Mississippi's governor, Phil Bryant, blames the "secular, progressive world" for all the fuss kicked up by the bill he signed that would allow clerks to cite their religious beliefs in order to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Phil made this assertion in a speech to the Family Research Council, a "pro-life, pro-marriage" group whose president is Anthony Perkins. Ooops! Sorry. That's "Tony" Perkins, not to be confused with Anthony "Psycho" Perkins who was pretty "pro-family" himself, come to think of it.
But let's get back to Governor Phil. You might remember his from such blockbuster legislation as House Bill 1523, and its predecessor the year before in 2014. These laws, and similar bills passed in other states, insist that it's okay to discriminate if God tells you to. Here's what he told the FRC: "About sixty days ago, it seemed as if all of the secular, progressive world had decided they were going to pour their anger and their frustration — their friends in the media willingly joining with them to bring all that they could upon the governor of the state. Hoping, first, that surely he wouldn't sign that bill if we could just draw enough editorial cartoons. If we could condemn him enough, if we could get enough cameras in his office, if we could get people to go out and protest in front of the governor's mansion at night. We could get people to call him bad names — 'Oh, you know, he's from Mississippi so we can use that racist idea.' How dare them," Bryant said. "How dare them."
Those secular progressives who bought into that whole "separation of church and state" ideal put forth in the First Amendment of the Constitution. For Bryant and his ilk, that seems to suggest that they need to make laws to protect the rights put forth in the Constitution, even at the expense of other's rights. Family Research Council president Perkins presented Governor Bryant with the organization's first Samuel Adams Religious Freedom Award during a conference for pastors. Perkins (Tony, not Anthony), attended a private ceremony where Bryant signed the 2014 bill, said the award is named for the American founding father known as the "last of the Puritans."
The last? Probably not. "They don't know that Christians have been persecuted throughout the ages," said Bryant, who is United Methodist. "They don't know that if it takes crucifixion, we will stand in line before abandoning our faith and our belief in our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ." Poor, persecuted Christians. It's about time they got their due.