Family Research Council Comes to Eric Holder's Defense

The group says the attorney general was right—in part—in his controversial comments on race.

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By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

When the Family Research Council's daily E-mail landed in my inbox last night under the subject line "Black Cloud Hovers Over Holder," I naturally thought it would contain more conservative bashing of the attorney general's Black History Month comments: "In things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards. . . ."

But it turns out that FRC has Eric Holder's back, at least in part. Here's what FRC chief Tony Perkins wrote:

I think the Attorney General is correct, Americans have cowered to political correctness and as a result we avoid topics like race. The solution to racial reconciliation, however, is not to be found in a more aggressive Department of Justice but in a more aggressive church where we unite around ideals rooted not in skin color but in Jesus Christ.

As Bishop Harry Jackson and I write in Personal Faith, Public Policy, blacks should not work with whites, or visa versa, out of obligation to right past wrongs or to advance personal or political agendas. We should work together because we're brothers and sisters in Christ, and He's called us to be unified around a biblical agenda that advances all of society.

Improving ties to the African-American community has been a longtime project of the mostly white Christian right. It occupied Ralph Reed for his last couple years at the Christian Coalition in the 1990s. It helped explain the spike in black votes for George W. Bush in Ohio and Florida in 2004, when Christian right forces in those states made strenuous efforts to make common cause with black voters—who attend church in higher numbers than whites and who tend to be socially conservative despite their overwhelming preference for Democratic candidates. And it made for plenty of controversy after Prop 8—a gay marriage ban—passed in California last year with majority black support.

Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised by FRC's missive after all.

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