Political Correctness Run a Duck
It used to be offensive to support natural marriage -- now it's offensive just to like someone who does! Even, two Eglin Air Force officials found out, if that "someone" is a famous celebrity. In a mind-blowing story of political correctness run amok, a controversy is rocking a Florida military base over two tiny decals stuck to the back of employees' personal vehicles. "I stand with Phil" is all the stickers said -- but it's enough, one government union argues, to get the officials fired.
The "Phil," of course, is a reference to "Duck Dynasty's" famous -- and unabashedly Christian -- patriarch. By supporting the Robertsons' leader, who spoke out against same-sex "marriage" in December, the American Federation of Government Employees insists that base officials are somehow violating the Civil Rights Act -- even though the display is on their personal property. Fox News's Todd Starnes, who broke the story, interviewed the union rep, who said someone on base had reported the employee, "offended and disgusted that a senior management official would display the decal on their pod."
"Duck Dynasty" fans need to be dealt with, AFGE told Todd. "It's definitely 100% inappropriate for an organization that espouses a zero tolerance policy [on discriminatory views]." Ironically, this whole flare-up is taking place the same week A&E's producer applauded the Robertson family for their compassionate ways. "I know Phil Robertson. I know his beliefs. I know how he treats a crew that has several gay people on it and people of different races and people from all different places. He has beliefs and stands by them. But that isn't how he treats people -- it is what he thinks." If that's the case, then "standing with Phil" means standing for civility and grace.
Meanwhile, one of the individuals targeted at Eglin Air Force base said his intent "was not to offend anybody. My intent was to support the show and to show support for his Christian values." Still, he vows, he has no intent of peeling off the sticker. "I'm not taking it off. If they want to retire me early that's what I'll do. But I'm not backing down." For now, he's just angry at the smear campaign from the union, which emailed photos of his truck to hundreds of members.
Can you imagine if someone demanded a government employee tear off an Obama bumper sticker because the President is intolerant to Christian views? Or what about a rainbow flag? Obviously, this isn't about offensive speech or inoffensive speech. This is about the Left's campaign to shut down private expression if it counters their viewpoint. This goes back to the underlying emphasis and goal -- not to debate the merits of whether someone is right or not. It's to shut down debate. End of story.
#SaveMeriam from the President's Indifference
President Obama has been trying for weeks to dodge the Meriam Ibrahim story. But he'll have a tough time doing that today as crowds of Americans gathered on his front lawn to protest the administration's silence. Thousands of miles away, two tiny children, born to an American dad, cower in a filthy, bug-infested Khartoum prison, their mother chained to a prison cell wall. Sentenced to execution for her Christian faith, Meriam continues to hope that their cries will be heard by the United States.
Yet while liberals drone on about the "war on women" and the President trades five terrorists for an Army deserter, this small family continues to hit brick wall after brick wall in their appeals for diplomatic help. The situation is even more desperate now, as some British papers report that the 27-year-old wife of American Daniel Wani could be flogged in days if her appeal is thrown out. The stomach-churning ordeal is getting plenty of coverage overseas, as locals describe what 100 lashes means.
A barbaric practice that leaves its victims screaming and pleading for their lives, a man with a whip begins swinging -- and female prisoners, who start off wearing clothes, soon watch the layers disintegrate, "leaving the women bare-backed as the whip 'takes skin' off." Daniel's brother Gabriel says the 100 lashes can kill, "while others hover 'in bad condition' until they are executed."
This is the fate of an innocent wife and mother, married to a U.S. citizen from New Hampshire. Still, the President, who has never needed a shot of positive PR more, sits on his hands -- refusing even to release a simple statement condemning the Sudanese government or to leverage its hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid. The President needs to find his voice for two American children who will die in a prison with an infant mortality rate of one per day.
Today, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), FRC and more than 40 organizations stood at the White House and demanded that the United States live up to its mantle as the leader of liberty and intervene. As a Marine veteran, I told the crowd, I'm glad to hear that we leave no one behind. But Mr. President, it's women and children first. At the very least, the administration could give Meriam hope and Sudan's government fear. Sen. Cruz, who so passionately spoke out on Meriam's behalf at the Texas GOP Convention, said that there's nothing about this case that should be partisan. "She has been sentenced to die. She has been sentenced to receive 100 lashes and then be hung by the neck till dead unless she renounces her Christian faith, and Meriam has said, `I will not renounce Christ.'"
"Let me ask a simple question," Cruz said when the applause subsided. "Where is the President of the United States? Why isn't the president of the United States standing up on the world stage and saying, 'Free Meriam Ibrahim right now?' Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall. A Sudanese prison -- tear down these prison walls." If the President won't speak out, I encourage you to. Go to FRC's WhiteHouse.gov petition and help us hit the 100,000 mark -- before it's too late. Click below to see video from this morning's rally.
Under Planned Parenthood, Sex Ed Is Torture
A new undercover video from Planned Parenthood is whipping up more than opposition. Thanks to the courageous folks at Live Action, Americans are getting an inside look at America's largest abortion business -- and the view isn't pretty. Lila Rose, the same pro-life activist who exposed the group's racism, statutory rape cover-ups, and sex trafficking help, is back at it with footage that will make parents' jaws drop. Investigators posing as 15- and 16-year-old clients ask for sex advice, only to be coached by a clinic worker on the "pleasures" of violent acts like sadomasochism.
"If it's consensual," the woman insists, "it's totally okay." She then goes on to talk about everything from gratifying gagging, whipping, and asphyxiation -- and even directs the teenager to free porn sites where she and her boyfriend can "get ideas." Obviously, most people are revolted by the idea, not just because it promotes promiscuity, but because it's dangerous. Torture sex, which gained steam after the Fifty Shades of Grey empire, has been featured throughout Planned Parenthood's website and materials for teenagers.
"Just because a sexual behavior isn't common or some people disapprove of it or the reasons people enjoy it, doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it. Many people enjoy less common kinds of sex... One way to think about uncommon kinds of sex is this: if no one is hurt by the kind of sex someone might enjoy, than [sic] it is probably okay." This is Planned Parenthood, the same organization President Obama routinely praises, speaks to, and fundraises for. Is this the kind of message the President would want his daughters to hear?
The group is encouraging boys to brutalize girls and they say conservatives are waging a war on women? You may not agree with their approach, but unfortunately, you're still paying for it. Every year, the government shells out a half-trillion of your hard-earned dollars to Planned Parenthood -- which isn't just promoting BDSM to teenagers but abortion-on-demand too. It's time for Congress to put an end to this cycle of abuse and defund Planned Parenthood.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.