Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Tony Perkins appointed to US panel on international religious freedom

(RNS) — Tony Perkins, the head of the conservative Christian lobbying group Family Research Council, has been appointed to a U.S. government commission dedicated to “defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.”

On Monday (May 14), the Congressional Record revealed that Perkins had been appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on the recommendation of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission created in 1998 through the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act, and issues an annual report every May 1 on international religious freedom issues.

“I am grateful to Majority Leader McConnell for appointing me to this prestigious position. From my post at USCIRF, I look forward to doing all that I can to ensure that our government is the single biggest defender of religious freedom internationally,” Perkins, an evangelical Christian and frequent faith adviser to President Trump’s administration, said in a press release.

Perkins expressed particular interest in addressing religious freedom issues in nations that top the commission’s list of “Countries of Particular Concern,” saying in his statement, “It is my hope that through the work of USCIRF, the world will become one step closer to recognizing the vital role religious freedom and the defense of religious minorities play in peace, security and human flourishing.”

Perkins intends to remain president of the Family Research Council during his two-year term on the USCIRF.

FRC has been labeled as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, although Perkins and the FRC dispute the label.

Perkins has been a consistent supporter of Trump, telling Politico in January that he and other evangelical Christians gave the president a “mulligan” for past behavior that may have been at odds with conservative Christian values. Perkins is also credited as being one of the driving forces behind Trump’s various efforts to ban transgender people from the U.S. military.


  1. From Tony Perkins’ Wikipedia page:

    “On May 17, 2001, Perkins gave a speech to the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity”.[35] Perkins claimed not to know the group’s ideology at the time, but it had been widely publicized in Louisiana and the nation, just two years earlier. In an April 26, 2005, article in The Nation, reporter Max Blumenthal revealed that in 1996 while managing the unsuccessful U. S. Senate campaign of Woody Jenkins, Perkins “paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list.” Despite Perkins’ denials the document authorizing the payment carried Perkins’ signature.”

    That’s how Tony Perkins got his start in politics. It’s only gone downhill from there.

  2. Why, such an appointment would be just like appointing Jabba the Trump to an international commission on fidelity in marriage.

  3. The various bones now being thrown to the Christian right dog wagging the tale of the American body politic under the current administration will only serve further to drive young Americans from the churches. The actions taken by this administration to throw bones to white evangelicals, white Catholics under the direction of the U.S. Catholic bishops, and the Mormon community, all of whom voted in large percentages for the moral monstrosity now occupying the White House: they spell doom for the white Christian brand in the U.S.

    It will be impossible for the Christian right to put the mask back on after all of this and convince anyone but a dwindling number of true believers that it has or ever has had the slightest thing to do with Jesus and the gospels.

  4. I am sure that “a dwindling number of true believers” is inevitable.

  5. Or you to a symposium on families.

  6. Yes, it’s always consoling to imagine we belong to a tiny set of real believers, isn’t it? As Augustine said in his response to the Donatists (setting the course for orthodox Catholic theology as opposed to say, today’s Opus Dei version), it’s like a bunch of frogs sitting around a little pond and croaking that their little pond is the whole big Mediterranean.

  7. Apparently, if your posts since the last election are any indication.

  8. And why would you think that Ben wouldn’t be an attribute to such a symposium?

  9. Because he doesn’t have Josh Duggard like credentials.


  10. Kansas GOP Gov. Sam Brownback was appointed by Trump as his ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom in January 2018. Brownback’s conversion to Catholicism by Opus Dei’s Fr. John McCloskey has been widely reported.
    His other notable convert to Catholicism is economist Lawrence Kudlow,Trump’s National Economic Council director.
    Like the rest of the U.S. media, RSN is loathe to inform us about Trump’s Catholic appointments.

  11. Even Jesus was less “prestigious” than Tony Perkins. Is Tony even a Christian?

  12. This further confirms that the right-wing evangelical definition of ‘Religious Freedom” is simply the freedom of right-wing evangelicals to impose their bigotry and hate on everyone else without impediment. Tony Perkins is one of the most despicable and dishonest religious figures in America today.

