Monday, December 28, 2015

Perkins' Caricature of Perkins

CBS host introduced Tony Perkins as ‘anti-gay hate group leader’
‘You don’t speak for Christians’
Tony Perkins, head of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, sent out an email to supporters last night titled “URGENT: We're near a breakthrough” Tony wants money. And just why should people donate to Family Research Council?
If you have not yet given, then I ask you to please do so. Making our goal is absolutely critical. As you know, radicals in Washington, New York, Hollywood, activist groups, and more attacked your faith and values like no other year in history:

  • FIVE UNELECTED JUDGES OF THE U.S. SUPREME COURT told Americans they had to change their definition of marriage and those disagreeing risked punishment and ruin. A county clerk went to jail. Businesses were ruined. Ministries were jeopardized. Yet FRC rallied Americans to support heroes living out their faith, such as county clerk Kim Davis, who received our special "Cost of Discipleship Award" and is back on the job.
Yes, Mr. Perkins. Civics 101. Our Supreme Court is comprised of jurists who are nominated by the President, vetted by congressional committee and confirmed by the US Senate. They are not elected. More importantly, the Court did not ask anyone to change his or her definition of marriage. For example, the last time I checked, the Catholic Church still teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman and that, with a few loopholes, it is a commitment for life.

Furthermore, Ms. Davis's transgression was not, as Perkins suggests, disagreeing with the decision of the Court. She is an elected public official who denied service to citizens she personally disapproved of and did not allow subordinates to provide service to citizens she personally disapproved  of. Then she defied an order of a federal judge. Mr. Perkins fails to mention that the deranged Ms. Davis had her day in court — and then some. Taxpayers spent hundreds of thousand of dollars in court costs to address Davis' personality disorder.

Mr. Perkins and Family Research Council were little more than bystanders. Davis was released by the judge when it became apparent that continuing to incarcerate her served no purpose (gay couples were issued marriage licenses). A time may come when FRC is embarrassed by having given this crazy fucking woman an award. Davis has become the perfect example of Religious Freedom™ run amok.

Perkins continues:
  • PRESIDENT OBAMA ordered the government to enforce special privileges for people based on homosexual and transgender behavior and insisted that taxpayers and ministries participate in funding or facilitating the provision of abortion. Yet FRC helped expose these threats to Congress as they moved closer than ever to defunding Planned Parenthood, and proposed laws to protect Christians living out their faith in the workplace.
Conservative Christian honesty at work. Protecting LGBT Americans and taxpayers from discrimination by government contractors becomes “special privileges.” Mr. Perkins knows full well that this has nothing to do with behavior. While Perkins' faith requires him to believe that sexual orientation and sexual identity are behavioral choices, most people are not wed to that willful ignorance. Mr. Perkins also knows that the Hyde Amendment is still in effect and it prevents the government from funding abortions.

As for any accomplishment, FRC has not succeeded in eliminating federal funding from Planned Parenthood and it has proposed no (license to discriminate) law that is likely to pass both houses of Congress — let alone be signed into law by the President of the United States.

A brief look into FRC's finances:


FRC controls two entities; Family Research Council and Family Research Council Action which are a 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 respectively. A third organization, Family Faith and Freedom Foundation, is controlled by FRC but reported no revenues in 2014 and net assets under $1 thousand. In round numbers:

For the year ended September 30, 2014 the two operations, combined, brought in about $17 million and had revenues exceed expenses by $300K. They are sitting on net assets of $4.2 million. Net assets are (correctly) understated due to the fact that the accounting does not take into consideration the market value of the organization's real estate holdings which I believe are in Colorado. 

Including Ken Blackwell, who is paid $162,000 as an independent contractor, FRC paid at least 15 people over $100,000. Indeed, Perkins' assistant (Gil Mertz) was paid $127,000. There are likely several others who are neither officers nor among the top five compensated.

FRC makes a great deal of noise but what does it really do? First and foremost, FRC pays people. Total payroll expenses were $7.3 million. That does not include Blackwell or any of the 69 independent contractors. During the year, 97 people were on FRC's payroll for all or part of the year. The closest thing that FRC has to a professional manager is EVP Gerry Boykin, a retired general. In passing, FRC made a $10,000 contribution to National Organization for Marriage.

In addition to the text quoted above, Perkins claims in the same email: “FRC flooded the media with research demonstrating the BENEFITS of citizens living out their faith to counter arrogant secular propaganda.” So is that what FRC does? To what end?

FRC remains a hate group.


Family Research Council fully deserves its classification as a hate group but I don't see Perkins quoting any tangible accomplishments for 2015. Most assuredly, FRC will continue to misinform people about LGBT citizens and Fox is likely to continue to provide Perkins (a man with direct ties to the Klan) with a microphone. Shame on them.

The good news is that we outnumber “them.” Our task is to support the organizations we believe in and to spread the real truth. To do so we are obligated to be conversant in the real research by real scholars who are not religious fanatics.

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