Friday, January 20, 2017

Tony Perkins reminisces about Martin Luther King

Tony Perkins
Hate group leader Tony Perkins has direct ties to David Duke and the Klu Klux Klan. Yet the head of Family Research Council and former Louisiana legislator finds it appropriate to quote from Martin Luther King in a thinly veiled diatribe about religious freedom.
Eighty-eight years ago almost to the day, the famed African-American civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. was born. Named for the monk who started the Reformation over four hundred years earlier, Dr. King would go on to become a Baptist minister and arguably the most important civil rights figure of the twentieth century.

His religious beliefs and the freedom to exercise and speak out based on those beliefs were essential to his advocacy for nonviolence as means of achieving civil rights for African-Americans. As King reminded us, “[o]ur lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Yet without a public square that was open for religious conviction to work and speak, his efforts would not have met the success they did.
We all know that Perkins substitutes “religious freedom.” for what it really is: Christian Privilege. It is his right to discriminate against LGBT citizens without legal or social consequences and to redefine the Establishment Clause to accommodate Perkins' intended government promotion of Christianity. Perkins would have public schools replace science with superstition and teach young earth creationism.

For Perkins to attempt to further his agenda through Martin Luther King is hypocritical and offensive. King was not an anti-Semite. If King's late widow, Coretta Scott King, is to be believed, King would have supported LGBT equality. King was not a biblical literalist. Martin Luther King brought out the best in people. Tony Perkins is a self-righteous cynic; a pessimist who uses manufactured outrage in order to anger people to do his bidding. He provides an example in the subject polemic. That was not how Martin Luther King motivated people to unite in common cause.

Ultimately Perkins typifies Dr. King's adversaries during the Civil Rights Era. It's trite to say but true that King was a uniter and Perkins is a divider. When it comes to division, Perkins always appeals to the lowest common denominator.

Perkins has some advice for Trump:
To start, religious liberty in the military needs to be addressed. Over the past several years we have witnessed chaplains being disciplined for their faith, and religious speech being censored. President-elect Trump can direct that religious liberty in the military be clarified and strengthened, and that appropriate training is conducted to ensure the law is followed.
The chaplain Trump claims was disciplined for his faith was exonerated. The speech that he claims has been censored was from a naval enlistee (not a chaplain) who put Christian verses on a whiteboard in the hallway of naval offices. That is inarguably impermissible. While unstated, the intended inference is that military chaplains are held hostage by the Homosexual Agenda©.
President-elect Trump should also follow through with his pledge to issue an executive order, reinstating government-wide protections for religious liberty. But executive orders halting attacks on religious freedom are just the start, there are many more anti-religious freedom policies of the Obama administration that must be reversed.  That’s why government nondiscrimination legislation is needed to protect supporters of marriage between one man and one woman.  People of faith should not be punished by the government for living in accordance with their beliefs.
That is conservative Christian double-talk. It amounts to the idea that not permitting discrimination is discrimination. People who don't accept marriage equality are free to believe anything that they want. Christian are not being victimized by LGBT people. It really irks Perkins that, by executive order, we do not permit government contractors to discriminate against LGBT people.

I fully expect Trump to rescind that executive order. Perkins will take the credit and claim victory as our tax dollars are used to actively discriminate against us in employment. There are things that we can do if we are united. I am formulating some ideas for advocacy and how to effect them. More on that later.

Meanwhile Perkins is also calling for the enactment of the First Amendment Defense Act which is the perfect example of Christian Supremacy. It is probably unconstitutional per se which might be why it never got out of Senate Judiciary. Trump might be willing to sign what is a license to discriminate but first Perkins needs to find 60 votes in the Senate and I do not think that they exist.

Tony Perkins has audaciously attempted to use the memory of Martin Luther King to promote discrimination. It is shameful and it is something that most African-Americans would reject. Just one more reason why Family Research Council is designated a hate group.

I am pretty much ignoring Trump's inauguration today. Yesterday I was in mourning. Today — and for the foreseeable future — I am angry. My focus will be on my junior senator, Marco Rubio (which is hard to type without the well-deserved middle name). My Congress critter, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, will receive some positive attention. In spite of being a GOPer she is on board with equality. She has a transgender son.

I better order some ink for my printer. I encourage you to use old-fashioned snail mail.

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