Tony Perkins Claims Gay Pride Flag in Afghanistan Endangers Americans

Gay Pride Flag in AfghanistanTony Perkins of the hate group known as the Family Research Council is upset that a gay pride flag was run up a flagpole in Afghanistan. He says it endangers American soldiers. Posting on the FRC site he had this complaint to make:

The Obama administration doesn’t typically run its agenda up the flagpole, but at a military base in Afghanistan, the soldiers did it for them. There, in the dusty desert of war, an Army outpost saluted the colors of the homosexual lobby by flying a rainbow flag in place of Old Glory. Back home in America, a woman named Nicole Jodice posted the picture on Facebook, praising her husband for promoting, not the stars, but these stripes.

Somehow, President Obama is personally responsible for this gay flag and somehow, because Nicole Jodice posted the photo of the flag raising and praised her husband for it, she is anti-American because, I guess, she should have been praising the Stars and Stripes instead? One has nothing to do with the other – praising what the gay pride flag means does not mean that one denigrates or holds any less dear what the Stars and Stripes mean.

But Perkins isn’t through with his false equivalencies and he shows that it’s never the wrong time to put on the tinfoil hat:

And the troops aren’t the only ones feeling the whiplash of the military’s new policy. Just three weeks after President Obama publicly apologized for offending the Islamic community with the accidental Koran burning, this base is pledging its allegiance to an act that is nearly as incendiary. Where is the concern now for angering Afghan Muslims, who vehemently oppose homosexuality? The issue is as much an issue of military security as it is of religious morality. After February’s accident with the Korans, American lives were lost. What price will we pay because some want to use the military to show their gay pride?

Accidental “Koran” burning? Yes, I’m sure when soldiers toss the Qur’an on a fire that it’s accidental. Wonder what Tony would say if a Bible “accidentally” got burnt? I mean, I know that’s a fire pit and I know that’s a Bible but when I threw it in the pit I didn’t really expect it to burn. Makes all kinds of sense, right? Go ahead: in the interest of science this is one we can test – repeatedly. Send your test results to Tony.

And pledging allegiance… So…if American soldiers raise a flag, they are pledging allegiance to what it stands for? What does this flag say then, Tony Perkins?

Marine SS Flag in Afghanistan

Or is this one okay because the Marines are also boasting a U.S. flag? It’s okay, perhaps, to pledge allegiance to National Socialist values if you are also pledging allegiance to American values?

The two, hopefully, are mutually incompatible, though episodes like Abu Ghraib (and Perkins’ own attitudes) make us wonder. To my knowledge, Perkins was not outraged by this display of National Socialist values by a unit of Marine snipers of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. Apparently, this does not endanger American soldiers. We fought against Nazi ideology once – now we’re embracing it? Thank you, but we’ve had enough Nazi-like behavior from our troops in Afghanistan.

Perkins goes from his false equivalencies to outright deceit as he builds his presentation of Obama as a Muslim-loving, Christian-hating gay-sympathizer:

The decision to fly the flag is even more of a head-scratcher when you consider the Defense Department’s obvious scorn for the Christian cross. Last November, in Afghanistan’s Camp Marmal, soldiers were ordered to tear down a cross that marked the chapel’s entrance because it was, in Commander William Speaks’s words, “a distinctly religious symbol.” The camp’s occupants were stunned. “[S]eeing the cross is a daily reminder of my faith and what Jesus accomplished for me.” Yet the President, who couldn’t apologize for the Koran burning fast enough, never uttered a word.

Tony Perkins links the Politico article in which the “tear down a cross” episode is related without bothering to mention that the article also explains that the cross was against existing U.S. Army regulations and not an Obama-directed, politically motivated attack on Perkin’s avowed religion – he simply presents Commander Speak’s words as an “opinion”. Here is what Politico actually had to say:

Pentagon spokesperson Commander William Speaks confirmed the cross was removed and told POLITICO, “The removal was, in fact, in accordance with Army regulations” and pointed out that the Army chaplain manual prohibits permanent display of religious symbols.

“Distinctive religious symbols, such as crosses… will not be affixed or displayed permanently on the chapel interior, exterior or grounds,” reads the manual.

If harm has been done to America’s cause in Afghanistan it has been done by overt displays of “Christian” piety by the U.S. military, from open proselytizing to Qur’an burning to the handing out of Bibles and Marine mass baptisms. Essentially, Perkins wants the army to serve as a crusading Christian force and is upset to the extent regulations still forbid that behavior. It isn’t the gay pride flag that reflects badly on our country but Marines urinating on enemy dead or flying Nazi flags representing a criminal organization, the SS, the guardians not only of Hitler himself but of National Socialist ideology.

Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) had it right with regards the SS flag: “That flag symbolizes the vile ideology of Hitlerian fascism and sends a menacing signal to religious minorities within the United States armed forces.” But Tony Perkins, who himself heads a hate group, has it completely wrong when it comes to a gay pride flag raised by a heterosexual soldier. But then, without use of false equivalencies and either/or fallacies, the position of the Religious Right would evaporate and collapse under the weight of its own abused logic.

The insistence that they are a persecuted minority even while they are crusading throughout the armed forces and through the armed forces throughout the world, while legislating their religion  in violation of the U.S. Constitution in community after community, in state after state and at the federal level, is laughable.

