Tony Perkins Goes to Congress

A Senate committee held a hearing this week on religious freedom around the world and they invited a Who’s Who of Christian right leaders to deliver testimony. Tony Perkins argued that Obama’s opposition to the Hobby Lobby case leads to beheading of Christians abroad. Seriously.

“The lack of priority on religious freedom that we have placed here domestically in our policies does send a message internationally,” he said. “I think there is a correlation between…the growing intolerance toward religious freedom here at home, i.e. in the marketplace, is giving rise to persecution abroad. And the reason I say that is when we no longer make it a priority domestically, that sends a message to bad actors abroad that America no longer puts a high priority on religious freedom, so we don’t have to worry about them acting against us or moving against us based on that.”

“I mean, you look at the case of the HHS mandate, the Hobby Lobby case, which had to go all the way to the Supreme Court in order to exercise their religious freedom under the Religious Freedom Act,” he added.

That was too much even for Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel to the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, who responded that while he agreed with Perkins that the contraception coverage mandate represented “religious discrimination,” it was “not on the same level as religious persecution where people are having their throats slit, being crucified or being beheaded.”

And then there was this whopper:

Earlier in his testimony, Perkins also claimed that the Obama administration had left open the position of ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom for “36 months,” sending “a message that we did not put a priority as an administration, as a country on religious freedom.” The position was indeed left open for a little over two years at the start of President Obama’s first term…because then-Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican who now runs the Heritage Foundation, placed a hold on Obama’s first nominee for the job.

Why would Congress invite this moron to testify? Oh, right. Republicans.

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  • colnago80

    This is the same Congress that considers Viscount Moncton a go to guy on climate change.

  • Al Dente

    Perkins, you can have all the religious freedom you want. What we object to is when you try to force your particular flavor of religion on the rest of us.

  • John Pieret

    Why would Congress invite this moron to testify?

    For the same reason they go on his and other wingnut radio programs. Because they can osculate the loony right’s rear end without actually expending any effort.

  • jimmiraybob

    Every time that someone uses the phrase “religious freedom,” it should be immediately pointed out that the more fundamental principle at stake is freedom of conscience and a subsequent freedom of expression. The term “religious freedom” is automatically privileging and exclusionary of non-theists.

  • raven

    Just typical pandering to the christofascists. Tony Perkins does a great evil impersonation.

    Amanda Marcotte Alternet

    http://www.alternet.org/belief/white-christian-america-decline-why-young-people-are-sick-conservative-religion a few quotes.

    White Christians are now a minority in 19 states.

    In other words, the past few years have created a self-perpetuating cycle: Christian conservatives, in a panic over changing demographics, start cracking down. In reaction, more people give up on religion. That causes the Christian right to panic more and crack down more. In the end, Christian conservatives are going to hasten their own demise by trying to save themselves. Not that any of us should be crying for them.

    Amanda Marcotte, a few days ago, summed up what I’ve been saying for years.

    1. US xianity is on the skids and projected to go below 50% in a few decades.

    2. The Oogedy Boogedy xians are getting more vicious. They are like cornered rats, lashing out anyway they can.

    Their solution to their declining numbers is…more hate. Which is partly why they are declining in the first place.

    PS Watch out for those cornered rats though. Rat bites can be dangerous.

    PPS For anyone who wants to know more, her article is good and not too long.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Perkins also claimed that the Obama administration had left open the position of ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom for “36 months,”…The position was indeed left open for a little over two years at the start of President Obama’s first term…because then-Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican who now runs the Heritage Foundation, placed a hold on Obama’s first nominee for the job.

    Of course Demint blocked Obama’s nominee. He had to, on account of the nominee being Obama’s.

    Still, Perkins is correct that Obama left the position open. If Obama really wanted his nominee to pass, he shouldn’t have nominated anyone.

  • Sastra

    “… And the reason I say that is when we no longer make it a priority domestically, that sends a message to bad actors abroad that America no longer puts a high priority on religious freedom, so we don’t have to worry about them acting against us or moving against us based on that.”

    I’m trying to figure this one out. Perkins thinks that religious fanatics are more likely to kill people who are not in their religion if the victims come from countries which are secular rather than countries which also see themselves as God’s Own People? This is confused. I think the idea is that secular countries either don’t value human life or won’t retaliate in frenzied fury when a citizen is murdered. Make the religious fanatics think they’re dealing with another group of religious fanatics and whoa — they’ll back off.

    Given that ISIS is apparently trying to start a Holy War with all infidels — including Muslims who don’t follow True Islam — I don’t think it matters to them whether or not they’re treading on people who come from a country which values the “freedom” to reject True Islam.

  • theguy

    “And the reason I say that is when we no longer make it a priority domestically”

    Religious freedom does not allow a for-profit business to discriminate. Even so, the churches can still discriminate. So stop whining, Shitkins.

    “that sends a message to bad actors abroad that America no longer puts a high priority on religious freedom”

    Apparently it doesn’t send a “message to bad actors” domestically, like Shitkin’s white supremacist and neo-Nazi friends who he paid a shitload of money to.

    “so we don’t have to worry about them acting against us or moving against us based on that.”

    Never mind the literally thousands of airstrikes and drone strikes against ISIS; they don’t have to fear us!

    It bears repeating as many times as possible: The Fascist “Research” Council does not believe in freedom of religion or freedom of speech. They want to limit religious freedom to Christians only. They don’t believe in a freedom to be Muslim or atheist, nor a freedom to blaspheme. They’ve lobbied for laws in other countries censoring pro-gay speech.

  • dan4

    Can’t you apply Perkins’ “logic” to gay rights and ISIS (“Fighting against gays in the military, employment protections for homosexuals, etc. gives comfort to ISIS to throw them off of buildings or behead them”).

  • anubisprime

    raven @ 5

    Good article….and seems to mirror what the situation is for main stream and evangelical quarters.

    It really must appear to be the literal ‘end times’ for the bunnies…they all seem to be hopping to the radical…some might say desperate…beat.

    The dire warnings of catastrophic consequences and gods wrath are almost daily proclamations these days.

    And all sorts of extreme measures are being touted and applied for as if it is their last gasp at retaining and ‘saving’ themselves from inevitable decay, collapse and irrelevance.

    That in its own way is the clue to the actual state of play in the fundies minds…and it is not just the extreme right wing it seems to be creeping ever so rapidly into mainstream delusion.

    Read a snippet today that tells its own story…I find it amusing, RC fans might not!

    panic stations…or pragmatic admittance of defeat

  • grumpyoldfart

    Most of the politicians on the committee will be delighted with Perkins testimony. That’s just the sort of thing they want to hear. (Politicians enjoy playing the martyr just as much as the mugs in the pews.)

  • marcus

    MO @ 6 Thank you for explaining that so succinctly. Understandment is mine!

  • 4ozofreason

    @9 Of course you can, but the Liar Tony Perkins doesn’t mind gay people being beheaded. He probably wishes he could get away with it here.