The proverbial sh*t has hit the fan: The Family Research Institute, along with various other religious and "family values" association, has been named by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "hate group." That's right, the FRC has been given the same designation as the KKK! But given the reaction of the FRC et al, it's unclear as to what fan was hit or with what kind of...fecal matter:
The Southern Poverty Law Center is a massively funded liberal organization that operates under a veneer of public justice when, in fact, they seem more interested in fundraising ploys than fighting wrongdoing...It's a sad day in America when we can not, with integrity, have a legitimate discussion over policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts without resorting to juvenile tactics of name calling.
Tony Perkins sometimes stumbles over his own platitudes: "integrity" is something the FRC has marginalized for years. There is no integrity in making "homosexual activists," "compassion," "liberal," or "social justice" into pejorative terms.
Another angle pushed by these groups is that the SPLC is very anti-Christian, but to the SPLC, it's more of a case of using power to disseminate false and demonizing information and certainly more name-calling on the part of the hate group:
These groups' influence reaches far beyond what their size would suggest, because the "facts" they disseminate about homosexuality are often amplified by certain politicians, other groups and even news organizations...claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities -- and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.
The ever-entertaining Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association (listed last year as a hate group by the SPLC) chimed in with Perkins:
"In a strange way, it is a badge of honor for these groups to be tagged now by the SPLC as hate groups. It's a sign of desperation on the part of the SPLC, and a sign that they are so threatened by the truths that these groups speak that they are now flailing about trying to silence them rather than to debate them."
Fischer has it right about trying to silence the groups: their hate speech is lethal. But he was wrong in the assertion that the SPLC has given up trying to debate them. Mark Potok of SPLC debated Tony Perkins on Chris Matthews' Hard Ball last Tuesday. Perkins made a spurious accusation against gays stating that research has shown that homosexuality poses a danger to children and referencing the American College of Pediatricians. The aftermath of this debate, however, revealed several serious problems:
Problem #1: the American College of Pediatricians is a group of 200 Christian Right pediatricians who have earned the scorn of the established American Academy of Pediatrics.
Problem #2: the ACP's chief "researcher" was George "Rent Boy" Rekers.
Problem #3: Chris Matthews "straighten(ed) these things out" the other day by pointing out the difference between the ACP and the AAP. Kudos to Matthews.
OK, so the SPLC wants the FRC and the AFA to STFU. So what about the rest of those gay-hating acronyms? Let's see, there's the CWA Concerned Women of America; the ATM (Abiding Truth Ministries); the IFI (Illinois Family Institute); HOME (Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment); the TVC (Traditional Values Coalition); the FRI (Family Research Institute); the AFTAH (Americans for Truth About Homosexuality); the CADC (Christian Anti-Defamation Commission); CRM (Coral Ridge Ministries); the DWOC (Dove World Outreach Center); and the FWBC (Faithful Word Baptist Church) which should also go by the acronym of DBH - Dumb But Honest.
If you remember anything at all about Steven Anderson, the pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, AZ, it's that he hates President Obama with a passion and has prayed that Obama would die. Another memorable point is that he's outspoken in his hatreds, so it should come as no surprise that his little storefront church was labeled a hate group by the SPLC: "I do hate homosexuals and if hating homosexuals makes our church a hate group then that's what we are."
He forthrightly wishes that homosexuals would die, since the King James Version of the Bible is "without error." His ministry opposes "worldliness, modernism, liberalism and formalism." After viewing the video below, however, you will be convinced that he also opposes having an I.Q.
Anderson is such an embarrassing anomoly that even Tony Perkins wishes he would STFU.
Other anti-gay hate groups featured by the SPLC:
Abiding Truth Ministries (ATM) While its acronym is ATM, this group has always been short of money, perhaps because the entire ministry is based upon the sales of one book, The Pink Swastika and the lectures of one man, author Scott Lively. Both the book and its author have been discredited for the last fifteen years, but that does not stop Lively from having an (albeit minimal) income, especially when exporting his hatred of gays: he is allegedly one of the chief architects of Uganda's "kill the gays" bill.
Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) This group was formed in 1996 by Peter LaBarbera in 1996. LaBarbera has a penchant for going to gay events (undercover), taking the most salacious pictures and purchasing sex toys. He has earned the nickname "Porno Pete." The SPLC, however, recognizes AFTAH as a dangerous and influential organization because of the publicity he generates as well as his view that gays are horrible sexual predators
Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC) Retired Army Gen. William Hollis, founded this organization, which might explain it's a dogged and militaristic attitude concerning anyone who even considers speaking out against Christians. His is the "first line of response to anti-Christian defamation, bigotry and discrimination." Although it waned for years, its new leader, Rev. Gary Cass, has brought it to the fore by claiming that Christian-bashing, "the last acceptable form of bigotry in America.
