The Southern Poverty Law Center, with headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, is one of the nation’s top fund-raising organizations. Founded in 1971 by lawyers Morris Dees and Joe Levin, the SPLC describes itself as being “internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups.” From the years 2000 through 2003, SPLC contributions and interest totaled more than $127,000,000.

The SPLC feeds on the fears of historically disaffected groups. While the SPLC started out as an organization with noble ideals, lately its activities have degenerated into manufacturing a hate-group test that can include any group that opposes liberal causes like homosexuality and unrestricted open borders. If you and yours oppose illegal immigration, you are identified as a hater. If you take a strong stand against the practice of homosexuality and oppose homosexual marriage, you are a hater. American Vision is on the SPLC hate list.

The SPLC has found the fund-raising secret: Convince gullible people that if they don’t send a big fat check to the SPLC—the defenders of all that is holy and good—these haters will come after them. The fund raisers at the SPLC have done a great job in getting enough people to believe that their organization is the last bastion of freedom in America. If the SPLC is not on the job going after manufactured hate groups, Jews, blacks, and homosexuals will be torn from their homes and executed in the streets.

One would think that after all of SPLC’s rhetoric about “hate,” “hate groups,” and “hate incidents” that the latest spate of church burnings in Alabama would be on their “Hatewatch” list. The SPLC site states that “No incidents have been reported” in Alabama in 2006. You and I know that if a homosexual church had been torched, the fund-raising machine at the SPLC would be 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 hits the nail on the head in his February 16, 2006, article 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.
            Fortunately, those sickening scenarios are only hypothetical. Here is one that is not: In the past two weeks, 10 Baptist churches have been burned in rural Alabama. Five churches in Bibb County—Ashby Baptist, Rehobeth Baptist, Antioch Baptist, Old Union Baptist, and Pleasant Sabine—were torched between midnight and 3 a.m. on Feb. 3 [2006]. Four days later, arsonists destroyed or badly damaged Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Greene County, Dancy First Baptist Church in Pickens County, and two churches in Sumter County, Galilee Baptist and Spring Valley Baptist. On Saturday, Beaverton Freewill Baptist Church in northwest Alabama became the 10th house of worship to go up in flames.[1]

Where have the liberal crusaders at the SPLC been? Tucked away in their cozy multi-million dollar office complex in Montgomery, Alabama, working on the next fund raising letter warning faithful donors how skinheads and the KKK are going to take over America if they don’t send money, lots of money. 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.



[1] Jeff Jacoby, “The flames of hate in Alabama” (February 16, 2006):