Author archives: Tony Perkins

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus joins Tony Perkins on Washington Watch

by Tony Perkins

January 10, 2014

Reince Priebus chair of the Republican National Committee, announced a delay in their annual national meeting in order for members of both the House and Senate to attend the March for Life in Washington DC on January 22nd. This year marks the 41st anniversary of the tragic decision made in Roe v. Wade, the court case legalizing abortion.

Although there have been many applauding this decision by the RNC to delay their national meeting, the applause has been met with its share of criticism. Click here to listen to the entire interview between Tony & RNC Chairman, Reince Priebus.

Losing the Vision of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

by Tony Perkins

April 24, 2012

Are the claims that the Christian faith is being shoved from the public square real or perceived? Carl Anderson, The Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, who came to Washington last week to speak before the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, provided a pretty compelling answer.

Mr. Anderson, who once worked here, in the Reagan White House, delivered an insightful speech noting the incredible story of the new Memorial to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The planners of the newest addition to our National Mall, Anderson reported, worked hard to find quotations from the great Civil Rights champion. These planners etched these quotations in stone. They carefully chose words of this Baptist preacher. They wanted to honor the memory of the man who went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent overthrow of racial segregation in America.

Here are some of the words Dr. King spoke in his lifetime. These quotes come from his Nobel Lecture accepting the Peace Prize in 1964:

Deeply etched in the fiber of our religious tradition is the conviction that men are made in the image of God and that they are souls of infinite metaphysical value, the heirs of a legacy of dignity and worth.

In a dark confused world the kingdom of God may yet reign in the hearts of men.

And, at the award ceremony, Dr. King quoted directly from Scripture, making these words his own:

[In] the First Epistle of Saint John:

Let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyonethat loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and Hislove is perfected in us.

The planners of the King Memorial, Carl Anderson noted, included none of these quotes.

Nor did they include Dr. Kings invocation of the words of Scripture from his 1963 I Have a Dream Speech:

and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

It seems that the planners were very careful to leave out of the tablets any reference to God. This took some doing. Dr. King was first and foremost a Christian minister. Early in his ministry, as the leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Martin Luther King, Jr. pointed out:

I want it to be known throughout Montgomery and throughout this nation that we area Christian people…And we are determined here in Montgomery [Alabama] to work and fight, until justice runs down like water and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Even here, early in his career, Dr. King was quoting from the Prophet Amos.

It must have been hard work for those planners. They had to search high and low to find quotes from Dr. King that did not include God, that did not quote from the Bible. But find them they did.

Carl Anderson is surely right to point all this out. The Knights of Columbus successfully petitioned Congress as long ago as 1954 to include Under God in the Pledge of Allegiance. Anderson pointed out to the aggressive atheizers of our day that you can walk across the Mall to the Jefferson Memorial and there find engraved these words:

The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.

Life and Liberty are indeed the gift of God. And these are never secure in America when we have sandblasted all references to His handiwork.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was never ashamed to associate his liberating work with the unfolding of GodsProvidencefor us. He believed until his dying day that he had been to the Mountain. From the beginning, he put his movement for justice under God, never apart from God. It is tragic that the planners of his Memorial found it necessary to misrepresent his lifes work and in so doing try to deceive millions of Americans who will come after us.

All such atheizing efforts will ultimately fail. You can go to the Library of Congress and learn why. There, engraved in words of gold, it says: The heavens declare the Glory of God. The firmament sheweth His handiwork. And as the Apostle Paul makes clear this evidence of the invisible attributes of God leave all of us without excuse.

Of Minas and Men: more thoughts on Jesus and the Occupy Movement

by Tony Perkins

December 12, 2011

Thanks to theologian and author Scot McKnight for linking to my recent article on CNN and to the women at Her*menutics for tweeting on it. My article was related to Jesus’ command to occupy until he returns as contrasted with the nebulous goals and demands of the Occupy movement. The text I explored was Jesus’ parable of Ten Minas from Luke 19.

