Target: Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association
Goal: Fire official who advocated Christian martyrdom to fight LGBT rights.
American Christians are going to have to martyr themselves if same-sex marriage becomes legal nationwide, according Director of Government Relations for the American Family Association Sandy Rios. This kind of rhetoric is dangerous and puts many innocent people in danger. Demand that the American Family Association fire Rios over her reckless remarks.
During a speech she was giving at a conservative conference called “U-Turn: A Conversation with Pastors on Society, Culture and Leadership,” Rios went off on a bizarre tangent calling for all Christians to “prepare for martyrdom” in what she characterized as the escalating battle against LGBT rights. Saying that women would be “forced to go into public restrooms and share them with men dressed like women” and that “there is persecution [against Christians] afoot,” Rios invoked the language of Christian Armageddon to explain that this was just “the tip of the spear of the battle we are going to face.” Rios went on to say that, should the Supreme Court rule in favor of same-sex marriage, Christians around the United States will be drawn into “the battle” and that they must prepare for this by coming to terms with potentially having to martyr themselves for the greater good.
This kind of inflammatory rhetoric should not be acceptable coming from anyone, much less from a ranking official in a conservative non-profit that wants to be taken seriously in the American political arena. Sign the petition below to demand that the American Family Association fire her from the organization for inciting violence.
Dear President Wildmon,
I am writing you today regarding the conduct of your Director of Government Affairs, Sandy Rios. At a conference she spoke at recently, Rios advocated violence and “martyrdom” in what she described as the escalating battle against LGBT rights. This is wildly inappropriate and demands your response.
Regardless of one’s politics, every American can agree that inciting violence in not acceptable political speech. Unfortunately for you and the American Family Association, this is exactly what Rios did. What’s even worse, however, is how steeped in religious zealotry her invocation to violence was.
Your organization is Christian, and that is entirely fine, but her language is eerily similar to the language used by other religious extremists like the Taliban and ISIS. Indeed, I am sure your organization does not condone inciting religious violence when it’s employed by representatives from those organizations—why, then, would you condone it coming from your own people?
The LGBT community already experiences high rates of hate crimes, a fact that all of us as Americans have a duty to address. Rios’ comments did the opposite of that by advocating violence against this community. I demand that you fire her from your organization at once.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: 1Veertje via Wikimedia Commons