Southern Poverty Law Center Adds Anti-Gay Organizations with GOP Ties to Hate Groups List

Leaders of newly named hate groups: 1. Tony Perkins, Family Research Council; 2. Beverly La Haye, center, with former Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle and Angle's husband; 3. Maggie Gallagher, NOM; 4. Tim Wildom, American Family Association; 5. Mathew Staver, Liberty Counsel
Leaders of newly named hate groups: 1. Tony Perkins, Family Research Council; 2. Beverly La Haye, center, founder of Concerned Women for America, with former Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle and Angle's husband; 3. Maggie Gallagher, National Organization for Marriage; 4. Tim Wildom, American Family Association; 5. Mathew Staver, Liberty Counsel

Apologists Demand Govt Stop Funding SPLC – But Quick Check Confirms SPLC Accepts No Govt Funding

You may have missed it in the pre-holiday buzz last week but the Southern Poverty Law Center has added some of the Republican Party’s most prominent interest groups — all of which promote anti-gay agendas — to its official list of hate groups operating in the United States:

Generally, the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — 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.

One thing that ties together the newly named hate groups is their connection to the evangelical base of the Republican Party. While it’s true that long-standing groups on the hate list — organizations that promote racial and ethnic hatred like the KKK and Aryan Nation, for example — are part and parcel of the conservative movement, the GOP has largely shunned interaction with these groups, at least publicly.

But many of the newly named hate groups are openly affiliated with the GOP. Unlike, say, the KKK, representatives of these hate groups openly lobby Republican members of Congress. They produce voter guides on which all the candidates listed are Republicans. Through their political action committees, some of them endorse and contribute to GOP candidates. One of them, the Family Research Council, even hosts a candidates forum that exclusively includes Republicans.

Five of the newly named hate groups that have particularly strong ties to the Republican Party include:

  • Family Research Council, which sponors the Values Voters Summit, the GOP candidate cattle call — vice presidential wannabe Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) won the hate group’s presidential straw poll this year.
  • Concerned Women for America, the antifeminist-anti-gay group started by the wife of the author of the “Left Behind” Christo-fascist fantasy novels, supports Republican pols by rating them based on their votes in support of the right-wing hate agenda, as well as through its PAC.
  • National Organization for Marriage has made a name for itself by fighting gay marriage initiatives across the country. It recently lodged lawsuits in several states to keep its donor lists private, apparently in an effort to hide its strong ties with the GOP.
  • American Family Association, which recently falsely claimed that Adolph Hitler was an “active homosexual” and that the Holocaust — during which thousands of gays were tortured and killed — was engineered by gay Nazis, provides voter resources that exclusively promote Republican candidates.
  • Liberty Counsel, which is affliated with the late, great homophobe Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University Law School. Karl Rove got into minor hot water during the Bush administration when he was accused of improperly hiring dozens of barely qualified graduates of the school for jobs in the Department of Justice based on their loyalty to the GOP.

Two other names on the new hate groups list that may be familiar to regular Pensito Review readers. First is Steven Anderson, who made news in September 2009 when a member of his congregation in Arizona responded to Anderson’s sermon justifying hatred of Pres. Obama by showing up armed at a presidential event.

Another group we’ve written about is the Dove World Outreach Center, the Gainesville, Fla., church headed by Pastor Terry Jones, the nutcase who came thisclose to setting the world on fire with his plan, thankfully aborted, to make a bonfire out of Korans earlier this year.

The other newly named hate groups include Abiding Truth Ministries, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, American Vision, Chalcedon Foundation, Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Coral Ridge Ministries, Faithful Word Baptist Church, Family Research Institute, Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment, Illinois Family Institute, and Traditional Values Coalition.

Representatives from these groups have objected loudly, of course, but the
response from Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission deserves special mention:

“The Southern Poverty Law Center has utterly discredited themselves by this provocative attack on organizations that promote traditional family values. Labeling mainstream conservative organizations as ‘Hate groups’ is defamatory and is simply an intimidation tactic. We call on Congress to cut off their funding. Defend Christians.Org will work to form a coalition of organizations to lobby Congress to withhold funds from SPLC. We will also demand Congress restrict Federal law enforcement from relying on the biased SPLC reports. The SPLC has been reduced to a far left propaganda organization that uses hype and hysteria to enrich a few liberal attorneys at taxpayer expense and has long out lived its usefulness.”

The CADC’s statement prompts a familiar question about right wingers: Are they lying or or they merely incompetent? A quick check of the Interwebs produces this result:

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a tax-exempt, charitable organization incorporated in 1971 under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions, grants and bequests are tax deductible…

Our work is supported primarily through donor contributions. We do not receive or use government funds. During the last fiscal year, approximately 68 percent of our total expenses were spent on program services. At the end of the fiscal year, our endowment – a special, board-designated fund established to support our future work – stood at $189.7 million. We are proud of the stewardship of our resources.

So, did the CADC ineptly fail to check to confirm whether the SPLC receives government funding, or did they knowingly lie because they want their half-witted followers to believe SPLC has ties to the big bad socialist gubmint?

Thankfully, we’re in a new day. Decent people shun hate groups like the CADC and the rest, and no one takes seriously anything they have to say.

What remains to be seen, however, is whether the GOP will shun hate groups that are so closely tied to the party’s base.

Updated The paragraph about Dove Outreach and Pastor Terry Jones was added Nov. 29.

2 Comments

  • majii
    November 28, 2010 - 1:09 pm | Permalink

    “What remains to be seen, however, is whether the GOP will shun hate groups that are so closely tied to the party’s base.”

    The answer to this is easy. As long as Obama is in the WH, the conservatives will grab onto any group or position that will cause him to be a one term president. That many so-called Christians follow these groups is very disturbing for me because, I’ve read nothing about Jesus in the Bible that validates their positions/claims. Hatred seems to have consumed the majority of them these days.

  • orangutan
    November 29, 2010 - 11:18 am | Permalink

    After successfully destroying ACORN, the right wingers will now target SPLC, and eventually the ACLU. Opposing points of view cannot be tolerated.

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