YES! Please Send Tony Perkins to Jail!

Fundie Research Council

Last week, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council got my hopes up for nothing. I opened his daily email, and this bolded sentence jumped out at me:

“If we lose, we go to jail.”

My heart skipped a beat. Could it be true? What sort of weird sexual perversion was he caught at? Was he in the stall next to Larry Craig? Was he selling drugs to Ted Haggard? Was he snorting santorum?

Excitedly, I started reading from the top:

Dear Friend,

I want you to hear something a California pastor said to me recently:

“If we lose, we go to jail.”

It’s just that simple, says Pastor Jim Garlow—if marriage loses in California, religious liberties everywhere will be next.

Oh, piss! He’s not in any sort of trouble! He’s just in his typical whiny fundie-pout again about some imagined slight. OK, Tony, what is it today? Let’s look at that last sentence again:

…if marriage loses in California…

Oh, you’re right, Tony! I agree completely! If Proposition 8 passes, the right of every Californian to marry would be taken away. Only those people deemed worthy by religious zealots would be allowed to marry. The current law, which protects the rights of all citizens, must be preserved. If Proposition 8 passes, marriage would lose big time in California.

…religious liberties everywhere will be next.

Well that last part is a non-sequitur. Tony needs somebody to proofread his stuff, so errors like that don’t slip through.

Family Research Council has been pouring resources into a national campaign to defend marriage and religious freedom…

Damn, Tony! You surprise me! I thought you were a religious wackjob! I didn’t know you were a civil libertarian! I’ve been working hard defending marriage and religious liberties, too! And it’s tough work, let me tell you. Did you know there are literally millions of religious nutters out there working their asses off right this minute to destroy those two pivotal institutions? But with your help, we can defeat Proposition 8! Glad to have you on board!

I’m writing today to ask you again to stand with us. We still must raise $600,000 before the close of our fiscal year on September 30.

Wow. I admire your spunk, Tony! I’ve got a lot to learn. Here I’ve been toiling at this blog for almost three years now, and I’ve never made a dime. I don’t even carry advertising. I thought defending marriage and civil liberties was the price of living in a free society. I didn’t know I could also make major bucks at it! Now that we’re partners, you’ll need to slip a little of that my way, you know. I’m not asking for a lot. Just enough to quit my job so I can sit on my ass all day like you.

The stakes are enormous. We face a national menace to religious liberty:

• In Boston, a Christian adoption agency was shut down for refusing to place orphans with homosexual couples.

What is this world coming to? The rights of the homosexual couples were clearly violated. It’s a good thing we shut that bigoted agency down.

• In New Mexico, a Christian-owned studio was fined more than $6,000 for refusing to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony.

Why do these religious boneheads think they can impose their narrow worldview upon the rest of us? I’m with you, Tony!

• In San Francisco, the city council officially condemned Christian opposition to homosexual adoption as hateful and discriminatory rhetoric.

Maybe that’s your problem, Tony. You’re wasting your effort in cities where we’ve already won. As you just pointed out, the city council is right on top of this issue. I think you need to put your effort into places that haven’t yet left the 12th century.

FRC has been protecting marriage during its 25-year history, and we’ve been voicing your values ever since activist judges in Massachusetts and California legalized counterfeit marriage and triggered a national debate.

Uhh… What?

I'm confused

Your prayers and generosity are enabling FRC to use our national platform to make the forceful case for traditional marriage in the media, in the churches, and at the grassroots.

WTF?

God DAMN it, Tony! You ARE a religious wackjob!

How dare you claim that you’re on the side of protecting marriage! Marriage is just now getting out from under the yoke of centuries of Christian oppression.

In less than two months, voters in California, Florida, and Arizona will have the chance to place marriage out of the reach of activists and liberals.

You mean out of the reach of the civil rights of millions of Americans. Go back to the 12th century, Tony. There’s no room for your hate in this one.

24 Responses to “YES! Please Send Tony Perkins to Jail!”

  1. Brian Says:

    I just want to say the Captain Picard picture has the best caption of all time.

  2. Chuck Says:

    XD I totally agree with Brian!

    Honestly, I just can’t believe HOW retarded fundies are. I mean, I know they’re retarded – I’ve grown up with them…but I didn’t know that such violent breaks in logic (e.g., equal marriage –> death to religious freedom) could be accepted.

    Of course, his paranoia may be well founded: there are certain of us who would sooner take away your right to epilepsy than have you continue to threaten our right to marry….

  3. Barbara Says:

    I can’t believe how much money this group has at their disposal. Anyone seen last year’s 990? The salaries alone were well over $5 million.

  4. Ron Britton Says:

    Barbara:

    Disgusting, isn’t it? The FRC is primarily an anti-abortion group. As I wrote back in April, abortion is hugely profitable for these people.

