Southern Poverty Law Center is making wingnut Matt Barber delirious

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

m barbdr You want to hear the funniest reaction from the religious right to the Southern Poverty Law Center profiling them for their anti-gay lies? Check this out:

Sometimes the most effective way to deal with a bully is to simply pop him in the chops. While it may not shut him up entirely, it usually gives him pause before he resumes flapping his toxic jaws. It also has the effect of showing the other kids in the schoolyard that they have nothing to fear. Though the bully struts about projecting the tough-guy image, he's typically the most insecure pansy on the block.

Such is the case with the bullies over at the fringe-left Southern Poverty Law Center. Having been recently “popped in the chops,” if you will, for a series of hyperbolic and disingenuous “anti-gay hate group” slurs against a dozen-or-so of America's most well respected Christian and conservative organizations – the SPLC now finds itself publicly struggling, outside of an extremist left-wing echo chamber, to salvage a modicum of mainstream credibility.

In response to the SPLC's unprovoked attacks, a unified coalition of more than 150 top conservative and Christian leaders across the country has launched a shock-and-awe “Start Debating, Stop Hating” media blitz to educate America about the SPLC's ad hominem, politically driven smear campaign.

The mainstream pro-family conglomerate already includes presumptive Speaker of the House John Boehner, former presidential contender Mike Huckabee, four current U.S. senators, three governors, 20 current or newly elected members of the House of Representatives and many more.

As the controversy wears on and the facts become public, the moribund SPLC has understandably become increasingly defensive, strongly suggesting that it has come to regret this gross political overreach.

That passage is by the right-wing Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber in a recent column published by World Net Daily.  It's obvious that Barber has obsessed over gay sex so much that he is losing leave of his senses.

Barber's entire piece is empty hyperbole from a man claiming to win a poker game while he is playing with a dud hand.

What Barber calls a media blitz is an ignorant campaign by groups who don't want admit their wrongdoings teaming up with a bunch of shortsighted legislators and conservative leaders who themselves have engaged in ugly spin doctoring against the lgbt community . Their campaign hasn't resonated anywhere except for the lgbt community where we are rubbing our hands with glee while salivating over the notion that these individuals so easily (and stupidly) have put their necks on the chopping blocks and are waiting for us to come down with the axe at our leisure.
You see for the first time, the issue is not about whether or not lgbts have the right to equality. That's something which never needed to be argued. The issue is now, and deservedly so, why are these so-called moral groups saying these untrue and thereby unChristian things about the lgbt community.

Not exactly “shock and awe,” is it?

But what's even more hilarious is the fact that Barber actually accuses the SPLC of taking comments out of context:

. . . the SPLC has begun to grease the skids. Quotes cherry picked, taken out of context and misapplied are a powerful tool of the propagandist. Such are the Maoist techniques of the SPLC.

It's interesting how Barber uses that opening to claim that SPLC distorted a comment he made about hate crimes. But he conveniently ignores how the SPLC calls him out regarding the following comment he made:

There is nothing “conservative” about “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it 'love'”;

I would love to hear how that comment is a distortion. Or how about these from other religious right groups profiled by SPLC:

•Homosexual behavior ought to be outlawed;

•Gay sex ought to carry criminal penalties;

•Gays ought to be prohibited from serving in public office;

•Gay sex is domestic terrorism;

•”Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers … [because] homosexual soldiers basically had no limits [to] the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict.”

Then Barber does the standard religious right dodge – citing statistics from the CDC and other health organizations regarding health issues affecting the lgbt community.

Of course Barber conveniently omits the fact that the none of these organizations ever said that the lgbt orientation is indicative of bad health. They have said that homophobia leads to lgbts not getting the information or health care that they need. What Barber is doing is no different than a racist citing health organizations to claim that the African-American community is inferior.

Finally, Barber says the following, which pretty much nails down the fact that he has gone delusional:

Indeed, the SPLC and its allies are flailing violently as they swim upstream against a torrent of settled science, thousands of years of history and the unwavering moral precepts of every major world religion.

It's little wonder they've resorted to childish name calling.

Well Barber ought to know about name-calling. And the irony that he actually talks about “settled science” when he and his organization has gone against “settled science” when demonizing the lgbt community is the very height of audacity.

But lastly, Barber seems to have his fingers in his ears and his eyes closed.  It's sad really. While the Family Research Council tries to fight SPLC, Barber has actually convinced himself that the SPLC and the lgbt community is retreating in this controversy.

Hardly.

The lgbt community has had an excellent year. In courts, we've beaten DOMA and Proposition 8, gay adoption in Florida is now allowed after over two decades, George Rekers, a peddler of anti-lgbt propaganda was taken down, then there is that very interesting that happened this weekend. What was it? Oh yeah, the repeal of DADT after 17 years.

The lgbt community, nor the SPLC, aren't swimming upstream. We are coasting on a hot wave.

