“To say that anybody who has a principled objection to homosexuality [and warns of] the impact that that sinful lifestyle has on individuals and on society is somehow morally equivalent to overt racism and violence is absolutely defamatory,” Cass contends. “The [SPLC] has utterly discredited themselves by this provocative attack on organizations that promote traditional family values.”
What SPLC did do is make note of the words and actions of certain groups, providing extensive background information on those organizations that have met or exceeded the high bar of qualification that they place on their hate groups list. SPLC make evidence-based distinctions, and people like Gary Cass KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE! It’s just that Cass also knows how to play the anti-LGBT far-right’s game. And in terms of taking responsibility for the aggressive words and deeds that so routinely flow from the professionally anti-LGBT spokesmouths, this same far-right scores anywhere between a zero and a 0.2 (the point two, because we assume their “and’s” and “the’s” are truthful). Cass is now joining folks like Tony Perkins and Matt Barber and Maggie Gallagher in attacking the SPLC, because Warren Throckmorton’s suggestion of combatting the documented actuality would distract from the day-to-day work of obfuscating/refusing to cop to the same.
Of course, the tired goal of this silly meme is to associate in the public mind’s eye mainstream conservative social values with racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazism. The ironic result, however, is that, as typically occurs with such ad hominem and hyperbolic attacks, the attacker ends up marginalizing himself and galvanizing his intended target (I’m rubber, you’re glue and all that).
Hence, beyond a self-aggrandizing liberal echo chamber, the SPLC – and by extension the greater “progressive” movement – has become largely, as it stews in its own radicalism, just another punch line.
It’s often said that the first to call the other a Nazi has lost the argument.
Congratulations, conservative America: They’re calling you a Nazi. Carry on.
Well, actually SPLC isn’t calling anyone a Nazi. But you know who totally does elicit Nazi-dom in his own rhetoric? Bryan Fischer from the American Family Association:
“Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews. Gays in the military is an experiment that has been tried and found disastrously and tragically wanting. Maybe it’s time for Congress to learn a lesson from history.” [SOURCE]
And yet the AFA is the other newly-listed group besides FRC that Matt specifically defends in his above Wash. Times piece! Because again: Unawareness and logical inconsistency rule the far-right day. These folks love to blow smoke into the dog whistles, but they go absolutely apepoop angry when their critics listen in to their dish.
The funny thing? Matt’s Liberty Counsel group was specifically left off the SPLC’s list. They were mentioned, but not added. Does Matt really want to tempt that fate by adding more light to his litany of aggressive insults? Because we’re totally okay with that, if he does. We just wonder if the Liberty Counsel’s benefactors, present or future, really see this as smart strategy.
“We have some substantive differences with the way the SLPC defines ‘hate,’ so we’ll continue to base our partnerships on biblical criteria such as adherence to God’s truth and extension of His grace.”
Interesting. This writer’s first reaction: That Focus on the Family really needs to reconsider some of the “God’s truth” that comes from people like the AFA’s Bryan “only homosexuals were savage enough for Hitler” Fischer, who pretty much single-handedly got the American Family Association on the SPLC’s list (*see more of what Fischer’s all about here). Or the godly gospel that comes from folks like the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg, who has called for both the exportation and criminalization of gays (which SPLC specifically cited as reason for FRC’s addition to the hate groups list). If that’s grace, then we’d hate to see God’s inelegance.
Second reaction: This reply seems counterproductive to FOtF’s wants and needs. After all, the SPLC’s criteria clearly sees Focus on the Family in a different light, which is why they are not on the list. In fact, in two different points of her write up regarding these new additions, SPLC writer Evelyn Schlatter was careful to note how Focus on the Family has adopted a more moderate stance in the days post-Dobson. And even though we’d say that FOtF’s “ex-gay” advocacyoftenbelies this moderate desire, clearly SPLC, using their own organizational standard, sees Focus on the Family as failing to meet or exceed the “hate” bar. One would think Focus on the Family, especially in this “softer” Jim Daly era that they’ve been working so hard to cultivate, would want to embrace the higher standards that keep them from getting such negative notice. One would think they’s wish to repudiate the harsh words that seem to be growing harsher with every passing LGBT victory. But no. Instead of criticizing the fully documented realities that got these other groups on the list, they are opting to go after SPLC for simply noting the same? Hmm. Perhaps that’ll work out for ’em, but I’m failing to see how.
Why would it be in Focus’ interest to taunt the SPLC’s discerning bar, saying that they have “substantive differences” with the SPLC’s definitions? And why would they stick their necks out to challenge the SPLC’s work when, again: All of this stuff is fully documented, most of it on audio or video (much of it brought to light by yours truly). All Schneeberger’s response will do is highlight the “pro-family” community’s all-too-common refusal to take responsibility for what comes from the religious rights stable, as well as force groups like SPLC (and sites like this one) to publicly wonder why on-message unity seems so much more important to these Colorado Springs kids than does responsible discourse.
Plus there’s the presidential factor, with all of the major hopefuls showing up in every election year to speak at FRC’s annual Values Voters Summit. Huckabee, Romney, McCain, Giuliani — they were all there in the run up to ’08. Other hopefuls like Rep. Mike Pence (Far R-IN) were on hand this year, doing their best to turn anti-gay politicking into a viable White House path.
So highlighting FRC comes with just a little more weight. Weight that SPLC now highlights as being among the most crushing in all of the “culture war” landscape. Weight that should be seen as an albatross for those in the GOP who are seeking fair, respectful, adult discourse.