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Air Force Admits Conservative Leader Was ‘Disinvited’ to Speak at Prayer Luncheon
CNSNews.com ^ | February 26, 2010 | Pete Winn

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 leader’s views opposing President Obama’s efforts to end “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – the military policy on homosexuality.

“The Chaplain’s 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 Chaplain’s Office who wanted the luncheon to be inclusive for the entire base community," the statement said. "The Chaplain’s 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 Chaplain’s 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 Obama’s policy. Perkins said he took to the FRC Web site to oppose Obama’s policy proposal, and urged Congress to retain the current law which excludes homosexuals from openly serving in the military.

“Two days after the president’s 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, I’m 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. Obama’s, then we’ve dishonored the very service that fights to uphold and defend the Constitution,” Franks said from the U.S. Capitol.

“It’s 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 that’s ‘inclusive’ -- But to suggest somehow that someone like Tony Perkins shouldn’t be welcome on a military base because he has some views that are antithetical to some of Barack Obama’s views, is just outrageous," Franks said.

Perkins, meanwhile, said he’s unrepentant in opposing Obama’s 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 isn’t that he was disinvited to an event – it’s about political correctness in the military on homosexuality.

“This is not about the chaplain, it’s not even about Andrews Air Force Base, it’s about the chilling effect that this policy would have upon Christians who operate from an understanding of what’s 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 chaplain’s office.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bhodod; dontaskdonttell; frc; homosexualagenda; prayerbreakfast; usaf
Rest of title: Because of His Views on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
1 posted on 02/26/2010 3:56:27 AM PST by Man50D
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To: Man50D

So what else will military leaders do to people who disagree with the President?


2 posted on 02/26/2010 4:01:51 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Man50D

Chaplains are officers first...

then religious men if need be...


3 posted on 02/26/2010 4:04:06 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: Man50D

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!


4 posted on 02/26/2010 4:06:22 AM PST by mdmathis6
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To: Man50D

Looks as if the leadership is sucking up in advance.


5 posted on 02/26/2010 4:07:13 AM PST by Mr Ramsbotham ("Did I give you carbolic acid? I'd love to.")
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To: Man50D

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.


6 posted on 02/26/2010 4:10:00 AM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: driftdiver

the Marine Corps Commmandant just did- stay tuned

(Guess he’s not invited to pray with the Air Force, either)


7 posted on 02/26/2010 4:10:33 AM PST by silverleaf (We don't want everyone in Washington to get along, We want them to get out of the way)
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To: T-Bird45

“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.


8 posted on 02/26/2010 4:19:23 AM PST by sueuprising
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To: Man50D

“...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.


9 posted on 02/26/2010 4:26:42 AM PST by sergeantdave
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To: mdmathis6

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.


10 posted on 02/26/2010 4:41:29 AM PST by Theodore R. (...)
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To: sueuprising

Sadly, Christians have silenced themselves in a vain bid to be accepted by the elites.


11 posted on 02/26/2010 4:42:09 AM PST by Theodore R. (...)
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To: Man50D

George Washington would be aghast since he was the major influence for instituting chaplains to serve in the military.


12 posted on 02/26/2010 4:52:27 AM PST by tflabo (Restore the Republic)
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To: driftdiver
It's really simple, distention will not be allowed. It'll be either “shut up and color” or get out.
13 posted on 02/26/2010 5:12:11 AM PST by Red Dog #1
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To: Man50D

When the Chaplain fail to honor God, why would we expect them to honor anybody else.


14 posted on 02/26/2010 5:17:53 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr

PC gone wild


15 posted on 02/26/2010 5:22:41 AM PST by hal ogen
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To: Man50D

The Air Force makes a strong contrast with the Marines, doesn’t it? Of course, the Air Force has always been a little prissy.


16 posted on 02/26/2010 5:28:42 AM PST by GingisK
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To: driftdiver

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.


17 posted on 02/26/2010 5:48:25 AM PST by sport
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To: Man50D
Not this Tony Perkins.


18 posted on 02/26/2010 5:48:43 AM PST by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: Cvengr

When the Chaplain fail to honor God, why would we expect them to honor anybody else.

THAT IS PRECISION BOMBING


19 posted on 02/26/2010 5:48:52 AM PST by panzerkamphwageneinz (HALLELUJAH)
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To: sueuprising

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.


20 posted on 02/26/2010 5:56:01 AM PST by sport
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To: Man50D

I remember the AF leadership in particular and the DOD as a whole publicly stood against Clinton’s plans to allow open homosexulity in the military back in 1993. The current regime is apparently accepting no dissention on the matter this time.

