This post is about the sad saga of Wes Goodman, an Ohio politician who was an outspoken Christian in the culture wars who resigned after being caught having sex with another man in his legislative office. After his resignation it was learned that he had allegedly engaged in a sexual assault at a Family Research Council event at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C. Tony Perkins allegedly dealt with the situation in-house and did not go to law enforcement. This post is based off a write up in the Washington Post and independent research.
“Where there is no shame, there is no honor.”
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. “
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you.
Romans 13: 1-4 NLT
Lincoln Memorial at night
Tony Perkins discusses gay marriage on CBS Face the Nation
In the evangelical culture wars there was a disturbing story that emerged late in 2017 in the Washington Post. I have been meaning to get this out for a while as I believe this is significant to discussing the evangelical culture wars.
A Look at Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins was born in Cleveland, Oklahoma in 1963. He went to high school there and then attended Liberty University for college. He later earned a Masters of Public Administration from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Tony served in the United States Marine Corp and then he also became a police officer for Baton Rouge, and later did anti-terrorism training for the State Department. He changed to politics and ran for the Louisiana House and was elected in 1995. When he served in the Louisiana he campaigned for school prayer, to limit divorce, place internet filter software in public schools, and crusaded against gambling in Louisiana. After two terms he left his seat. In 2002 he ran for the Louisiana Senate seat as a social and religious conservative. In a jungle primary Tony Perkins came in fourth and eventually Mary Landrieu was re-elected to serve in the United States Senate.
Tony Perkins is deeply concerned with the “homosexual agenda” and became the President of the Family Research Council. The Family Research Council was established in 1981 by James Dobson. In his role he has campaigned for moral issues to include Proposition 8 in California that banned gay marriage in 2008. Perkins called Proposition 8 “more important than the presidential election” and stated that if marriage doesn’t survive neither will the country. Perkins was also opposed to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” saying that it would create problems for chaplains. He also called for a Federal Marriage Amendment to define marriage in the United States between one man and one woman. Tony has also stated that natural disasters in the United States are God’s divine punishment for homosexuality. After he said this his own home in Louisiana was flooded in 2016.
Perkins also spoke to a white supremacist group in May of 2001 in which he said that blacks are a “retrograde species of humanity.” In 2010 under Perkins leadership the Family Research Council was classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In addition Perkins also fueled the Obama birth certificate controversy by saying that its debate was legitimate. He also said that it makes sense to conclude that Obama was born a Muslim. Tony Perkins has five children and is affiliated with the Christian Coalition, American Legion and National Rifle Association,
Wes Goodman resigns from the Ohio House of Representatives
Ohio’s Wes Goodman and an Alleged Sexual Assault in Washington, D.C.
Wes Goodman is a native of Cardington, Ohio. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyen University where he majored in politics and government. Goodman worked briefly for former Ohio senator and attorney general Mike DeWine. He then joined Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan’s staff where by 2013 he was managing director of the Conservative Action Project. Wes worked for Jim Jordan for six years. In 2016 he ran to represent the 87th district in Ohio where was elected. In Ohio politics Wes Goodman was a rising star. Wes touted his Christian faith and became very dedicated to the culture wars. The Ohio state politician was all about family values. In Ohio he was one of the point men when it came to fighting gay marriage. Wes was also married to his wife Beth who was active in anti-abortion causes. You can read more about Wes in his archived campaign site.
On November 7, 2017 Wes Goodman abruptly resigned from the Ohio House of Representatives. Wes was caught having sex with another man in his office, and the speaker of the House, Cliff Rosenberger learned about it. The sex appeared to be consensual. However after he resigned more disturbing information came forward. Wes Goodman had allegedly engaged in sexual harassment where he pursued sexual relationships with people against their will. He reportedly engaged in sexting where he also sent pictures of his penis and himself masturbating to other men. You can see the screenshots in this website here. In addition he trolled Craiglist for sexual encounters while he railed about gays and gay marriage.