And you and your side are coasting, too.  But in the other direction. All of your phoniness about being moral and pro-family while engaging in a 20+ year of lies and propaganda against the lgbt community is finally coming to light.

You aren't just flailing. You are already dead on the water.

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Family Research Council plans to go on tour against the Southern Poverty Law Center

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Another interview with another "friendly" publication and the Family Research Council puts its foot in its mouth.

The organization and its leader, Tony Perkins is still steaming over the anti-gay hate group designation given to it and several other religious right groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This week, the organization ran full page ads in Politico and the Washington Examiner calling the designation into question but conveniently not directly addressing the charges that they deliberately spread anti-gay propaganda and junk science to smear the lgbt community.

The ads also had the signatures of over 150 conservative leaders, including over 20 members of Congress.

Yesterday during an interview with Tucker Carlson's Daily Beast, FRC's Perkins made an interesting comment:

“We’re not afraid to debate the issues,” Perkins said in a phone interview. “We are not running from the debate. We are confident on the issues we advocate for based on empirical, peer-reviewed research.”

The comment is highly ironic seeing that the last time Perkins did have a debate on the issue – on the news program Hardball with the SPLC's Mark Potok – he distorted data to make the inaccurate claim that pedophilia and homosexuality is connected. He also cited an organization, the American College of Pediatricians. It was later discovered that the ACP is not a legitimate medical organization but a sham group created to push religious right distortions about the lgbt community.

Hardball's host, Chris Matthews, was forced to give a clarifying statement regarding the ACP on a later broadcast.

 

Since that time, Perkins has pretty much avoided debates, appearing on "friendly" news programs such as  Fox and Friends.  Nor has he been directly addressing SPLC's charges.

That seems to have been left up to the other anti-gay groups listed by SPLC. But unfortunately, their spokespeople haven't been doing such a good job.

This week during an interview with the Concerned Women for America's Martha Kleder, Peter LaBarbera (head of Americans for Truth, another organization cited as a hate group) actually admitted to citing bad studies in order to smear the lgbt community.

Meanwhile, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association (yet another group cited by SPLC's for its spreading of anti-gay propaganda) has made statements during interviews and columns that have, to many, justified SPLC for calling his organization and several others out.

During the same Daily Beast interview, Perkins said the organization plans to go on a nationwide tour to get more signatures for its letter. He also said:

We’re going to full-speed but not in the direction they want us to. The left wants to say these issues are beyond debate. If we, as a country, decide there is no debate, it becomes a totalitarian state.” 
 SPLC didn't respond to the Daily Beast's request for a comment * (see below), but the organization already put out a statement regarding the Family Research Council's campaign:
(FRC's letter) was a remarkable performance, given that it was precisely the maligning of entire groups of people — gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people — that caused the SPLC to list groups like the FRC.

. . .  Despite the claims made in today’s statement, the SPLC’s listings are not in any way intended to suppress these groups’ free speech. We’re not asking that these groups be silenced or punished in any way. What we are doing is calling them out for their lies. There is nothing wrong with labeling an organization a hate group based on what they say. A simple example illustrates the point: If a neo-Nazi group said all Jews are “vermin,” no one would argue with our characterizing it as a hate group.

Neither are we mounting an attack on individuals or “groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views,” as today’s statement suggests. In fact, as we say in our article dissecting the views of these groups, “Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.” Instead, as we explained there, “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.”

Personally, I am all for FRC taking their letter on tour.  That would give the lgbt community the opportunity to ask them several questions such as:

Please explain how the following statements are an example of upholding "Judeo-Christain" moral views:

•Gays should be exported from the country;

•The federal government must be overthrown if it allows gay marriage;

•"Moral perverts" need to be kept out of the military;

•There is nothing "conservative" about "one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it 'love'";

•Homosexual behavior ought to be outlawed;

•Gay sex ought to carry criminal penalties;

•Gays ought to be prohibited from serving in public office;

•Gay sex is domestic terrorism;

•"Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers … [because] homosexual soldiers basically had no limits [to] the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict."



Hat tip to People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch.

* Even though SPLC didn't respond to the Daily Beast's request for a quote, the site had an obligation to at least report the fact that SPLC did address FRC's letter. That's what a credible journalist would have  done. Or have I answered my own question in terms of why the Daily Beast didn't report on SPLC's reponse to FRC?
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Instead of Helping The Poor, Southern Poverty Law Center Is Being Mean To NOM

Joining the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins in refudiating its addition to the Southern Poverty Law Center's updated list of hate groups, the National Organization for Marriage's Brian Brown calls his group's inclusion "an absurd distraction emanating from a once-great organization’s real mission." Wait, is he talking about SPLC's attack on NOM, or the Human Rights Campaign's? (NB: SPLC has some of its own questions to answer about its "real mission.")


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