Culture Wars/Current Controversies

When Conservatives Become Outcasts

The Southern Poverty Law Center now attacks religious conservatives and mainstream political conservatives in the same way it attacks white supremacist organizations. The further leftward the wider society, government and culture drift, the more people and groups with “conservative” values will be on the receiving end of such attacks. It will be interesting to see if these groups retain their traditional patriotism the more they are regarded as outcasts, or whether they will (hopefully) embrace “anti-Americanism.”

By Carol Swain

First Things

Catholics, Evangelical Christians, and pro-family organizations have a common adversary, one that is virulent and relentless. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a powerful progressive advocacy group that says its primary mission is to fight hatred, teach tolerance, and seek justice. Despite its noble beginnings in the years following the civil rights movement, during which it fought white supremacist groups resisting social change and the rule of law, the SPLC now works to advance the agenda of the cultural left. Ironically, given the deeply Christian character of the civil rights movement, the SPLC now equates traditional Christian and pro-family organizations with hate groups such as the Aryan Nations, the Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazis. What makes these religious groups an SPLC target? A shared biblical worldview that condemns homosexuality and transgenderism.

The SPLC’s determined efforts to paint conservative Christian organizations as anti-gay were evident back in spring 2005, when it issued an Intelligence Report that profiled twelve of them, claiming that they have “turned the anti-gay movement into a virtual industry over the last three decades.” According to the authors, early crusaders such as Anita Bryant, Reverend Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson inspired other fundamentalist activists to organize around “the polarizing issue of homosexuality.” It proceeded to profile each one, marking three of them as earning SPLC’s designation “hate group.” The groups targeted in this retaliatory strike were Alliance Defense Fund, American Family Association, American Vision, Chalcedon Foundation, Christian Action Network, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries/Center for Reclaiming America, Family Research Council, Family Research Institute, Focus on the Family, Summit Ministries, and the Traditional Values Coalition.


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