  13. He hates and lies like a Christian, and that’s good enough for the Trump fan base.

  14. Interesting given Pence’s remarks recently on how “faith” is growing in the US. Faith meaning the power base of Amercian White Evangelicalism of course. They are blind to the damage they cause, and if they do admit to loss its because (a) those that left were never true Christians, (b) the world hates us anyway, and (c) it’s the end times anyway.

  15. I’m betting that Tim Wildmon is secretly jealous. If Bryan Fischer gets posted to something I’m leaving.

  16. Perkins has said that Islam should not be protected by the First Amendment. Someone who actively opposes freedom of religion has no business being anywhere near a commission on religions freedom.

  17. Why don’t you try to address the point Ben is making, viz. Perkins’ (numerous) hatreds?

    Ah, well, we know that numerous hatreds are an inevitable characteristic of folks like Perkins.

  18. Anyone who knows anything about history knows how vicious have been past wars between various “Christian” groups. So for Perkins to make that statement shows us not only what a vicious, hate-filled guy he is, but as well, how ignorant he is of history and basic human behavior.

  19. Ben, or you for that matter, might find it more productive to examine your own (numerous) hatreds.

  20. As you always do, you’re evading/avoiding the point.

  21. As you did.

    So, do what you say, not what you do?

  22. More kleltocratic patronage to buy support.

    Trump apparently prefers advisors who are either incompetent and pliant (Rick Perry, Ben Carson) or thieves looking to engorge themselves on the public trough (DeVos, Mnuchin, Pruitt).

    This is a payoff to the religious right to ensure they will continue to vote their values of self interest, bigotry and greed.

  23. RNS has run several articles concerning Brownback’s appointment as the IRF ambassador, including a “Five Faith Facts” article that not only noted his conversion to Catholicism, but included a comment from you questioning why it was relevant that his conversion was overseen by Opus Dei as opposed to a “regular” Catholic cleric.

  24. Howard, have you spent 20 years in a campaign to malign and disenfranchise an entire group of citizens? I didn’t think so. Carry on.

  25. Ben’s “point” is to be insulting and disrespectful toward a sitting president. The article is about Tony Perkins and religious persecution. Bringing President Trump into it is just plain foolish.

    There, it is “addressed”. Ten thousand dollars says you are still not happy…..

  26. “Carry on” doing what?
    Avoiding making any relevant or respectful comments on the article?

  27. Because he starts out being insulting and disrespectful and says nothing of relevance to the topic of the article. He just tries to turn the whole comment section into a HATEfest toward a sitting president.

  28. Islam is not a religion. It is a political system and it is a very oppressive one at that.

  29. Wow, the Christian baiters and HATERS are out in full force in this “comments” section.
    All these hateful anti-Christian comments make it more clear than ever the need for people like Tony Perkins and groups like USCIRF.

  30. Uhh, I’m sorry, but just what is it that’s wrong about being insulting and disrespectful towards a sitting president–especially if he’s earned it many times over? Republicans have done it for years–and with NO real cause.

    Is it disrespectful to point out his lies–so far, 3,000+ and counting? Is it disrespectful to point out his staggering ignorance on important matters? His refusal to read briefing papers? His disrespect to women?

    Pres. Pants-on-Fire has appointed a guy who’s a hater, an ignoramus, and a boor. And those are among his better qualities.

  31. No that is the SBC AKA The Southern Baptist Cult.

  32. No one here is anti-Christian. Only anti-hypocrites AKA Evangelical “Christians”.

  33. No different from christianity.

  34. Only one RNS article noted Brownback’s Catholicism. I noted at the time: “I understood the insertion of the totally irrelevant fact that Brownback was “baptized not in a church but in the ‘Catholic Information Center” to infer that Opus Dei and/or his baptism are somehow not fully Catholic or at least suspect. It seems to serve no other purpose.

