Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes and Tony Perkins are angered that an email from a U.S. Army officer referred to the Family Research Council, which Perkins heads, and the American Family Association, as anti-gay hate groups.
“A U.S. Army officer sent an email to dozens of subordinates listing the American Family Association and Family Research Council as ‘domestic hate groups’ because they oppose homosexuality — and warned officers to monitor soldiers who might be supporters of the groups,” Starnes wrote this week at Fox:
“Just want to ensure everyone is somewhat educated on some of the groups out there that do not share our Army Values,” read an email from Lt. Col. Jack Rich to three dozen subordinates at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. “When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values – don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told Fox News he was disturbed by the contents of the email.
“It’s very disturbing to see where the Obama Administration is taking the military and using it as a laboratory for social experimentation — and also as an instrument to fundamentally change the culture,” he said. “The message is very clear – if you are a Christian who believes in the Bible, who believes in transcendent truth, there is no place for you in the military.”
The Army denied there is any attack on Christians or those who hold religious beliefs.
“The notion that the Army is taking an anti-religion or anti-Christian stance is contrary to any of our policies, doctrines and regulations,” said George Wright, Army spokesman at the Pentagon. “Any belief that the Army is out to label religious groups in a negative manner is without warrant.”
Wright said they are checking into the origin of the email. At this point it’s unclear who ordered the email to be sent and why.
The 14-page email documented groups the military considers to be anti-gay, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim. Among the other groups mentioned are Neo-Nazis, Racist Skinheads, White Nationalists and the Ku Klux Klan.
“The religious right in America has employed a variety of strategies in its efforts to beat back the increasingly confident gay rights movement,” the officer wrote. “One of those has been defamation.”
The officer accused the “Christian Right” of “engaging in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBT people as ‘perverts” with ‘filthy habits’ who seek to snatch the children of straight parents and ‘convert’ them to gay sex,” he wrote.
The Family Research Council and the American Family Association have been well documented purveyors of anti-gay hate and lies, so the Army is absolutely correct to warn people that supporters of these two organizations may engage in anti-gay hate, which is disruptive to troop cohesion and morale.
As Carlos Mazza at Media Matters notes, the “headline for Starnes’ piece also incorrectly described FRC and AFA as ‘Christian Ministries,’ ignoring both groups’ work in authoring anti-gay propaganda and lobbying for extreme anti-gay policy initiatives.”
Starnes – who acts as Fox News’ resident mouthpiece for anti-gay hate groups – chose to depict the email as an assault on Christianity, interviewing several employees of FRC who, not surprisingly, condemned the email.
Media Matters also published these two audio clips of Starnes discussing the issue:
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.