Religious Freedom: May 16, 2018

Dear Mr. VP,

Everywhere I turn, there you are.

As in, oh hey, Tony Perkins being named to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom? There you are! You did that!

First, what is the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom? The website says it is “…an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world, dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.”

And who is Tony Perkins? Here’s some of his thoughts on the LGBT community:

“Some homosexuals may recognize intuitively that their same-sex attractions are abnormal — yet they have been told by the homosexual movement, and their allies in the media and the educational establishment, that they are ‘born gay’ and can never change…This — and not society’s disapproval — may create a sense of despair that can lead to suicide.”

“The videos are titled ‘It Gets Better.’ They are aimed at persuading kids that although they’ll face struggles and perhaps bullying for ‘coming out’ as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better. … It’s disgusting. And it’s part of a concerted effort to persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that lifestyle.”

“The marriage debate “is literally about the entire culture: it’s about the rule of law, it’s about the country, it’s about our future, it’s about redefining the curriculum in our schools, it’s about driving a wedge between parent and child, it’s about the loss of religious freedom, it’s about the inability to be who we are as a people.”

That last quote feels particularly important, as it clearly indicates Tony Perkins hates gay people, but believes religious freedom is actually about a freedom to discriminate against people you hate. Not someone I really want representing me on an international commission on religious freedom, personally, but you must be super jazzed about it.

Interestingly enough, Tony Perkins doesn’t much like Muslims either. And given he’s now on a commission charged with monitoring religious freedom abroad, I’m more than a little concerned by the fact that he’s an Islamophobe.

“Those who practice Islam in its entirety, it’s not just a religion. It’s an economic system, it’s a judicial system, and it is a military – a military system. And it is – it has Shariah law that you’ve heard about and those things will tear and destroy the fabric of a democracy. So we have to be very clear about our laws and restrain those things that would harm the whole. We are a nation – let me be very clear about this. We are a nation that was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, that’s the foundation of our nation, not Islam, but the Judeo-Christian God.”

Sounds to me like Tony Perkins doesn’t even think we should be giving people religious freedom in our own country, and now he’s also supposed to be protecting it everywhere else in the world, too. Huh! Doesn’t really seem like the right guy for the job to me.

Cherries on the top involve the fact that he once paid for a robo-call by David Duke (yeah, the guy who used to be in charge of the Klan) and the Southern Poverty Law Center designated his organization a hate group.

I bet y’all get along really well.

D

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