Making a Federal Case Out of Perkins’ Rescinded Invitation – Literally

Remember last week when I noted that Religious Right activists and a few members of Congress were trying to make a federal case out of the fact that Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was uninvited to a private prayer luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base?

I wasn’t exaggerating:

One of the top Republicans in the House of Representatives wants answers from Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The Brody File has obtained a letter sent from House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (and Congressman Roy Blunt) to Defense Secretary Robert Gates asking him to explain why the Air Force rescinded a prayer luncheon invitation to conservative Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

Click here to read the entire letter … :

“This action troubles us a great deal, not only in this particular case, but because of the implications for anyone who might disagree with the Administration in the future.”

“What is clear from this letter (from the letter sent by Lt. Col. Gary Bertsch to Tony Perkins) is the establishment of a new litmus test: if one disagree with the President, that person is not welcome to participate in military activities.”

“The chilling impact such a standard could have on the free speech of private citizens and those who serve in our armed forces-guaranteeing precisely these types of freedoms-cannot be allowed to stand.”

“Specifically, is it the policy of the Air Force and/or other branches of the armed services to allow only those individuals who agree with the President on all matters of policy to participate in ministry events they host?”