  5. Rogi Says:

    If they got what they wanted, what will they protest against and how will they raise money without being able to prey on people’s fears that some liberty bestowed upon one group will somehow cause the end of the world?

  6. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Rogi – That’s a simple answer. They have quite a few issues in the pipeline. Homosexual marriage and abortion are the current biggest cash cows, but let’s not forget evolution, contraception, sex ed, violence/sex in the media, and the war on christmas. They’re set up for a long time. And if all of those went their way, I have confidence in their ability to dredge up something else from the dark ages to complain about.

  7. Randy Says:

    The FRC is nothing but a bunch of Dobsonites who get undeserved respect. They are not about families unless it is a fundie family. They are about bigotry. Shame on them once again for fearmongering and spreading their hatred!

  8. Sarah Says:

    How ironic; I was at an Obama youth rally for my school newspaper (Unsurprisingly, it was mostly old farts) and one of the booths talked about the prop. I spent most of my time there talking with the woman who was passing out bumper stickers against it and got an interview from her advocating gay rights. Definitely interesting, but useless because by the time I will be able to vote, gay marriage probably will no longer be an issue (will either be added in or shut out completely).

  9. Parrotlover77 Says:

    arkonbey – I’d like to know the whole story, myself. It seems it would be exceedingly easy to say “no, i’m busy” and lie at the get-go, but instead it’s turned into a legal matter. I smell breach of contract as well.

  10. arkonbey Says:

    I found this example interesting:

    In New Mexico, a Christian-owned studio was fined more than $6,000 for refusing to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony

    It makes it seem as though a gay-marriage amendment would destroy the rights of a small business to choose its clientele. What really happened? What I find more likely was that the studio tried to back out of a pre-paid contract and was either sued for the refund money (if a private client) or fined for breach of contract ( if they were hired by a municipality to photograph all civic events).

  11. Barbara Says:

    Here’s a link to the suit
    http://media.npr.org/documents/2008/jun/photography.pdf
    There was no contract, just a couple of back and forth emails.

  12. Rogi Says:

    There was no contract, just a couple of back and forth emails.

    Back and forth e-mails may constitute a contract if 3 basic elements of contract are present, and may lead to a breach of contract claim (among others) if said agreement is breached.

  13. Ron Britton Says:

    If you read the decision, you’ll see that there was no agreement. The plaintiffs inquired about the possibility of getting a photographer for their ceremony. The photographer said “we don’t do those ceremonies.”

  14. Rogi Says:

    Agreed, just pointing out that contract can be found even where there is no formal writing. In this particular case, I don’t see express acceptance by Elaine’s.

  15. Barbara Says:

    I still don’t know how I feel about this one. I live in ABQ, by the way, so there was a lot of talk about this when it happened. Many of my gay friends also did not know which side to take, especially since the woman who brought the suit has a background that suggested she might be doing this for political reasons. I tried to find the in-depth article that the ABQ Journal ran on this before the decision, but can’t access the archives.

    Here’s a bit about her:

    http://www.unm.edu/~hrinfo/pages/instructors/willock.htm

  16. Sue Blue Says:

    Yes, Tony, by all means keep those evil hommasexshuls from parenting children. Chldren would be much better off with repressed, closeted, meth-smoking Christian pastors in sham hetero marriages. Or with parents who fill their mind with medieval trash and train their daughters to be stay-at-home incubators for their men’s sacred sperm. With daddies that take their daughters to creepy, incestuous purity balls. With mommies who read bedtime stories to them straight out of the OT – you know, stuff that just reeks of Christian love like Lot banging his daughters in a cave after his wife gets turned into salt, or Abraham getting ready to take a knife to his son because he heard voices that told him to do it. With this fine literature to read, coupled with a fine, heterosexual upbringing, how could these kids not be wholesome and happy?

    Tony – you suck. I mean that literally.

  17. OtherRob Says:

    Hello. I’m an occasional reader and a first-time poster. (I found your site from a mention on the Bad Astronomy blog a few months ago.)

    I have to say that I disagree with the ruling in the photography case. Even though I don’t agree with their ideas on marriage, it is their right as a private company to refuse service to someone they disagree with. (I also think it’s a bad business decision — were I looking for a wedding photographer in their area I would rule them out based on their choices in this case.)

    If the photographers in question had attempted to prevent other photographers from providing their services, then I would agree that the couple had a case. But they didn’t and the couple clearly was able to obtain photographic services and suffered no real harm, other than some hurt feelings (which is not a violation of any right at all.)

  18. Ron Britton Says:

    OtherRob:

    Welcome. I’m glad to have you on board. Do you happen to remember what the Bad Astronomy link was? I don’t remember Phil linking to me in quite a while.

