FRC's Tony Perkins Says Contraception Mandate is Bad Because, You Know, the Pilgrims
In a Fox & Friends interview on Nov. 11, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins protested against President Barack Obama's Affordable Healthcare Act, which mandates companies to offer coverage for contraception. His only justification was: "That's why the Pilgrims came here."
What a false analogy. For starters, the mandate was (spoilers!) not really all that relevant to the Pilgrims when they arrived here. That's because the Pilgrims lived hundreds of years ago when Obamacare didn't exist and fleeing to the new world was a way to avoid Catholic persecution. Their circumstances were, to say the least, different.
In Gilardi v. the Department of Health and Human Services case, which ruled against the mandate, dissenting Judge Harry T. Edwards said, "It has been well understood since the founding of our nation that legislative restrictions may trump religious exercise." In other words, religious freedom may be part of the Constitution, but certain situations require legislators to slightly adjust the Constitution. Surely, Perkins cannot follow the Constitution religiously — pun intended — if his understanding conflicts with both societal expectations and legal rights.
During the interview, Perkins justified his personal beliefs by pointing to his defense of "religious liberty" both as a president of FRC, which "defend[s] religious freedom in the public square," and as a military veteran who finds it "fundamentally wrong" that the military cannot exercise their religion publicly. Needless to say, Perkins didn't use any actual facts to create a solid basis around his argument.
All in all, it's pretty hypocritical for Perkins to frame his crusade as one of religious liberty when on his FRC page, it says, "Tony has a tremendous burden to reclaim the culture for Christ." That certainly doesn't sound like someone who is in favor of complete religious freedom but religious freedom with fine print.