The Southern Poverty Law Center and Human Rights Campaign, a pro-gay marriage organization, have gone over the top in labeling the Family Research Council a “hate group,” according to Washington Post editorial writer Dana Milbank, who stands up for the conservative Christian lobbying organization even as he disagrees with their views.
Human Rights Campaign isn’t responsible for the shooting. Neither should the organization that deemed the FRC a “hate group,” theSouthern Poverty Law Center, be blamed for a madman’s act. But both are reckless in labeling as a “hate group” a policy shop that advocates for a full range of conservative Christian positions, on issues from stem cells to euthanasia.
I disagree with the Family Research Council’s views on gays and lesbians. But it’s absurd to put the group, as the law center does, in the same category as Aryan Nations, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Stormfront and the Westboro Baptist Church. The center says the FRC “often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science”” Exhibit A in its dossier is a quote by an FRC official from 1999 (!) saying that “gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.”
Offensive, certainly. But in the same category as the KKK?
I share Milbank’s view of the FRC, in that I find it appalling for the organization equate pedophilia with homosexuality. That allowed, this is just one complaint (one more thank a decade old) being used to demonize an organization that lobbies for a wide range of issues, the vast majority of which are decidedly mainstream.
Labeling the FRC a “hate group” was politically motivated by the SPLC and HRC, two left-wing organizations that are equally, and arguably even more controversial in their positions than the organization they attacked.
I do, however, disagree with Milbank in that he seems to have absolved the SPLC and HRC of more of the blame that they deserve.
While these two groups are not entirely responsible, they did bestow the “hate group” label knowing how it would be used to escalate rhetoric against the Family Research Council. Further, both organizations well know how much that rhetoric had elevated, to the point some less well-adjusted gay rights activists might act on the ginned-up hatred.
I’d be far more impressed with both the SPLC and HRC if they targeted fundamentalist Islam—which advocates the execution of gays as a matter of faith—than gutlessly painting a target on the backs of nonviolent Christians for their conservative values and generally Republican political views.
The SPLC is about to feel repercussions from another Christian group, an internet site LivePrayer.com, which is threatening the SPLC with a $100 million defamation suit for labeling them a hate group.
Let the games begin.