... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 10/30/2012, 2:08pm
Recently Jerry Boykin, the Family Research Council's Executive Vice President, appeared on "The John Ankerberg Show" where the two spent most of the interview discussing Iran and Israel, but eventually turning to the upcoming election with Ankerberg asking Boykin why it was important for Christians to vote, which prompted Boykin to reply that he gets "angry and frustrated with Christians who don't vote" because it shows that they don't care about giving members of our military a "Commander in Chief that cares about them:" MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 10/30/2012, 10:30am
The Family Research Council is organizing another Religious Right bus tour to bolster Todd Akin’s campaign for Missouri against Sen. Claire McCaskill. The “Repeal and Replace McCaskill Tour” will feature prominent conservative figures like Mike Huckabee, Tony Perkins and Phyllis Schlafly and lesser-known activists like Stephen Broden. The Faith, Family, Freedom Fund, a super PAC associated with Family Research Council Action, is bringing a statewide bus tour through Missouri, October 28th - November 2nd, with one clear message: Senator Claire McCaskill’s... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 10/25/2012, 4:29pm
Colin Powell has again endorsed Barack Obama which, of course, means he "is a man without honor." Well, this is quite the "scoop" from CBN's David Brody!  FRC prays that "the U.S. Supreme Court will rule DOMA constitutional, affirming the authority of the states and the U.S. Congress to hold fast the historic definition of marriage." On a related note, what is the deal with this video FRC posted that compares gay marriage to drug abuse and pedophilia? The National Organization for Marriage posted the exact same video. Peter... MORE >