Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, says he sees more and more limits being placed on what is “politically correct” for Christians to do.
“I see an environment being created that is hostile to Christianity,” he said. “Two months ago, I was disinvited to speak at Andrews Air Force Base. Just last week … Franklin Graham [was] disinvited to pray at the Pentagon on the National Day of Prayer.”
He said that “shows that this isn’t about political activity. It’s not about public-policy positions. It really comes down to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“We’ve seen the circle being drawn smaller and smaller in terms of what’s politically correct,” Perkins said.
He links the current crackdown on Christians speaking to a recent ruling by Wisconsin federal judge Barbara Crabb’s decision to declare the National Day of Prayer itself unconstitutional.
“We see a federal judge who’s been on the bench since Jimmy Carter appointed her. She’s not a new judge. This is a judge who’s been around for quite some time. And she decides all of a sudden that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. So I do think what we’re seeing is an environment that is hostile to Christianity,” Perkins said.
He also said what is happening now parallels America’s past.
“We look back to the late 1700s and we look back on that time period with rose-colored glasses thinking everything was great when there was great moral decay,” Perkins said.
“Many of the founders lamented the lack of morals and values among the American people and called on the people to pray,” he said.
“Pastors called on the people to pray and revival came in the very late 1790s, which we call the Second Great Awakening,” Perkins said.
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But he said it’s essential that Christians actually share their beliefs.
“We’re called to be salt and light and not just at dinner. We’re called to be salt all the time. We have to be out there permeating society, being a preserving influence at all times.”
He was speaking at Impact 2010, a rally jointly sponsored by the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund. The purpose of the seminar was to encourage Maine’s pastors to be active in the public arena.
There have been several recent disputes in the state involving religious beliefs, including a move by activists to require all schools to allow students to pick the restroom and locker-room facilities of the sex with which they “identify” at that time. Critics argue it essentially would banish gender-based bathrooms in the state. The plan has been put on hold.
“I am encouraged that pastors were really key in the recent victories in Maine. Pastors need to continue to work across denominational lines and continue to pray,” Perkins said.
Another speaker was Maine’s Jeremiah Project President Bob Emrich, who said the issue of “transgenders” will be back, as will a plan to create same-sex “marriages” in the state.
“Last fall we celebrated the repeal of homosexual marriage. We were ecstatic with a great win. However, I can promise you all of the votes had not even been counted in the referendum overturning homosexual marriage before another bill promoting homosexual marriage was reintroduced in the legislature,” Emrich said.