Opinion

The Hate Group That’s Fueling Christian and Conservative Persecution

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a money-making hate machine worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Their so-called “hate map” and “hate list” are used by big-name private companies to discriminate against Christians and Conservative people and groups.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) makes millions of dollars every year going after so-called hate groups. How does the SPLC define a hate group? Any group that stands up for traditional moral values, especially when it comes to same-sex sexuality.

There’s no Poverty at the Southern Poverty Law Center. It should be renamed the Southern Profit Law Center.

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The SPLC list of hate groups grows every year, and with the growth of the list, its bank account also grows. The SPLC is a money-making machine.

When you and I think of hate groups, what most often comes to mind are groups that put their words into violent action or intimidate people by the threat of violence or going after their ability to make a living. Blacks were often the target of discrimination at home and on the job.

Where has the SPLC been when law-abiding citizens were attacked by homosexual groups because a person stood up for his or her rights and opposed homosexual marriage? Nowhere to be found. In fact, the SPLC joined with the homosexual activists to defame and persecute Christians who oppose same-sex marriage.

An organization I worked for nearly 40 years has been a target of the SPLC. American Vision used to be harassed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State.  Americans United is still around, but the SPLC overshadows their fundraising efforts.

The SPLC is the Jussie Smollet case writ large. It’s all about political power, profit, and persecution.

The following article is from The Spectator where Joel McDurmon, the President of American Vision, was interviewed about how the SPLC has affected our organization.

Joel McDurmon, President of American Vision.

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Citizens of Powder Springs, Georgia, probably have no idea they are a dot on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual “Hate Map,” which was published this week and achieved its purpose, i.e., generating scary headlines: “Hate group count hits 20-year high amid rise in white supremacy, report says” (USA Today), “U.S. Hate Groups Rose 30 Percent In Recent Years, Watchdog Group Reports” (NPR), and “Trump ‘fear-mongering’ fuels rise of U.S. hate groups to record: watchdog” (Reuters). The journalists who supply the SPLC with this kind of free publicity seldom if ever bother to dig down into the details of these annual reports, so it’s unlikely that USA Today readers or NPR listeners in Powder Springs (center of map below) are aware that one of these “hate groups” has made their town a dot on the map.

Located in the prosperous Cobb County suburbs of Atlanta, Powder Springs has more than tripled its population in the 30-odd years since I worked there as a young newspaper reporter. However, I had no idea there was a “hate group” in Powder Springs until I clicked on the SPLC’s latest map and found that the town of 14,000 people is home to American Vision, a small 501(c)3 “Biblical Worldview Ministry” currently led by Dr. Joel McDurmon, author of such books as God Versus Socialism: A Biblical Critique of the New Social Gospel(2009) and Restoring America: One County at a Time (2012). A theologian by training, McDurmon’s views can perhaps be most easily summarized as Calvinist and libertarian, and the question is: Why is this Christian non-profit organization with an office in Powder Springs labeled an “Anti-LGBT Hate Group” by the SPLC?

“Merely because we have always stood by the Bible’s position on homosexuality,” McDurmon told me in a phone interview the day the latest “Hate Map” was published. Of course, there are many thousands of churches with millions of Bible-believing congregants in America that stand by the same position, but the SPLC can’t put every church on its “Hate Map,” so there’s a certain randomness to this designation. A couple of years ago, as part of an effort by the Left to defund conservative organizations, American Vision was denied services by various online payment processing companies citing the SPLC’s “Hate Group” label. As McDurmon explained in an article last fall, “Apparently, such left-leaning companies believe Christians should be forced to bake their homosexual wedding cakes, but they shouldn’t have to serve us.”

This tactic of “financial blacklisting,” as Allum Bokhari of Breitbart News calls it, has been targeted at a broad spectrum of conservative activist groups since President Trump’s election in 2016, and can be devastating in its impact. Fortunately for supporters of American Vision, its online donations page is back in operation and McDurmon says the group has “recovered 80 to 90 percent of our donor base” since it first got blacklisted by companies like Stripe and Amazon.

The increasing absurdity of the SPLC’s “hate group” designation has become obvious to conservatives in recent years. David Horowitz, the former New Left radical-turned-conservative, has called the SPLC “a $400 million dollar hate machine.” Any really serious journalist who bothered to research the SPLC’s operation could easily find articles with headlines like “Seven Reasons to Beware the Southern Poverty Law Center” (Carol Swain, American Thinker) and “The Southern Poverty Law Center has lost all credibility” (Marc Thiessen, Washington Post). In case a reporter is too lazy to do his own research, the “SPLC Exposed” website has collected a vast trove of reporting and commentary on the subject.

The rest of the article can be read here.

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