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06/19/2012

Game on, Tony Perkins! FRC leader attempts to smear me, draws more attention to his own smears

by Jeremy Hooper

Exodus International, Focus on the Family, the Southern Baptist Convention, and U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) have all criticized Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council for awarding the unbelievably incendiary Ron Baity with FRC's top award. So what has Tony Perkins now done? Well, in typical fashion, he has attacked the messenger. Namely: He has attacked a messenger named Jeremy Hooper. And you know what? Jeremy Hooper will not stand for that!

First the setup. In a letter clearly meant to quiet criticism of the Baity award, Tony begins like this:

For the last 8 years at our annual Watchmen on the Wall briefing we have recognized one pastor for displaying the self-sacrifice and courage required to be a true Watchman. Past recipients have included Dr. Alec Rowlands, Dr. Laurence White, Pastor Bob Emrich, Pastor Jack Hibbs, Dr. Jim Garlow, Bishop Harry Jackson, and Dr. Henry Blackaby. This year the award was given to Dr. Ron Baity.

Dr. Baity is a pastor in North Carolina who has rallied Christians in his state to defend public prayers in the name of Jesus and for nearly a decade worked tirelessly with other pastors and conservative policy makers to get a marriage amendment through the state legislature and onto the ballot. The tenacity of Dr. Baity and the other leaders paid off when North Carolina became the 30th state to amend their constitution protecting marriage (Additionally, Hawaii allows their legislature to decide). That's not the end of the story.

Dr. Baity, like many of the other pastors, has been attacked, threatened and maligned for his stand. The latest attack is a Daily Beast article, which cites comments of Dr. Baity's, some of which were embellished and lifted out of context, from a pro-homosexual blog. I should note the same site does the same with statements that I have made.

Okay, so in case you haven't guessed—I am that nameless blogger. Nameless, because Tony, like most "pro-family" types, is so lacking in confidence and/or fortitude that he will never actually link to the countless, fully sourced things I have written about either Ron Baity or himself. If he did link to the things I have written, then his readers would find tons of verbatim, from-the-mouth audio, video, and text that has come directly from pen or lips. But no, no—Tony would prefer to defame my character in order to defend his and Ron's indefensible bodies of work. So I become this big, bad blogger type who "embellishes" and "lifts out of context," even though my content is always fully sourced (often linking back to FRC's own properties). So typical of the "values" movement to lie through their teeth.

Right, so then Tony tries to "explain" Baity's words and heart. It's quite outrageous, really:

The weekend after presenting Dr. Baity with the Watchman Award I received an email from a ministry leader quoting one of the homosexual blogs posts and demanding that FRC rescind the award to Dr. Baity. The statements, as they appeared, were concerning, but realizing the source and knowing Dr. Baity, we sought more information, including the text of his sermons from which the quotes/statements were lifted. Before our offices reopened this self-described Christian ministry sent out a press release publicly attacking FRC and Dr. Baity.

Here are examples of how Dr. Baity's statements were cast into the worst possible light in the blog:

Blog: Claims gay people are not "normal"

Dr. Baity actually said: "God says that two men that come together in a so-called Civil Union, or domestic partnership, or so-called 'marriage,' God said that is strange flesh. It is not normal. I want you to understand something, it's not normal for two men to want to spend all their time together, that's not normal. The normal thing is what the Bible says, that a man shall leave his parents, and be joined unto his wife."

Blog: Claims accepting gay people would make society "more filthy"

Dr. Baity actually said:"…Spiritual drought, not only in our state, but there's a spiritual drought in this country, and uh, it's disturbing. But allowing something that God calls an abomination to come on board, and utterly confound the marriage concept as established by God is totally unacceptable, and we must come along and hold up a standard and say 'look, our house is not as clean as it ought to be, but we don't want to make it more filthy by accepting something that God says is wrong.'"

