(Summary: Anti-gay, faith-based hate groups are on the rise and the Southern Poverty Law Center has just released its final list. This post is an up-to-date attempt at educating the reader about all of them - with the least amount of snarky cynicism. It's a lengthy - but serious - read. And yes, it's a work in progress.)
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has just published its list of hate groups in the U.S. up through 2011: an increase in such groups of 61 percent in the last 11 years. The dramatic rise is due, the SPLC said, to the popularity of the Patriot Movement. It did not, however, imply that the increase was a result in America's decline in I.Q. (as I would have).
61 percent . Yes, it's hard to believe. Then again, we still have pockets of the population who believe in bludgeoning housecats and scrawling "liberal" across their bodies, think that AIDS was brought about by an airplane pilot who had sex with a chimpanzee, and
... believe the "Homosexual Agenda" to be a living, breathing entity.
The SPLC defines hate groups as those which "... have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics". The SPLC states that hate group activities may include speeches, marches, rallies, meetings, publishing, leafleting, and criminal acts such as violence, although not all groups listed by the SPLC engage in criminal activity.
"ATTACK OR MALIGN"
The modus operandi of any anti-gay hate group - faith-based or not - has been to attack a community with misinformation and outright lies. Through the list below lies a horrifying thread: using "junk" science, myths and erroneous "research" is common among them all. Whether or not the "research" is debunked, if it supplies a means to an end (hate), it is used time and time again in the hopes that the target groups never catch on.**
And faith-based target groups never do: simply because they consist of people who have absolute faith in their religious leaders and they live in communities where to question a minister, priest or rabbi is unthinkable. To question them is to question God and the Bible.
It is their steadfast loyalty to hate which drives the accusation that homosexual activists and their friends are always in their faces. A snarky response would be: "We have to be! You were too dumb to get it the first, second, or tenth time!" But studies show that bigotry and a low I.Q. are tied with other and that faith-based groups take advantage of the uneducated, the ignorant and lesser-intelligent: witness their promotion of hatred in third world countries such as Uganda.
All faith-based anti-gay hate groups (25) are listed below, and while it certainly doesn't represent all the other individual churches and organizations, it is the official list put out by the SPLC. Each title provides a link to the group's website*(1) while interior links are for description. In collecting all the data and anecdotes, there are many things were excluded by the author (me), for to include everything would have taken volumes.
Hate is endless.
Perhaps it is fitting that Abiding Truth Ministries (aka Defending Family The Family) is first on the list of faith-based hate groups: founded by Scott Lively, author of The Pink Swastika, it is probably the most virulent and evangelical of the hate groups. Evangelical in the sense that it has been one of the more successful groups exporting hate to different countries, in particular Latvia, Monrovia, Russia and Uganda. The group Watchmen On The Walls was founded by Lively and Alexey Ledyaev in Riga, Latvia. A controversy concerning Watchmen came to the fore when a young man who was perceived to be gay (in Sacramento, CA) was killed by avowed Watchmen.*(2)
Lively has also been directly linked to the controversial "Kill The Gays" bill in Uganda. A video of Lively shows him lecturing to a group in Uganda that gays are bent on "replacing" a heterosexual society with a homosexual one.
Although his books and actions have been exposed with ridicule , the former head of The (California chapter of) American Family Association is still being referenced by faith-based hate groups across the country.
While the founder of the American Family Association , Tim Wildmon, is at the very apex of it's homophobia, the most prominent voice of the Association is definitely spokesperson Bryan Fischer:
AFA has been criticized by civil rights organizations and other entities for what have been described as controversial stances, in particular the "propagation of known falsehoods" and "demonizing propaganda" about homosexuality , which in November 2010 led to its being named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center
Fischer has proven to be an "equal opportunity bigot" since his daily radio rants include homosexuals, feminists, Native Americans, Muslims and African Americans. It has been speculated that there isn't a group that Bryan Fischer does not hate. Simply put, Fischer seems to hate everyone who is not Bryan Fischer. Fischer and the AFA have called for boycotts of: 7-Eleven, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Airlines, American Girl, Blockbuster Video, Burger King, Calvin Klein, Carl's Jr., Clorox, Comcast, Crest, Ford, Hallmark Cards, Kmart, Kraft Foods, S. C. Johnson & Son, Movie Gallery,Microsoft, MTV, Mary Kay, NutriSystem, Old Navy, IKEA, Sears, Pampers, Procter & Gamble, Target, Tide, Walt Disney Company, and PepsiCo. ... To name a few.
