Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on Monday delivered the nation’s state of the family address, urging Americans in 2016 to “pray, organize, donate, speak to your neighbors, proclaim the truth and your views boldly.”
And then, he said, “When the time comes, take a little walk to the voting booth.”
Perkins’ assessment of the family in America came just 24 hours in advance of Barack Obama’s last State of the Union, set for 9 p.m. EST Tuesday, during which he’s expected to advocate for a number of socially progressive issues.
“May our children and our children’s children know, as for us and our houses, we served the Lord,” Perkins said.
He said there is much to be done during 2016, not the least of which is the election of a president.
Americans can only be certain that it will be a year of “determination.”
“In the battle over basic convictions, the sidelines are shrinking,” he said. “The field of contention is growing wider and deeper. … [A]nd Americans need to decide if they’ll be] sunshine patriots or men and women for all seasons.”
He called for racial reconciliation, citing the “extreme political agenda” being advanced at points of racial unrest by the left.
There is the danger of “exploiting the frustration of the aggrieved,” he said. “It’s long past time for our nation’s religious leaders to come together and show our political leaders a way forward.”
He also said the authority and importance of the family needs to be re-established.
“Instead, our national policies have strewn confusion about the very definition of family,” he said, citing the Supreme Court’s creation of same-sex “marriage.”
“They are saying two same-gender persons can parent as well as a mom and dad,” he said. “It’s devastating. Our children deserve better. They deserve a mom and a dad.”
He said the current agenda is “gravely” weakening the family, with its advocacy for contraception and abortion and opposition to traditional marriage.
Also the First Amendment Defense Act is needed because of the need to protection religious liberty, he said.
“Congress has to make the meaning of the First Amendment plain again.”
That religious liberty needs to be defended in the military, in the schools and more, including foreign policy, he said.
“We must promote religious liberty as a human right for all faiths to be able to live freely wherever they are and whoever they are,” he said. “Let the oppressed know they have a friend in America.”
And, he said, America’s commitment to Israel must not waiver.
“It’s time once again the rhetoric be matched by a resolve to stand by the Jewish state,” he said.
Regarding 2015, he recognized several leaders in fights over faith.
One was Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, sent to jail by U.S. District Judge David Bunning for refusing to follow his orders to violate her faith and under her name authorize same-sex “marriage” licenses. She later was granted an accommodation by a new governor who said clerk’s names no longer will be on those forms.
Also recognized was Jason Rowland, principal of Airline High School in Bossier, Louisiana, who led a fight against secularists who threatened to sue over religious liberty issues in the school.
Then Texas pastors Hernan Castano and Charles Flowers were recognized.
Castano was part of the Houston Five, pastors who opposed a lesbian mayor’s transgender agenda and had their sermons subpoenaed by the mayor.
Voters eventually rejected the mayor’s agenda of creating special rights for transgenders across the city.
Flowers led an effort in San Antonio that brought the city a new mayor and council majority after a similar transgender plan was proposed there.
And honored was Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, which filed suit against Obamacare in 2013 for violating its conscience rights.
Perkins said it’s clear that the nation’s current path is wrong, because it’s left every man, woman and child in the country with $58,000 in debt, “marriage” no longer means a man and a woman, and Obamacare is forcing people to be dependent on government.
He also pointed to the Obama administration’s refusing bipartisan “calls to label ISIS’ murderous actions nothing less than genocide,” noted an Oregon couple paid $136,000 in penalties because they wouldn’t compromise their faith and support same-sex “weddings,” and the government ordered schools to accommodate boys and girls who think they are the opposite of their physical gender.
“Our faith compels us to stand for God’s unchanging truth,” Perkins said.
And, “When we do, our lives tell compelling stories to our fellow citizens.”