  35. The SBC has nothing to do with Mainstream Orthodox Christianity. It is 99% political and 1% or less religion.

  36. No he is an Evangelical, nothing to do with Christianity.

  37. You don’t know any Muslims, do you?

  38. Above, I posted a very short comment about how Pres. Pants-on-Fire “earns” respect from others. You might find it interesting.

  39. Thank God for Tony. Hopefully he will bring some sanity back.

  40. I assume that the appointment of Perkins is intended by the Trumpian regime to please their supporters by essentially converting the USCIRF into the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Fascism.

  41. Ditto. My issues with (all) religion always concerns fundamentalists and their theology.

  42. I have been reliably informed by many Christians of your type that DISAGREEMENT ISN’T HATE, no matter how hateful and damaging their actions might be to the people in their gunsights.
    My issue is always with fundelibangelists and their desire to run the world according to their purely theological concerns, using the civil law that governs all of us to force their purely theological concerns on to people who don’t share them.
    Perkins is the perfect example of such a one.

  43. Chrisitan fundamentalism isn’t a religion, but a political system and a very oppressive one at that.

  44. Really? That’s my point? A self admitted adulterer, fornicator, and sexual grabber?
    Oba,ma was a muslim. Obama was Kenyan. Obama was a communist. Obama is coming to get your guns,. Obama hates religion. Obama was Bathhouse Barry. Mrs. Obama was a cow. Obama was the weakest, worst president ever. Obama sold out our country.

  45. “Wow, the Christian baiters and HATERS are out in full force in this ‘comments’ section.”

    Perhaps you’ve been spending too much time with your cow.

  46. Perkins’ FRC is a hate group. And fk you.

  47. Christofascists of the world unite !!!

  48. And,, being a follower and not a leader, what you have done is follow Arnzen’s attack line. Why not make your own point about the article, rather than join in attacking someone????

  49. Religious freedom also includes the freedom of those religious people who support LGBTQI people to demonstrate their support. It includes the freedom of LGBTQI people of any or no religion to live a full life, to have legal access to all that society has to offer.

    The problem with someone like Tony Perkins bing on a religious freedom panel is that he doesn’t really mean he wants religious freedom for all. He wants the freedom to espouse denying freedom to any who do not believe as he believes.

    Crazy world. Freedom is all topsy-turvy when the freedom claimed is the right to deny freedom to some others.

  50. this is like appointing Michael Vick to the board of the American Kennel Club, but more disgusting. Perkins is a fascist allied to David Duke in his native Louisisana.

  51. This Pr*sident appointed Perkins. Perkins is just a symptom, DT’s the disease.

  52. As well it did. Opus Dei is the Catholic caucus of fascism.

  53. So, agreeing with me is problem for you?

    Wouldn’t agreeing you be a problem?

  54. The disease is actually STDs (as in sexually transmitted diseases). You know: like AIDS, chlymidia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis, rectal cancer…..

    However, they didn’t come from President Trump or from Tony Perkins, but rather from the participants in the culture of hedonism on the other side of the aisle, as well as from their friends, supporters, fellow-travelers, and other “useful idiots” of their cause.

    And Jack Jenkins is a liar. The REAL hate group referenced in his article is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which should have been brought to trial as a co-defendant along with Floyd Corkins II – who, acting under the influence of SPLC, shot up the Family Research Council’s offices in Washington, DC.

  55. The Southern Poverty Law Center is the REAL hate group. Just ask Floyd Corkins II where he got the idea to shoot up the FRC’s offices in Washington, DC.

  56. Does your acting like an 8 year old and calling people names earn you respect?

  57. I cannot imagine what your objection is to him being an adulterer and fornicator might be.

    As Justice Kennedy so eloquently wrote in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015):

    “Changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations.”

    So, the President is a trendsetter, just like yourself, finding new dimensions of freedom.