At the outset, it should be stated that the provocative title, “Jesus was a free marketer, not an Occupier” wasn’t chosen by me or my team at FRC. CNN changed the title which was originally “Jesus: Occupy Wall Street.” CNN’s title doesn’t capture the nature of my argument, which was simply that given the Biblical affirmation of work from Genesis through Revelation, Jesus’ use of a market-based system of remuneration in this parable is instructive. Unlike some of those currently “occupying” around the nation, Jesus did not condemn the distribution of wealth based on initiative and diligence.

During my recent appearance on CNN I reiterated that parables use common activity to express a spiritual message. In this particular parable, Jesus is telling his followers that the kingdom of God they believed he was going to set up on earth was not going to happen for a while, and he goes on to give instructions on what they should do with their lives until His return. To do this he draws a parallel to certain positive functions of the business world. He says, Occupy until I return. In the Greek the term actually means be engaged in business. This positive portrayal suggests that return based on honest effort is a just outcome.

Of course, this is in no way an endorsement of unethical or illegal activity that some on Wall Street and in business have engaged in. Instead, Jesus’ parable refutes the idea that we will or should all be given the same outcomes regardless of what we do

Friday, Scot McKnight shared via Twitter:

Read K Snodgrass, Stories with Intent. The parable has nothing to do with free enterprise but with kingdom responsibility.”

I agree with McKnight that the spiritual lesson here is primarily about kingdom responsibility. However, implicit in the parable is the idea that merit justifies greater reward a principle essential to free-market capitalism.

Where greed, graft, and abuse have distorted the marketplace and exploited the vulnerable, Christians should rightly be brokenhearted and pursue justice. Yet to advocate, however, a government system which redistributes wealth en masse as a response to the abuses of the few, would mean losing the benefits of free moral agency available in a free market. One need look no further than levels of charitable giving prevalent in America as compared to socialized Western Europe.

The way to remedy exploitation and injustice is not by destroying the free market but repairing those elements of it which need restoration. We cannot change human nature, but we can provide safeguards that restrain the excesses of human evil in the context of economic liberty —- a liberty that promotes prosperity, freedom, and the health and well-being of individuals, families, and society.

Conservatives and Christians Will Not Be Silenced on Homosexuality

by Tony Perkins

March 4, 2011

USA Today contributor Tom Krattenmaker (On gay rights, keep fighting or adapt? USA Today, February 14) wrote recently that we’ve reached a point on gay rights that is similar to that moment in a football game … when you know it’s over even though it’s not overclaiming that social conservatives have already lost on this issue.

It is true that social conservatives suffered a defeat in the vote to repeal the 1993 law against homosexual conduct in the military. (It is also significant that the repeal bill was forced through a lame-duck Congress using desperate maneuvers at the last minute, because they knew that the new Congressthe one that actually represents the contemporary political consensuswould never pass it.)

However, to say that social conservatives should surrender to the forced affirmation and celebration of homosexual conduct, because of a single legislative defeat, is like saying the Green Bay Packers should have forfeited the Super Bowl once the Steelers achieved a first down.

And to walk off the field because the far-left advocacy group the Southern Poverty Law Center throws the hate label at pro-family groups would be like retiring from the sport because one loud-mouthed fan of the opposing team yells, You stink!

The biggest trophy that homosexual activists now seek is the redefinition of marriage. Currently, only five states call same-sex unions marriages, while the other 45 all continue to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. In what sport would a team leading by a score of 45-5 be losing? Furthermore, where the people have decided, 31 out of 31 states have upheld marriage as a male-female union. A 31-game winning streak rarely signals a losing season.

The rest of Krattenmakers argument is as weak as his football analogy, as it totters between ignorance and slander.

Krattenmaker claims that conservative warnings of a threat to religious liberty from same-sex marriage rest merely on fear that Christians do not get to dictate the law of the land. But it is nature (which says that it takes one man and one woman to procreate) and social science (which shows that children do best with a mother and father) that dictate that marriage should be the union of a man and a woman, not Christianity. Yet legalization of same-sex marriage would result in zero tolerance of those who believe in natural marriage, threatening the livelihoods of religious marriage counselors, adoption agencies and educational institutions.

