In addition to tracking organizations like the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the more tamely-named White nationalist “Council of Conservative Citizens”, the SPLC has taken on a new area of focus: homophobic radical Christian groups like the Family Research Council and American Family Association.
Finally. Kudos to the SPLC for calling out the radical Christianist agenda. Enough with the guise of “pro-family” rhetoric. There is too much blood on these groups’ hands. The SPLC has called these bigots to task for their hate speech and suicide-inducing vitriol.
–Peter Sprigg, Family Research Council
According to the SPLC, an analysis of 14 years of hate-crime data shows that GLBT people are the most victimized group in America, “more than twice as likely to be attacked in a violent hate crime as Jews or blacks; more than four times as likely as Muslims; and 14 times as likely as Latinos.” In their Winter 2010 “Intelligence Report”, the SPLC designates eighteen Christian organizations – “The Hard Liners” – 13 of which are designated officially as hate groups for the first time this year for having “continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities.”
Kudos to the SPLC and it’s about time we begin having the courage to call these bigots for what they are and begin to see past the veneer of “religion” spread over them. Indeed, as Dr. Warren Throckmorton says over at Crosswalk.org:
Christian groups should care about nuance and bearing honest witness. They should avoid misleading stereotypes and strive for accuracy in fact claims. When they are fast and loose with facts, they hurt the church and the good work that others are doing. Being designated a hate group is a serious matter and one which should cause reflection about the relevance of the charges rather than defensiveness.
And they are getting defensive. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association lamented his “truth speech” being labeled hate speech, saying the SPLC is engaged in “name-calling”. Utilizing the tired cliche of “a progressive’s last resort is to shout ‘hate speech!’”, Fischer defends his anti-gay “myths” the SPLC quotes, referring to them as “truths”, including his claim about the Nazi Party’s secretly being orchestrated by GLBT people (egregious, considering, in the words of one judge, the Reich considered gays “fodder for the concentration camps”).
The list of Christian hate ministries under SPLC watch includes the American Family Association, Coral Ridge Ministries, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel, Traditional Values Coalition, and the National Organization for Marriage. Also included are the Quran-burning Islamophobes at Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL, and the Chalcedon Foundation, which “is opposed to modern notions of equality, democracy or tolerance.”
You can read all the hate speech here.
Now that the SPLC has done it, will we do the same? Will we, in our communities, treat these ministries the same way as we treat the American Nazi Party or KKK? These groups are no less detrimental to our society than hood-wearing racists or anti-Semites with swastika pendants. These people must be stopped – if not by legislation then by vocal opposition transmitting the true G-dly voice of love, tolerance, coexistence, and unity.
Much love to the SPLC for taking the first step. Now it’s up to us to follow suit.