By Michael L. Brown
Which is more insidious, the enemy that you recognize or the enemy that appears to be your friend? Which is more dangerous, a rag-tag bunch of poorly-funded White Supremacists or a well-organized, massively-funded, “civil rights” organization which demonizes Christian conservatives? And which lie is more likely to spread, one that is false from beginning to end or one that mixes falsehood with truth?
Based on the obvious answers to these questions, it is the Southern Poverty Law Center, the SPLC, that is most insidious and dangerous, and it is the lies of the SPLC that are more likely to spread. The SPLC even has blood on its hands, and by its own definition, should be listed is a hate group (more on both claims below).
To give you an idea of just how dangerous the SPLC is, consider this recent headline from the San Diego Union-Tribune: “Eight hate groups are in San Diego’s backyard, civil rights organization says.”
Really? Eight hate-groups in San Diego’s backyard? How does that make you feel if you live nearby, and what protective action should you take? And who, exactly, are these groups?
Some are Black Supremacist groups; one denies the Holocaust; one supports Islamic terrorism and wants to establish Sharia Law; and two are conservative Christian organizations.
That’s right, two conservative Christian organizations, including the Ruth Institute, a Catholic, pro-family organization, led by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, are listed side by side with radical Muslims, Black Supremacists, and Holocaust deniers.
This is the insidiousness of the SPLC, which exposes genuine hate groups alongside fine Christian organizations whose great sin, according to the SPLC, is being “anti-LGBT.”
Put another way, you are “anti-LGBT” if you believe that it’s best for kids to have a mom and dad or that marriage should be limited to the union of one man and one woman or that homosexual practice is sinful or that gays can change or that Bruce Jenner is not a woman or that a 15-year-old boy should not be able to play on the girls’ sports teams and share their locker rooms and showers.
And since you are “anti-LGBT,” according to the SPLC, you are a hater. And if your organization or ministry is known for such views, you belong on their hate list side by side with the KKK, neo-Nazis, Black Supremacists, and Islamic radicals.
As for the Ruth Institute, that organization explained that its “primary focus is family breakdown, and its impact on children: understanding it, healing it, ending it. If this makes us a ‘hate group,’ so be it.”
As for the SPLC having any constructive interaction with the Christian groups they vilify, why would they do that? As the Ruth Institute noted, “No one who creates those designations has ever contacted us, to inquire about our mission or values. We do not know how an organization becomes christened a ‘hate group’ or how an organization gets off such a list.”
In 2012, I was included on an SPLC list featuring profiling “30 Leaders of the Rising Radical Right,” along with men like David Duke of KKK infamy and Malik Zulu Shabazz, former head of the New Black Panthers.
According to the press release, “Thirty key leaders of the radical right, both longtime agitators and newcomers, are profiled in the report. These extremists – including anti-government activists, racist neo-Nazis and propagandists who promote falsehoods about Muslims and the LGBT community – are making headway by exploiting anger over the nation’s ailing economy, non-white immigration and the shrinking white majority.”
Once again, you see the insidiousness of the SPLC’s work, as Christian conservatives like me (and prayer leader Lou Engle and historian David Barton) were included among leaders of the “radical right” simply because we believe what the Bible says about homosexual practice. (For my response, see here.)
Using this same logic, should the SPLC one day publish a list of “hate books,” the Bible would be on their list. (Note also that groups and individuals which expose radical Islam are also on the SPLC’s hate list.)
Although the SPLC subsequently removed me from their list (with no explanation ever given and with no response to me when I exposed their error and called for face to face interaction), a few years back they added a new name to the list: Dr. Ben Carson!
That’s right, famed neuro-surgeon, presidential candidate, and now Cabinet member Ben Carson was on SPLC’s “extremist” list until Bill O’Reilly exposed it, resulting in the removal of his name with an apology. How in the world do they still have credibility?
Thankfully, the FBI, among other law-enforcement agencies, no longer relies on the SPLC’s data, but for years the SPLC was a major source of information for our government, reminding us once more of just how dangerous they are.
And thanks in part to CNN republishing their national hate map in the aftermath of Charlottesville, the SPLC is receiving a fresh wave of financial support, including a one million-dollar donation from George Clooney and, with consistency, millions of dollars from J. P. Morganand their ilk.
And lest you think that the SPLC is hurting financially, its 2016 Annual Report shows net assets of almost $34 million and an endowment fund of just under $320 million.
Focusing in on their “hate group” map, it breaks groups down into major categories including: Racist Skinhead, Neo-Nazi, White Nationalist, Black Separatist, Ku Klux Klan, General Hate, and Anti-LGBT (!). So, along with lots of accurate reporting about truly hateful, dangerous groups, they mix in some deadly poison, specifically, their libelous misrepresentation of Christian conservatives organizations.
And just which Christian organizations are they attacking? Here’s a small sampling:
· The Alliance Defending Freedom, one of the most respected Christian legal firms in the world, which has successfully argued cases before the Supreme Court and was involved in arguing the landmark Obergefell vs. Hodges
· The American College of Pediatricians, “a nonsectarian medical organization whose crime is that they publish scientific facts damaging to the ideology of identity politics.” (This organization consists of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and others.)
· The America Family Association, which for several decades has stood for family values in our nation.
· Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, which simply disseminates factual information about LGBT issues.
· Liberty Counsel, another highly respected Christian legal firm which has represented Christians in major cases across the land. (The Pacific Justice Institute, yet another fine Christian legal firm, makes it onto this same list. How dare these Christian groups defend their constitutional rights!)
This is just a sampling of some of the groups listed, and once again, a fine organization like the Illinois Family Institute is put on the same list with Westboro Baptist Church of “God hates fags” infamy.
Another group on the list, D. James Kennedy Ministries, has decided that it’s time to fight fire with fire, filing a lawsuit against the SPLC (along with Amazon and Guidestar, which, they claim were influenced by the SPLC).
According to the suit, “SPLC acted knowingly, intentionally, and with actual malice in publishing the Hate Map that included the Ministry and in publishing the SPLC Transmissions to Guidestar that included the Ministry. SPLC’s conduct in making these publications was beyond the reckless disregard for the truth standard required by Alabama law for punitive damages.”
In 2011, after the SPLC labelled Focus on the Family a “quintessential hate group,” I&