The AFA has repeatedly been called upon to fire Fischer and end his radio program. However, they have steadfastly refused to do so, sometimes distancing themselves with a "we're not responsible for his speech" statement (even though he is actually employed as their "Director of Issues Analysis" - whatever). Fischer is considered an official AIDS denier and disseminates Scott Lively's (see above) statements about gays and N*zis.
AFTAH is Peter LaBarbera and Peter LaBarbera is AFTAH. Known by the LGBT Community as "Porno Pete" for his penchant for gay pornography and attending LGBT events like the Folsom Street Fair (San Francisco) in order to photograph licentious behavior. From wikipedia:
LaBarbera is founder and president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), which describes itself as "dedicated to exposing the homosexual activist agenda". It was a 501(c)3 United States tax-exempt organization until stripped of that designation following years of failing to file the appropriate paperwork.
But even though LaBarbera continues to look like a rather insipid joke on the American public, his daily radio program still hosts people from other various faith-based hate groups. His latest cause is the support of Kirk Cameron , the former "Growing Pains" actor recently in the news about his anti-gay remarks.
American Vision has published over 175 books, CDs, tapes and MP3s with the purpose of "equipping and empowering Christians to restore America's biblical foundation." But perhaps the reason it has been designated a hate group is because of its president, Gary DeMar , who, for all intents and purposes is a Reconstructionist. He even co-authored a book, Christian Reconstruction , with Gary North, head of the Reconstructionist movement (see Chalcedon Foundation below). The Recontructionist movement has strictly theocratic views with adherence to Biblical law as an absolute. Accordingly, homosexual acts are considered criminal and worthy of imprisonment and/or death.*(3)
Bethesda Christian Institute -
Bethesda Christian Institute is unique in several ways: of all the hate groups listed with the SPLC, it does not seem to have an accessible website (attempts to link to http://www.bcisa.com come up as errors) and of the 59 hate groups listed in Texas, Bethesda and Tom Brown Ministries (see below)are the only faith-based groups*(4). And while its building's facade is visible on social sites (like facebook) it is very hard to access info. Giveback.or g lists the organization, but with "0" assets. But for all it's seeming secrecy, it's leader, Dr. Judith Reisman, is very well known - as the founder of the "anti-Kinsey" movement. Resiman has written numerous articles about "homosexual indoctrination."
In 1994 Reisman spoke at a conference of Christian right leaders in Colorado Springs, saying that homosexual "recruitment is loud; it is clear; it is everywhere." She estimated the homosexual population at the time to be 1-2% but predicted at least 20% (and possibly over 30%) "of the young population will be moving into homosexual activity" as a result of recruitment.
Reisman endorses Scott Lively's Pink Swastika (quelle suprise). She was also the only witness for the prosecution at the Mapplethorpe obscenity trial.
"We believe that the whole Word of God must be applied to all of life. It is not only our duty as individuals, families and churches to be Christian, but it is also the duty of the state, the school, the arts and sciences, law, economics, and every other sphere to be under Christ the King. Nothing is exempt from His dominion. We must live by His Word, not our own."
The Chalcedon Foundation is the source of all things Recontructionist and R.J. Rushdoony, its founder. For years, it was shunned by mainstream Christians as too severe in its fundamentalist views of Biblical government. But due to the inroads of today's Christian Right into politics, the Chalcedon Foundation has begun a resurgence.*(5).
