Friday, March 20, 2020

2019 SPLC Hate Group List and One Reaction

Tony Perkins - Family Research Council
via Southern Poverty Law Center/YouTube
On Wednesday, the Southern Poverty Law Center released the current list of hate groups. The list of anti-LGBT hate groups is “below the fold.”

Tyler O'Neil (PJ Media) doesn't like the Southern Poverty Law Center. He has written a book about the SPLC. I'm quite certain that it is an exquisite exposé of all the awful things that the SPLC does, and has done, over the years.

Mr. O'Neil and others have been trying to discredit the SPLC for some time in order to reduce the impact of the list of hate groups. The funny thing is that people like Tyler O'Neil never criticize a hate group listing with specifics. O'Neil is incapable of citing what the SPLC says about a hate group and then explaining why the SPLC is in error.

Instead, O'Neil engages in an argument ad hominem or attempts to deflect from facts to irrelevant nonsense. This week, O'Neil has done both. While Mr. O'Neil has few intellectual resources, he provides ample links to his book:
Ad hominem
What is the truth behind such attacks? As I document in my book, … the SPLC began as a noble civil rights group but has long since yielded to many forms of corruption. Last year, it fired its co-founder Morris Dees in a racial discrimination and sexual harassment scandal. That scandal led former employees to confess their complicity in the "con" of bilking donors by exaggerating hate. The SPLC promised an internal review last March, but it has yet to release any results. It faces also numerous defamation lawsuits for slandering law-abiding conservative and Christian groups.
Attacking Morris Dees has no relevance to the accuracy of the hate group listings. The SPLC is under no obligation to “release” the results of an internal review. In fact, doing so would be downright stupid. The SPLC has been sued by a few hate groups. The SPLC has won every one of those lawsuits. O'Neil's arguments do not support the charge of corruption.
Two examples of deflection:
1. Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), for example, has played a role in 56 Supreme Court victories (10 in the last decade). Trump has nominated judges with ties to ADF because it is one of the premier law firms in the country. Yet the SPLC insists on accusing it of being a "hate group" comparable to the Ku Klux Klan because it advocates for traditional Christian values and religious freedom against the increasingly radical LGBT activist wing.
ADF's legal successes are irrelevant to the hate group listing. Nor, for that matter, is the fact that there are now federal judges who have been affiliated with ADF germane. Orange Man is a panderer and Mitch McConnell is an anti-LGBTQ bigot whose party holds a majority of the Senate. As for those “radical LGBT activist[s]:” Who are they and what do they want that is so unreasonable? Who has been victimized?

ADF would tick off a list of Christians whom they represent. These are people who have decided that they have special rights to disobey valid nondiscrimination laws. O'Neil brought up the Ku Klux Klan. Any Klansman will tell you that the Klan is a Christian organization.

There is no shortage of commentary about ADF on the SPLC's website. In one instance:
ADF has supported the idea that being LGBTQ should be a crime in the U.S. and abroad and believes that is okay to put LGBTQ people in prison for engaging in consensual sex. It has also supported the forced sterilization of transgender Europeans. Like FRC, ADF also spreads harmful lies, including linking being gay to pedophilia and claiming that a 'homosexual agenda' will destroy society. ADF tries to couch its rhetoric in benign sounding phrases, but the truth is that they work to dehumanize and restrict the rights of LGBTQ people for being who they are.
The above is a minuscule fraction of what the SPLC has to say about ADF. Tyler O'Neil doesn't challenge the truth of any of the above. He cannot. The SPLC has the evidence.

2. Family Research Council
The Family Research Council (FRC) is a leading conservative Christian think tank and advocacy group. Its president, Tony Perkins, is the current chairman of the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom. Yet the SPLC has accused FRC of being a "hate group," and one deranged man tried to kill everyone in the building and smear a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich in their faces because of that accusation. This terrorist attack was foiled but FRC remains on the list. The SPLC report shows a picture of Trump with Perkins at an FRC conference.
Not one word of the above has any relevance to the SPLC's designation of FRC as a hate group. I am almost amused by: “This terrorist attack was foiled but FRC remains on the list.” It relates to the shooting at FRC's headquarters. O'Neil is claiming that that incident should disqualify FRC from being listed as a hate group. Exactly why remains unknown.