Krattenmaker says that many Americans … live and work with gay people … [and] have family members … [and] people in their lives who really matter to them who are gay. There is no disputing this. He also urges adherence to a foundational Christian principle: Treat others as you wish to be treated. I agree whole-heartedly.

Heres how I would wish to be treated. First and foremost, I would want to be told the truth. Homosexuality is not an identity, as Krattenmaker describes itit is a behavior. There are abundant secular grounds to be concerned about homosexual conduct, such as the physical and mental health problems that are associated with it. These are not fabricated by social conservativesthey are well-documented in the medical literature and have even been summarized by the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.

As to theology, one newly-published book by a liberal theologian cannot overturn two thousand years of Christian sexual ethics. The Bible depicts a wide variety of sexual behaviors, from polygamy to incest to rape, because it is an honest book that shows the truth of human experience. But its references to homosexual conduct, in both the Old and New Testaments, condemn such conduct in every case.

If family members saw that I engaged in behavior that put my physical health at risk, I would expect them to warn me and urge me to stop. If my closest friends believed I was in a harmful relationship, I would want them to tell me, and help me escape it. And if I were falling into sin, I would want my brothers and sisters in Christ to call me to repentance.

What I would not want is to be told soothing falsehoodsthat I was born this way, I can never change and that all my problems are somebody elses fault. Such a message is comforting in the short run, but far from loving in the long run.

We will continue to speak the trutheven hard truths. We will continue to do so in lovethough love must sometimes be tough. There is one thing we will not dowe will not be silent.

Restoring the Cradle of Liberty

by Tony Perkins

January 27, 2011

[The following is a speech delivered by Tony Perkins to the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center’s “Hope Has a Name” Annual Benefit Banquet on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at the Bakersfield First Assembly of God Church, Bakersfield, CA]

As a nation and maybe its in our nature as Americans we like to be the first. Tiny Delaware crows about being the first state to ratify the Constitution. Today its more likely to be the first place you send your credit card payment.

And Bakersfield is no different. I understand that theres been a controversial competition going on between this city and the cities of Fresno and Merced about where the first leg of the states bullet train will be built. I dont know which side of that debate youre on, but wanting to be first just comes naturally to most of us. Were even here at the First Assembly of God.

Its the same way with mottoes. When I use the phrase, Cradle of Liberty, which city in America do you think of? For me, Boston comes to mind. Even a specific place in Boston — Faneuil Hall. Boston has a pretty good claim to the name, of course, dating to before the Revolution.

Yet firsts are not always good things. A few years ago I had the chance to walk most of the Freedom Trail while I was filming some videos in an effort to pass a state marriage amendment in Massachusetts. Massachusettss Supreme Court was the first state supreme court to strike down marriage.

Other competitors exist for the title, Cradle of Liberty. Some residents of New York City have launched an effort to have this designation. New Yorkers wanting to be first can you believe it? Then theres the city two hours southwest of New York, the home of Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Continental Congress, and dozens of other landmarks.

You may remember the phrase Cradle of Liberty from Philadelphia because thats the name adopted by the Boy Scouts Council that lost its meeting place on city land because the Scouts will not admit homosexuals to serve as scout masters.

When you think about it, Philadelphia has a strong claim to be the intellectual birthplace of our nation a political Cradle of Liberty.

Well, we had some news from Philadelphia last week that tells us a great deal about the condition of our land and the state of our liberty. While we have made progress in advancing life, as long as abortionists can continue to carry out their deeds under the cover of government indifference, we remain a nation of broken cradles and shrunken liberty.

Im sure youve seen the headlines. At a place so wrongly named the, Womens Medical Society, a man I cant bring myself to call him a doctor stands accused of killing one of his patients and as many as hundreds of live-born infants. He is formally charged with murdering seven of these children.