    Relative to the actual article, Barack Obama was dedicated to restricting religious freedom in the United States unlike any of his predecessors or his successor.

  58. You would not happen to have a citation for that, would you?

    My recollection of it was more or less saying that calling for the overthrow of the government by force and violence is not protected by the First Amendment, which is in fact the law.

  59. Did you get a name tag made to wear with that on it?

  60. There would be nothing out of the ordinary for a religious order like Opus Dei to be involved in a conversion as opposed to a secular cleric (diocesan priest). It is common.

  61. More likely the author had zero clue, which is unfortunately common at RNS.

  62. The situation you note is the result of the closing of the comments section at the National Catholic Reporter some months ago, leaving the participants who were for the most part radically opposed to everything you believe, wandering the streets looking for something to do.

    Additional pollination is from JoeMyGod, an LBGT Q AC/DC etc website, where many of the participants are also participating.

  63. Although the track record in your own posts is the equation of disagreement with hate, eh?

  64. This may have something to do with the Constitutional mandate that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States”.

    The only significant attempts to violate that prohibition that come to mind involve pro-abortion senators bringing up religious affiliations in nomination hearings, for which they have been correctly scolded.

    The fact that you know their religious affiliations does it make it clear that the information is readily available.

  65. Yeah, that’s what sociopathic haters always say about the SPLC. GFY.

  66. Tony Perkins, besides being a lying, vile hate monger, is also a white supremacist. With a fake “Bachelor of Science” degree from the fake educational institution, “Liberty University”. No wonder Trump admires him so much.

  67. You’re a hate group unto yourself.

  68. One can only wonder if Tony will fight abroad for the “religious freedom” to throw gay people off of buildings.

  69. >>”symposium on families.”<<

    What the heck is that?




    1A conference or meeting to discuss a particular subject.

    1.1 A collection of essays or papers on a particular subject by a number of contributors.

    2A drinking party or convivial discussion, especially as held in ancient Greece after a banquet (and notable as the title of a work by Plato).


    1 treated as singular or plural A group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.

    ‘she moved in with her boyfriend’s family’

    as modifier ‘the family home’

    1.1 A group of people related by blood or marriage.

    ‘friends and family can provide support’

    ‘I could not turn him away, for he was family’

    1.2 The children of a person or couple being discussed.

    ‘she has the sole responsibility for a large family’

    1.3 informal A local organizational unit of the Mafia or other large criminal group.

    2 All the descendants of a common ancestor.

    ‘the house has been owned by the same family for 300 years’

    2.1 A group of peoples from a common stock.

    3A group of related things.

    ‘all manuscripts that share this reading constitute a family’

    3.1 Biology A principal taxonomic category that ranks above genus and below order, usually ending in -idae (in zoology) or -aceae (in botany)

    ‘the cabbage family’

    3.2 All the languages ultimately derived from a particular early language, regarded as a group.

    ‘the Austronesian language family’

    3.3 Mathematics A group of curves or surfaces obtained by varying the value of a constant in the equation generating them.

  71. >>”symposium”<<

    And what is the goal/purpose of these "symposiums?"

  72. Discussing families if I read my plain English comment correctly.

  73. >>”Discussing families “<<

    That's your definition.
    What's the goal/purpose?
    (In case you didn't read my plain question correctly.)

  74. You’ve completely lost me.

    Since the post was 6 days ago in a moribund discussion, I am not planning on reading the exchange again and trying to recollect the context.

  75. >>”You’ve completely lost me.”<<

    It's okay to admit you don't know why "family symposiums" exist.

  76. I’m sure it is common and I certainly don’t have a problem with it. I just found it amusing that Betty complained about RNS making a comment about Opus Dei’s involvement in one article, but also complained that RNS omitted any mention of it in another.

  77. Don’t know no Jack Jenkins, or care. Perkins is a slimeball. Corkins made his decisions and Perkins made his. Keep on believing that Talk Radio crap. I have just donated $100 to SPLC in your name. Thanks for reminding me to do it.

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