Study: Southern Poverty Law Center Ignores Liberal Hate

Austin Ruse, Breitbart, March 10, 2014

An academic study has accused the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) of having an anti-Christian bias in its reporting on hate groups in America.

Once considered the “gold standard” in reporting on violent anti-government or racist groups in America, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s reputation has begun to wither as it has started targeting conservative Christian groups including the Family Research Council (FRC) for what SPLC claims is anti-gay animus.

SPLC says FRC gins up hatred and possible violence against gays because it has reported certain ideas that are taboo to SPLC: that hate-crimes laws will be used to stifle preachers; that because of HIV-AIDS and other diseases gays may not live as long as others; that gay parenting is not as good for children as more traditional parenting; that same-sex attraction is not inborn; and that gays can stop being homosexual. Believing or espousing any of these ideas makes you eligible for the SPLC hate list. [Full disclosure: the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, of which I am president, was just placed on SPLC’s hate list for espousing some of these ideas.]

Professor George Yancey of the University of North Texas says he is not arguing one way or the other about FRC’s inclusion on the list but merely demonstrating SPLC’s outrage is subjective, selective, and never reckons progressive groups guilty of the same things of which it accuses conservative ones.

Yancey looks at the work of a left-wing group called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), started by Michael Weinstein after he said he experienced discrimination at the hands of Christians in the military.

Weinstein published a story in the Huffington Post titled “Fundamentalist Christian Monsters: Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” in which he accused Christians of wanting to start “a blood-drenched, draconian era of persecutions, naturalistic militarism and superstitious theocracy.” This is not the only place where Weinstein said Christians want to foment mass murder. He said it also in his book No Snowflake in an Avalanche. He also blamed the Fort Hood shootings on how Christians mistreated the shooter and “linked the actions of Christians to Hitler and Stalin.”

Yancey says in these few places Weinstein and his group have violated the criteria established by SPLC to identify hate groups, “promoting a myth of Christian violence not substantiated by previous research and [attributing] motives to conservative Christians that he cannot document.”

Yet Weinstein and his group are not on the “Hatewatch” list. Yancey points to the Hatewatch tag line for the reason – “Keeping an Eye on the Radical Right.” To SPLC, there can be no hate on the left, only on the right.


Yancey points out that after 40 years of its existence, hardly any academic papers have been done on SPLC, yet in only a few shorts years many books and papers have emerged from the academy looking at the Tea Party. He says his is one of the first scholarly examinations ever done of SPLC and its methods.


{snip} The [hate] reports read very much like direct mail pieces, the kind that get liberals to dig deep into their pockets to fill groups’ like SPLC already bulging coffers.

In fact, Yancey concludes the reason SPLC cannot or will not change its criteria or at least begin including left-wing groups on its hate lists is that it cannot go against its progressive donors who are sending in such sizable sums–$38.5 million a year, with $256 million in assets feeding $300,000+ salaries.

Academic Defense of FRC


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