    On the matter of the photographer, I share some of your reservations. I almost left that example out of my article, but comedy only works in threes. The reason I kept it in (besides the comic effect) was because of Tony Perkins’ (and most fundies in general) track record on facts. Most of Tony’s emails are filled with scare stories and other “facts” that seldom are exactly as described.

    There’s a good discussion on Tony’s letter over at Pandagon (which I didn’t see until today when I went looking for more info about these cases). So, for example, in the first case:

    • In Boston, a Christian adoption agency was shut down for refusing to place orphans with homosexual couples.

    That implies that the government came in with their jack-booted thugs, closed the place down, and kicked the good Christians working there out onto the street. The facts are that the agency was run by the local Catholic church, who decided themselves to shut it down rather than comply with the law. The result is the same, but the events leading up to it are different.

    The best example of inaccuracy is the opening quote:

    If we lose, we go to jail.

    Over at Good As You, they have the longer quote (from ONN, which I assumed was Onion News Network but is actually OneNewsNow. Same difference.):

    “[If] we lose [the fight for Prop. 8], we go to jail. How soon I don’t know. But the fact is this is the kind of case where political correctness is bearing down,” the pastor contends. “If a pastor refuses to perform a homosexual wedding, if we lose on this, he will be or she will be so incredibly vulnerable at that time.”

    This is so completely over the top it defies comprehension.

    So against that backdrop, I was sure that the New Mexico photography case was not really as Tony describes it. After looking into it in the last few days, I see that, contrary to his track record, the case actually is mostly as described.

    I can see both sides of this issue. I’m actually torn. Photography is an art, and forcing an artist, even a commercial one, to do something she’s opposed to doesn’t seem right. On the other side, though, how is this different from a restaurant saying “We don’t serve your kind in here”?

    There’s a thoughtful discussion of this in depth over at The Volokh Conspiracy.

  19. OtherRob Says:

    Hi, Ron. I don’t remember exactly when the BA post was. I do know that it was before he moved over to Discover magazine. (I occasionally comment over there under that same handle.)

    I do tend to agree with the general idea of your post — that the “religious right” or the “fundies” or whoever see attacks where there are none and that they often will distort the facts to promote their own agenda. The “War on Christmas” comes to mind here.

    It’s just that in the case I brought up, I tended to agree that the Nevada Human Rights Commission was wrong in this case. One thing that interests me is that the defendants in this case didn’t also bring up “Freedom of Assembly/Association”. If one has the freedom to choose who one associates with, one must also have the freedom to choose who not to associate with. Again, I don’t agree with the photographers’ point-of-view. But in this country we can’t increase or decrease someone’s freedoms based on whether or not I approve of their thoughts or not. Though sometimes I wish it were that way. ;-)

    You raise a good point of the restaurant refuse to “serve your kind” here. Though taking my thoughts to their logical conclusion and though such reasons are reprehensible, and at the risk of sounding like someone I’m not, I’ve got to say that I’m not convinced that a private establishment should be prevented from refusing to serve someone for those reasons. Even for reasons that you or I would find odious in the extreme. It’s part of the price of living in a free society — that people are free to make stupid choices.

  20. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I think the restaurant analogy really makes one of the best points in this case.

    A photographer can photograph anything he or she wants if it is an art project (ie, generally done out of one’s own desire to make the art). However, a wedding photographer is offering a service to the public, not unlike the restaurant analogy. After all, a professional chef is arguably an artist as well, is he or she not?

    Services to the public cannot be discriminated. A restaurant cannot refuse to serve food, a cleaning service cannot refuse to clean a home, a plumber cannot refuse to unclog a drain, a department store cannot refuse to sell clothes, etc., based upon one’s race, gender, or sexual orientation.

    I think that’s the key.

    If it was a photographer that only does artistic photographs (not that wedding photos are not artistic — I mean an “art show” type of photographer), I would say he or she can refuse on any basis of what interests them, as they probably refuse projects for a wide variety of reasons. But a wedding photographer generally doesn’t pick who to photograph based on interest or art — it’s picked on availability and money. It fits the restaurant model much more closely than artist model.

    I was leaning more towards the photographer, but after the restaurant analogy, I’m leaning much more towards the court decision now.

  21. Iris Says:

    Wondering if anyone has gone to Google and typed in “Obama Supports Public Depravity.” I apologize if I am intruding into forbidden territory and shouldn’t even be mentioning the secret plans of the elite for America. Iris

  22. Ron Britton Says:

    ZOMG! You’ve blown our cover! Now Obama’s sure to lose! Who leaked this? There’s going to be a purge tonight!

  23. Barbara Says:

    Did everyone get the BYOF (bring your own fetus) post-election gay-orgy invite?

  24. Brian Says:

    In case anyone has nothing better to do, I thought I would provide a link to the hard-hitting, insightful site Iris exhorted us to look at.

    If nothing else, the comments section might provide a few laughs, as I hope my contribution there will elicit.