Skip to comments.Air Force Admits Conservative Leader Was ‘Disinvited’ to Speak at Prayer Luncheon
Posted on 02/26/2010 3:56:27 AM PST by Man50D
The U.S. Air Force admits that Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was disinvited from speaking at a national prayer luncheon held Thursday at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland because of the conservative leaders views opposing President Obamas efforts to end Dont Ask Dont Tell the military policy on homosexuality.
The Chaplains Office retracted Mr. Perkins invitation after his recent public comments made many who planned to attend the event uncomfortable, the Andrews base public affairs office said in a statement issued late Thursday.
This was a local decision made by the Chaplains Office who wanted the luncheon to be inclusive for the entire base community," the statement said. "The Chaplains Office respects and defends Mr. Perkins right to express his opinions, and regrets any inconvenience to him. We thank and respect him for his prior military service.
Perkins told CNSNews.com he was invited last October by the Chaplains Office to speak at the prayer luncheon, which focused this year on deployed personnel, families and prayer.
The theme was back to basics that is exactly what I was going to talk about, the basics as Christ talks about the two greatest commandments, to love God and to love your neighbor, he told CNSNews.com.
But Perkins said the comments that got him in trouble were published on the FRC Web site on Jan. 27, after President Obama delivered his State of the Union address.
Obama called on Congress to lift all restrictions on service in the military by open homosexuals, and Perkins admitted he had been very vocal in opposing Obamas policy. Perkins said he took to the FRC Web site to oppose Obamas policy proposal, and urged Congress to retain the current law which excludes homosexuals from openly serving in the military.
Two days after the presidents State of the Union address, I received a letter from the chaplain rescinding the invitation, based upon statements that were on our Web site that were deemed to be incompatible with men and women who serve in the military at the direction of the commander-in-chief, Perkins said.
A letter, dated Jan. 29, was sent from the chaplain's office at Andrews AFB.
Dear Mr. Perkins: I wish to thank you for accepting our initial invitation to speak at our national prayer luncheon on Feb. 25, it stated. (H)owever, we must rescind the invitation due to statements posted on the Family Research Council Web site which are incompatible in our role as military members who serve our elected officials and our commander-in-chief.
As a former Marine officer, Im sure you understand the situation in which we find ourselves. As military members, we are sworn to support our commander-in-chief, and are forbidden to make or support statements which run counter to our roles in the armed forces.
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told CNSNews.com he is "terribly disappointed with the decision to rescind the invitation to the conservative leader -- a move he condemned as tragic and political correctness.
It is absolutely political correctness, if in the name of inclusiveness we throw out someone who is a Christian or has a view that might be a little bit different than Mr. Obamas, then weve dishonored the very service that fights to uphold and defend the Constitution, Franks said from the U.S. Capitol.
Its especially heartbreaking to me, knowing that the rank-and-file of the United States military is far more in line with the views of Tony Perkins than they will ever be of the views of President Barack Obama, Franks told CNSNews.com.
Perkins, a conservative leader who is also a minister and former military officer, said he had no intention of being political, had he been allowed to speak.
I would have never used this venue as a political venue to even mention the president, unless it was to pray for him, Perkins told CNSNews.com. This was to focus on the spiritual needs of the men and women in uniform.
Congressman Franks, meanwhile, indicated he plans to further raise the issue in Congress and took aim at the Air Force's notion of being "inclusive."
We can be inclusive we could bring Al Qaeda in there and thats inclusive -- But to suggest somehow that someone like Tony Perkins shouldnt be welcome on a military base because he has some views that are antithetical to some of Barack Obamas views, is just outrageous," Franks said.
Perkins, meanwhile, said hes unrepentant in opposing Obamas pro-homosexual agenda.
What he (the president) was essentially calling the military to do was to violate the law, without a change by Congress, Perkins told CNSNews.com. That change of policy would in fact affect national security and in fact affect the lives of men and women who serve in uniform. As a veteran of the Marine Corps, I know exactly the environment and what this could do to the men and women who serve. So it is very troubling.
