William Owens is prominently featured in Expose SPLC’s video.

Owens used to be on NOM’s payroll. His Coalition of African-American Pastors was a NOM front group.

The new website is called Expose SPLC. About the only thing that is exposed is that anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim hate groups absolutely loathe being designated as hate groups by Southern Poverty Law Center.

The headline on the site reads “America’s #1 ‘Hate Group’ Targets Conservative and Christian Organizations.” Along with a video and accompanying text, the gist is that:

  1. These hate groups have been “targeted,” as in persecuted and;
  2. The fact that groups are Christian means that they cannot possibly be hate groups.

The idea that they claim to have been targeted is an example of projection. These hate groups do target minorities that they disapprove of for denigration and persecution.

The text on the site might have been used in an email. The author is not identified and the legitimacy of these groups, is a theme that is repeatedly invoked:

According to the SPLC, support for traditional marriage and criticism of radical Islam both constitute “hate.”

And because of that, the SPLC has added legitimate conservative and Christian groups, including the Pacific Justice Institute, Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, Liberty Counsel, and American Family Association to its “Hate Map.”

That first sentence is a lie. First of all, these groups do not “support traditional marriage.” Rather, they oppose marriage equality which does not cause their listing as a hate group. Nor does criticism of radical Islam.

These groups are those that disparage an entire minority with misrepresentations in order to effect their agenda of Christian supremacy. For example, the website of Family Research Council has a statement that reads:

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.

The above is a message of disparagement. It is also a collection of lies. There is nothing “unnatural” about any variant of sexual orientation. Moreover, sexual orientation is not “associated with negative physical and psychological health effects.”

Being gay is not unhealthy. Being persecuted by unhinged religious zealots is unhealthy. In addition to broadly worded denunciations of gay people, FRC has routinely and repeatedly claimed that pedophilia is linked to homosexuality — something that is demonstrably false. More on FRC via SPLC is here.

Regarding Islam, let us turn to the website of Liberty Counsel which repeatedly uses this graphic to spread fear, not about radical Islam, but about Muslims on the whole:

A photo on Liberty Counsel’s website.

According to Mat Staver we should all fear

Muslims and what he claims is the growing implementation

of Shariah law in America

If one reads Staver’s piece in its entirety (linked above), there is a deliberate attempt to conflate American Muslims with ISIS. Thus, Staver’s polemic includes a healthy dose of fear mongering. Most of it is false. A Christian supremacists is raging against Muslims, claiming that they have designs on Islamic supremacy through the implementation of Shariah.

Adding to the theme of being persecuted, they try desperately to distance themselves from other hate groups:

They’re listed right alongside violent hate groups such as the KKK, neo-Nazis and white separatists. Also listed as “haters:” former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, conservative authors Dinesh D’Souza and David Horowitz and anti-radical Muslims Majiid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

This false and unfair categorization is well-known — yet the mainstream media treats the Hate Map as if it’s the gospel truth, blindly parroting the SPLC’s libelous claims.

These Christian groups might not be as violent as some factions of the KKK (which, by the way, characterizes itself as a conservative Christian organization). However, the deliberate disparagement of minorities makes life more difficult for members of the target groups, seeks to deteriorate their civil rights and inspires violence against them.

Violence is illegal. Engaging in illegal acts is not a requirement for being designated a hate group. As for Ben Carson, Jeff Sessions, et al, they are not “listed” by SPLC. They have been criticized by SPLC, usually through quotes of the very words that they have uttered.

What is missing from the narrative? Consider the following:

Under a false veneer of objectivity, the SPLC serves as the media’s expert witness for evaluating “extremism” and “hate.” When the SPLC adds another name to its “Hate Group List,” the media comes running for another salacious story.

Again, and again, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC and other members of the mainstream media unethically tell viewers that reputable groups such as the Pacific Justice Institute and the Family Research Council, and conservatives such asSenator Rand Paul, Reverand <sic> Franklin Graham, and David Horowitz are “haters,” based solely on the SPLC’s claims.

Where is the specificity? Throughout this diatribe there is not a single example demonstrating a false statement by SPLC. Objectivity is first dependent upon facts. Specifically, what have the folks at SPLC gotten wrong? Are any of the spokespersons for these groups or other individuals misquoted by SPLC? What is the objective complaint other than the fact that they don’t like being listed as a hate group?

Ironically, these are the same people who promote gay conversion therapy which has no scientific basis whatsoever. These are the same people who promote bias through the use of junk science that is not even peer reviewed and published to scholarly journals. They rely on experts to advance their agenda who are utterly lacking in applicable expertise.

What would an anti-SPLC harangue be without referencing the shooting at FRC?

And these false labels do more than just damage reputations. They can also spark erratic violence. For example, in 2012, a liberal activist named [I do not repeat the names of shooters] shot up the Family Research Council offices in Washington, D.C. [He] told the FBI he picked his target from the SPLC’s “hate group” website.

It is kind of like blaming General Motors for a three car accident caused by a drunken driver in a Chevy. It is also offensive given SPLC’s record of opposing violence. But there is more:

It also appears that … the man who shot Congressman Steve Scalise during Republican baseball practice in June, was inspired by the SPLC.

No it does not. The shooter liked SPLC on Facebook. That’s it. But wait, there is a petition:

The good news is, you now have a chance to fight back. I [not we?] invite you to sign the petition below that will be sent:

  • To the media
  • Their advertisers 
  • Corporate Donors, such as Apple

To express your disapproval of using the SPLC’s Hate Map as a resource for identifying hate groups, please sign the petition below.

People who sign this petition are not likely to be people who think that SPLC is doing something specifically wrong. Rather, they are likely to be people who agree with these hate groups that LGBT people and Muslims do not deserve equal protection and due process. Thus, they are people who resent the notion that SPLC seemingly disapproves of them.

It would seemingly be easier to stop doing the things that cause these organizations to be listed as hate groups in the first place. What they are saying, in essence, is that their existence is dependent upon hateful rhetoric. They cannot live without it. Pissing people off is an integral part of what these groups are and the acceptable, perhaps desirable, collateral damage is to perverts and apostates.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.