by FRC Media Office
July 25, 2014
FRC President Tony Perkins speaks on Meriam Ibrahim’s recent release and arrival to Italy.
FRC President Tony Perkins speaks on Meriam Ibrahim’s recent release and arrival to Italy.
FRC President Tony Perkins on CSPAN discussing the recent election upset in the Virginia Republican Primary, and the release of Bowe Bergdahl.
Yesterday on Washington Watch, Retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness joined FRC President Tony Perkins to discuss the recent exchange of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban terrorists.
Tony says that this questionable exchange has rightly dominated national discussion and is one in which Americans should be demanding answers. Having spent 32 years in the military, USAF (Ret.) Col. Maness calls the dealing “unfathomable.” Maness says that the released Taliban leaders are “much more dangerous that they were at the start; they’ve learned a lot about Americans from experience in prison.” They “will use that (experiences) against us,” Tony states.
Both Maness and Perkins agree that this type of exchange leaves terrorists inspired and puts U.S. Service-members serving in hostile environments at greater risk. Now that these fierce leaders are back on the battlefield, what should Congress do? To listen to the discussion and to hear about how Col. Maness thinks Congress should respond, click here.
On Friday, May 9, 2014, Ken Blackwell, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment appeared on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” to discuss Ohio’s ban on same-sex “marriages.”
Former United Nations Ambassador Yoram Ettinger appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to discuss the recent negotiations between Iran and the United Nations Security Council (P5+1) about Iran’s nuclear program.
“The deal with Iran and P5+1 subordinates reality to wishful thinking. We are talking about an agreement with Iran at a time when the regime in Iran does not show any sense of compliance with agreements on the domestic front, or on the regional front,” Ettinger said. “In fact, together with North Korea, Iran is the world leader in the violation of human rights, but we are told that when it comes to agreements, that they are supposed to comply.”
The former U.N. ambassador pointed out, “While Western societies seek agreements in order to solidify a peaceful coexistence, rogue regimes with imperialistic inspirations, like the regime in Iran, view this agreement as a tactical step in order to overcome the partner to the agreement. And this has been demonstrated again and again in the Middle East by Iran, by the other regimes, but it has been overlooked by the U.S. negotiators because they are so anxious to reach an agreement.”
Ettinger explained that the regime in Iran is led by “a spiritual leader who is known for his anti-American position. Worse than that, he is known for his art of diplomacy and art of misleading people, which is the need to mislead the infidel in order to advance the goals of Islam.”
This Iranian nuclear agreement is taking place with a regime that for the last 30 years has been subjected to various sanctions, but has not abated its pursuit of nuclear power. Ettinger said, “The question is, why would the same methodology – which hasn’t left a dent on the attempt of Iran to become nuclear – why is the same methodology – which didn’t yield anything for 30 years – supposed to yield something constructive in the next few months?”
According to Ettinger, the negotiations with Iran are “a combination of gullibility, probably an ignorance of what the Middle East is all about, as well as an eagerness to strike a deal because don’t we all know that peace is better than war?”
Ettinger summarized, “Some people have forgotten that if you want to prevent a war with a rogue regime, you’d better be equipped with a very substantial posture of deterrence, because reflecting complacency and reflecting estuation in the face of regimes invites war; [it] does not postpone war.”
Click here to listen to the entire interview.
Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” to give an update into Congress’s investigation into the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups:
“We want to let the American people know that we have not forgotten about the IRS abuses of grassroots American organizations and to remind everybody of what’s going on. We haven’t stopped our oversight in Congress of this issue, Benghazi, Fast and Furious or some of the other abuses of the Obama Administration. With respect to the IRS matter, we just want to let the American people know that we still hear them and they still have a voice up here,” said Flores.
Flores said many of the investigations that Congress is involved in should be further along than they are currently. “The administration is slow-playing us on every request for information. In some cases, we have had to issue subpoenas to get the information we’ve requested. In some cases, we’ve had to hold some folks in contempt.”
Flores believes that the IRS investigation will follow a similar track, “We’ll have to issue subpoenas to compel the administration to produce information and ultimately, we may have to hold some people in contempt of Congress to get to the bottom of this matter.”
“And when I say get to the bottom,” Flores continues, “I mean that we want to know who knew what and who told the IRS to target these grass roots organizations so that we can hold those people accountable. And of course the ultimate objective is to make sure it never happens again.”
The IRS’s targeting of grass roots organizations is part of a larger pattern of abuse and cover-ups and scandals that have come out of this administration. According to Flores, “The IRS is just one of many problems that comes out of an administration that doesn’t believe in a rule of law.”
Todd Starnes from Fox News on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins: We’ve come to a point in America where we have to take a collection for bail for our military ministers.
Todd Starnes, a Fox News reporter and a speaker at this weekend’s Values Voter Summit, appeared on Monday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” and described an event this weekend where nearly 50 government contracted military chaplains who were furloughed due to the government shutdown were banned from performing Mass on military bases:
“I received word from many of my readers. They confirmed that weekend Mass on their base had in fact been canceled. There were no services. Many have had to go off base to go to church this weekend,” Starnes said.