Dr. William Donahue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in New York City condemned the action and called for an investigation.
The decision to silence Tony Perkins, an ordained minister and Marine veteran, represents political correctness at a dangerous level, Donahue said. There are legitimate reasons to accept and reject the current policy regarding gays in the military. No one, therefore, should be censored from speaking at any private or public forum -- much less a military instillation -- because of his or her views on this subject.
Perkins, meanwhile, said the real issue isnt that he was disinvited to an event its about political correctness in the military on homosexuality.
This is not about the chaplain, its not even about Andrews Air Force Base, its about the chilling effect that this policy would have upon Christians who operate from an understanding of whats right and wrong according to Scripture, Perkins told CNSNews.com.
Donahue agreed: While the most immediate issue is the blacklisting of Perkins, the larger issue is the chilling effect this decision will have on the free speech and religious liberty rights of all those who serve in the military, especially clergymen."
CNSNews.com has formally requested an interview with a representative from the chaplains office.
So what else will military leaders do to people who disagree with the President?
Chaplains are officers first...
then religious men if need be...
Perhaps our Christian young men and women should just not enter the military any more if their faith will not be respected...with chaplains like this in the military, our young people would be dealing with “ravening wolves” in shephards’ clothing!
Looks as if the leadership is sucking up in advance.
Epic FAIL by the Chaplain’s Office. The oath requires the military to obey the orders of the president but it does not mean that you serve the president. You serve the country, support/protect/defend the Constitution, and obey the officers appointed above you. The service is to the country that has elected representatives to establish the laws by which you serve. Those representatives have not changed the law (YET) so rescinding the invititation because of taking a stand on a political matter that is yet before the Congress is out of line, IMO.
the Marine Corps Commmandant just did- stay tuned
(Guess he’s not invited to pray with the Air Force, either)
“Those representatives have not changed the law (YET)”
I agree that this blatant move towards strict political correctness in the military has nothing to do with obeying orders that are already law. Mr. Obama is looking to have the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy rescinded, but that has not happened yet as you say. Therefore, the Chaplain’s retraction of Mr. Perkin’s invitation to speak is an outrageous attempt to silence Christians in the military. It seems to me that if you do not agree with what Mr. Obama wants done, you will be facing dismissal in whatever arena you happen to work. What fools they are who voted for him.
“...in our role as military members who serve our elected officials and our commander-in-chief.”
Another dirtbag butt-kisser. The military serves the Constitution and the people it represents. The president is commander in chief, not some fascist Caesar you pledge fealty to. This so-called chaplain neeeds to be thrown out of the service.
Many of these young people entering the military are the only idealists America has left. They will learn slowly that their government is not their friend.
Sadly, Christians have silenced themselves in a vain bid to be accepted by the elites.
George Washington would be aghast since he was the major influence for instituting chaplains to serve in the military.
When the Chaplain fail to honor God, why would we expect them to honor anybody else.
PC gone wild
The Air Force makes a strong contrast with the Marines, doesn’t it? Of course, the Air Force has always been a little prissy.
Probably discharge them for now. Later on down the road they will probably try tem for “hate crime” thoughts and imprison and then discharge them. There are many more individuals than obama wanting this[homosexuals lifestyle being openly practed in the Armed Forces]. Those who advocate for this and those who advocate against it both know what the ultimane result will be: The destruction of the Armed Forces of the United States of America as a fighting force.One side wants this and one side doesn’t. At this point in time the homosexuals appear to be winning.
When the Chaplain fail to honor God, why would we expect them to honor anybody else.
THAT IS PRECISION BOMBING
Youre last two sentences hit the nail squarely on the head. In the future, whether you work or don’t work will depend on which side of obama’s policies you are on. Those who favor his policies will work. Those that don’t won’t. Just as it was in the Communist Bloc Countries. To get a good paying job[for them] one had to be a member of the Communist Party. But that was what the fools that voted for him voted for.