In news that may seem ironic, some African-American pastors are speaking out against a non-profit civil rights organization that for decades has been known to fight hate and bigotry: The Southern Poverty Law Center.
About a dozen African-American pastors joined anti-gay extremists on Tuesday in condemning the SPLC for using its “hate group” label to describe faith-based organizations that are against the LGBT lifestyle. At a press conference staged outside of the SPLC offices in Montgomery, Alabama, the pastors spoke and stood in solidarity with organizations, including Americans for the Truth about Homosexuality (AFTAH), an organization the SPLC lists as an anti-gay hate group.
“The SPLC has moved from monitoring actual hate groups like the KKK and neo-Nazis to slandering mainstream Christian organizations with that very same hate group label,” said Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel. “By extension, the SPLC is smearing billions of Christians and Jews worldwide as haters simply because they embrace the traditional Judeo-Christian ethics.”
In response to the accusations that the SPLC is wrongly labeling organizations as “anti-gay hate groups,” Mark Potok, editor of the SPLC ’s Intelligence Report, says they’re labeled as such because that’s what they are.
“Our listing of anti-gay hate groups is completely unrelated to religion, Christianity or the Bible,” Potok said. “These groups are listed because they repeatedly lie in an effort to defame LGBT people, an exercise they’ve been extraordinarily successful at. The idea that we are criticizing these groups because they represent Judeo-Christian morality is simply ludicrous.”
In a separate interview with BET.com, Potok said that he and his department’s purpose is to try and diminish the negative effects of the radical right in the United States, including false propaganda against certain minority groups, as well as actual violent criminal acts.
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(Photo: Courtesy splcenter.org)