How the Mainstream Media Gets Hate Wrong

The Southern Poverty Law Center is labeling good groups that it disagrees with as hate groups.

By Ryan Anderson Published on August 19, 2017

We have a problem in the United States with hate.

We saw this last week in Charlottesville, whether it be racism or anti-Semitism, whether it be the KKK or neo-Nazi. Those are hate groups, and they have no place in the United States and they should be condemned without mincing words without any equivocation.

But we have a problem when organizations label good groups as hate groups. We see this with the Southern Poverty Law Center. It’s labeling good groups that it disagrees with as hate groups.

So, it labeled the Alliance Defending Freedom, a public interest law firm that just this year won a Supreme Court case 7-2 defending religious liberty. It labeled that group as a hate group because it disagrees. It labeled the Family Research Council, a think tank here in D.C. that defends marriage and the family. It labeled that group as a hate group.

Five years ago, a shooter walked in the Family Research Council and started shooting because he found it listed as a hate group on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website. CNN itself reported this fact four years ago when the shooter was convicted of domestic terrorism.

It’s irresponsible for CNN today to be simply reprinting the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate map as if it’s fact. It destroys the label of hate and it trivializes the real evil that is out there. This isn’t news. This is simply lefty propaganda.


Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, where he researches and writes about marriage, bioethics, religious liberty and political philosophy. Anderson is the author of several books and his research has been cited by two U.S. Supreme Court justices in two separate cases. Read his Heritage research. @RyanTAnd

Copyright 2017 The Daily Signal

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  • Mensa Member

    >> we have a problem when organizations label good groups as hate groups.

    If that happens, it’s wrong and should be corrected.

    But our shame, as Christians, is when we give a pass to hate groups because they share our agenda.

    A well-documented example is the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda. This was a straight-up human rights violation and personal horror.

    It was instigated by American Evangelical Christians who have been assisted by many of our fellow Christians. This would include at least one columnist on The Stream. I’ve personally asked him to repudiate the haters behind this atrocity and he won’t.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center may have a speck in their eye but we Evangelicals have a beam in our eye. Getting rid of that beam is our responsibility.

    • Patmos

      Fake Christian troll, who has been measured against the word and did not stack up, and who has posted numerous lies here.

      Notice how he tries to emphasize that he is a Christian in this post. What he wants to do is try to steer Christians to the left, and out of God’s word.

    • GPS Daddy

      >>If that happens

      It has. So you should be contacting the SPLC and telling them they got it wrong on some groups… unless you think that the Family Research Counsel is a hate group.

      >>Kill the Gays

      This is a Western media spin on it. As far as I can tell the law does not have capital punishment for gays. However, the punishments are sever.

      >>This was a straight-up human rights violation

      The bills has never been put into law so it cannot be a “human rights violation”. But it does appear that Uganda’s culture does not tolerate gays…

      >>It was instigated by American Evangelical Christians

      Hmmm… I’m an American Evangelical Christian and I had no part it in. Am I guilty by association?

      >>The Southern Poverty Law Center may have a speck in their eye

      The SPLC was once a good law firm. But those days are past. Their robes are stained with much sin. They will have much to account for at the judgement. The very least is the promotion of hate, calling good evil, and standing against The Holy of Holies.

    • Andrew Mason

      Except there is no such thing as a ‘Kill the Gays’ bill outside the lurid imagination of left-wing journalists, at least not in non-Sharia nations, and their killing of homosexuals is something that cannot be criticised as such criticism would be Islamophobic.

      The SPLC (Strident Prejudiced Leftist Centre) has far more than a speck in their eye – they have an entire forest. I actually stumbled over a blog or somesuch of their’s a while back and joined in discussions. After perhaps 3 days, and half a dozen or so posts responding to other posters in which I corrected misperceptions or questioned claims and asked for explanation or proof, I was banned without explanation. Dissent is not tolerated by the SPLC. As for evangelicals having a beam in their eye, nobody is perfect but I doubt we’d agree on what counts as a beam. I do find it interesting given your other posts that you consider yourself an evangelical Christian though.

      • samton909

        Exactly right. Again, the gay movement always lies about things. They lie over and over again, and they seem to enjoy slandering anyone they can. They blame a couple of Christians for this bill, but in fact all that happened was some Christians were there, gave a conference on homosexuality, and then left. They had nothing at all to do with the bill, but the gay activists saw an opportunity to blame it all on Christians, so they did so. To say that they instigated the bill is nonsense. Homosexuality has been illegal in Uganda since the British Empire. Furthermore, the bill in question only gave homosexuals life imprisonment if they went after kids under eighteen years old, had sex with someone by giving them date rape drugs, or took advantage of a crippled or bed ridden person.

        It appears the bill was actually introduced because Africans are sick and tired of gayness being pushed on them by the West. It was a backlash of sorts. In fact, the bill was ruled to be passed in an unusual manner, and never went into effect. As a matter of fact, many Christian organizations did denounce the bill, feeling it was too harsh.

  • Tom Rath

    Is Peter Sprigg…who advocated in a news interview some time ago for the criminal prosecution and incarceration of people solely on the basis of their sexual orientation…still a “Senior Fellow” at FRC?

    • samton909

      That is a lie, and you probably know it is a lie. It is amazing to me how the gay movement has no problem lying, all the time. This constant lying caused a man to go in and try to kill people at the FRC. What Sprigg said was that he believed it would be OK to return to the situation in this country that existed in many states before Lawrence v Texas, where the practice of sodomy could be criminalized if a state chose to criminalize the practice. These laws generally were only enforced where a minor was the victim of an older man.

      • Tom Rath

        “So we should outlaw gay behavior”


    • Dennis Neylon

      Advocating for sodomy laws and their enforcement is not advocating for criminal prosecution and incarceration on the basis of sexual orientation, but for actions. If your sexual orientation or any other personal beliefs lead you to engage in illegal behavior, it is the behavior, not the beliefs for which you will be arrested and tried, and, if convicted, incarcerated. In an era where some suggest that people who refuse to accept same sex marriage as normal and something to be celebrated should be denied basic rights (freedom of speech, religion, association) or that those who hate others (hate often being defined as disagreeing) should receive harsher penalties for committing crimes than others, this is rank hypocrisy. Too many on the left seek to punish thought or beliefs, while insisting that their thoughts or beliefs are irrelevant, and should exempt them from legal, natural or moral laws.

  • Jeremy L

    Did FRC deserve the shooting? No. But they do deserve to be taken down non-violently. Sprigg wants people jailed for being gay. Perkins backpedaled on that as not to seem too loony, but it didn’t fool anyone looking at FRC closely. SPLC has a detailed report on FRC clearly explaining with the aid of reputable sources how FRC’s claims about LGBT are propaganda. I don’t doubt Perkins believes with all his small, cold heart of stone that the things he says are true. I don’t doubt he doesn’t perceive himself as hateful. But that doesn’t matter. It is demonstrable that FRC propagates falsehoods about LGBT people, and SPLC is exposing that. The organization does not simply profess that it believes marriage is between one man and one woman. It actively seeks to cast gays in a negative light using misinformation and junk science and false narratives like “they’re out to molest your kids” and the like. The “hate group” designation is appropriate. The KKK will say they are not a racist organization and are just trying to follow the Bible. Their perception of themselves and their religious excuses for their deeds don’t negate who and what they really are. Same thing here.

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