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CBS’s ‘Face The Nation’ With Bob Schieffer: Bashing Tony Perkins and Christianity Ignites Twitter War

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(above) Family Research Council President Tony Perkins appeared on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” with host Bob Schieffer on May 3, 2015.


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Traffic on Twitter on Tuesday targeted the Christian-bashing that surfaced on a recent “Face the Nation” program with Bob Schieffer, with comments from Watchmen on the Wall, Franklin Graham, Concerned Women for America chapters and a long list of individuals.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center sows discord and hatred at a time when our great nation needs love and healing,” posted Katie Gorka.

The dispute is over Schieffer’s recent interview with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in the run-up to the U.S. Supreme Court arguments over whether the justices will affirm traditional, biblical marriage, or whether they will mandate same-sex “marriage” across the nation.

As WND reported, Schieffer confronted Perkins, during his introduction of Perkins as an opponent of same-sex “marriage,” with the SPLC’s claim that FRC is a “hate” group.

What Schieffer left out was the fact that SPLC was named by a convicted domestic terrorist as the source of his information for what was intended to be a mass murder attack on FRC.

The exchange between Schieffer and Perkins on the same-sex marriage case before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday is here:

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Schieffer said: “I’m going to start with probably the most vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, and that is Tony Perkins. He is the president of the Family Research Council. And, Mr. Perkins, I’m going to say this to you upfront. You and your group have been so strong in coming out against this – and against gay marriage that the Southern Poverty Law Center has branded the Family Research Council an anti-gay hate group. We have been inundated by people who say we should not even let you appear because they, in their view, quote, ‘You don’t speak for Christians.’ Do you think you have taken this too far?”

Perkins calmly responded that the Supreme Court opinion “is not going to settle this issue.”

“The courts are … to interpret the Constitution and the constitutionality of laws, not create public policy.”

He later wrote in his Washington Update dispatch that “discrimination isn’t what LGBT activists fear most. Debate is.”

The hashtag #DumpSPLC started gaining traction on Tuesday with the idea that the SPLC should not be considered a resource by a reputably network, because it was formally linked to domestic terror by the confessed terrorist.

WND reported the gun used in the attack in 2012 on the FRC was put into the Domestic Terrorism and Hate Crimes exhibit at the Crime Museum in Washington.

It joined the yellowed “eyes” of the Volkswagen Beetle that serial killer Ted Bundy used to kidnap his victims, the Unabomber’s letters, a noose from a Ku Klux Klan lynching and rubble from the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Homosexual activist Floyd Lee Corkins in the Aug. 15, 2012, attack walked into FRC headquarters in Washington armed with a semi-automatic pistol, 95 bullets and a sack of Chick-fil-A sandwiches with the intent, he later confessed, of killing “as many people as I could.”

He managed to shoot and injure just one person, facilities manager Leo Johnson, who is credited with heroically stopping the attack.

Corkins admitted he picked FRC, which promotes traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs about family and sexuality, because the organization was listed as an “anti-gay” hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center on its website.

Corkins, a former volunteer at an LGBT community center, pleaded guilty to terrorism following the FRC attack and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

See video of the attack

Corkins fingered the SPLC as his inspiration for the attack in an interview with the FBI.

Asked how he picked the FRC to attack, Corkins stated, “It was a, uh, Southern Poverty Law, lists, uh, anti-gay groups. I found them online. I did a little bit of research, went to the website, stuff like that.”

He said he spotted the FRC on the SPLC’s “hate map.”

The FBI interview with Corkins included this exchange:

FBI: “What was your intention … you’re … a political activist you said?”

Corkins: “Yeah, I wanted to kill the people in the building and then smear a Chicken-fil-A sandwich on their face.”

FBI: “And you, what was your intention when you went in there with the gun?”

Corkins: “Uh, it was to kill as many people as I could.”

At the time of the shooting, Chick-fil-A was in the headlines because of its president’s opposition to “gay marriage.”

The SPLC still lists the FRC as a “hate group” on its “hate map.”

On Twitter on Tuesday was the message from Josh Duggar, “There’s a reason the FBI severed ties w/SPLC. They’re discredited & linked to terrorism.”

Added Media Research Center, “@FacetheNation should stop using domestic terrorism-linked SPLC as a resource.”