Blog: Implies that gay people are worse than maggots

After describing a litany of sex acts promoted in The Little Black Book - Queer in the 21st Century, Dr. Baity commented: "I can't believe the perverseness of two men or two women wanting to slobber over each other in that kind of relationship. That's worse than sick. I don't even think maggots would do that."

It is important that as pastors and Christian leaders be very careful and thoughtful about the words we use, especially when it comes to emotionally charged issues like homosexuality. We must speak out of a redemptive heart, meaning we speak the truth desiring the hearers come to the truth. But we can never back away from the truth simply because there might be those who reject, mock and ridicule the message and/or the messenger.

Dr. Baity, like the Watchmen before him, was not recognized with the Watchman Award based upon his misstatements. He was given the award for his example of standing for the truth and for his 42 years in the ministry that has seen hundreds come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, including those who had been a part of the homosexual lifestyle. I don't agree with Dr. Baity's choice of words or analogies in some cases. I would have chosen my words more carefully, and Dr. Baity has indicated as such:

"I find it a sad thing that my words against homosexuality have been taken out of context and so terribly misrepresented. I cannot apologize for preaching what the Word of God clearly teaches (i.e., homosexual behavior is a sin).

"If it were possible for me to rephrase my words to be in a manner in which the truth would not have been so easily misconstrued, I would do so. I apologize for any of my words that might have distracted from God's Word. However, truth in any format often causes offense.

"Going forward, I will continue to stand for Biblical truth and will continue to strive to communicate these truths with His love."

I can't speak for other Christian ministries, but I can speak for this one. As long as I am at FRC, no pastor in America who stands for biblical truth, and attempts to do so in a Christ-like manner, will stand alone, or be abandoned when they are attacked.

Standing (Eph. 6:13),

Tony Perkins
President
Family Research Council

[SOURCE: Tony Perkins letter to pastors]

I don't even know where to begin with this really. For one, I have posted countless more Baity clips than the ones that Tony references. Here are just some of them:

- Directly compares gay people to murderers:

- Wants to "save" gay people so they will "quit being homos":

- Claims gay people are embracing a "learned lifestyle," regardless of what science says:

- Claims gay people are promoting "perversion" in schools; says kids who join pro-LGBT clubs should "set down in the middle of next week":


- Says the LGBT community wants to use their "lifestyles" to "recruit" others towards the "urban renewal program" experienced by Sodom & Gomorrah, since gay peoples' "pleasure in doing evil" is "the one sin in the Bible that causes God to act swiftly":

- Says gays and gay marriage are signing America's "death warrant":

- Says pedophilia and bestiality are next:

- Says we were smarter when homosexuality was prosecuted:

-Warns of the "depraved gray matter" of the gay community:

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- Says of LGBT activists: "Since they cannot produce they must recruit young people to their perverted, warped agenda. One cannot think of anything more nauseating, debased, lewd and immoral than recruiting precious young people into such shameful conduct."

- Claims that if "a generation endorses same-sex marriage, a generation will be the last generation on the face of the Earth" (see at :25)

And so on and so forth. Are those all taken out of context too, Tony?

For good measure, here are the three clips that Tony attempts to "explain":

- Implies that gay people are worse than maggots:

- Claims gay people are not "normal":

Personally, I think they're all pretty darn clear. If I knew that Tony Perkins demanded all of the clips (which were all initially linked with the full sermon audio, btw) had to be footnoted and coupled with associated punditry in order to be contextual, then I certainly would have complied with his high bar. But the truth is, Tony would have said I'm taking Baity out of context no matter what I posted, because that is his game. He and his ilk love to dish, dish, dish—they just can't take it when it comes back to them! They loathe both more than their own incendiary words, presented back to them verbatim.

To Tony Perkins, I say: BRING IT, TOUGH GUY! The more attention you call to someone like Ron Baity, the more onus that is placed upon your organization and your own rhetoric. You talk like this and I win.

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**Oh, and get ready, buddy, because I am about to dig into every single piece of audio that Ron Baity has every committed to mp3. That's a promise.

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