Tony Perkins' Family Research Council appears to be cementing its "hate group" status
Bill Berkowitz printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 11:38:48 AM EST
By embracing the president of Uganda on the cusp of the country passing a venomous "Anti-Homosexuality Bill," Tony Perkins' Family Research Council is cementing its "hate group" status.

A recent edition of The Family Research Council's "Tony Perkins' Washington Update" pointed out that "During the 50th anniversary of his country's independence, President Yoweri Museveni stood before the world and publicly led Uganda in a prayer of personal and national repentance." Perkins praised Musevani for his remarks condemning "everything from sexual immorality to pride, bitterness and rebellion," and for "taking the very powerful step of dedicating Uganda to God."

Musevani's speech comes at a time when the Ugandan Parliament is on the cusp of passing what is commonly known as the "Anti-Homosexuality Bill." According to news reports, the legislation would impose some of the harshest criminal penalties in the world for Ugandan gay people. (For a clause-by-clause review of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill see http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2012/11/26/51301.)

Perkins' newsletter supportively noted that Rev. Scott Lively, the head of the virulently anti-gay Abiding Truth Ministries and who some credit with helping initiate the Ugandan legislation, called the Museveni prayer "a model for all Christian leaders in the world." Lively, whose organization is listed as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is also the author of "The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party."

"Tony Perkins description of Uganda's president as a man leading 'a nation prospered by God' because of its attacks on gay people is despicable," Mark Potok, the editor-in-chief of the SPLC's quarterly journal, the "Intelligence Report" told me in an email.

SPLC pins "hate group" label on FRC

In 2010, when the Family Research Council (FRC) was named a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a watchdog organization that monitors hate groups, Perkins, the president of the religious right's premier Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group, howled in protest, accusing the SPLC of "character assassination."

In mid-December of that year, the FRC sponsored a full-page ad headlined "Start Debating / Stop Hating" that was placed in the print editions of Politico and the Washington Examiner, and signed onto by 150 or so conservative leaders, including 22 members of Congress. The ad condemned the SPLC for its "intolerance" and for trying to shut down informed discussion of policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts."

The ad implored supporters to "Tell the radical Left it is time to stop spreading hateful rhetoric attacking individuals and organizations merely for expressing ideas with which they disagree. Our debates can and must remain civil - but they must never be suppressed through personal assaults that aim only to malign an opponent's character."

Watergate felon, the late  Charles Colson, jumped to the FRC's defense, claiming that the watchdog group was itself "playing the hate card."  

A piece for renewamerica.com, written by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association - also listed by the SPLC as a "hate group" - was titled "Southern Poverty Law Center belongs on its own 'hate group' list."

In August of this year, after Floyd Lee Corkins, a 28-year-old man who had volunteered for a center that serves gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, shot a security guard at the headquarters of the FRC, Perkins went on Fox and accused the SPLC of inciting Corkins' action.

Perkins told Bill O'Reilly: "Now, Bill, let me say: the gunman, Floyd Corkins, pulled the trigger yesterday. He is responsible for shooting my colleague and my friend. But, let me say, I believe that the Southern Poverty Law Center is responsible for creating the environment that led to this."

Perkins added: "Because they disagree with our positions on marriage and certain religious issues, [they] have labeled us a `hate group', and that gives license to lunatics like this to come in with a gun and shoot innocent people."

As I noted earlier this year in a piece titled Right-Wing Hypocrisy on Parade in Wake of Shooting at FRC Headquarters: "To my knowledge, Perkins has never called for anyone on the right -- whether they be anti-abortion groups, or right wing radio or television talk-show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy, or Pat Robertson -- to be held accountable for their hate-charged rhetoric after attacks on abortion clinics, hate crimes against gays, or right-wing acts of domestic terrorism."

Perkins on Uganda's anti-gay initiatives

Two years ago, on his "Washington Watch Daily Radio Commentary," Perkins stated: "Does civility require the acceptance of all behavior? ....At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama took the podium calling for greater civility in Washington, which in my opinion is a laudable goal. However, his comments quickly turned to his preoccupation with defending homosexuality. The President criticized Ugandan leaders for considering enhance penalties for crimes related to homosexuality.

"The press has widely mischaracterized the law which calls for the death penalty, not for homosexual behavior which is already a crime, but for acts such as intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS, or preying upon vulnerable individuals such as children, which has been a problem in Uganda for years because the large number of orphans. The President said that "We may disagree about gay marriage, "but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are." Mr. President as long as you characterize efforts to uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable, as attacking people, civility will continue to evade us."

