Family Research Council

March 10, 2014 - Monday

SPLC: Father of the Bribe

They say you can't buy love, but that won't stop SPLC from trying! Money may be no object for the anti-Christian group, but mainstream support certainly is. Facing growing scrutiny for their tainted and biased "research" from the military to the media, Southern Poverty Law Center is resorting to bribing teachers to force their agenda into the public schools where unsuspecting children reside.

In Hawaii, eyebrows shot up at the news that SPLC was giving teachers a $250 kickback just for attending a local training session on "Teaching Tolerance." The cash incentive struck a lot of people as odd, including state Representative Bob McDermott. In academia, where educators are used to paying for trainings -- not profiting from them -- McDermott thought something smelled fishy with SPLC's offer. In a letter to Hawaii State Department of Education District Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, he asked the office to put the brakes on the session. Matayoshi refused and instead gave the department's blessing to the workshop, which SPLC held the first weekend of March.

Frustrated by the Superintendent's carelessness, McDermott filed an ethics complaint demanding to know what part of the law justifies this kind of activity, because, he insists, "there is none." "Are Hawaii teachers being bribed to promote a specific point of view in these materials to students?" he asked. Obviously, it says a lot about the value of what SPLC is peddling if it has to pay its audience to be indoctrinated.   In the meantime,  Hawaiian educational authorities should know better than partnering with a group linked in federal court to domestic terrorism. An organization that inspired a shooter like Floyd Corkins doesn't know the first thing about "Teaching Tolerance."

For McDermott, who's also leading the state's charge against an explosive new sex ed curriculum, SPLC's pay-to-play scheme "raises all kinds of ethical issues." "The theme of the curriculum," he told reporters, "is so-called 'anti-bias,' unless, of course, you are a person of faith." Digging deeper into SPLC's materials, the state rep was outraged to see that almost 25% of the example scenarios "deal with gay acceptance." "Why is the gay population -- which is no more than 4% of the general population -- consistently disproportionately represented in these new teaching materials?"

Maureen Costello, who directs the SPLC program on the ground, said innocently that the resources are aimed at making everyone feel "welcomed, valued, and respected." If that were true, it would be quite an ideological shift for SPLC, which has recently focused on marginalizing Christians and conservatives. Like us, Rep. McDermott understands that the battle for the hearts of the next generation starts in the classroom. "I want political agendas, right or left, out of the schools. I want the teachers to spend the precious little time they have with students educating them in the basics... Make no mistake. This program only presents one side of the story."

And unfortunately, it's a program that may be coming to a school district near you. According to Costello, SPLC has been dangling money in front of educators -- and schools -- for the opportunity to teach the kind of "tolerance" that motivates people to bring guns into office buildings and shoot innocent people. We applaud Representative McDermott for trying to protect kids and parents from this extreme agenda. Even with the best advocates money can buy, SPLC is a danger to academia, the military, the media, and the common good. For further proof that SPLC ignores liberal "hate," check out this Breitbart article.

On Abortion Clinics, Pro-Lifers Are 'Close'-Minded

When organizations like Planned Parenthood insist that women have a "right" to abortion, they don't mean a safe one. In clinics across the country, vulnerable women are shuttled in and out of clinics that look more like field hospitals in the third world than surgical centers in America. Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted for 261 pages of abortion horrors at his Philadelphia clinic, put a real face on the "choice" movement. For his patients and so many others, "choice" meant being subjected to rusty equipment, bloodstained blankets, and untrained staff.

And unfortunately, Gosnell is just one example of a nationwide nightmare. Like other clinic operators, the doctor shirked on safety to grow his profit margins. And thanks to a shift in pro-life strategy, that's all starting to change. In states across the country, America is getting serious about protecting women with airtight regulations for abortion clinics. While conservatives are continuing to change people's minds about abortion, they're putting equal emphasis on protecting the mothers that seek it.

One approach pro-lifers have taken in Texas is passing laws that force abortion clinics to meet the same standards as legitimate medical centers. To most of us, that only sounds logical. But to abortion clinics, many of which cut corners to increase profits, it represents a huge hurdle in doing business, a hurdle that many of them are not willing to cross. For them, the emphasis has always been on revenue, not patient safety. When they're asked to comply with strict new health standards, most would rather shut down than protect women. And this month, that's exactly what's happened.

In the Lone Star State, where abortion doctors are now required to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, 19 clinics -- including two this month -- have closed. At one Houston-area clinic, the office closed and the Texas Medical Board suspended the doctor's license. With eight states passing laws similar to Texas's, the victories for the unborn and their mothers have only just begun! Ironically, the same groups spending millions of dollars to protect abortion (supposedly for women's health) are the ones fighting these laws. That, more than anything, should expose the pro-abortion movement for what it is: cold, calculating opportunists who see women as profit, not patients.

A Mandate with Destiny...

While the U.S. Supreme Court considers the cases of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood later this month, some leaders in Congress aren't waiting on the justices to protect conscience rights. One of those leaders, House Representative Diane Black (R-Tenn.) will be at FRC this Thursday, March 13 at noon, discussing ObamaCare's HHS mandate, conscience rights, and her bill, H.R. 940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act. Rep. Black is a strong proponent of religious freedom and is seeking a congressional solution to the HHS mandate's requirement that individuals in their places of business choose between their faith and paying huge fines. Join us at FRC to hear about her legislation first-hand. Click here to find out how you can watch!

** When people tell you same-sex "marriage" is just about two people who love each other, they're wrong. Check out this powerful new video from our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to see why.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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