Evangelical leader expresses “disappointment” with GOP “Pledge” but says it’s “satisfactory”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released a statement Thursday morning on the House Republican leadership’s “Pledge to America.”

“While I have some disappointment that the pledge to honor the values issues such as traditional marriage were not more clearly defined within the document, this is a significant improvement over the 94 Contact with America which was silent on the moral issues. The Pledge is not exceptional, but it is satisfactory, as it does lay a foundation to build upon, and it moves Congressional Republicans to a place of public acknowledgment that values issues are to be a part of the conservative way forward.”

On Wednesday, the American Principles Project said they and other leading values groups had presented House Minority Leader John Boehner and GOP leaders with more than 30,000 signatures demanding that they be included in the Republican document. But the “Pledge” turned out to have little of substance for the value voters movement.

“We pledge to advance policies that promote greater liberty, wider opportunity, a robust defense, and national economic prosperity. We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values,” it said in the introduction.

The only specifics that followed in the subsequent 21 pages, however, were a promise to “permanently end taxpayer funding of abortion and codify the Hyde Amendment,” and to pass conscience clauses into law for physicians and medical workers.

Nonetheless, APP’s founder Robert P. George said late Wednesday after reading the document that the group would “fully and enthusiastically support the Pledge.”

“What we demanded of the GOP was a firm and clear commitment to marriage, life, and the free and full participation of faith-based institutions in our public life. We got it. Our goal was not to shift the focus of the ‘Pledge’ to social issues, but to make sure that the GOP’s longstanding pro-life and pro-marriage commitments were not abandoned, compromised, or passed over in silence,” George said.

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  • des1

    If Republicans win big on a fiscally conservative platform, perhaps it will finally convince these politicians that there are more votes to be had to be the party that makes government smaller than in appealing to people who just want their version of big government.

    I love SoCons (the regular folks). The people are wonderful (for the most part). The problem is that they let themselves be fooled by politicians who give lip service to their values. They have every right to talk about abortion or gay marriage, or whatever issue floats their boat. Their leaders should not, however, claim to be for smaller government to get elected, then run around trying to grow government and claiming it’s for “morality.” If you want to run as a big government SoCon, then do so. If you get elected, then more power to you. Just don’t lie about who you are.

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  • Rocketman

    Sadly, these ÜberRighteous clowns think that most Americans agree with them and, further, that the Tea Party should embrace their social agenda. Intelligent blowhards would at least wait until conservatives re-take Congress before trying to box them in.
    In other words: Stay out of the way, Perkins. You’re doing more harm than good right now.


    • adamincalifornia


    • johno413

      Social conservatives are fearful that this new popularity for the GOP, rooted in only a few basic principles and not their entire party platform, will eventually dilute their agenda. Just my opinion, but after this next election, look for people like Perkins and others to wrestle with the party over social issue ownership. If the economy steadily improves over the next two years, such infighting will only help the Dems regain some seats.

      • PolyIndependent

        That’s a good point. For many years the republican party has pandered to the religious right during election years. If the GOP turns into a true conservative party, people in the social conservative line of business will be out of work. Thankfully. The social conservatives have been the biggest poison in politics (in my opinion) for many years. I’ll take socialism over theocracy, thank you.

        • des1

          “I’ll take socialism over theocracy, thank you.”

          Why does that not surprise me?

        • nomore

          Then put your butt on a plane to Russia or China. This country was founded on Christian principles, as cited in those silly Founding Documents, recited by millions of school children in the Pledge of Allegiance, sang by millions of Americans at sporting events in the National Anthem, and written on our currency.

  • johno413

    The Democrat party will take full advantage of any religious leader’s engagement in this pledge by using the “fear” card and reminding everyone of the past. To them, and especially to the media, they cannot see or will not look for the distinctions between Perkins and. for example, any of the historical participants such as Robertson and Falwell. It’s politics and accuracy has never been a deterrent when using guilt by association. Coupled with that the fact (or my opinion) that the shift in energy and interest to more conservative candidates is driven almost exclusively by fiscal and regulatory policies, and too much outward discussion about social issues and religion will be an easy target and allow the Dems to steal back a good deal of momentum. And for the GOP to assume that a fiscal “rebirth” towards sensibility equates to a social values “rebirth” will be harmful.

    I hope that at least for this election cycle – and I’m including up through 2012 – there isn’t much debate or the social issues. Otherwise, the massive expansion of the bureaucracy and “Czardom” will continue unabated for quite a while.

    • adamincalifornia