We’re going to see a lot of good people exit the military over all this.


21 posted on 02/26/2010 5:56:49 AM PST by ScottinVA (Glad to see Demonic Unhinged (DU) highlights and attacks my FR comments!)
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To: Man50D
"...wanted the luncheon to be inclusive for the entire base community."

Except for those the 0bamoaists wish to exclude. Practicing exclusion while proclaiming inclusion. The Marxocrats continue their long tradition of doublespeak.

22 posted on 02/26/2010 6:01:16 AM PST by Thumper1960 (A modern so-called "Conservative" is a shadow of a wisp of a vertebrate human being.)
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To: tflabo

The Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves. It is not their offspring that caused this. They may have had the same “mothers” but Founding Fathers had no part in the linage of those who are responsible ,[to wit: obama ans Democrat voters] for the mess we are in today. To be more specific, they are bastards masquerading as legitimate sons and daughters.


23 posted on 02/26/2010 6:03:34 AM PST by sport
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To: Man50D

Members are not sworn to support their Commander and Chief! They are sworn to uphold an defend the Constitution of the United States of America, and protect it from all enemies foreign and domestic, and obey all LAWFUL orders by officers appointment above them. Obama read the the oath of office of your military officers! Officers do not carry a sworn allegience to you or your line of thinking and politic views.


24 posted on 02/26/2010 6:30:50 AM PST by castlegreyskull
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To: Tennessee Nana
Chaplains are officers first... then religious men if need be...

That has not been my experience.

25 posted on 02/26/2010 6:44:29 AM PST by TankerKC (*=*)
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To: Tennessee Nana
Chaplains are officers first... then religious men if need be...

______________________________________

Their motto is "For God and Country" not "For Country and God.

26 posted on 02/26/2010 6:46:37 AM PST by wtc911 ("How you gonna get down that hill?")
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To: Tennessee Nana

Yeah, yeah they’re officers first. I was an AF officer and my oath of office was to defend the Constitution, not one of fealty to a president and policies.

The military services are supposed to operate outside of politics (heavy emphasis on supposed to). Using this logic they could have been forced to turn away anybody, politician or otherwise, who disagreed with Bush’s policies from participation in any military activity.

As long as his presence or speech was non-political then it should not be a problem. This is nothing more than career-protecting senior officers bowing to political pressure.


27 posted on 02/26/2010 6:47:05 AM PST by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: GingisK

Oh yeah! I was a Marine Corps sergeant and retired as an Air Force officer; want to tell me I’m “prissy” to my face bud? You are right, it is a strong contrast but in the end the Corps leadership will fold along with the AF leadership. There are Marine generals over the last few years who happily went with Carter and Clinton and supported their political views. Reaching senior rank is usually due to the general/admiral’s political connections and skills. Sadly, those who make it because of leadership skills are few and they will probably be the ones to retire rather than implement policies they disagree with.


28 posted on 02/26/2010 6:55:38 AM PST by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: Man50D

I am really getting to the point that I cannot take this anymore!!!

I feel like I am living in some sort of Sci Fi movie. WTF, does Obama have over these people??? It is getting freaking scary!

Is this the way some Germans felt when Hitler took over?

I want to puke!!


29 posted on 02/26/2010 6:59:45 AM PST by panthermom
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To: RJS1950
I was a Marine Corps sergeant and retired as an Air Force officer; want to tell me I’m “prissy” to my face bud?

Once a Marine, always a Marine. You are a special case who provided an extra dose of backbone to the Air Force.

Wow! You gave a lot to our Nation. Thank you.

I hope you are wrong about the Marines caving in. You are probably right, though. Somehow the PC crowd is winning the battle for civilization. I feel sorry for the generations to follow.

30 posted on 02/26/2010 7:30:47 AM PST by GingisK
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To: panthermom
Is this the way some Germans felt when Hitler took over?

All of this does indeed seem to be a repeat of Hitler's rise to power. I have conversed with folks who experienced the rise of the German Reich, and they all say they are seeing the same patterns here in the US. It scares them.

31 posted on 02/26/2010 7:34:30 AM PST by GingisK
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To: GingisK

I am really freaking out over this administration, the media, the pundits, the congress, all of them. It is like they are under some sort of spell. I feel like I live amongst Zombies!


32 posted on 02/26/2010 7:39:07 AM PST by panthermom
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To: GingisK

My son swore in to the Army last week, he leaves for Ft. Benning in April. I read this nonsense, and it frightens me. I feel like in the current climate, no matter what you believe, all your values, they are all wrong. I won’t give them up but I feel like I have to fight every waking minute to keep my sanity, which I know is right!