There is a great deal of material on the SPLC's website regarding Family Research Council.

In one instance the SPLC documents Tony Perkins' links to the Klan, his termination as a police officer for misconduct related to his failure to report the threat of violent anti-abortion protesters to his superiors. The SPLC also documents Perkins' connections to white supremacist organizations. The fact that Perkins is chairman of the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom says much about Trump's judgment.
FRC was designated an anti-LGBT hate group in 2010 for decades of demonizing LGBT people and spreading harmful pseudoscience about them. Over the years, the organization has published books, reports and brochures that have linked homosexuality to pedophilia, claimed that LGBT people are dangerous to children and claimed that LGBT people are promiscuous and violent.

FRC states on its website that: "Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed. It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects."
Tyler O'Neil does not challenge the accuracy of any of that. Nor can he argue that the above is not good cause for Family Research Council to be designated as a hate group. Instead, he feeds his audience the same bullshit that we have seen in talking points for years. If nothing else, Mr. O'Neil is not terribly original. O'Neil does not challenge the accuracy of anything in this video:
Here is the current list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups:
  • All Scripture Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Alliance Defending Freedom, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • American College of Pediatricians, Gainesville, Florida
  • American Family Association, Tupelo, Mississippi
  • American Family Association, Franklin, Pennsylvania
  • American Vision, Powder Springs, Georgia
  • Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Naperville, Illinois
  • ATLAH Media Network, New York, New York
  • Bible Believers Fellowship, Worthington, Ohio
  • Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM), New York, New York
  • Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, California
  • Church Militant/St. Michael's Media, Ferndale, Michigan
  • Concerned Christian Citizens, Temple, Texas
  • D. James Kennedy Ministries, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Faith Baptist Church, Violet, Louisiana
  • Faith Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Faith2Action, North Royalton, Ohio
  • Faithful Word Baptist Church, Tempe, Arizona
  • Faithful Word Baptist Church, Tucson, Arizona
  • Family Research Council, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Family Research Institute, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Family Watch International, Gilbert, Arizona
  • First Works Baptist Church, El Monte, California
  • Generations, Elizabeth, Colorado
  • Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment (H.O.M.E.), Downers Grove, Illinois
  • Illinois Family Institute, Carol Stream, Illinois
  • Liberty Baptist Church, Rock Falls, Illinois
  • Liberty Counsel, Orlando, Florida
  • Mass Resistance, Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Mass Resistance, Austin, Texas
  • Mass Resistance, Dallas, Texas
  • Mass Resistance, Denver, Colorado
  • Mass Resistance, Detroit, Michigan
  • Mass Resistance, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Mass Resistance, Houston, Texas
  • Mass Resistance, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Mass Resistance, Lexington Park, Maryland
  • Mass Resistance, San Diego, California
  • Mass Resistance, Seattle, Washington
  • Mass Resistance, Torrance, California
  • Mission: America, Columbus, Ohio
  • Pacific Justice Institute, Sacramento, California
  • Pacific Justice Institute, Salem, Oregon
  • Pacific Justice Institute, San Jose, California
  • Pacific Justice Institute, Santa Ana, California
  • Pacific Justice Institute, Seattle, Washington
  • Pass the Salt Ministries, Hebron, Ohio
  • Pilgrims Covenant Church, Monroe, Wisconsin
  • Probe Ministries, Plano, Texas
  • Public Advocate of the United States, Merrifield, Virginia
  • Revival Baptist Church, Clermont, Florida
  • Ruth Institute, Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • Save California, Sacramento, California
  • Scott Lively Ministries, Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Stedfast Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Stedfast Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Stedfast Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Strong Hold Baptist Church, Norcross, Georgia
  • Sure Foundation Baptist Church, Vancouver, Washington
  • Sure Foundation Baptist Church, Kailua, Hawaii
  • Sure Foundation Baptist Church, Spokane, Washington
  • The Campus Ministry USA, Terre Haute, Indiana
  • The Pray in Jesus Name Project, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Tom Brown Ministries, El Paso, Texas
  • True Light Pentecost Church, Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • United Families International, Gilbert, Arizona
  • Verity Baptist Church, Sacramento, California
  • Warriors for Christ, Bristol, Tennessee
  • Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, Kansas
  • World Congress of Families/International Organization for the Family, Rockford, Illinois

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