|FRC head Tony Perkins has no room to lecture anyone on civility.|
The Family Research Council president, Tony Perkins, today regarding the controversy about Sarah Huckabee and the Red Hen:
At a restaurant in rural Virginia, liberals are ordering something to go: conservatives! For members of the Trump leadership team, there's no such thing as eating out in peace -- or, in the case of Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, eating at all. After a week of escalating tensions over immigration, the face of the White House's PR became the latest victim of the Left's "tolerance."
Her table had barely touched their cheese boards when the owner approached Sanders and asked to speak with her privately. They walked out to the patio where Sarah was informed that she wasn't welcome at the Red Hen restaurant. "I'd like to ask you to leave," Stephanie Wilkerson told Sanders. Everyone else at the table would be welcome to stay, she was told. Without hesitating, Sarah said simply, "That's fine. I'll go." Unfortunately for Sanders, who's endured more than her share of harassment on the job, this is the treatment she and other members of the administration come to expect. In the end, she tweeted, Wilkerson's actions, "say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so."
A few days earlier, Americans watched in amazement as protestors screamed at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen at a restaurant in D.C. (This was after her home had already been surrounded by a mob of angry Trump opponents shouting "No justice, no sleep!") White House advisor Stephen Miller was another target, accosted by a group of unhinged liberals yelling, "Facist!" while he tried to eat. Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi, who isn't even an administration official, had to rush away from a movie screening when a confrontation outside got too heated. The threat of real violence is something every conservative is starting to take seriously.
House Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) watched in astonishment as Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.) tried to stoke the fire. "If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere," she said to the horror of even her own party. Worried that things could escalate, Scalise spokesman Lauren Fine reminded America what happens when debates turn vicious. "Whip Scalise knows firsthand the dangerous consequences that can result from making political differences personal and vitriolic," she said. "Harassment is never an acceptable method of disagreement."
You have admire his attempt to frame the situation. Perkins didn't want to chance being called a hypocrite by labeling Sanders being a victim of discrimination seeing that she (and he) fully supports the idea of "religious liberty," which is defined nowadays as businesses being able to discriminate against potential customers if they are gay. Also, if you blinked, you missed his attempt to make Sanders look polite in the situation. Perkins conveniently omitted that she later used her official twitter address as the White House Press Secretary to relate the story - a possible legal no-no.
And believe it or not, I agree with the spirit of what he is saying. No government official should be demonized or harassed. But Tony Perkins lecturing anyone on a lack of civility? Come on. He has made a name for himself for being "less-than-civil" to the LGBTQ community.
Don't be fooled by his schoolmarm-hold-the-ruler act. FRC president Tony Perkins has said the following about the LGBTQ community in the past:
They’re going after your children with these agendas because they know if they can change the hearts and minds of these kids and confuse them as young as five years old—folks, they’ve cut you off at the pass”...“They’re trying to create greater confusion in the minds of these kids. It’s going to make it difficult even to reach them with the gospel.”
“They are intolerant. They are hateful. They are vile. They are spiteful"..."pawns" of the "enemy.”
“[B]ack in the 80s and early 90s, I worked with the State Department in anti-terrorism and we trained about 50 different countries in defending against terrorism, and it’s, at its base, what terrorism is, it's a strike against the general populace simply to spread fear and intimidation so that they can disrupt and destabilize the system of government. That's what the homosexuals are doing here to the legal system.”
“I’m beginning to think, are re-education camps next? When are they going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians?”
“The videos are titled 'It Gets Better.' They are aimed at persuading kids that although they'll face struggles and perhaps bullying for 'coming out' as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better. …It's disgusting. And it's part of a concerted effort to persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that lifestyle."
Now some folks will say that Perkins never told anyone to harass gays. Not directly, but rhetoric like his dehumanizes not only LGBTQ men and women, but our families and especially our children. His accusations have given people justification to deny us rights, to strip us of our dignity, and probably in some cases, to cause us physical harm. He may not be telling people what to do, but by saying things like gays want to treat Christians like Nazis treated Jewish people, gays are trying to recruit children, or gays are tools of Satan, Perkins is definitely instigating negative action.
Perkins should check his own rhetoric before feeling the need to lecture anyone. Someone like him whining about a lack of civility is probably a reason why the overall cries are falling on deaf ears.