Monday, December 05, 2016

Family Research Council's concern for persecuted Christians contradicts its message about persecuted lgbts

Today, the Family  Research Council sounded the alarm about persecutions of Christians abroad, complete with the image below:

If there's anyone busier than Santa, it's Congress. With just a handful of days left before members jingle their way home for Christmas, most leaders are scrambling to put a bow on the 114th Session. Hill offices are hoping to crank through a pile of unfinished business before Friday, when the House and Senate hope to adjourn. Before then, the to-do list is a diverse basket of priorities from funding the government to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

One of the bills at the top of our list, which we hope Congress can squeeze onto its schedule, is Rep. Chris Smith's (R-N.J.) "Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act," which would help turn the floodlights on the dark world of faith-based hostility. Under this administration, religious liberty hasn't been pushed to the back seat -- it has no seat at the table of U.S. priorities. In the waning days of 2016, conservatives are racing to fill the diplomatic gap left by this White House and help lay the groundwork for a new administration to combat a crisis that's caused the blood of countless innocents around the world to be spilled. Under Rep. Smith's bill, America would create a "special watch list of countries or violent state actors that have engaged in or tolerated such violations, but do not yet meet the criteria for designation as countries of particular concern for religious freedom."

As Frank Wolf and I explained in a joint column on the subject, the bill would hold offending countries to a higher level of accountability. It would also direct the president to appoint a Special Adviser for Global Religion Engagement and International Religious Freedom, a clear sign to the world that Americans take this issue seriously in U.S. foreign policy. If this president won't talk about religious persecution, Congress must. In the absence of strong leadership, our enemies only gain more power to destroy this fundamental right.

The legislation is good idea because no one should be persecuted in any country because of their religious beliefs.But at the same time, FRC's push for this legislation is extremely hypocritical.

 In 2012, FRC president Tony Perkins tweeted support for the infamous Ugandan bill which would have imprisoned and possibly executed natives of that country for simply being an lgbt. Perkins and FRC attempted to disavow this by claiming that the organization never supported the Ugandan bill. In addition, Perkins claimed that his tweet was one of support to Uganda's then president for "leading the nation to repentance"  and not in support of the bill. However, this led to a blogger, Jeremy Hooper, revealing that in 2010, Perkins recorded an audio commentary praising the Ugandan bill.

Added to this is the fact that FRC is a partner of an organization called the World Congress of Families. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Using deceptive “pro-family” rhetoric, WCF’s campaign for the “natural family” is being used to promote new laws justifying the criminalization of LGBTQ people and abortion, effectively unleashing a torrent of destructive anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ legislation, persecution, and violence around the world that ultimately damages—and seeks to dismantle—any and all “nontraditional” families (e.g. single parents, same-sex couples, grandparents, non-biological guardians, etc.).

WCF’s international conferences, or “Congresses,” function as key sites of right-wing strategy development and dissemination. These events typically attract thousands of participants, and build WCF’s international influence by bringing together sympathetic elected officials, religious leaders, scientists, scholars, and civil society from around the world. The headlining speakers are typically high profile leaders of the U.S. Christian Right, representing larger, better-resourced organizations that sign on as WCF partners.

So as wonderful as it is that FRC is speaking out against persecution abroad, complete with the above image of bloodied hands trapped behind barbed wire, it's important to remember that if those hands belonged to lgbts, the organization probably wouldn't give those persecuted folks the time of day.

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