The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Shilling for Dollars at the SPLC

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American Vision received a phone call from an NPR station yesterday (3.3.2009) asking me to appear on one of their shows to answer the charge by the Southern Poverty Law Center that our organization is a “hate group.” (For the record, I don’t do interviews with media outlets that are subsidized by tax dollars.) The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has listed American Vision as a “hate group” under the “other” category on their website because we are “anti-gay.’[1] I guess the majority of people in California who voted to outlaw homosexual marriage are also “haters.” Of course they are. Read what homosexuals say about them! Just listen to Sean Penn who played the sexually active homosexual Harvey Milk in the box office failure Milk.

In reality, the SPLC is in the business of “pimping for dollars” since it has gone from tracking the movements of racists, skinhead groups, and the KKK that number in the hundreds to creating hysteria over mainstream value ministries like American Vision. Pro-homosexual newspapers and websites have been working overtime to rev up their robot-like followers to repeat the rhetoric of the SPLC. Of course, most of this is done for fund raising purposes. It’s no wonder that the SPLC is flush with cash.[2] Ultimately, the tactic is to strike fear in middle-America so the checks keep rolling in. Most communities don’t see skinheads or even KKKers, so the SPLC needs a tangible enemy.

According to the SPLC, hate has gone mainstream, so you better send a donation before these guys come and get you, too! Am I making this up? I counted twelve categories of giving on their website. I’m surprised there isn’t a category to donate body parts. The SPLC is a fund raising industry designed to silence Christians on moral issues. There’s not much money in fighting real hate groups now that only a few of the real haters are still around.[3]

This all got started with the publication of SPLC’s “Holy War” Intelligence Report.[4] American Vision got wind of the hit piece when someone from The Southern Voice, a pro-homosexual advocacy newspaper published in Georgia,[5] called us for an interview on the “hate group” accusation. I’ve been interviewed before by these agenda-seeking “gotcha journalism” organizations. The time spent in trying to set the record straight is not worth the aggravation. Their type of “red-meat journalism” is common.[6]

You might remember that the SPLC is the same group that went after Chief Justice Roy Moore because he refused to remove the Ten Commandment monument from the court house in Montgomery, Alabama. He’s one of their favorite whipping boys. Without God’s commandments, everything is up for grabs except for condemning a worldview that says everything is up for grabs. Early in its 38-year history, the SPLC probably did some good work in the area of civil rights. The group has lost focus in recent years and has decided to persecute and libel Christian groups who hold to a moral worldview that opposes the legalization of sodomy and homosexual marriage. 

Homosexual advocates want Christians quarantined behind the walls of their churches where they can preach and teach their “peculiar” beliefs (for now) but want to forbid them to enjoin one another to act upon those beliefs. For years, to use Theodore Roszak’s phrase, Christians had a theology that was “socially irrelevant, even if privately engaging.”[7] Now that Christians have awakened from the slumber of a false privatized spirituality and applied their beliefs culturally and politically, the homosexual community is enraged, and the SPLC is the enabling institution because it carries so much clout with liberals. It’s OK for homosexuals to barnstorm the country and threaten businesses and politicians with their own political clout, but beware of anyone who opposes their agenda.

Homosexuals will claim that their cause is a “civil rights” issue, similar to the hard-fought struggle that Blacks have gone through. The analogy is a false one. For example, abortion and homosexuality—two hotly contested political issues in the culture war—are what people do. Abortion kills a pre-born baby. Opposing abortion does not mean that we oppose women. We oppose one thing women do with their pre-born children. The same is true for homosexuality. The euphemism “gay” has been used by the homosexual movement to hide the fact that homosexuality is really same-sex sex. This renaming tactic has been used by abortion advocates for years. The word abortion is hardly ever used. Abortionists talk about being “pro-choice” to hide the bloody nature of the procedure. To describe what homosexuals do with their “sexual equipment” would turn off many readers at this point. The very nature of the act is unnatural by definition, and any relationship based on sodomy is unnatural as well (Rom. 1:26–27). This is why Colin Powell writes of the inappropriate linking of homosexual behavior with the civil rights movement: “Skin color is a benign, nonbehavioral characteristic. Sexual orientation is perhaps the most profound of human behavioral characteristics. Comparison of the two is a convenient but invalid argument.”[8]

One would think that after all of SPLC’s rhetoric about “hate,” “hate groups,” and “hate incidents” that church burnings in Alabama would be on their “Hatewatch” list. There were some in 2006 and few in February of this year. Because the perpetrators said they did it as a “joke,” a hate-crime charge was not made. To its credit, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) took issue with the categorization of the case. You and I know that if Black churches had been torched, the fund-raising machine at the SPLC would have been cranking out fund raising letters by the hundreds of thousands and raking in millions of dollars. But the usual anti-haters don’t care that much when fundamentalist Baptist churches in Alabama are burned to the ground. There’s just no money in it for the SPLC.

Jeff Jacoby hit the nail on the head in an article he wrote that appeared in the Boston Globe:

Suppose that in 2005 unknown hoodlums had firebombed 10 gay bookstores and bars in San Francisco, reducing several of them to smoking rubble. It is not hard to imagine the alarm that would have spread through the Bay Area’s gay community or the manhunt that would have been launched to find the attackers. The blasts would have been described everywhere as “hate crimes,” editorial pages would have thundered with condemnation, and public officials would have vowed to crack down on crimes against gays with unprecedented severity.

Suppose that vandals last month [January 2006] had attacked 10 Detroit-area mosques and halal restaurants, leaving behind shattered windows, wrecked furniture, and walls defaced with graffiti. The violence would be national front-page news. On blogs and talk radio, the horrifying outbreak of anti-Muslim bigotry would be Topic No. 1. Bills would be introduced in Congress to increase the penalties for violent “hate crimes”—no one would hesitate to call them by that term—and millions of Americans would rally in solidarity with Detroit’s Islamic community.[9]

When Mark Potok of the SPLC was asked about the church burnings, he told the Los Angeles Times that he didn’t “see any evidence that these fires are hate crimes. Anti-Christian crimes are exceedingly rare in the South.” And so is rational thought at the SPLC. Potok, always angling for a story to keep the fires of anxiety hot and fingers nimble to write another check to an organization like the SPLC, wrote that threats against Obama were real as the inauguration neared. The SPLC is like the government, always with its hand out and the claim that only it can save us.

The SPLC is out to silence Christian groups that believe homosexuality is unnatural, immoral, and hurtful to society. The SPLC is acting as an enabling institution to other anti-Christian groups hell-bent on destroying reputations and ministries in the name of “social justice.”

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Endnotes:

[1] www.splcenter.org/intel/map/hate.jsp?T=22&m=3
[2] Richard A. Viguerie and David Franke,America’s Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New and Alternative Media to Take Power (Chicago, IL: Bonus Books, 2004), 146–150.
[3] http://crime.about.com/b/a/179433.htm
[4] www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=522
[5] www.sovo.com/2005/6-3/news/national/anti-gay.cfm
[6] Gary DeMar, “Read-Meat Journalism,” Biblical Worldview (May 2004), 3, 6, 12.
[7] Theodore Roszak., Where the Wasteland Ends: Politics and Transcendence in Postindustrial Society (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1972), 449.
[8] Quoted in World (September 26, 1992), 5.
[9] Jeff Jacoby, “The flames of hate in Alabama” (February 16, 2006): www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/jeffjacoby/2006/02/16/186904.html

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