From NewsBusters came as “Bias Alert” on the topic, and CWA of Texas said, “Here’s what @FaceTheNation and @BobSchieffer need to know about SPLC: King of Fearmongers…”

Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse joined the conversation with a posting on Facebook.

“Did you see where Face the Nation’s Bob Schieffer attacked Tony Perkins and Family Research Council in what is being called an ‘ambush’ interview last week? He accused Tony and FRC of being anti-gay. I know Tony. He’s a great American and a strong Christian. Just because Christians take a stand aligned with what the Word of God says is true, that doesn’t mean we are anti-gay,” Graham wrote.

“It means that we love people enough to warn them. God tells us in His Word that lying is sin, stealing is sin, murder is sin, adultery is sin, homosexuality is sin … and ‘the wages of sin is death.’ The Bible says ‘all have sinned,’ and we want people to know that God will forgive them and give them eternal life if they turn from their sins and accept His Son, Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior. In our world today, being bold enough to speak out on important biblical and moral issues means that we are targets of the liberal media’s anti-Christian bias. But it doesn’t mean that we stop.”

Perkins responded on Tuesday, “I’m thankful for Franklin’s friendship and support, but even more appreciative of his unwavering stand for biblical truth. This is not about defending our opinions or our views, it’s about agreeing with God’s stated truth.”

Other comments came from the American Freedom Law Center as well as the National Organization for Marriage.

Even SPLC joined in, citing a statement it attributed to the FRC from 1999, “Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.”

It added, “The hate group designation is based on the Family Research Council’s distortion of known facts to demonize gay men as child molesters and similar false claims, and has nothing to do with FRC’s support of ‘natural marriage’ or its belief that homosexuality is a sin.”

Several SPLC supporters also chimed in, with Ed Cates writing, “Get your head out of your … echo chamber and think for yourselves for a change.”

WND also reported just a few days ago when a coalition of Christian leaders asked CBS President David Rhodes to publicly apologize for “sloppy journalism” by Schieffer.

A letter to Rhodes has been signed by Edwin Meese of the Conservative Action Project; Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List; J. Kenneth Blackwell, formerly of the U.N. Human Rights Commission; Lt. Gen. William Boykin of Family Research Council; Tim Wildmon of American Family Association; David Bossie of Citizens United; Douglas Napier of Alliance Defending Freedom; Herman Cain of The New Voice; and Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America.

Said the letter, “This past Sunday, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, appeared as a guest on ‘Face the Nation’ with CBS’s Bob Schieffer to discuss the Supreme Court same-sex marriage case. Schieffer said that he was inundated by requests that Perkins be disinvited because they believe ‘you [Perkins] don’t speak for Christians.’

“The interview was more than sloppy journalism. It was an assault against Judeo-Christian people of faith,” the letter states.

“The work that FRC and its president Tony Perkins do to promote healthy families and traditional values is irreplaceable in our culture. To suggest, as Schieffer did, that FRC doesn’t represent Christians flies in the face of reality. The millions of Americans that we, the undersigned, collectively represent are proof of that.”

A petition has been created in support of ordinances that allow Christian business owners to live by their faith.

About his interview with Schieffer, Perkins said: “It was disappointing to see that any media outlet would rely on a group like SPLC that has actually been linked to domestic terrorism in federal court and traffics in politically motivated, inaccurate, and biased claims. After taking a deeper look at the SPLC’s motives, the FBI removed links to the SPLC from its ‘hate crimes resources’ page and the Department of Defense, along with the U.S. Army, have distanced themselves from SPLC’s materials.”

WND has assembled a “Big List of Christian Coercion” about cases in which Christians have been required to violate their religious beliefs.


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Greg Holt
About the author: Greg is a strong believer in Jesus Christ and is also a political analyst and author.  By day he is a self-employed non-emergency medical transport driver, as well as being an author and blogger.  His articles are first published on TCP News and Inspirational Christian Blogs, and from there the articles are widely published on many well-known conservative websites.  If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so leaving all links intact and crediting the author and the website that the article appeared on.  Greg is the author of the newly released book: Spiritual Darkness is Destroying America and the Church.  Subscribe to my daily newsletter, and join hundreds of daily readers and receive news and relevant commentary. Follow TCP News on Facebook, USA LifeGab, SpreelyTwitter, and Pinterest


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