Now, were gathered for a banquet this evening and for a celebration of Life of all that the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center does to bring light into the darkness and hope for mothers in need. Because of its work, Hope does indeed have a name.

So I wont dwell too long on the details of what took place in Philadelphia, and what the Grand Jury report says went on in Kermit Gosnells charnel house. And yes, that is their wording: charnel house. But it is important for us to understand the times in which we live and the challenges we must overcome.

Let me read you just one paragraph from the Grand Jurys 281-page report, which details how Gosnell operated by night to kill babies in the sixth and seventh month of pregnancy:

There remained, however, a final difficulty. When you perform late-term abortions by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies. By 24 weeks, most babies born prematurely will survive if they receive appropriate medical care. But that was not what the Womens Medical Society was about. Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them. He didnt call it that. He called it ensuring fetal demise. The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors into the back of the babys neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that snipping.

Ladies and gentlemen, 38 years after the legal crime called Roe v. Wade, this is what has become of one of our Cradles of Liberty. What Gosnell stands accused of doing is nothing short of a total birth abortion. Liberty has become a barbaric license to crush the very cradle and with it our future.

As appalling as all this is, what is more appalling is the number of government officials who knew that this and other kinds of mayhem and fraud - were going on and did nothing about it.

Weve read the New Testament and know how the Lord looks upon the high and mighty who passed by the man who fell among robbers and was beaten within an inch of his life.

In Pennsylvania, a state ranked as having the some of the most pro-life laws in the nation, this house of horrors has operated without interference since 1993. Since 1993. Visitors to the Womens Medical Society reported it to health authorities many times, were told. Gosnell continued to kill human beings and shred all record of their births. No one followed up.

We must demand that officials in Pennsylvania get to the bottom of these crimes. Anyone who buried these citizen reports, just like those who buried or burned the bodies of babies, should be found, fired, and prosecuted under the law.

But ladies and gentlemen, taking these remedial steps will not get us to the root of the problem. The root of the problem is that we as a nation have forgotten our heritage. We have turned our back on God, the God who our Founders knew gave us Life and Liberty, as Thomas Jefferson said, at the same time. And from the beginning of time, in His holy Word, our God has told us that He values life from the instant of its creation in the womb. Why? Because each human being is made in His image.

Tonight I ask you to ponder with me, to reflect for a moment, what God means by a Cradle of Liberty.

I remember seeing a poster years ago that was all about celebrating life and welcoming children. It was not an anti-abortion poster but pro-lifers loved it. It was picture of an African-American boy, two or three years old, standing outside a shack of a house, a cap on his head, suspenders holding up his baggy pants, and a big smile on his face. His parents stood behind him on the porch of the shack, gazing down at their son. The yard and porch were littered with rusted farm tools. A few chickens pointed in all directions. And the caption said, I know Im a somebody, because God doesnt make junk.

This set me to thinking about the cradles in Scripture, and how, almost without fail, Gods message is to look past how the cradle is made, how its worth is measured in human terms, and instead to look inside that cradle to see His wondrous work and find the thing of lasting value.

I turned to the Book of Exodus, chapter 2, verses 1 through 3.

Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaohs daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. This is one of the Hebrew babies, she said. (NIV)

Papyrus, tar and pitch. You wont find a cradle like that at an upscale Baby Boutique. (Nor at the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center, either!) An observer from the Egyptian social register would look at this account of the infant Moses and call it a rags-to-riches story. We know it as something else a slavery- to-freedom story. Were papyrus, tar and pitch a fit resting place for the towering figure of history who would lead the children of Israel to the verge of the Promised Land? Maybe not by mans standard, but in Gods story, yes. Oh, definitely yes.

Flash forward with me to the most famous first resting place in all of human history. The hinge of history. It was a place of straw, crowded with stinking beasts, creviced to the night air. Some cradle.

But laid down there in that foul and unlit quarter was the King of Kings, the son of the living God, the author, lover and fulfiller of our deepest longings. Our truest liberties.

