Saturday, May 5, 2018

ADF gripes, LifeSite affirms and Mad Mat does the SPLC a solid

Mat Staver
Hate group leader Mad Mat Staver
There are literally hundreds of thousands of Christian nonprofit organizations in the United States. Only 51 organizations are deemed anti-LGBT hate groups. 49 of those are Christian. The percentage is minuscule.

Alliance Defending Freedom has found another reason to be displeased with its hate group designation. ADF has sent out an email to supporters titled: What happened with AmazonSmile. What happened is that those Christian supremacists at ADF are being persecuted by the SPLC. Oht those poor victims. The email reads, in part:
Stand up to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s bullying of Christians

A couple of weeks ago, Amazon removed Alliance Defending Freedom and the ADF Foundation from the AmazonSmile program.

The program is simple. When you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. ADF has participated in the program since 2014.

Apparently, Amazon no longer sees ADF as a suitable charity for such a program.

While Amazon’s abrupt move to bar ADF from the program is extremely disappointing, it is far more concerning to learn who was really behind it: the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Of course SPLC isn't “bullying” Christians. Listing 49 out of say 500,000 organizations amounts to 0.0098%. AmazonSmile is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. In 2016 it gave close to $25 million to charity. ADF is correct about one thing. A hate group is not “a suitable charity for such a program.” ADF also has the power to get itself removed from the hate group list. They prefer to remain bigots while claiming to be persecuted.

The email goes on at some length. It includes my favorite bit of sophistry that “tolerance is a two-way street” which means that we are supposed to tolerate intolerance.

The mindless idiots at LifeSiteNews chime in with Radical left-wing org gets non-profit conservative law firm booted off Amazon’s charity list.
For those unfamiliar with SPLC, they are the hysteria-stokers responsible for producing a slanderous list of "hate groups" that lumps together actual violent extremists with respectable organizations such as Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council and with international human rights activists such as Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
For the record, Maajod Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi are not designated as hate groups. Moreover, opinion cannot be slanderous and they mean libelous (pertaining to the written word). Opinion cannot be libelous either. LifeSiteNews routinely lies about LGBT people in order to defend the teachings of the Catholic Church. While not listed by the SPLC it meets the definition of a hate group.

Most sane people realize that the SPLC is a well respected organization. Its critics are neo-Nazis, Klansmen and anti-LGBT bigots.

That brings me to a litigation update, including Mad Mat Staver's favor to the SPLC.

Last August, Coral Ridge Ministries, a hate group, sued Southern Poverty Law Center and Amazon.com, Inc.. Coral Ridge claims that both have violated the Lanham Act which protects companies from trademark infringement and false advertising. This litigation is as idiotic as attempting to sue the New York Times for an editorial that someone doesn't like. Actually it has less merit than suing the Times because one could argue that an editorial is commercial speech since it sells newspapers. It would still be a dumb lawsuit. The Coral Ridge suit is even dumber.

The federal district court judge assigned to this case is Myron Herbert Thompson. Magistrate judges are often used by district court judges to help lighten their load. In this case Judge Thompson asked Magistrate David A. Baker for a Report and Recommendation, often referred to as an “R&R.” On February 21 Baker recommended that motions to dismiss, filed separately by Amazon and the SPLC, be granted. Coral Ridge filed an objection to the R&R on March 8. On March 22 Amazon and the SPLC both filed answers to Coral Ridge's objection and that is where we stand. I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Judge Thompson will concur with the magistrate's recommendations. That could come any day now.

Oh, and about Mad Mat Staver of hate group Liberty Counsel. You may recall that Liberty Counsel sued Guidestar USA alleging a violation of the same Lanham Act. That case was dismissed recently. The judge in that case wrote a very detailed analysis of why Guidestar did not violate the Lanham Act.

Returning now to David A. Baker's R&R in the Coral Ridge v. Amazon and SPLC case. Baker wrote (in part):

I tend to doubt that the SPLC will be sending Mad Mat any thank you notes. But the thought is there.

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