To claim that rules do apply to them just as they apply to the rest of us – a Thor’s hammer on a chaplain’s tent would also have been against regulations – is not an attack on them, on Christianity or even on Tony Perkins’ pseudo-Christianity. It is simply an acknowledgment that according to the laws of the land, no religion is better than any other religion and that we must all obey the same rules.

It is time for Tony Perkins to quit saluting the flag of hate (see a full accounting here), because that is most definitely not what the Stars and Stripes are about, and his own allegiances are all too plain.

16 Replies to “Tony Perkins Claims Gay Pride Flag in Afghanistan Endangers Americans”

  1. Huh, and here I was thinking that being IN Afghanistan is what was endangering American lives, but it turns out it’s actually the gay pride flag. Silly me.

  2. @Paul: Good point. Also, I’m pretty sure the fact that its a U.S ARMY BASE already makes it a high priority target. Does Perkins really think that Al Queada/the Taliban/whoever is thinking “Whoa…I was totally OK with that U.S military base being there but NOW THEY’VE GONE TOO FAR!”

  3. Tony Perkins fails to mention that while on the surface the Afghans say they are against homosexuality, it runs rampant there with men and young boys.

    Tony Perkins waves the flag as an excuse to attack the president. More hatred and Meaningless drivel From someone who pretends to be a family Oriented organization

  4. Maybe i don’t know enough about this matter, but why was it necessary to run the gay pride flag up the flagpole instead of the flag of the United States of America? WHY?

    I’m no Tony Perkins fan because he always seems to have a gripe or beef of some sort. But I’m no fan of dumb sht either.

    Hey, I’m just a stupid 20 year military veteran and I sometimes think of these kinds of questions. Somebody help me understand this?

  5. …”without use of false equivalencies and either/or fallacies, the position of the Religious Right would evaporate and collapse under the weight of its own abused logic…”

    But, yer’ missin’ the point; conspiracy theories are the bread and butter position of these folks! Geo-political facts and history are so complex, so time consuming to “read”, plus, all that sin’alay’in’ conversation instead of screamin’n’hollarin’ don’t make no sense unless tied to a cherry-picked part of the bible!

    (nice work as always, Hraf)

  6. Perkins was seated next to Santorum in that hate filled anti Muslim “get out of this country if you don’t like our Christen ways” speech that was given by that preacher a few weeks ago. If I am not incorrect, that is the same church that Perkins attends.
    The mis-truths that this moron spews forth are beyond reproach.
    The far right fringe fundamentalist Christen element has high jacked the political conversation in this country and has framed it as an attack on “their” right to practice “their” religion.

    Perkins has a PHD on how to do this and get it into the main stream media. To selective edit the conversation and make it “The Obama administration doesn’t typically run its agenda up the flagpole, but at a military base in Afghanistan, the soldiers did it for them” is a shinning example of manipulating words to make an outrageous lie a truth.

    The danger in all of this is that there is an underbelly of far right groups, beginning with ALEC, along with Perkins and an alliance of other fringe groups that is insidiously creeping into our legislative process and getting laws passed, one at a time, that slowly whittle away basic civil rights that were once the backbone of this country. A wonderful example of this is the “Stand your ground” Law.

    Use to be (When I was in law enforcement) that if a person was retreating, you didn’t use deadly force. Another policy was “use that force which is necessary” to subdue the subject. It meant you couldn’t use a gun in a fist fight. This is NOT the case now.

    I use to think that Perkins and his ilk were a minority, but I was wrong. He, and his ilk are now CONTROLLING the GOP conversation. He and his ilk are now the main stream talking points of the GOP, not the fringe element. The GOP is becoming more the party of “My way or…MY WAY ONLY!!”, and this is very dangerous for a democracy. There is no room left for debate or compromise, only dogma, and only Christen far right Bible “wrath of God” dogma at that. That’s not what this country was founded on, and unless there is an organized effort, like this political blog, to counter it, we will all lose our basic freedoms of expression and right to practice our own religious beliefs, just to name a few, in the long run. Like the movies say, “Be afraid, be very afraid”…of the well organized fringe fundamentalist Christen far far right…it’s winning, and that ain’t good!!!

  7. The only danger to America or its troops, is Tony Perkins and his ilk. Perkins and his sycophants are the ultimate expression of pure evil. As far as Afghanistan, or Iraq for that matter, is concerned, Bush and the “Christianized” military “crusade” to kill Muslims and demean their religion is responsible for endangering troops; not a flag.

  8. Considering how much control the various fundie faction have control over everything over there, how many Afganis are even aware that the rainbow flag is the symbol of gay pride? How many could have to ability to even try to figure out what it means?

  9. I could understand them being upset by the gay flag if they had went with the reasoning that Muslims might be offended by the gayness but that’s not what they went with. Besides. Most of the people in Afghanistan have never heard what happened on 911 let alone what a gay pride flag is. It’s harmless. The lie that they flew it INSTEAD of the Stars and Stripes is just Perkins trying to stir up his readers. Of course you all know that. The SS flag is just cool looking. You got to admit. The Nazis had the coolest vehicles and uniforms. They were a public relations machine.

  10. Probably very few despite Perkins’ intense desire to inform them! I’m guessing not many TVs in isolated mountain villages, however. And it would never occur to Perkins to think that somebody might understand a rainbow in a different cultural context.

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