One of Starnes’s readers told him that at Langley Air Force Base, a priest was told that if he came on base and held Mass, he and his supervisor could be punished and they both could face the possibility of getting fired.
“One of my readers emailed me. He was on a military base where they did have a Catholic priest (who was not contracted by the government) and they talked about taking up a collection to cover bail for any priest who defied the government and went ahead and celebrated Mass after all. Now that, in my estimation, is the lowest of low. It’s come to a point in America where we have to take a collection to cover bail for ministers,” Starnes said.
Social justice is term that alternately suggests economic redistributionism, on the one hand, and freedom from oppression, on the other. It’s loaded, which is why it is so often used by those looking for a rhetorical weapon with which to convey their indignation over a real or imagined evil. After all, who can be for an unjust society?
Dr. Cal Beisner has written a thorough review not just of what social justice is and is not but of the Bible’s understanding of justice itself. FRC has just published his “Social Justice: How Good Intentions Undermine Justice and Gospel,” in order to bring clarity to this important issue.
Many young Christians are enamored of “social justice,” as their hearts are compassionate and their minds romantic. For them, social justice has the joint ring of nobility and insurgency, a wedding of youthful idealism and youthful rebellion. Yet, does that understanding comport with the Bible’s teaching about true justice in a fallen world?
Cal argues that “the sad and unintended consequences of redistribution” in the name of justice stems from confusion not only over the role of the state but the very nature of, and difference between, justice and grace.
You will seldom find such a combination of careful political thought and biblical exposition in a single, short volume. You can download “Social Justice” at no cost by going to www.frc.org or by clicking on the link above.
No Such Thing as ‘Independent’ Voting
Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice President at Family Research Council, wrote an article for Bangor Daily News. U.S. Senator Angus King is registered as Independent. While he claims to work across the aisle, he almost always votes with the Democratic Party. In a recent article, National Journal said he votes 90% of the time with Democrats. Rob used Sen. King as an example of why it is very different for one to be a true independent. He made the following quotes:
“Politics is about the public expression of various points of view and the enactment of those views into law. Increasingly, American politics is divided along conservative and liberal lines. The overlap of commonality between the GOP and the Democratic Party is increasingly small. Thus, as Republicans identify, substantially, as conservatives, and Democrats as liberals or progressives, anyone involved in electoral politics has to be, by virtual if not legal definition, a partisan.”
“The founders of our country warned against partisanship, or what James Madison called “the violence of faction.” In “Federalist Ten,” James Madison asserted that factions would form due largely to the perceived economic self-interest of various groups.”
“That might have been true in the 1780s, but it is no longer. Some of the wealthiest Americans vote most consistently liberal, and many lower-middle income voters support the Republican Party because of its social conservatism.”
“In our time, the divide goes not so much between the wealthy and the poor as between those with one vision of American life and those with another. Deeply held convictions about the role of government, the morality of culture, and the nature of the family cut across economic lines.”
“No man is an island, and no voter is his own party. True partisan independence is exercised only by those so consciously inconsistent that they are uninterested in having their votes actually matter.”
Virtue, Freedom and Redemption
Rob also wrote an article today for Religion Today. His article began by citing the story of British Soldier Dusty Miller, who served during WWII. Miller was held in a Japanese prison camp and later crucified as an attack on his Christian faith. Miller was only capable of kindness towards his captors because of the grace of Jesus. Rob went on to say that man needs to be viewed in the correct way, as both intrinsically valuable, and completely depraved. Rob said the following:
“…without a proper understanding of the nature of man, political action becomes dangerous. If man is viewed as merely material, he will be oppressed. If he is viewed as perfectible, he will be coerced. If he is viewed as unimportant, he will be murdered.”
“For us to keep a free society, we have to govern ourselves, or else the ensuring chaos will produce repression and coercion. Personal self-government begins with virtue, and virtue begins the conscience (“the law written on the heart,” Romans 2:15) and God’s self-revelation in Scripture.”
“Dusty Miller was a man of virtue. He died at a young age because he loved God and loved others. His death came at the hands of a man who hated God and so dehumanized his prisoner that, to him, Miller’s crucifixion was merely a fitting, if brutal, taunt. Men need Christ, culture needs God, and human nature needs redemption – or, in its absence, appropriate temporal restraint. This is what Dusty Miller, decades after his martyrdom, still teaches us.”
Building Stronger Families and Safer Communities
Tony Perkins, FRC President, wrote an article for The Clarion Ledger. Tony is part of the Right on Crime campaign, a conservative project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Prison Fellowship Ministries. A top goal is to keep families together by championing prison sentencing reforms that will be best for the family and defendant, while making sure justice is fully served. Our prisons are full of non-violent criminals, causing Americans taxpayer dollars and overcrowded prisons. Prisons are meant to keep society safe from violent criminals. For those who commit non-violent acts such as drug abuse, what they need is to get their lives straightened out so they can contribute to society and raise their children. Children who do not have their parents in their lives face many difficulties, such as the likelihood that they will drop out of school or engage in delinquent behavior, because they haven’t had a positive example in their lives. Why separate families if there could be a better alternative? Tony had the following words to say:
“One fact we often overlook is that two-thirds of these children’s parents are in prison for nonviolent offenses. Eighty-five percent of female inmates, for example, are serving time for nonviolent crimes, and most of them are mothers. Given incarceration’s impact on families, doesn’t it make more sense to place lower-level offenders under mandatory supervision in the community, allowing them to remain connected to their relatives, gainfully employed and available to parent their children?”
