Last week we noted that an episode involving the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins having his invitation to speak at a prayer luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base rescinded was big news on right-wing outlets, with Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association even going so far as to declare it proof that the Constitution is on the verge of collapse and likening it to Dred Scott and McCarthyism.
The issue continues to outrage the Right and appears as if it is becoming one of those stories that right-wing media outlets will work covering diligently until they can blow it up into an all out “scandal .”
For instance, CNS News has a long article noting that conservative activists are livid about it which quotes no less than six separate leaders voicing their outrate, including Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center (which just so happens to be the parent organization of CNSNews,) Ron Robinson of Young Americans for Freedom, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, Alfred Regnery of Regnery Publishing, Elaine Donnell of the Center for Military Readiness, and Gary Bauer of American Values.
But it also quotes several Republican members of Congress, including Rep. Mike Pence who vows that Republicans will “be making appropriate inquiries” about the decision
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told CNSNews.com that he’s “disappointed” the Air Force would “un-invite” Perkins because of his positions.
“These actions are out of line with the caution that the heads of the military branches have expressed with regards to this policy,” Inhofe said.
“Each one of them has indicated that it would be best for the Pentagon to finish its review before addressing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in a manner that disrupts readiness and recruitment. I wonder if Tony Perkins would have received the same treatment if his views on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had matched those of President Obama.”
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, was outraged.
“I think many members (of Congress) are outraged,” Kingston told CNSNews.com. “The mainstream media hasn’t given this as much coverage as they would if they agreed with Perkins. This is something that I think that people will be asking a lot of questions–a harbinger of what may be out there to come, you know, if on a high-profile captain like Tony Perkins, they reject him. They may (start) doing it to everybody else.”
Kingston said he thought the Air Force was “using” the incident to send a message to its own chaplains about what they could and could not say from the pulpit.
“(W)hat they were doing is using him to drive a message–that your brand of sermon is no longer welcome in the U.S. military,” he said.
He added: “I think it probably does go beyond the Air Force. They knew there would be a backlash to this, and I think they had a design about that: ‘OK, you know, we want other (chaplains) to understand and pipe down on your personal views on this biblical view, and you believe it, just keep it mellow; we want watered-down messages.’”
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference, said he would be looking into the incident more deeply.
“I hold Tony Perkins in the highest regard, as do pro-family Americans across this country,” Pence said. “And I would hope that the change in the speaking roster had nothing to do with his stated positions on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. But we’ll be making appropriate inquiries,” Pence said.