Was this a fit resting place for the figure who towers above all history? Would this impoverished family, far from home, have been seen by the worlds potentates, sitting in their marble palaces, as a couple worthy of their honor, much less their hosannas? Would this family whose son had no place to lay his head would they not have been candidates in the views of the rich and powerful to abandon that child on a windswept hillside? Or leave him to the tender mercies of a false doctor?

Think of poor Joseph. He who could have built a cradle of remarkable beauty had his shop and tools been close at hand, standing there in the dead of night feeling helpless because he had brought his pregnant wife to such a habitation.

Another husband, out on the road, failing to make a reservation.

Was this not a most unpromising beginning?

Yes, and yes again, in the human version of the cradle story. But not in Gods story, not in His perfect plan.

I have a final cradle to call to mind tonight. And rather than just ask you to visualize my meaning, Ive brought some pictures along with me. These are the smiling faces of the children the world knows as Snowflake Babies. Their earthly parents now are men and women who, with the help of the Nightlight Christian Adoptions, reclaimed them from Americas infertility centers.

The cradle of these children was, for months and even years, a stainless steel canister containing liquid nitrogen. Frozen as embryos, suspended, not developing, not dying, they waited. Wanted perhaps, but not now, not yet.

We know that the manger in the Nativity story is sometimes depicted as a cold and forbidding place. But swaddling clothes would be no help at all at the temperature of liquid nitrogen. How cold is that? A tad below negative 320 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, just a little below Minnesota.

We can ask ourselves, who could choose such a cradle? But that is not the proper question. The proper question is, How can God use such a cradle? And in the stories of Scripture and of Snowflake Babies, He has given us an answer of overwhelming warmth.

Tonight you can be a part of spreading the warmth of Gods love by partnering with the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center. Through their work and their love and their faithfulness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in the last year alone, more than 100 babies have been rescued from abortion and their mothers have been rescued from the idea that no one cares.

You know, it was Martin Luther who referred to the Bible as the cradle wherein Christ is laid. What a beautiful image. What a comforting reality. Tonight lets rededicate ourselves to go, time and again, to that cradle, the font of liberty.

And let us pray that our nation will become once more a Cradle of true Liberty. Let us pray that every state and city will soon compete to be the first where the scourge of abortion is no more.

Let us strive to become, maybe for the first time in all of human history, a nation that knows what God can do with even the rudest of cradles. Let us make our real rags-to-riches story the salvation story of leaving the slavery of casual sex and abortion and finding the freedom of a God who does not make junk.

And as we pray let us also work to see the cradle of true liberty restored for all. There is no question in my mind that God is at work in our nation. The question is, will we join Him?

Let us join our hearts and hands in hope that, as Abraham Lincoln said, this nation, under God, will have a new birth of freedom.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

Honduras Day 7

by Tony Perkins

July 14, 2010

Evidence of the political tension in Honduras extends beyond the graffiti that remains from last years political demonstrations. Yesterday we were awakened by local news reports that the airport in Tegucigalpa was being closed for five days because of rioting in the capitol city. Originally we planned to depart Tela this morning for Tegucigalpa; however, our plans quickly changed, and we left Tela yesterday morning to try and obtain a flight out of San Pedro Sula. Upon arrival, we received conflicting reports about what was going on. After contacting the Embassy, we were informed that there was no rioting. The city had experienced torrential rains over the weekend which resulted in flooding and some deaths. The runway at the airport had apparently been damaged, and the airport was closed temporarily for runway repairs. So we spent the night in San Pedro Sula and left at 2:30 a.m. for the trip to Tegucigalpa.

The shipping container remains in customs. With the help of Sen. David Vitters (R-La.) office, we were able to determine that the hold up is over the yet-to-be-assembled bunk beds not being reported as lumber. So the federal agency in charge of wood will have to determine what permit and fee is required. The Honduran infrastructure may be lagging behind us, but its ability to find creative ways to tax is sure on par with our government.