Although it is unclear as to what Perkins' level of support for Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill is currently, he recently tweeted: "American liberals are upset that Ugandan Pres is leading his nation in repentance--afraid of a modern example of a nation prospered by God?"

"The reality is that the man [Uganda's president] Perkins so admires is working to pass a law that would harshly criminalize homosexual conduct and may well, before it is actually adopted, include a death penalty provision," the SPLC's Mark Potok pointed out. "Sadly, considering that Perkins is perfectly willing to traffic in falsehoods including his claim that pedophilia is 'a homosexual problem,' the latest ugly blast from the Family Research Council isn't all that much of a surprise."




Display:
Let me be the first to say: "What a horrible group of people!"  I had a niece who was stationed in Uganda as a missionary for a year and she has spoken approvingly about the murder of people who were accused of being witches, because "they really are dangerous" and "they could cause storms or diseases" by displeasing god.

This is what happens when kids are homeschooled and fed a steady diet of religious craziness.   I remember when this young woman was a little girl of about five and she ran screaming to her mother (my sister) because she was afraid of witches. (She was an incredibly fearful child who was always sure that she was being stalked by evil spirits and such.)  My sister "calmed her" by letting her know that it was okay, most of the witches had been burned at the stake hundreds of years ago, and the church still protects good people from evil people by "smiting them."  

Of course, my family doesn't know that I am Wiccan.  Fortunately, I have yet to burst into flames.

by coralsea on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:42:12 PM EST

must be be both a trial and an embarrassment. It's the sort of thing I would have expected to see where I live now rather than the area where I was born. If that kind of thing is being promulgated so near the Second City, it bodes ill for the rest of the country.

by Rey Mohammed on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:48:16 PM EST
Parent


Mr. Berkowitz, I have read somewhere that American politicians have influenced this law in Uganda.  Can you expand on that for me?  Or point me to a reliable link?  Thanks, sd

by deatons on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 11:17:34 PM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Thus It Was Prophesied in 2012: Ted Cruz Will Be VP, Or a Supreme Court Justice
This is a transcript, of pastor Larry Huch and Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, from an appearance Rafael Cruz made at......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Crusin with Cruz
Ted Cruz threw his hat into the ring, announcing his bid for President in the worship center at Jerry Falwell's University last night.  Mother......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Ted Cruz: Born From The Heart of the Dominionist Christian Right
[welcome, Thom Hartmann Show fans, here is a short introduction to my past coverage on Ted Cruz and the dominionist Christian right] Did you......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Coming Soon to Utah: An International Festival of Bigotry
An international network of some of the world's most vitriolic Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed orthodox religious leaders is holding its ninth global conference......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Bumpy Lane: Religious Right Operative Seeks To Build (Another) Church-Based Political Machine
Here's what the country doesn't need right now: another zealot aiming to mobilize right-wing pastors to become a force in electoral politics.Yet that's what......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Team Jeb Bush's Liaison to Religious Right Is Hardcore Culture Warrior
In 2008, Senator John McCain's campaign recognized that he needed to shore up his credentials with the Religious Right, which was skeptical about his......
By Bill Berkowitz (2 comments)
American ISIS: Christian Reconstructionists And `Biblical Law' In America
Every now and then, while scanning the day's news, I come across a headline that's hard to believe.Like this one: "California lawyer proposes ballot......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Will our Prisons Overflow with Christians this Summer?
Many leaders of the Christian Right, from megachurch pastors like Rick Warren to the top prelates in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Say You Want A Christian Nation?: Let's Try This One
Last week an article began circulating on social media claiming that 57 percent of Republicans in a recent poll said they believe Christianity should......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Are The Fundamentalists Winning?
We missed Evolution Weekend, which was held February 13-15 this year.   This worthwhile effort, which began the same year as Talk to Action,......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Mario Cuomo's Memorable Lesson on Challenging the Political Authority of the Church
It is never too late to remember. Here is a reposting of a column I did following the death of former New York Gov.......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
The Legacy of Francis Bellamy
"We assemble here that we, too, may exalt the free school that embodies the American principles of universal enlightenment and equality; the most characteristic......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
The Inquisitional Urge Gets the Better of Bill Donohue (Again)
Bill Donohue is at it again. The Catholic League president went apoplectic over President Obama’s seemingly innocuous comments at the February 5th National Prayer......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
John Dorhauer Recommended to Lead United Church of Christ
I am very pleased to report that John Dorhauer, who joined us early on at Talk to Action has been recommended by a national......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)

Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (9 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (1 comment)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.