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Tony Perkins dished it, doesn't want to take it

by Jeremy Hooper

Just hours after President Obama gave the State of the Union, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins wrote the following words, which were obviously (and characteristically) meant to undermine the commander-in-chief (and gay people) in the most jugular-ripping way possible:

At a time of enormous economic challenge, two on-going wars in which Americans are fighting and increased terrorist threats to Americans at home, President Obama seems untethered from that reality as he called on Congress to force the military to allow open homosexuality. As a veteran of the Marine Frclogo-1Corps, the timing of the President’s call in the midst of two wars shows that he is willing to jeopardize our nation’s security to advance the agenda of the radical homosexual lobby.

“The military is a warrior culture for a reason: Our service members wear the uniform to fight and win wars, not serve as liberal social policy guinea pigs. The sexual environment the President is seeking to impose upon the young men and women who serve this country is the antithesis of the successful warfighting culture and as such should be rejected.

“Tonight the President also proposed expanding the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit which would only benefit families if: both parents work, a single parent works, or one parent works and the other is in school. In other words, it completely discriminates against families with stay-at-home parents, who wouldn’t see a penny from this plan. The President’s plan further drives a wedge between parents and children as it would encourage parents to place their children in government approved day-care rather than encouraging one parent to stay home and personally care for their off-spring.

“This new socialized child care proposal comes on the heels of a proposed major marriage tax penalty included within the President’s health care bills. A tax penalty on married couples only serves to discourage couples from marrying while encouraging societal instability through cohabitation and divorce.

“If this administration cared about getting families back on their feet, it would double or triple the across-the-board child tax credit and let parents decide how to spend the money. For many, it may be all the incentive they need to stay home and care for their kids.

“We applaud Governor Bob McDonnell for calling for a land in which ‘innocent human life is protected.’ There is no more innocent life than that which is carried in a mother’s womb, and the Governor’s call is not only right in itself but is also clearly in line with the convictions of the American people, who overwhelmingly oppose the President’s proposal to use our hard earned dollars to pay for abortion coverage in his health reform plan.

“Family Research Council pledges to work with our allies and the thousands of families we represent to oppose the President’s plans to socialize child care, sexualize the military, and penalize married couples through a government takeover of the U.S. health care system.
” [Source]

So why do we bring these comments back to light? Well, because Tony himself has brought them back in the news. Yet true to "pro-family" form, he has no intent of taking responsibility for his hostility, instead blaming those who took offense.

The story: Tony had been invited to speak at an event at Andrews Air force Base. However, after the Andrews' Chaplains office saw the above missive, they rescinded the invitation. Their logic: That they had to be inclusive, and had to respect their commander-in-chief. According to Tony, they told him via a letter that they found his words ‘incompatible with men and women who serve in the military at the direction of the commander-in-chief," and therefore found his intended speech to be equally so. Which is perfectly fair. Because while we all have a right to speak, we do not have the right to retain public speaking engagements!

Well fast forward to martyrdom. Tony is going around to any outlet that will let him (CNS News, Wash. Times, Focus on the Family, etc.), claiming that he's a victim who did nothing more than defend national security. And most egregiously: He's seriously suggesting that his free speech has been stifled, all while freely speaking on any media outlet that will have him! This from CBN:

Of course in none of these forums will you hear Tony own up to the full expanse of comments that suggest our president is "untethered to reality" of our national security situation, and is "willing to jeopardize our nation’s security to advance the agenda of the radical homosexual lobby." Instead you will hear non-stop victimization. Because Tony is an ordained minister and veteran, dontcha know? This of course makes any and every one of his writings and actions immune for scrutiny or rebuke. Right? [::writer rolls eyes so sarcastically, he'd surely be disinvited from speaking at the Mothers Against Ocular Snark luncheon::]

The bottom line: Tony Perkins has just as much right to speak today as he did before the State of the Union. But he does not have the right to an invitation! None of us do. It's time for the "pro-fams" to start owning up to the constant barrage of hurtful and deceitful rhetoric that they churn out on an hourly basis! If they are bold enough to suggest that our president cares not about our nation's security, then they should be prepared if/when those who respect the commander-in-chief care not about the security of Tony Perkins' luncheon date!

**MORE: Check out this CNS piece, where folks like the Catholic League's Bill Donahue are weighing in:

While the most immediate issue is the blacklisting of Perkins, the larger issue is the ‘chilling effect’ this decision will have on the free speech and religious liberty rights of all those who serve in the military, especially clergymen."
Air Force Retracted Invitation for Conservative Leader to Speak at Prayer Luncheon After He Criticized Obama's Position on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' [CNS]

Weird, since it's the Chaplains who made the decision! Why and why did reality become these folks' Kryptonite?!

**Oh, and let's not forget: This is the same Family Research Council whose own Peter Sprigg called for gay people's criminalization as part of a post-State of the Union DADT debate:

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Your thoughts

"The sexual environment the President is seeking to impose upon the young men and women who serve this country is the antithesis of the successful warfighting culture and as such should be rejected."

This is one of the dumbest statements I've ever read.

Posted by: KZ | Feb 26, 2010 10:29:04 AM

Step 1) Ridiculous rhetoric

Step 2) Reaction

Step 3) Martyrdom

Wash, rinse, repeat. I'd pay to see a documentary of wingnuts following the script to a T, over and over and over again.

Posted by: DN | Feb 26, 2010 11:08:09 AM

I can't even be mad at the anti-gay comments until I manage to come to terms with how he wants stay-at-home parents to receive a tax credit for purchasing child care.
Tax credits. They're not just ~free government money.~

Posted by: Courtney | Feb 26, 2010 11:30:53 AM

Oh I know, Courtney. Obviously this site stays focused on LGBT, for obvious reasons. But there's plenty more to chew on!

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 26, 2010 11:39:52 AM

I'm with you KZ. Stupid is as stupid does. Perkins should be grateful he doesn't have to make an ass of himself in front of the President, right?

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Feb 26, 2010 12:49:38 PM

He is a GD moron. I can't wait 'til DADT is repealed and the military DOESN'T collapse. I hope like, a month after they announce it, we miraculously beat the Taliban and win both wars, just so we can shove it in TP's face (and so everyone else can home safely, obviously lol). He just doesn't get it.

Also, a secondary pet peeve:

Chances are, most "stay at home parents" don't need the tax credits. And if they do, they are probably on welfare and SHOULD get a job. I'm sorry, I respect parents who do EVERYTHING they can to give their families a better life, even if it means working 2 or 3 jobs and not getting to the "soccer practice" that Perkins thinks makes a family. Encouraging people to NOT WORK is not a good idea, period. My mother lost her husband when I was 16, and if she didn't have a job, we all would have been screwed. Having her own income saved us, made it possible for me to go to college because my dad didn't really leave us a lot of anything. It also gave her a reason to go on, a reason to get up in the morning, to continue living. Encouraging women to stay home is dangerous if not done correctly. It's always, always, about balance. It is entirely possible to have children AND work. I am a product of that.

Posted by: Stef | Feb 26, 2010 2:16:23 PM

I never understood the idea that homosexuality (or the technical term, "gayness") was detrimental to the warrior culture. The Samurai had a very long tradition of homosexuality within their ranks. The Romans went as far as to encourage homosexuality within their ranks.

From a historical perspective, hot man-on-man action has a venerable history within warrior culture.

Just sayin', ya know...

Posted by: Sam | Feb 26, 2010 4:40:32 PM

Seriously, who the fuck are they kidding? How many people do you think marry or have kids for the tax benefits?

Posted by: VaJeena | Feb 26, 2010 5:20:40 PM

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