The Family Research Council
Hate & Bigotry Wrapped Up In Religious Zealotry
By Nicole Nichols
There is little wonder that the Family Research Council was designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center three years ago. The real puzzlement lies in the fact that even after such a designation the center has done nothing to ameliorate those charges and everything to live up to that characterization.
During the recent flap over the Boy Scouts of America’s consideration to allow homosexual youth and scout masters into their rank and file, something that shouldn’t even be a question mark, the Family Research Council and its members were sent into paroxysms of rage. The anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-non-Christian group wasted no time in pooling the resources of dozens of other similar groups together to publish this full-page advertisement in USA Today reaching readers throughout the country:
Once the decision had been tabled until May, the Council celebrated and thanked all of those who supported them as President Tony Perkins issued the following statement:
“However, it is not enough that they postpone a decision. Instead, the BSA board should publicly re-affirm their current standards, as they did just last July. We look forward to continuing to work with scouting parents, leaders of the faith-based organizations that charter over two-thirds of the packs and the troops. We will also continue to communicate with the Scout leadership about the grave consequences that would result if they were to compromise their moral standards in the face of threats from corporate elites and homosexual activists.”
Perkins has a long standing history of hatred and bigotry toward all things non-Christian and non-heterosexual. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Liberty University, an Evangelical Christian school in Virginia, that steeps its students in creationism and dominionist dogma.
Perkins went on to become a police officer, a television reporter, and a two-term legislator in the Louisiana House of Representatives. While in office, Perkins pushed for prayer in public schools and to prevent what he called “Censorship of America’s Christian Heritage.” He authored the nation’s first covenant marriage law which would permit divorce only in cases of physical abuse, abandonment, imprisonment, or after two years of separation.
Believing that judicial nominees were being blocked by U.S. Senate Democrats, who were waging a war against orthodox religious views, and that the nominees were being persecuted for their Christian beliefs, Perkins organized Justice Sunday, an attempt to mobilize the Evangelical Christian base into support of Christian judicial nominees.
Tony Perkins is no saint. In 1996, he was campaign manager for Woody Jenkins who was running against Mary Landrieu. He paid a whopping $82,500 to Ku Klux Klansman David Duke for Duke’s mailing list, a stunt that ended up in the campaign being fined for false disclosure after his attempt to hide the payment to the nefarious racist.
But, his elbow-rubbing with white supremacists didn’t end there as he continued his bigotry with the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group which has also been named a hate group by the SPLC and which outwardly considers black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.”
Perkins has been the head honcho at the Family Research Council since 2003. The Council is an offshoot of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. Because of the political nature of the Council, the founders believed it might threaten the tax-exempt status of Focus on the Family, hence the separation of the two entities.
The first president of the FRC was Gary Bauer, an evangelical Christian, politician and Ronald Reagan acolyte of equal intolerance to Perkins.
The FRC is extremely active in the political arena and in policy making decisions. With a membership of approximately a half-million, and a cadre of heavy-hitting, well-heeled board members and staff, they enter the halls of government on local, state, and federal levels with a fair amount of clout.
Focusing on all things Christian, the FRC is virulently anti-abortion, anti-separation of church and state, anti-homosexual, anti-immigrant, and anti-pornography. They are one of the leading organizations in funding the conservative movement. Every Fall, the FRC Action group holds the Values Voters Summit, comprised of Christian activists and voters in Washington, DC. where conservative presidential and congressional hopefuls can be heard and evaluated. In 2012, those who participated included: Rep. Michelle Bachmann; Gary Bauer; Glenn Beck; Gen. William Boykin; Governor Jan Brewer; Rep. Eric Cantor; Sen. Ted Cruz; Sen. Jim DeMint; Rep. Jeff Fortenberry; Governor Mike Huckabee; Rep. Tim Huelskamp; Rep. Jim Jordan; Rep. Steve King; Rep. James Lankford; Governor Bob McDonnell; Lt. Col. Oliver North; Sen. Rand Paul; Governor Mitt Romney; Rep. Paul Ryan; and Sen. Rick Santorum.
This is but a sampling of those who the FRC has great influence over. The Complete roster can be seen here: http://www.valuesvotersummit.org/speakers.
During the 2012, summit, a group Dream Act activists and GetEQUAL activists staged a protest during Mitt Romney’s speech. Apparently, the good Christians present weren’t called upon to feel very Christ-like on that evening and began throwing punches and shoving the young protestors. Brent Bozell was introducing a speaker and from the podium he told the protestors to leave and told the audience “if you see any protestors, beat ‘em up.” Felipe Matos, one of the protestors, gave this account:
“As soon as we started our action and pulled out a giant rainbow flag in full sight, conference participants morphed into an angry mob. Some screamed, “Our values are not killing you! It’s AIDS, and you’re spreading it!” Others told us, “Get out of my country!” even though Sean Watkins, one of our activists from Ohio, served in the military during the Iraq War. It was horrifying to see participants and security guards attacking one of our lead organizers in D.C., Charles Butler, pushing and choking him so much that he was out of breath and fell to the floor a few times.”
Recently, General Jerry Boykin was chosen to fill the seat of Executive Vice President for the Family Research Council. Boykin brings a whole new dimension the Council as he is well known for his noxious Islamophobic views. As a 36-year veteran of the military, and a former U.S. deputy undersecretary of defense under Donald Rumsfeld, Boykin likened the War on Terror to a battle against Satan, claimed that George W. Bush was put into office by God, and was censured by the Army for giving speeches at various Christian events while in full-dress uniform.
During his tenure, he ranted that Muslims hate America, and stated that the military is recruiting a spiritual army that will draw strength from a greater power to destroy their enemies. According to Boykin, Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protection.
In Jerry Boykin’s world, mosques should be banned in the United States. After all, “we are at war” against the threat of Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood, which he says is trying to implement Sharia law in the U.S. Of course, his history of incendiary remarks drew a lot of heat recently and he was forced to withdraw from delivering a speech at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast, held at West Point in February, thanks to a lot of pressure from the good folks at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. A few months after that, in July, the FRC hired Boykin as executive vice president. We can only imagine what he will bring to their already hate-filled feast.
Along with the big push against the Boy Scouts of America, the FRC has recently taken up the fight against the Violence Against Women Act. Calling upon their membership, the FRC sent out an email alert and quoted Phyllis Schlafly who wrote:
“[VAWA] has done little or no good for real victims of domestic violence, while its funds have been used to fill feminist coffers and to lobby for feminist objectives and laws. Although every spending bill should be subject to rigorous auditing procedures in order to curb waste and fraud, VAWA has somehow ducked accountability for the [$660 million] a year it doles out to radical feminist organizations.”
The email went on to say:
“Among the bill’s most egregious parts is a provision that would ban funds to grantees who may have religious objections to homosexuality–even if no documented case of refused services has been found. It also includes special assistance for homosexual victims.”
The FRC is a dangerous organization posing a real threat to the very fabric of a multicultural society such as ours. Their every move and motivation is based a dark undercurrent of hatred, ignorance, and fear, and they have become very adept at spreading their pernicious message to millions of vulnerable individuals. Additionally, they have been successful in promoting and electing lawmakers into positions of power who will succumb to the pressure and the purse of those who seek to force us into the abyss of a societal demise.