Tucked away in a strip mall in Tempe, Ariz., the Faithful Word Baptist Church is unabashedly anti-gay:
"Am I all about hate? No I'm sure I'm more about love than I am hate," Anderson said. "I do hate homosexuals and if hating homosexuals makes our church a hate group then that's what we are."
Besides that, Pastor Steven Anderson and the church are famous for:
- calling for the death of President Obama.
- encouraging his congregation to wear firearms
- and " He holds no college degree but has well over 140 chapters of the Bible memorized word-for-word, including approximately half of the New Testament."
Hurry, call Mensa!
This writer has personally covered the actions of the Family Research Council in over 120 articles, and its justification as a hate group is due to a great many vitriolic attacks on homosexuals and homosexuality. However, the most prominent and consistent attack comes in the form of it's piece of fiction called The Homosexual Agenda , the origins of which are startling and telling. It must be quoted at length from wikipedia :
In the US, the term "the gay agenda" was first used in public discourse in 1992 when the Family Research Council, an American conservative Christian group, released a video series called The Gay Agenda as part of a pack of materials campaigning on homosexual issues and the "hidden gay agenda".  In the same year the Oregon Citizens Alliance used this video as part of their campaign for Ballot Measure 9 to amend the Oregon Constitution to prevent what the OCA called special rights for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.  Paul Cameron -- co-founder of the Institute for the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality in Lincoln, later renamed the Family Research Institute -- appeared in the video, wherein he asserted that 75 percent of gay men regularly ingest feces and that 70-78 percent have had a sexually transmitted disease.  The Gay Agenda was followed by three other video publications; The Gay Agenda in Public Education (1993), The Gay Agenda: March on Washington (1993) and a feature follow-up Stonewall: 25 Years of Deception (1994). The videos contained interviews with opponents of LGBT rights, and the series was made available through Christian right organizations. 
Homosexual Agenda. Oregon Citizens Alliance. Family Research Council. Family Research Institute. Paul Cameron.
Other people/organizations to use the term: Focus On The Family, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
The website of the Family Research Institute - states:
With post titles like Gays In Military = Traitors In Military, one can guess just how virulent the FRI's homophobia really is. And its leader is the legendary mis-informant, Paul Cameron.
Cameron, whose "research" has gotten him ousted from the American Psychological Association, The Nebraska Psychological Association, The American Sociological Association and the Canadian Psychological Association, has stated that the average age of gay men is 42 (a statistic he got from reading obituaries during the AIDS crisis) and equated homosexuality to drug use. He has also been roundly chastised by individual researchers for extremely shoddy methods:
[Psyschologist Gregory M. Herek]: "Because the data are essentially meaningless, it is not surprising that they have been virtually ignored by the scientific community."
The American Family Association and the Family Research Council (see below) repeatedly cite Cameron's work as gospel. It is perhaps those citings more than anything else, in fact, that have led the SPLC to label both as hate groups.
The H.O.M.E. website is so outdatedly sweet, with its animated doves carrying olive branches in the beaks! And how engagingly it defines the SPLC as " liberal hate group ." It's logic is irrefutable (as in linking homosexuality to Freemasonry) and its concern over the "sexually exploitative" lifestyle is so heartening. It constantly opines that we are "all imperfect." So with all that saccharine goodness, why is it listed as a hate group? SPLC explains :
The group, which is entirely focused on the alleged evils of homosexuality, attacks gay people on a wide variety of levels. But it keeps coming back to the idea that gay sexual activity should be illegal.
But, of course, H.O.M.E. still loves the sinner but hates the sin.
With ties to Paul Cameron (his hate gets around!), the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and the Alliance Defense Fund, the IFI certainly has a distinguished pedigree of hate. Director of School Advocacy Laurie Higgins :
"There was something profoundly good for society about the prior stigmatization of homosexual practice" . [W]hen homosexuals were "in the closet,' (along with fornicators, polyamorists, cross-dressers, and "transexuals'), they weren't acquiring and raising children."
