Tony Perkins Explains
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 01:28:03 PM EST
When pundit Kirsten Powers published an op-ed in USA Today arguing that the recent effort in Kansas to allow businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people, is an update of Jim Crow -- the Christian Right Twitterverse went wild.

While each such episode commands a lot of attention, it is part of a larger story of a deep and probably lasting social and political change in the U.S. -- one that one way or another will shape the public lives of everyone reading these words. This may seem like a bold thing to say -- something that has not been validated by the punditocracy -- but give it time.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council took to Twitter in response to Powers, to remind us of the importance of the Declaration as a source of conservative Christian resistance to the advance of LGTBQ equality and reproductive justice.

@ManhattanDec explains why Christians refuse to render their conscience to Caesar or sexual idols: @KirstenPowers10

Tony Perkins (@tperkins) February 19, 2014

Last year in The Public Eye I discussed the growing and deepening alliance between the Protestant evangelical Christian Right as we have historically known it and the American Roman Catholic Bishops. In that essay I acknowledged that while there has always been a certain Catholic presence in the uneasy religiopolitical movement we call the Christian Right, it was not until The Manhattan Declaration of 2009, that more than a handful of Catholic prelates would ever stand shoulder to political shoulder with the leaders of evangelicalism and the likes of Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council. But for this, at least 50 Catholic bishops, archbishops and cardinals signed-up, including Archbishop (soon to be Cardinal) Timothy Dolan of New York. It was, I think, a transformational moment in the history of the U.S. and indeed, in the history of Christianity. But like many major shifts, it is not likely to be widely understood until it is so well established that most of us think things were always that way.

Here is an excerpt from Christian Right Seeks Renewal in Deepening Catholic-Protestant Alliance:

The document is a statement of shared principles and a common approach to politics and public policy for the foreseeable future. It focuses on three interrelated values: "sanctity of life," "traditional marriage," and "religious freedom." Invoking Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," it calls for "resistance to the point of civil disobedience against any legislation that might implicate their churches or charities in abortion, embryo-destructive research or same-sex marriage."

Robert P. George, a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University and prominent Roman Catholic neoconservative, originated the Declaration.7 George is also the founder and guiding light of a number of related institutions, including the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the Witherspoon Institute, the American Principles Project, and American Principles in Action. He recruited the late evangelical leader Charles Colson and Beeson Divinity School Dean Timothy George as co-authors, and he later helped recruit the document's original 150 signatories (most of whom were men), subtly in the style of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

Some are among the best-known Christian Right leaders in the United States. These include top Catholic prelates and evangelical leaders, notably Archbishop (now Cardinal) Timothy Dolan of New York and Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. Signatories also include more politically oriented figures such as Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage; and Alan Sears, president of the Alliance Defending Freedom. There are also half a dozen leaders of the low-profile New Apostolic Reformation, including Revs. Harry Jackson, Joseph Mattera, and Samuel Rodriguez, each of whom is an "apostle" overseeing a large network of Neocharismatic churches.  Primarily via the website devoted to the Declaration, more than 540,000 people have joined the original signers, generating a massive email list that may prove useful to the Christian Right.

For all the Declarationists' ecumenical diversity, the document's significance is perhaps best epitomized by Albert Mohler, who, a decade earlier, had declared his abhorrence of Roman Catholicism on Larry King Live. In 2009, Mohler explained his rationale for signing the Declaration, though he does not usually sign manifestos, and he noted that this exception should not be taken as a sign that his views on Roman Catholic doctrine had changed. But, he wrote, "we are facing an inevitable and culture-determining decision on the three issues centrally identified in this statement. I also believe that we will experience a significant loss of Christian churches, denominations, and institutions in this process. There is every good reason to believe that the freedom to conduct Christian ministry according to Christian conviction is being subverted and denied before our eyes."

The concluding paragraph of the Declaration's first section is explicit in saying that its purpose is to unify and mobilize the Christian Right: "We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right--and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation--to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence."

The Christian Right sees the times as dire indeed. The Manhattan Declaration's integrated approach to abortion, marriage, and religious liberty is designed to unite key leaders of major factions around common arguments and to function as a catalyst for political renewal.

