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08/16/2012

'Oh, and Tony Perkins and Pete Sprigg are friends'— Erick Erickson demonstrates everything wrong with this debate

by Jeremy Hooper

In response to tweets he made that attempted to lay blame at the doors of groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center for yesterday's incident at FRC, the Human Rights Campaign's Fred Sainz sent links to Red State blogger Erick Erickson. These links, from GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project, detail just a few of the words that Peter Sprigg and Tony Perkins, FRC's top two voices, have directed at LGBT people. These words include suggestions that gays should be criminalized and exported, that gay kids try suicide because they know they are "abnormal," that liken LGBT advocacy to terrorism, and much, much more. See links here:

http://www.glaad.org/cap/tony-perkins
http://www.glaad.org/cap/peter-sprigg

So how does Erickson respond? Well, he spills a lot of words, none of which address what Sainz sent to him. He then again attacks SPLC. And then he closes out with this line: "Oh, and Tony Perkins and Pete Sprigg are friends."

In a nutshell, Erick Erickson, the conservative thought leader that Joe Scarborough tells me he is, just summed up every thing that is wrong about this debate. Who knows if he even opened the GLAAD CAP links and thought critically about what FRC staffers so routinely say about LGBT people? What I do know, for sure, is that he didn't dare acknowledge any of it. Instead, he just acted like FRC is a fairly engaged group who advocates for "values." And of course he rounded it all out by referencing personal friendships. Piece here:

Human Rights Campaign Maintains Family Research Council is a “Hate Group” [Red State]

Egregious. And even worse for a pundit: anti-intellectual.

Peter and Tony might be friends. I say all the time that many, many people who fight my rights daily are very nice people who would surely make for lovely dinner company. I have, in fact, broken bread with several of my political opponents. But that friendliness changes nothing. What we care about is what these people say about us ON A DAILY BASIS! That is what matters here. That is the body of fact that remains, even as we all step up to condemn yesterday's violence!

This is the kind of stuff FRC says about us:

"Who do you think is ultimately behind the efforts to advance the radical homosexual agenda, indoctrinate our children, and ruin our military, now? Who's behind the efforts to get God out of government, Christ out of culture, and faith out of public life? Who's behind it? Well, I think we've got a pretty clear answer. [laughter] The Devil is behind it! So, the real enemy…it's not the poor, deluded souls who are advancing these ungodly agendas—they're simply pawns in the hands of their malevolent master. They need to be set free by the grace of God in the person of Jesus Christ—amen?…As you think about this battle in which we're engaged, you need to think about who the real enemy is that we're fighting against here, and that is, the fact is, we're up against the organized, mobilized, demonized forces of hell itself. And really, to the victor goes the prize of the America our children will inherit, so this is a fight we dare not lose. Amen?"

"Again, the evil day is not coming to America—the evil day is here….We are engaged in a great spiritual war with the forces of evil directed by the prince of darkness himself."


(from a strategy speech delivered at a 2012 Concerned Women For America conference)

If the far-right wants to help us highlight this incendiary rhetoric and get beyond it, then good. I know some of them would like to get beyond it too!

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