One of the top Republicans in the House of Representatives wants answers from Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
The Brody File has obtained a letter sent from House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (and Congressman Roy Blunt) to Defense Secretary Robert Gates asking him to explain why the Air Force rescinded a prayer luncheon invitation to conservative Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.
Perkins was disinvited because the Andrews Air Force Base Chaplain's Office said statements made by Perkin’s FRC organization are "incompatible in our role as military members who serve our elected officials and our Commander in Chief."
It’s a pretty clear reference to Perkins opposition to President Obama’s attempt to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. (More on the back story here and here)
Click here to read the entire letter or read excerpts below:
UPDATE: Congressman Mike Pence has also sent a letter to Robert Gates on this issue. Read it here.
Excerpts of Letter from House Minority Whip Eric Cantor to Defense Secretary Robert Gates:
“This action troubles us a great deal, not only in this particular case, but because of the implications for anyone who might disagree with the Administration in the future.”
“What is clear from this letter (from the letter sent by Lt. Col. Gary Bertsch to Tony Perkins) is the establishment of a new litmus test: if one disagree with the President, that person is not welcome to participate in military activities.”
“The chilling impact such a standard could have on the free speech of private citizens and those who serve in our armed forces-guaranteeing precisely these types of freedoms-cannot be allowed to stand.”
“Specifically, is it the policy of the Air Force and/or other branches of the armed services to allow only those individuals who agree with the President on all matters of policy to participate in ministry events they host?”
The Brody File is told that there are other congressional letters circulating on the Hill regarding this topic. This is a story that has legs.