Family Research Council

January 31, 2014 - Friday

Cheerios Tweet Exposes Left's Cereal Hypocrisy

If there's a national shortage of apology cards, blame MSNBC. Even if the network actually cared about news, executives wouldn't have time for it with all the mea culpas the company is pumping out. Following a daily pattern of offend-rinse-repeat, MSNBC is becoming the place where personal attacks aren't just tolerated -- but encouraged.

The network's latest bit of nastiness came earlier this week, when an episode of MSNBC's race-baiting went horribly wrong. In a tweet about Cheerios's new Super Bowl ad, an employee tweeted from the company's official account: "Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family" -- implying that conservatives are nothing but a bunch of white racists. It was nauseating, even by MSNBC standards. By now, most Americans know that the network is incapable of civil debate.

But that doesn't mean the country was going to take the insinuation sitting down. Photos of right-wing biracial families started flooding Twitter, as conservatives like Michelle Malkin led the public shaming of a network that just finished cleaning up another mess with host Melissa Harris-Perry. Obviously, MSNBC didn't learn a thing from that scandal, when Harris-Perry cried her way into the good graces of the network after mocking Mitt Romney's black grandson. She got to keep her job -- unlike Martin Bashir, who lost his after wishing someone would defecate in Sarah Palin's mouth. Journalism at its finest.

This time, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus was ready to play hardball. He issued a Committee-wide ban on any RNC appearances on MSNBC until the network personally apologized. "We can have our political disagreements with MSNBC, but using biracial families to launch petty and ridiculous attacks is low. It only coarsens our political discourse. This is more than just a tweet or an offhand comment. This is part of a pattern of behavior that has gotten markedly worse, and until Phil Griffin personally apologizes and takes corrective action, we cannot be part of this network's toxic programming."

Within hours, Griffin, MSNBC President, announced that he'd fired the person responsible for the tweet, insisting "that's not who we are at MSNBC." But unfortunately, it is what the network's culture has become. For the last few years, the network has refused to engage in a debate over the merits of any policy or position -- and instead labeled anyone who disagrees with them as a bigot. And that kind of hostility isn't lost on viewers. Even before this scandal, only 3% chose NBC or MSNBC as their most trusted network.

Meanwhile, we should give Reince Preibus credit for sticking up for conservatives and demanding an apology. All too often, Republicans refuse to stand up to the totalitarian tactics of the Left. The only way to stop a bully is to stand up to him.

Massachusetts Doesn't Get Mad, It Gets GLAD

The newest battleground over religious liberty may be the school cafeteria! In Massachusetts, an all-girls school is having the ultimate food fight with a job applicant over his lifestyle choices. Matthew Barrett was a cinch for the job at the Catholic Fontbonne Academy -- until administrators noticed his emergency contact form. On it, Barrett had identified his homosexual "spouse" as the person to call.

Two days later, the Academy's leadership called him into the office and rescinded the job offer. The headmaster was polite but resolved. "Fontbonne Academy does not discriminate against anyone based on their sexual orientation," said Assistant Head of School Gregg Chambers. But it is "guided by the religious doctrines and beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church [which] has a very specific belief that marriage between two persons of the same sex is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church and that belief informs policies of how Fontbonne Academy and all Catholic schools are to operate on this issue."

That didn't sit well with Barrett, who contacted the local Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and filed a complaint with the state. "Religiously-affiliated entities do not have a free pass to do as they please in how they treat employees," GLAD insisted. Other liberals piled on, arguing that Barrett wouldn't have been working in the classroom, imposing his agenda on the students. But imagine how confusing it would be to walk out of the classroom, where they're learning about the church's teachings, only to be confronted with a school employee living a way that contradicts the beliefs they were just taught? How do children process that?

What's the purpose of moral education if not to instill a set of moral values into our children? We've seen the Left force this anti-faith agenda on businesses like cake shops, florists, wedding venues, caterers, and bed and breakfasts -- insisting that surrendering your values is the price of competing in the marketplace. Now, it looks like they plan on controlling faith-based organizations as well, stripping schools and charities of their rights to establish and operate under a biblical code of conduct.

Folks, this is exactly what the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is all about. The President's party is moving on legislation that would suffocate employers' rights to run their workplace the way they see fit. Under ENDA, profits give way to political correctness, as radicals impose their own warped view of sexuality on every daycare, school administrator, and business across America.

And if you believe homosexual activists will be satisfied with just applying this to for-profit entities, think again. Once the Left gets through crushing the freedom of the marketplace, they'll increasingly target faith-based groups and demand the same "tolerance." The workplace, including the innocent schools like Fontbonne Academy, would be open season on people with religious convictions and beliefs.

Yes, Virginia, Your Marriage Law Will Be Defended

Just days after taking his oath of office to uphold the Virginia Constitution, that state's new Attorney General, Mark Herring, attacked it instead. Not only did he announce that he wouldn't defend Virginia's constitutional definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman against a federal lawsuit -- he actually joined the other side in that lawsuit, filing a brief against the state he has sworn to defend. But Virginians aren't taking this lying down. A bill has been introduced that would give any Virginia legislator standing to defend the law in this situation, and some legislators have even called for Herring's impeachment.

Meanwhile, Clerk Michele McQuigg of Prince William County deserves praise for defending the law when Herring wouldn't. She'll have her day in court next Tuesday, when oral arguments are held in Norfolk. If you live in Virginia, call Attorney General Mark Herring at 804-786-2071 or contact him through his website to let him know he should defend the law, not attack it. And if you are able, come to the Norfolk Courthouse (600 Granby St., Norfolk, VA 23510) at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 4 to show your support for marriage and for the rule of law.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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