Tony Perkins yesterday, kicking off the Values Voters Summit, treated reporters and conservative politicians to a hypocritical hour-long speech that positioned the Family Research Council (FRC) as a victim — one that pledges to further its positions advocating against women and gays while being “civil” and loving. On the Family Research Council’s positions — which he stated were the same as those of iconic figures in history, from John Jay to George Washington to Mother Teresa — he added, “they are not battle plans of armies of hate.” Perkins then called homosexuality “destructive,” and an “unfortunate experience,” from which parents should “protect” their children, one which they should not “condone,” and likened it to drug use. Perkins, who demanded the HRC and the SPLC stop calling the FRC a hate group, also referred to same-sex marriage as “a novel definition of marriage and family.”
Perkins, who is the President of the FRC, indeed a certified anti-gay hate group, began his address with a five minute opening standup routine, then got down to business, stating, “there are some who would like to see us pack up and go away.” Perkins promised, to applause, “we are not going anywhere,” adding that the August 15 shooting at FRC headquarters has strengthened their resolve. Perkins also claimed the FBI is investigating the shooting “as an act of domestic terrorism.”
Perkins pledged to “redouble” FRC’s battle against women’s rights and same-sex marriage, and ironically told the audience of reporters and politicians, “I also pledge to redouble our efforts to advocate these ideas with civility and compassion.” Perkins in the past has said gay people “are intolerant. They are hateful. They are vile. They are spiteful…pawns of the enemy,” and said that gay young people “have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict; homosexuals may recognize intuitively that their same-sex attractions are abnormal.” (Quotes via GLAAD.)
Perkins continued, claiming:
We are accountable to a higher authority than public opinion. In Ephesians the apostle Paul writes that we are to speak the truth in love. Our aim is to speak the truth in love and if we fail to do so we will acknowledge it and we will set the record straight, and that includes what we say regarding homosexuality, and I would hope that the other side would make a similar commitment.
We have asked and we renew the request today that the Southern Poverty Law Center and HRC cease their bitter and unsupported characterizations of FRC as a hate group, akin to the Ku Klux Klan, the Arian Nation, and similar groups that espouse evil and violence, which FRC denounces. This language is meant to inflame not inspire, to intimidate and not to illuminate. It is to poison and not to persuade. This type of incendiary rhetoric seeks to marginalize and silence people of Orthodox Christian faith, and it fosters an environment of violence, and it’s wrong and it needs to stop.
Then, amazingly, Perkins said:
It is time for the vindictiveness to end and I say with confidence to the SPLC and HRC it is time to dial down your demonization of those who differ with you, time to stop hurling labels of hate and have a legitimate debate about policies that govern our nation.
What would he do if one of his children told him they were gay?, a reporter asked. “I would not disown my children for anything, but let me say this,” Perkins told the reporter at the National Press Club, in an event streamed live by C-SPAN. “I believe that as a parent that I have a responsibility for the environment in which I raise my children. And I believe as a parent, we have the ability to protect them from a lot of unfortunate experiences that have shaping influences upon their lives.”
We can do our very best job as a parent and still something may happen, whether they end up in drugs or whether they end up in some other lifestyle that they end up in… They’re our children. We’ll always love them, but we don’t necessarily condone what they do. And if we really love them, we’ll be wiling to tell them the truth that the choices that they have made to continue in what they are doing are both destructive to them personally and to society as a whole.
You can watch the event in its entirety, below, and also watch:
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