The LaBarbera Award: Tony Perkins

Jim Burroway

December 10th, 2007

Good Lord, what should we make of this? I received an FRC Action E-mail from Tony Perkins, as I often do. There’s an article praising Mike Huckabee, there’s another one chastising Congress, and then at the bottom, Perkins says this:

An Assault On Faith
It is hard not to draw a line between the hostility that is being fomented in our culture from some in the secular media toward Christians and evangelicals in particular and the acts of violence that took place in Colorado yesterday. But I will say no more for now other than that our friends at New Life Church and YWAM are in our thoughts and prayers.

It looks like Perkins has been chomping at the bit to pin the blame for the Colorado shootings on somebody he doesn’t like. When it comes to culture wars, nobody is safe, and no tragedy is off-limits for exploitation. Here he chose the old familiar bogeyman, “the secular media.” We’re lucky I guess. It could have just as easily been anyone else.

I’m not sure how Perkins found it so easy to “draw a line” between the secular media and Matthew Murray, the Christian-raised guy who actually did the shooting. Unlike the FRC, we won’t imagine any lines where none exist. (Update: The most direct line so far may be mental illness.) And we call on the Family “Research” Council to live up to its name and do a little research before releasing statements that are so patently moronic. Why, they’re beginning to sound like someone else we know…

Here is a screenshot of the E-mail. Click on it to see the full-size version.FRC Action E-mail

See also:
Colorado Gunman Scared Co-Workers, Heard Voices
The LaBarbera Award: Tony Perkins
Prayers and Condolences for Arvada and Colorado Springs
Four Shot At New Life Church
Two Christian Missionaries Killed, Two Injured Near Denver

Emily K

December 11th, 2007

if ANYTHING, it shows the danger EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY has on people. It can turn them into killers.

But in actuality, I think that mental illness is the real killer. Why did this go unnoticed? Perhaps because his strict christian family decided God would heal him.

Jim Burroway

December 11th, 2007

Emily,

We don’t have any idea what the family may have tried to do for Matthew. At this point, I’d prefer to refrain from speculating.

All I can say is that mental illnes can provide a serious conundrum for even the best of families. Unfortunately with the state of mental health in this country, as well as the difficulties of diagnosing some illnesses (my friend wasn’t diagnosed with schizophrenia until he was well into adulthood — at about Murray’s age), pinning any sort of blame on the parents is unwarranted based on what little we know now.

Jason

December 11th, 2007

So, anti-gay bigotry, spouted by certain preachers, FRC, CWFA, AFA, NARTH, etc. has absolutely no connection to hate crimes based on (presumed) sexual orientation and gender identity….

But it’s “hard not to draw a line” between the secular media and a man shooting up two churches??

seems like Tony wants it both ways.

Randi Schimnosky

December 11th, 2007

Jason, that was a profound observation.

Jason

December 12th, 2007

To be fair, I don’t know if Tony specifically said that about anti-gay bigotry, but I know those that are in the anti-gay/pro-fundamentalist christian camp have.

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