Higgins has also argued against the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell because gays are traitorous and deceptive since they entered the military under false pretenses in the first place. Desperate times call for desperate logic.
Jewish Political Action Committee -
The absence of a website does not mean the absence of hate. Looking up the Jewish Political Action Committee may seem like a lesson in futility until you see the evidence of their existence:
The only thing that can be said for other groups is that courage of conviction runs through their hatred. Not so with JPAC: there is no publicized leader*(7), there is no official organization, even though people claiming to part of the group have protested at various places against same-sex marriage. Political influence seems to be undercover.
You could say that because of their vehemence (evinced in their signs), they are a faith-based terrorist group, attacking at a moments notice.
The "Mass" in Mass Resistance refers to the state of Massachusetts. It was established to fight same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and continues to attack former governor Mitt Romney for not opposing it vigorously. It also faults Romney for any advances in LGBT rights and anti-discrimination laws. In addition to same-sex marriage, Mass Resistance, now focuses on LGBT tolerance and anti-bullying events in classrooms insisting that efforts to teach tolerance are "brainwashing."*(8)
Just as Bryan Fischer IS the American Family Association so Linda Harvey IS Mission: America.
"How in the world can the left be aligned with these folks? Well, there's a real simple answer, I think, in that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. They all hate the actual Judeo-Christian heritage and those who uphold it, they hate the West ... they hate the ideology, they hate the freedom. It's a spiritual thing, they hate Jesus Christ.
"Homosexual activists and their allies are, in case one hasn't noticed, the torch-carriers for a movement to destroy biblically-oriented Christianity and its positive influence on our culture."
The primary thrust of the organization is to "inform" parents and communities about the "dangers" of homosexuality, feminism, occultism, or anything opposing its narrow Christian viewpoints. Harvey's extreme pronouncements have gained her the sobriquet "the most homophobic woman in America."
There's one big fact that's not backed up. There is no proof that there's ever anything like a gay, lesbian or bisexual or transgendered child, or teen or human. One of the other things you're gonna see as I mentioned is a big campaign GLSEN's gonna roll out this year calling for 'respect,' respect! Not just for people, but for homosexual lifestyle. The PR campaign to hold up gay as a good thing: the lifestyle, not the person, because there are no such humans.
It follows, therefore, that Ms. Harvey has no conscience when demonizing people, simply because to her, they don't exist.
Mission America has been instrumental in curbing anti-bullying legislation on the grounds that any such legislation would "promote" homosexuality in schools.
The Parents Action League could be considered a textbook case of hatred going local: it is a reaction to the actions of the Anoka-Hennipin (MN) School Board and its dealing with a rash of teen suicides, making it the school system with the highest rate of suicides in the country.
Whereas the Anoka-Hennepin School Board is considering removing the protectiveSexual Orientation Curriculum Policy, an action that will undermine the academic focus of this district and open the door to pro-homosexual and related conduct materials in the school curriculum thereby exposing students to concepts hostile to their religious faith and or moral conviction...
- resolution presented to Anokin-Hennepin School Board, Jan. 9, 2012
As Rolling Stone put it, the evangelicals had created a war on gay teens . It did not help matters for evangelicals that Anok-Hennepin is in U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann's district. And besides Mrs. Bachmann, the Parents Action League cited the support of: National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality , American College of Pediatricians , Facts About Youth , Exodus International , Parents and Friends of Ex-gays and Gays , Mission America , Family Research Council , Courage , and JONAH .
Note that two of the groups are listed as hate groups by the SPLC (Family Research Council and Mission America), NARTH has been condemned by the American Psychological Association, and American College of Pediatricians has been described as a small (less than 200) marginal group of conservative physicians whose sole purpose is to advocate against homosexuality.*(6)
"As homosexuals die off due to AIDS, the remaining AIDS carriers prey on children to replenish the "Homosexual Community.'"
Eugene Delgaudio, seemingly the only person involved in Public Advocate has been tagged as the most virulently paranoid anti-gay person there is: claiming death threats and people lurking in bushes, Delgaudio constantly asks for prayers... and money.
