Liberals Address Labels
August 21, 2012 - Tuesday
As news of the shooting at FRC last week fades, so too has some of the opposition's sympathy. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is still unapologetic for fostering the violent animosity toward FRC with its "hate group" designation. And today, Chad Griffin, president of the country's largest homosexual activist group, the Human Rights Campaign (whose blog referred to FRC as a "hate group" the day before the shooting), also chose slander over compassion.
Not even a week after the shooting that seriously injured my colleague and shocked the nation's capital, HRC's new chief is shedding last week's civility by calling for SPLC's invective "hate label" to stick. In a revealing column for the Washington Post, Griffin takes the lonely position of defending the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) tactics--even as his own movement backs away. From the Post's Dana Milbank to "leading voice on gay politics" James Kirchick, some of the staunchest liberals in the country are publicly disavowing SPLC. "Human Rights Campaign isn't responsible for the shooting," writes Milbank. "Neither should the organization that deemed the FRC a 'hate group,' the Southern Poverty Law Center, be blamed for a madman's act. But both are reckless in labeling as a 'hate group' a policy shop that advocates for a full range of conservative Christian positions... I [may] disagree with the Family Research Council's views on gays and lesbians--but it's absurd to put the group, as the law center does, in the same category as Aryan Nations, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and the Westboro Baptist Church... [T]he Southern Poverty Law center should stop listing a mainstream Christian advocacy group alongside neo-Nazis and Klansmen."
Kirchick agreed. "Gay rights supporters should understand that [same-sex 'marriage'] is a cause whose advancement requires moral suasion, not bullying theatrics... [O]pposition to gay marriage need not necessarily be a sign of one's 'hateful' intentions. What is to be said of President Obama, who announced his support for gay marriage only three months ago? Perhaps the gravest sin in classifying all gay marriage opponents as 'hatemongers' isn't its incivility, but its stupid politics..." As far as Kirchick's concerned, the hate labels only turn off Americans to the same-sex "marriage" message.
The new face of the Human Rights Campaign doesn't see it that way. "Claiming the mantle of 'deeply held religious beliefs' is no excuse for propagating lies that denigrate an entire group of people," HRC's Griffin insists. "Just because an organization may sometimes cloak its animus toward our community in the language of Beltway policy-speak doesn't make it any less hateful. And we all have a responsibility to call out hate when we see it." Yesterday, we posted on our website a document stating the facts that refute the charges of "hate" directed at FRC--including carefully cited references to original scholarly research. Meanwhile, people from across the political spectrum have endorsed our call for an end to inflammatory rhetoric against FRC and other pro-family organizations that peacefully, legally, and responsibly participate in public policy debate on issues like same-sex "marriage." It's a shame that HRC won't join them.
FRC Fights for the 'Right' to Party
Today in Tampa, the Republican Party wrapped up its work on one of the most conservative platforms the GOP has ever produced. With the help of delegates Phyllis Schlafly, David Barton, and a host of other leaders like FRC Action, Eagle Forum, Center for Military Readiness, and Americans United for Life, the GOP now has a platform that provides a clear distinction between the two parties. As part of the full committee work, the FRC Action team joined the majority of delegates in fending off a push to weaken the GOP's stance on man-woman marriage. On the issue of life, we were pleased to champion language that supports this basic right, while also pointing out the harm that abortion causes to both women and children.
The most surprising moment of all may have been when I offered an amendment outside of FRC's core mission (but close to my heart especially because our office was attacked by an armed man last week) on the Second Amendment. After the measure was introduced, Tamara Hall -- a committee member from Montana -- stood up, completely unprompted, and praised the work that FRC does. "I'm sorry the media did not give you the coverage you deserve," she said, "but I personally would like to thank you." The room broke into applause. The entire FRC staff continues to be humbled by all the prayers and support that have been sent our way. Please know that your encouragement helps to keep us going as we work for the values you hold dear.