Indeed, the Declaration's three-part formula emerged as a central feature of the movement in the 2012 election season. It was taken up by the Roman Catholic bishops, as well as the major political organizations of the traditional, evangelically oriented Christian Right. The Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, used it in his convention acceptance speech. And it promises to be the way that the Christian Right frames its common platform for the foreseeable future.

with income inequality, greed, graft, and lack of empathy as they are with what other people do with their lady-/man-parts! They might even do some good in the world instead of heaping misery on it.

by phatkhat on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 12:16:44 AM EST

If all those who believe that abortion is OK do so, those who don't will win as they will have more kids in the long run. so watch out, you!

by rdrjames on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:18:13 AM EST
You committed a logical error. People can and do use other means of birth control.

by NancyP on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 01:17:31 PM EST

It's past time letting any dignity be accorded by use of terms like "Christian right" or "evangelical Christians," et al.  Call tem all what they are which is 'cultic sectarians' and more on. They do NOT deserve the time or space they take up. And lacking any affiliation to  or observance of the "social contract" established so well by Thomas Jefferson & James Madison, among others then and 'to follow' up through the present, stop listening or responding to their clamor when they're most willing to 'take' when otherwise they contribute the total absence of responsibility.

by achbird65 on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 10:59:34 AM EST
We will continue to write about things we think are interesting and important, and use clear and fair descriptive terms and analysis when we do.  

by Frederick Clarkson on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:43:52 PM EST
and balanced!   "Cultic sectarian"  is clear and descriptive. Interesting & descriptive too. And it stands up for analysis.

by achbird65 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:19:24 AM EST
can be turned into an epithet. And epithets are not terms of analysis.  

People know when you are pissing on their leg. They also know its a lie when you say its just raining.

by Frederick Clarkson on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 04:39:29 AM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Progressives Are Taking Up Religious Freedom Day
In the heat of our political moment, we sometimes don't see how our future connects deeply to our past. But the Christian Right does......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Freedom vs. Fear: Restricting Religious Liberty Isn't The Answer To Terrorism
Last week, a community meeting was held in Spotsylvania County, Va., to discuss plans by a group of Muslims who want to relocate and......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Christian Right Electoral Hegemony, Rising in the States
This is a revised, updated and retitled post I did on the long term trend of significant political progress of the Christian Right and......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Who's Been Naughty, Who's Been Nice?: The AFA Explains It All For You
If you're like me, you've been sitting around anxiously awaiting the release of the American Family Association's "Naughty or Nice" list of retailers for......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
U.S. Department Of Judeo-Christian Values?: Kasich Proposes New Religious Propaganda Arm
According to some polls, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination is Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who believes that ancient Egyptians built......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
Scripture Stories: Religious Right Claims About The `Aitken Bible' Don't Hold Up
Tomorrow several conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives plan to hold a public reading of the Aitken Bible on the East Front......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
The Tallest Statue in the Nation of an Individual
Many a day I drove on I 45 past the statue of Sam Houston.  The monument to the statesman is the largest in the......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Honoring Everyone Who Served: A Veterans Day Reflection
In 1952, a private group sought permission from government officials to erect a large cross atop Mt. Soledad near San Diego. They did it......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
One Million Maniacs?: AFA Attacks Magazine For Highlighting Family Headed By Same-Sex Couple
I have a daughter named Claire who is 21 years old and working her first job in journalism since graduating from college. I'm awfully......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
What Catholic Neo-Confederates Don't Want You To Know About Secession
During the summer of 2013 I wrote several posts about Catholic Neo-Confederates. My purpose was to explain the activities of libertarians such as Tom......
By Frank Cocozzelli (10 comments)
Sex And Common Sense: Texas Public School Reconsiders `Chastity' Speaker
A self-appointed expert on sex and relationships won't speak at an El Paso, Texas, high school - for now.Jason Evert runs an outfit called......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Two Trials that Impacted American Religion
Silent movie, Birth of a Nation, became the first blockbuster screen phenomena.  Civil Rights groups deplored the production and sought to ban it.  It......
By wilkyjr (3 comments)
The Francis Trajectory.
The recent dust-up over the meeting between Pope Francis and culture warrior Kim Davis has caused the Pontiff's stock to fall somewhat among liberals.......
By Frank Cocozzelli (11 comments)
Taking Care Of Business: Religious Right Group Plans `Religious Liberty' Ratings For Companies
My inbox this morning contained a press release from the American Family Association (AFA). The Tupelo, Miss.-based Religious Right group has exciting news: It......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Quest for Utopia
Surfing through old videos on youtube I found some interesting tapes of H. L. Hunt.  Certainly one of the original founders of the modern......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 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 (10 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 (1 comment)
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 (2 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 (2 comments)
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 (2 comments)
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 (4 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)

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.