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FRC's Tony Perkins: NYT's 'Hateful, Bigoted Rant' Against Christians is 'Reprehensible'

By Michael W. Chapman | March 30, 2020 | 1:20pm EDT
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. (FRC.org)
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. (FRC.org)

In response to a New York Times commentary claiming that evangelical Christians -- who allegedly deny science and "critical thinking" -- are "haunting" the Trump administration's battle against the coronavirus, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said The Times was "reprehensible" for printing "this hateful, bigoted rant ... at a time of a national crisis when people are dying."

The New York Times published the opinion piece by Katherine Stewart -- a left-wing author obsessed with the Christian conservatives -- on Friday, March 27. It was originally entitled, "The Road to Coronavirus Hell was Paved by Evangelicals," but was later re-titled, "The Religious Right’s Hostility to Science Is Crippling Our Coronavirus Response."

On Fox News on Friday, host Shannon Bream asked Tony Perkins, "I want to read a little bit from the piece. It starts out saying Donald Trump rose to power with the determined assistance of a movement that denies science, bashes government, and prioritizes loyalty over professional expertise. In the current crisis, we are all reaping what that movement has sown. Tony?"


The FRC president said, "Shannon, it's reprehensible that the New York Times would allow this hateful, bigoted rant in their paper at a time of a national crisis when people are dying. It appears that they cannot put politics aside to work for the well-being of the nation."

"I mean, they're more interested in criticizing President Trump and his supporters than they are in containing the coronavirus," he said.  "It's sad, quite frankly, that this is how they respond to the president and to his supporters."

(Screenshot, FNC)
(Screenshot, FNC)

Bream then said, " Well, The Conversationalist had a very similar piece talking about this theme, saying, 'For the most part, the American press remains deferential to authoritarian Christians.' Their term. 'That needs to change if we have any hope of stemming the influence of the radical right-wing Christians Trump has surrounded himself with. As has become clear, they threaten not only our human rights, but also our public health.' 

"I mean, saying that evangelical Christians don't believe in the science behind the virus and what's happening. They're continuing to have church services and meetings. And now they are an existential threat to the survival of the American people."

(Screenshot, The Conversationalist)
(Screenshot, The Conversationalist)

Perkins replied, "Well, Shannon, first off, let's go back and do a little history here. We would not have hospitals in America if it weren't for churches. In fact, in New York City, two of the three top hospitals have their roots in the faith community, a Presbyterian and a Jewish hospital."

"The people on the left are the ones that have trouble with science," said Perkins.  "They're the ones that have a problem with the chromosomes that design or that define male and female."

Bruce Jenner, now imitating a transgender woman, Caitlyn Jenner. (Getty Images/Instagram)
Bruce Jenner, now imitating a transgender woman, Caitlyn Jenner. (Getty Images/Instagram)

"Christians don't have a problem with science," he said. "In fact, while they're attacking Christians, it's the Christians that are out there serving the first responders."

Perkins continued, "In fact, many of the first responders are Christians, like my daughter, who's an evangelical who is working in the hot zone in the E.R. room, who volunteered to serve and work with the corona patients, the coronavirus patients."

"So this is just, again, this is the New York Times attacking people of faith. But it's not new, Shannon. We go back to the 1980s, when they talked -- when the Washington Post talked about how they're [evangelical Christians] 'uneducated, easily led.'  This is every time that the Christians in this country are influencing the policy. They rant against them."


"And, of course, then the next cycle it'll be that they're dying, that they'll write the obituary," said Perkins. "The reality is the New York Times and the elite have made themselves irrelevant to the debate of what's happening. If they want to help then let them help. Look at New York City. They could do some good in New York City if they wouldn't start, wouldn't just do all this ranting, bigoted pieces against Christians and get out there and help the churches who were helping people."

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