People for the American Way reports that yesterday, Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins said that “legal immigration is a big problem” because “people that have come in from Muslim Countries” may “threaten our country from within.”
Listen courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
Apparently, Perkins thinks the military can’t protect us because he also claimed that the U.S. military has “turned…into a parade that looks like the bar scene in Star Wars.” Which doesn’t sound all that bad, when you think about it. That looked like a tough crowd:
Surprise, surprise. They’ve destroyed religious freedom in our military, they’ve turned it into a parade that looks like the bar scene in Star Wars and they are wondering why they can’t recruit people. It’s beyond words.
Maybe Perkins thought it was a gay bar, or he saw a bunch of people who weren’t white males, and assumed they must all be, well, you know, inferior genetic stock.
It’s an ethnic nationalist thing Hitler would understand.
Of course, religious freedom in the military was not destroyed. What happened in truth is that religious freedom was preserved in the military, which was never intended to be, after all, a crusading army out of Islamic nightmares.
Of course, we already have people threatening our country from within. Including Tony Perkins. A few immigrants hardly seem a problem for a country that has withstood a sustained, decades-long assault on the United States Constitution by the Religious Right.
Liberals and progressives tend not to take Tony Perkins very seriously, but as PFAW points out, “2016 Republican candidates have extensively praised and courted Tony Perkins in the past”:
- Jeb Bush said earlier this year: “I have a lot of respect for Tony and his group. I talk to him, I have an open dialogue with him.”
- Ted Cruz’s go-to dinner date in D.C. is Perkins.
- Bobby Jindal appointed Perkins to a seat on Louisiana’s Commission on Law Enforcement.
- Rick Santorum said that FRC’s message “was one that was very much consonant with mine.”
- Scott Walker is in regular contact with Perkins.
- Almost all of the Republican presidential candidates have appeared on Perkins’ radio show and/or spoken at Family Research Council events.
That these Republicans take their cue from Perkins and others like him, liberals and progressives should take Perkins more seriously. Just look at some of the extreme positions he holds. PFAW’s Right Wing Watch has previously reported that Perkins:
- Praised a Uganda bill that would have condemned gays and lesbians to death as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.”
- Warned that LGBT rights advocates will launch a holocaust against Christians, placing those that oppose same-sex marriage into “boxcars.”
- Suggested that Christian clergy who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious liberties as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”
- Warned that lawmakers who voted to repeal the military ban on openly gay service members would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands.”
Of course, at this point, it is difficult to tell if all this is not a case of the tale wagging the dog, or if, at least, the Republican Party’s extremism is not self-sustaining, with people like Perkins serving more as cheerleaders. Or perhaps one feeds off the other, in an endless cycle of extremism.
Certainly, the anomaly of Jon Huntsman shows what happens to those who lean toward moderate stances in the GOP, and it is certainly significant that there are none like him as we head into 2016, while there are plenty who sound just like Tony Perkins.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.