“I am not proposing this approach for all incarcerated parents. Violent and career criminals must be locked up to protect society, and we must also exclude offenders whose crimes endanger their own children, crimes such as manufacturing drugs or engaging in prostitution in the family home. But for many nonviolent offenders, we should do all we can to keep families together while maintaining public safety.”
“We know keeping families together strengthens our society, and when people with addictions get treatment and probation instead of incarceration, they can straighten out their lives, remain in their homes, hold down jobs and be better parents. This not only saves taxpayers money; it preserves family unity as well.”
Censoring Eisenhower and Religious Freedom in the Military
Tony also wrote an article for CNSNews.
Military Chaplain Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes (USAF) of the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska wrote a piece, “No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave All in World War II” and posted it to his website. Mikey Weinstein, founder of Military Religious Freedom Foundation, found the title of Reyes’ piece offensive, and asked Col. Brian Duffy to censor the chaplain. The Colonel adhered to Weinstein’s request and took his article off his website. Weinstein wants further action against Reyes, however, and is calling for a formal punishment. Tony made the following remarks:
(Referring to being punished) “For what - doing his job? Engaging in constitutionally-protected speech? Like it or not, a chaplain’s duties, by definition, are to offer prayer, spiritual guidance, and religious instruction. Whether Duffy punishes Reyes or not, the damage has already been done. As FRC’s executive vice president, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin told Fox News’s Todd Starnes, chaplains across the military are already afraid of carrying out the most basic duties of their job. “In this case, a chaplain has been censored for expressing his beliefs about the role of faith in the lives of service members. … Why do we have chaplains if they aren’t allowed to fulfill that purpose?””
“Thankfully the U.S. House of Representatives is on the verge of passing the Defense Department budget with language inserted to protect troops’ conscience and religious rights. Additionally, over 160,000 Americans have signed a petition to Defense Secretary Hagel, urging him to issue clear policies to protect the religious freedom of our troops. Without such protections, the free speech rights and religious liberties of our nation’s most diligent servants will continue to be trampled.”
Military Censors Christian Chaplain, Atheists Call for Punishment
Ken Klukowski, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, wrote an article for Breitbart.com, also picked up by Drudge Report. His article addresses the recent news story about Christian Chaplain Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes, who serves in the Air Force. He wrote an essay which Military Religious Freedom Foundation found offensive against atheists, so they called for his punishment. They were particular upset about his phrase ‘no atheists in foxholes.’ The base commander took his essay down as a result. Ken gave the following remarks:
“Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council—one of the leaders of a new religious liberty coalition for the military—responded, “A chaplain has been censored for expressing his beliefs about the role of faith in the lives of service members… Why do we have chaplains if they aren’t allowed to fulfill that purpose?””
“MRFF is activist Mikey Weinstein’s organization. He called observant Christians “fundamentalist monsters” seeking to impose a “reign of theocratic terror,” and he described sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as an act of “spiritual rape” that makes believers “enemies of the Constitution” who are committing an act of “sedition and treason” against this nation.”
“The Obama-Hagel Defense Department and Air Force have met with Weinstein and MRFF over a period of four years and recently told Congress that there are no problems with suppressing religious speech in the military. However, because this growing wave of anti-Christian extremism has been exposed to the public, the U.S. House has inserted new religious liberty protections for military members in pending legislation.”
“President Obama threatens to veto the legislation. Reyes’s story makes it more likely that Congress will stand its ground and fight to protect the religious liberty of him and countless others in the military, as those service members continue risking their lives to fight for all Americans.”
Most Europeans—and Americans—Agree with Texas’ Abortion Law
Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow for Legal Studies at Family Research Council, wrote an article for The Daily Caller. Most Americans agree that late-term abortion needs to be banned, according to every modern poll. In fact, there has always been at least 80% who believe this. France bans abortion after 12 weeks, so there is France along with most of Europe, if not the world, who agrees with recent Texas’ pro-life legislation. Yet the far-left considers legislation opposed to late-term abortion as “extreme”. America disagrees. The majority wants to see stricter abortion laws. Cathy mentioned the following in her article:
“The “pro-choice” fringe is not only fighting public opinion, but science and medicine as well. Ultrasound technology has created the common experience of seeing the first picture of a baby in utero, and there is no mistaking what the image portrays. Medical experts are demonstrating that fetuses can feel pain much earlier in pregnancy than previously thought, a reality that adds a whole new dimension to the abortion debate and was the driving force behind the new Texas law.”
“Most Americans are squeamish about causing any living creature pain. The growing acceptance of the truth about fetal pain gives late-term abortion defenders a tremendous challenge – not only to find ways to obscure the reality that abortion takes a human life, but to find the right words to excuse what we now know is torture.”