Then information emerged through the Washington Post that Wes Goodman had allegedly sexually assaulted a person and that Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council had allegedly covered it up. This is what happened from my research and looking around in different sources. At the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C. on October 15, 2015 a conference was being held by the religious right. Wes Goodman was there and in the evening he approached an eighteen year old outside the Ritz-Carleton ballroom where he encouraged them to come up to a party on Capitol Hill. One of the young men didn’t want to go to the event and Wes teased him and made sarcastic remarks about him being a woman. After the party Wes encouraged the young man to come into his room and offered to let him share his bed. The two individuals shared a bed. In the middle of the night the eighteen year old woke up to Wes Goodman pulling down his zipper and allegedly trying to fondle him. Half asleep he darted from the room at about 4:00 a.m. The young man said that he was “shaken, dazed, confused and very upset.” This young man told his parents what Wes Goodman did.
Several days later on October 25 the boys step-father wrote a letter to Tony Perkins. In that letter he wrote, “If we endorse these types of individuals, then it would seem our whole weekend together was nothing more than a charade.” In his response Tony Perkins stated, “Trust me . . . this will not be ignored nor swept aside, It will be dealt with swiftly, but with prudence.” Tony Perkins also leads the Council for National Policy, which is a quasi political and evangelical movement that is deeply involved in trying to influence politics and the culture wars. The Council for National Policy is also labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It was founded in 1981 by Tim LaHaye, Nelson Bunker Hunt, T Cullen Davis, William Cies and Paul Weyrich. Tony Perkins dealt with the situation internally. In an email Perkins told Goodman that he should not run for office until he addresses his behavior. When Wes Goodman declared his candidacy for for the Ohio House of Representatives, Tony Perkins stated that he was “disappointed.” But then it appears as if Goodman wrote a letter to Tony Perkins in which he admitted receiving counseling, and that he engaged in-appropriate behavior. Tony Perkins encouraged him forward and said, “You have only begun the process of restoration.” When Goodman pursued his political career Tony Perkins wrote on December 18, 2015, “Going forward so soon, without some distance from your past behavior and a track record of recovery, carries great risk for you and for those who are supporting you.” Perkins also had Goodman removed from the Council of National Policy. From what I have read and researched this all was dealt with in-house and Tony Perkins did not notify law enforcement that an alleged sexual crime had been committed. If you want to see all the correspondence, it is in the Washington Post, in “How a conservative group dealt with a fondling charge against a rising GOP star.”
Considering the Ethical Issues and how Tony Perkins Responded to the Alleged Sexual Assault
From start to finish when Wes Goodman allegedly touched an eighteen year old inappropriately Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council did not contact law enforcement. Everything apparently was handled privately and off the record. Just a couple of people knew about the situation. I find it troubling that this behavior would be kept from the police. After all Wes Goodman was acting as a predator and was using his position and faith to woo people. The fact that he was gay is not the issue for me. The issue is the alleged sexual misconduct and the laws that were violated. I am left to wonder how many other people had situations like the eighteen year old at the Ritz-Carlton. In this case you have the added stigma of a highly conservative culture that frowns on people being gay. The eighteen year old found himself at a disadvantage in many ways. Its similar to some of the child molestation allegations in Sovereign Grace that were same sex. Many people’s idea of sexual assault is too vanilla and they often don’t think of same sex assault.
When it comes to the situation of Tony Perkins there is another question that I have. Is the reason why he also didn’t notify law enforcement because he also spent time in the United States Marine Corps? After all the United States military has a massive problem with sexual assault, misconduct and rape. Was Tony trained by the Marine Corp to deal with sexual assault internally and did he lean upon his training? Could that be why he didn’t go straight to law enforcement? If more allegations of sexual assault from Wes Goodman come to light and it was after this 2015 incident then I would propose that Tony Perkins was an accomplice to anything further that comes out. The decent thing Perkins should do is resign. He should quit. Evangelicals like to wear their faith on their sleeve. I am amazed how many of these people who talk about faith ignore Romans 13 over and over. They don’t submit to the state when it comes to allegations of criminal misconduct, and they refuse to respect the state as well. The Wondering Eagle is calling on Tony Perkins to resign. That is the decent and dignified thing to do. You can’t be influencing domestic policy when you have no respect for the law. The Family Research Council has a strange definition of family values if covering up allegations of sexual misconduct is the norm. This is yet another reason why evangelicals should not be involved in politics.