33 posted on 02/26/2010 7:42:27 AM PST by panthermom
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To: panthermom
I have to fight every waking minute to keep my sanity, which I know is right!

You and me both, dear lady. I can't believe all of the leaders in this Nation have gone insane, but there is no evidence to the contrary. The rot goes from top to bottom, with no "leader" left sane.

Maybe there is something in the water.

34 posted on 02/26/2010 7:52:23 AM PST by GingisK
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To: Man50D

Sad day for the USAF.


35 posted on 02/26/2010 8:08:11 AM PST by John-Irish ("Shame of him who thinks of it''.)
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To: driftdiver
So what else will military leaders do to people who disagree with the President?

Not invite them to speak at official functions.

36 posted on 02/26/2010 8:12:19 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: T-Bird45
The oath requires the military to obey the orders of the president but it does not mean that you serve the president.

During the Bush administration would it have been appropriate for Cindy Sheehan to be invited to a function organized by officers as part of their official duties?

37 posted on 02/26/2010 8:14:57 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur
The oath requires the military to obey the orders of the president but it does not mean that you serve the president.

You forgot an itty bitty little word in that!

The oath requires the military to obey the LAWFUL orders of the president but it does not mean that you serve the president.

There! Fixed it for you!

38 posted on 02/26/2010 8:23:13 AM PST by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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To: Bigun
The oath requires the military to obey the LAWFUL orders of the president but it does not mean that you serve the president.

Ask Michael New or Ehren Watanada how that deciding on what is a lawful order and what isn't all on your own works out.

39 posted on 02/26/2010 8:29:57 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: GingisK

Actually, not so much of a special case, I served with many AF officers and more than a few enlisted who started their careers in the Marines. Overall, the AF with a mostly different mission than the Marines is not all that prissy. That idea has carried over from WWII when ground troops considered the bomber and fighter crews to be “privileged” because they went back to warm food and beds at night. The infantry guys didn’t know about the fatality statistics of the bomber/fighters crews. Air crews were many times more likely to die than the guys on the ground. One raid with only 200 bombers that suffered 50% losses meant that up to 1000 men died, were injured or taken prisoner for each bomber with a 10 man crew. Each service plays a critical role in the combined arms operations.


40 posted on 02/26/2010 8:30:53 AM PST by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: RJS1950
Each service plays a critical role in the combined arms operations.

So true!

But, inter-service rivalry can sometimes be its own reward. ;-D

I was in the Army. I was commissioned in 1972, but never deployed since the Vietnam War was winding down at the time.

Seeing Marines in action raised my eyebrows.

41 posted on 02/26/2010 9:28:35 AM PST by GingisK
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To: Non-Sequitur

Cindy Sheehan = anti-war screecher, protesting a legal decision that was ratified by Congressional authority.

Perkins = taking a stand in support of established law and opposing a change to the law. Further, the subject of his speech was not going to be on DADT as that was not the point of the gathering.

Not really seeing an equivalency between the two positions. Sheehan’s position was in opposition to good order and discipline so it would not have been appropriate to invite her to speak. Perkins’ position is in support of a law that ensures good order and discipline. His invite should not have been withdrawn as it shows the chaplains taking a political position on a matter that is under active discussion by civil leadership. That is not acceptable conduct by a military officer, even if wearing a chaplain’s insignia.


42 posted on 02/26/2010 11:48:26 AM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: T-Bird45

Both would have been people speaking out against stated government policy. Neither should have a place at an official government-sponsored event.


43 posted on 02/26/2010 11:52:41 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur

FTA: “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.”

Seems pretty clear to me that his stand on DADT was outside the scope of his intended speech due to the nature of the gathering.


44 posted on 02/26/2010 12:11:45 PM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: Non-Sequitur
Ask Michael New or Ehren Watanada how that deciding on what is a lawful order and what isn't all on your own works out.

More spin from you that dose not change the fact of what I said one iota!

The oath requires the military to obey the LAWFUL orders of the president but it does not mean that you serve the president.

45 posted on 02/27/2010 4:07:15 PM PST by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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To: Bigun
More spin from you that dose not change the fact of what I said one iota!

Just highlights the idiocy of it.

46 posted on 02/28/2010 4:56:21 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur
Just highlights the idiocy of it.

Oh you are highlighting idiocy all right! I'll give you that!

The idiocy you are highlighting is your own!

47 posted on 02/28/2010 5:58:31 AM PST by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
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