"Democrats give the homosexual activists what the homosexual activists want, and the homosexual activists want children. So the Democrat governor gave the homosexual activists the brains of children, six million children in California government schools now are going to be suffering under an eighth school sexual indoctrination law, the most direct, in-your-face brainwashing I've ever seen."
Sons of Thundr (Faith Baptist Church)
From the Faith Baptist Church website:
Smokers and drug addicts don't live as long as non-smokers or non-addicts, so we consider smoking and narcotics abuse harmful. The typical life-span of homosexuals suggests that their activities are more destructive than smoking and as dangerous as drugs. Two and eight-tenths percent (2.8%) of gays died violently. They were 116 times more apt to be murdered; 24 times more apt to commit suicide; and had a traffic-accident death-rate 18 times the rate of comparably-aged white males. Heart attacks, cancer and liver failure were exceptionally common. Twenty percent of lesbians died of murder, suicide, or accident--a rate 487 times higher than that of white females aged 25-44. The age distribution of samples of homosexuals in the scientific literature from 1989 to 1992 suggests a similarly shortened life-span.
Founded in 1980, The Traditional Values Coalition is the oldest of all the faith-based hate groups in the SPLC's list along with the longest-running homophobic pastor, Lou Sheldon. The "traditional values" listed by the organization read like a list of Commandments for all other groups:
1. Right to life (against abortion and euthanasia)
2. Sexual fidelity in marriage and abstinence before marriage
3. Opposition to homosexuality and other "deviant sexual behaviors"
4. Opposition to pornography
5. Patriotism (supporting national boundaries, the Armed Forces, political participation, free enterprise, limited government, low taxes, and personal responsibility.)
6. Opposition to "liberal" immigration reform (reform without first securing the U.S.-Mexico border)
7. Freedom of Christians' attempt to convert non-Christians
8. Opposition to addictive behaviors (gambling,addictive drugs, alcohol, and smoking)
Of course, value #5 is the most politicized today, with the current President painted as opposing it, while #7 is more subliminal in most faith-based organizations. The TVC has gained hutzpah with age.
As late as 1995, Sheldon called for the quarantining of AIDS patients.
The TVC got a serious credibility setback in the form of ... Jack Abramoff:
Sheldon was an associate of Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist jailed for influence peddling. Sheldon lobbied members of the US Congress to kill the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. Abramoff directed his client, eLottery, to pay $25,000 the Traditional Values Coalition.
32 years of hate. That's pretty impressive and surpassed only by the ghetto-ization of the Jews.
From the website:
The gay militants are trying to persuade society that homosexuals are born that way, and so to expect change is unreasonable, and quite impossible. So they have searched and searched to try to find a gay gene, but to no avail. I can assure them that they will never find one, because if there was one, then homosexuality would be decreasing, because homosexuals would not procreate as often as heterosexuals, and thus, would not be passing down the gene.
"Fight the great sodomite/lesbian army."
Militaristic imagery is the easiest to use when creating hate: that's why it's used quite often in small, isolated groups like True Light Pentecost Church . And although it is not quite up to par with the preaching of "prophet" Lou Engle, it gets the job done in demonizing an entire group of people:
The sub-human culture created by the anti-christ and magnified by the Sodomite/Lesbian movement , encouraged by the current government under Pres.Obama has further brought end-time prophecy to a final state....Where is your faith...? Will you be a part of the remnant army that will not bow or compromise..that will fight the great sodomite/lesbian army?
"Reputable studies and decades of successful treatment show that homosexual behavior can be changed."
The UFI hates Lady Gaga with a vengeance... and loves NARTH.*(9) The primary premise of UFI is that homosexuality is a disorder that can be CURED through reparative therapy. UFI has tried (unsuccessfully) to have sodomy laws repealed.
It is interesting to note that only when Fred Phelps' famous little group starting picketing soldiers' funerals was it denounced by the other subsequent faith-based hate groups.