We were able to provide another days worth of medical treatment for the children in the village of Tornabe on Monday. One little girl, who is nine-years-old, came to see the doctors and join us for a church service. She was born with what our doctors said was a correctable birth defeat that caused her feet to turn under. She can only take a few steps by walking on the top of her feet; most of the time her mother carries her. Honduras has public health care, but it is very rudimentary and surgeries like the one this girl would need to correct her feet are nearly nonexistent. My daughter Kendal and she quickly became friends. We are hopeful that we might be able to find an orthopedic surgeon who would treat her.

Once the final disposition of the shipping container is determined we will be sending a small team back to Honduras, hopefully in August, to assemble the beds and distribute the supplies to the children in Tornabe.

A week in Honduras, or most any foreign country for that matter, is a reminder of how blessed we are to live in the United Statesa country that has enjoyed the fruit of a nation with a Christian foundation upon which our ordered liberty was built. It is also a reminder of what America could become if we lose that liberty.

Honduras Day 5

by Tony Perkins

July 12, 2010

This has been such a busy trip that Ive not had time to share details of our outreach. Yesterday, we finished our fifth full day here in Honduras. On Saturday and Sunday our medical team saw children and adults in Tornabe and at our mission church here in Tela.

We joined the congregation at our mission church for a Saturday evening service followed by an authentic Honduran meal. The meal and the fellowship were outstanding. The church has just called a young new pastor, Pastor Gerson David, so we were able to hear him share his heart for reaching the people of Tela with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Last night our team cooked for the folks at Tornabe, and then we joined them for Sunday night service and listened to Pastor Marvin preach. He leads the small church that is host to the outreach to the nearly 100 orphans in Tornabe.

Our progress at the orphanage in Tornabe has been limited because the shipping container which is holding most of our supplies, including the beds for the children, remains tied up in Customs. We are praying that we receive the container before we leave so that we can at least assemble the beds and put them in the rooms that are going to serve as temporary dormitories for the boys and girls.

The lack of supplies has made for an interesting trip as weve had to hunt locally for food and supplies. Ive spent a good portion of each day trying to obtain needed construction items for the church/orphanage and food and supplies for the 30 people on our mission team. Trying to shop for groceries for 30 people here in Tela will give you a much greater appreciation for Wal-Mart and Sams Club!

I now know where every mom and pop grocery store and meat market is here in Tela. I use the term grocery store, but they are more like a 7-11s without air-conditioning and with intense security by men with shotguns. Fortunately, we have some great friends here, like Ester Maldonado, who, among other things, helps me overcome the Spanish labels at the grocery store.

Join us in praying that we get some good news on the container of supplies today!

The Mount Vernon Statement & Enduring Principles: Perkins on Point

by Tony Perkins

February 19, 2010

How good is your knowledge of civics? What are the three branches of government? That is just an example of the questions that the Intercollegiate Studies Institute asked in a civic literacy survey they administered during the 2008 election year. Their findings were rather shocking, in their sampling 71 percent failed. Nationwide the average score was 49 percent.

Like other indicators ISI’s results give us a better understanding of why politics in America today are a drift from their historical moorings.

This understanding, in part, was behind the recently released Mount Vernon Statement. The one page statement, which you can read and sign online at frc.org, was signed by many of the nations conservative leaders at a special unveiling at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington —- that’s not a question on the civic literacy quiz, but its good to know.

While some on the Left have criticized the statement as a return to the past because we are in denial about the present, as one of the signers, I see it much differently.

It is important that each generation renews its commitment to the enduring founding principles that have built and sustained this nation.

What are those principles?

National security, economic opportunity, religious liberty and personal responsibility. These are the enduring principles that founders enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and established in the Constitution and now we must return them to center stage in America again.

This is a perfect time to remind America of these principles as public opinion polls show that the majority of Americans are either disenchanted or disgruntled with this Administration and this Congress.

I invite you to add your name to the Mount Vernon Statement.

You can take hope in the fact that some things never change and these principles are among them.

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