Concerned Women for America (CWA). Before Rapture author Tim LaHaye left his wife behind to write his successful series of novels, Beverly LaHaye was reacting to feminism by forming Concerned Women for America. She wanted to match the power of the National Organization for Women. Instead, it has developed as a chief bulwark against any form of liberalism, including equal rights for gays. Spokeperson Candi Cushman recently appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 to convince viewers that while CWA and other right-wing groups abhor the rising number of gay teen suicides in the country, they do not want any homosexuals in schools teaching tolerance or anti-gay bullying defensives
Coral Ridge Ministries (CRM). This group was founded by the late fundamentalist Rev. D. James Kennedy in the late 60s. The mega-church now boasts. over 15,000 members and an annual income of $18 million. Much of the money from donations ($6 million) goes into television and radio "outreach efforts" against various groups
Dove World Outreach Center (DWOC) The Center was founded in 1986 by Don Northrup, but did not exactly reach out to the world until this year, when its new leader, Pastor Terry Jones decided to hold an "International Burn a Koran Day" focusing on the Ground Zero Mosque. Although Jones' background resembled that of a two-bit Elmer Gantry (in Germany, of all places), people took the threat very seriously. It should also be mentioned that his mentor (of sorts) was Westboro Baptist Church's Fred Phelps of God-hates-fags fame
Family Research Institute (FRI). Founded in 1987 by discredited psychologist Paul Cameron, the FRI claims to have "cutting edge research" even though Cameron has been ousted from three professional organizations. One of Cameron's chief outlets has been Family Research Council while one of his main "studies" proposes that homosexuals have a shorter life span by some twenty-five years
Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment (HOME). Although HOME was founded over twenty years ago, its profile has only recently begun to pick up steam. Its focus is (obviously) on gay issues and morals, although the founder, Wayne Lela, now describes himself as an agnostic. Much like Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, Lela coins new words, the most notable being "illegalizable." This is the term he uses in relation to "homosexual activity." Criminalization of this activity is HOME's chief proponent. He would definitely be at HOME in Uganda.
Illinois Family Institute (IFI). The IFI was once headed by Peter LaBarbera (see AFTAH), so at this point, we could say "enough said." However, it recently launched Illinois Family Action as a political-action sister organization. Therefore, it may be the group to watch for 2011. With its ties to FRC and the Alliance Defense Fund (a Christian-only legal defense fund founded by Regent University/Pat Robertson alumni), IFI might be able to do a lot of damage to gay rights issues.
Traditional Values Coalition (TVC). With his Traditional Values Coalition, Rev. Lou Sheldon has been warning Americans about the "gay agenda" for over thirty years. TVC has also targeted liberal activists. Ironically, going in somewhat a different direction than "traditional values," Sheldon was strongly implicated in the Jack Abramoff scandal (the TVC received $25,000 from ELottery).
The Dangers of Reconstructionism
Of the worst hardliners of the anti-gay movement (as well as other hate movements), Reconstructionism plays a large part due to its focus on the Bible and biblical law: the "father of Reconstructionism," R.J. Rushdoony, advocated global theocracy by gradual takeover of governments. If this seems to rank with conspiracy theories, remember that believers in Dominionism (strident anti-environmentalists) and Reconstructionism have increased in the last ten years. Of all the hate groups, the ones that espouse Reconstructionism are perhaps the most insidious: once scorned by mainline curch denominations, Reconstructionists have managed to place people on to the political stage. Its two primary groups are American Vision and the Chalcedon Foundation.
The war between religious homophobes like the FRC and "social justice" groups like the SPLC and the ACLU is just heating up in the "Season of Sharing." Brad O'Leary (author, America's War on Christmas) has hysterically predicted that soon the above organizations (and more) will be subject to criminal charges via the Hate Crimes Prevention Act:
"Their crime? These groups represent millions of Americans and speak for tens of millions more who support traditional marriage and believe that homosexuality is biblically wrong...Calling an organization a "hate group" used to be nothing more than a slur. But in today's America, such a pejorative may have serious legal connotations.SPLC knows this, because in 2009 the group was instrumental in getting the Democrat-led Congress to pass, and President Obama to sign, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law."
Forecast for this Christmas Season: Hot As Hell With Frequent Gusts Of Righteous Indignation.