Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, was recently scheduled to speak at a National Prayer Luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base, but the invitation was withdrawn by the chaplain’s office. Why? Because Perkins has spoken out in favor of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
The decision to silence Tony Perkins, an ordained minister and Marine veteran, represented political correctness at a dangerous level. 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 installation—because of his or her views on this subject.
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.
As a religious leader, and as a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Bill Donohue told the media that he was “doubly troubled by this outrageous decision.”
Accordingly, we called for an investigation of this matter. The damage to Perkins cannot be undone, but steps can certainly be taken to ensure that something like this never happens again. We contacted Major General Darrell D. Jones, Commander of the Air Force District of Washington at Andrews Air Force Base, and asked for a probe into this matter.
We implored our members to make sure that the Public Affairs Office at Andrews heard from them about this very disturbing issue.