If you haven't heard about Fred Phelps, then it is suggested that you go back to your old planet and read up on him. The "Man Addicted To Hate" and his motley family was in the news even before he tried to dance on Matthew Shepard's grave. Books have been written about his escapades and he has been banned from entering foreign countries. Like Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, Fred Phelps is an equal-opportunity hate machine, hating everyone who isn't Fred Phelps. And his "sister sites" prove it: GodHatesIslam.com , GodHatesTheMedia.com , GodHatesTheWorld.com , JewsKilledJesus.com , BeastObama.com , PriestsRapeBoys.com , and AmericaIsDoomed.com .
Early on, Phelps used the Bible to castigate gays and even made up Bible verses to prove his point*(10) It is not his belief that the Bible condemns homosexuality that qualifies him as a hate group, however, but the virulence of his attacks: his pickets and signs border on violence, trying to cause as much emotional harm as possible. His protests are considered sadistic in the extreme. He taunts people from behind the First Amendment with absolute glee.
Needless to say, any support shown for him would be akin to condoning evil. But he has more supporters than you think: the "distancing" is not very convincing. The Christian Right should come under fire for not doing what they condemn others for: not policing their own. Fred Phelps should have been excommunicated from Christianity a very long time ago.
"Homosexuals commit more than 33% of all the reported child molestations in the U.S. Many homosexuals openly admit that they are pedophiles because they cannot actually reproduce, they resort to recruiting children." - Pastor Tom Vineyard, testimony given against the passage of Oklahoma City's inclusion of sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination law.
The Windsor Hills Baptist Church and its Pastor, Tom Vineyard, present the most obvious qualifications of hate groups as put forth by the SPLC: "attack or malign."
The statistics Pastor Tom Vineyard cites in the video below are bogus beyond belief.*(11) They are also predicated to produce as much bigotry and violence as possible against gays. The fact that he was given a voice at the hearing in the Oklahoma City Hall was a classic case of giving undue respect to anyone with an "Rev." in front of their name.*(12)
The ministry's mission statement explains their aims to reshape America "by re-directing the current and future generations both morally and spiritually through education, media and the Judeo-Christian values found in our U.S. Constitution." The organization has garnered letters of support from school personnel, as well as some religious and political figures.
DUNKERTON, Iowa -- School officials at Dunkerton High School were expecting to deliver a positive message about good choices when they invited the Christian rock bank Junkyard Prophet to perform at a student assembly, but instead were treated to a lecture condemning homosexuality and images of aborted fetuses. Students and faculty said the assembly started well with music, and a message focusing on how some music can have a bad influence on kids. But after performing, the group reportedly made offensive remarks about gays and transgender people, and told the girls they "were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren't virgins,"reported the LaCrosse Tribune.
"They told these kids that anyone who was gay was going to die at the age of 42," said Jennifer Littlefield, a parent upset with the band's performance.
You Can Run is the mainstay of Bradlee Dean's ministry.
Dean has advocated for imprisonment of gays and lesbians , and has said that gay men molest an average of 117 children "before they get caught," and that Muslim nations that execute gays are more moral than American Christians.
Here is Dean's latest statement about President Obama:
He purposes to demoralize, pervert, weaken, and overthrow America and our Constitution, with marriage and our children in his sights. He told the Department of Justice not to defend marriage (DOMA); he appointed an education czar who wanted to queerify the elementary; and he even went so far as to repeal the law that prevents sodomy and bestiality in our military when he signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.
*9. NARTH is the brainchild of past-president Joseph Nicolosi, who is still running a race with Paul Cameron in getting kicked out of professional associations. A video clip from an episode on Dr. Phil demonstrates Nicolosi's righteous arrogance and homophobia all too well.
*10. During a radio show "debate" with noted Biblical scholar Daniel Helminiak, S.J., Phelps amused Helminiak by quoting a passage that didn't exist, prompting Helminiak to say "That's in the Bible? What page is it on?"