Yes, hate groups have African Americans too
January 17th, 2012
The Southern Poverty Law Center has long since earned its reputation as an honest monitor of racially based hate groups. At some point they expanded their scope to include hate groups which exist to instigate animus towards gay people as well.
It isn’t easy to get on the SPLC’s Hate Group listing. This isn’t the Maggie Gallagher and Dr. James Dobson and Southern Baptist preacher crowd. Ignorance, prejudice, callous disregard and presumptions of superiority are not nearly enough to quality.
To qualify as a Hate Group, one must engage in active defamation. In other words, a hate group must intentionally spread vicious lies which they must know – or certainly should know – to be untrue for the purpose of stirring up animus against gay people. These are the folks who manufacture fake studies, distort research, make totally fabricated claims, and do so under the presence of telling the real truth that the AMA, the APA, and everyone else with an education and credible reputation are conspiring to keep secret.
In total only 16 groups currently make the cut:
- Abiding Truth Ministries (Scott Lively)
- America Forever (a dominionist (NAR) site)
- American Family Association (Don Wildmon and his son Tim)
- American Vision (Gary DeMar)
- Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (The Peter)
- Bethesda Christian Institute
- Biblical Family Advocates (Phil Magnan)
- Chalcedon Foundation (Founded by R. J. Rushdoony, headed by his son Mark Rushdoony)
- Faithful Word Baptist Church (Steven Anderson)
- Family Research Institute (Paul Cameron)
- Family Research Council (Tony Perkins)
- Illinois Family Institute (David Smith and Laurie Higgins)
- H.O.M.E. Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment
- MassResistance (Brian Camenker and Amy Cantrada)
- Traditional Values Coalition (Lou Sheldon and his daughter Andrea Lafferty)
- Westboro Baptist Church (Fred Phelps and his daughter Margie)
Being called a “hate group” is infuriating to those who identify as Christians. (For a year now I’ve been intending to address hate and love from the perspective of Christian theology, what qualifies as each, where boundaries lie and the difficulty of being human while aspiring to spiritual goals. Frankly, I’ve put it off because to do it justice is a daunting task, but I really do think it may be time to attack the job.)
In the past, those listed have mostly ignored the SPLC. As they didn’t run in circles in which advocating for the cessation of racism was highly admired, they didn’t much care what the “liberal activist group” thought of them. But with the addition of some more vocal and politically connected organizations, attention has been given to the SPLC’s listing. And, naturally, rather than ponder whether their behavior was hateful and should change, a decision was made to discredit the Southern Poverty Law Center.
So today a collection of Hate Groups protested at SPLC headquarters. It was the rather sad souls that we have become accustomed to seeing: Peter LaBarbera, who organized the event, and his best buddy Matt Barber, the Associate Dean of Liberty University School of Law. Also showing up to represent the “Nazis were gay” viewpoint was Rachel Connor of Scott Lively’s Abiding Truth Ministries.
But in hopes of embarrassing this institution know for is advocacy for racial equality, this cluster of unhappy clowns was beefed up by including some African American preachers, some particularly nasty hate-filled African American preachers.
DL Foster I’ve dealt with before. He’s perhaps the most mean spirited, personally vile, directly hateful individual I’ve encountered (with Robert Gagnon as his competitor). He’s the type of guy who blames the suicide of bullied kids on “homosexual activists”. He’s the sort of fellow who thinks that the beatings and murders of gay people in Jamaica are godly. Oh yeah, and DL is ex-gay.
Tim Johnson, founder of the Fredrick Douglass Foundation, doesn’t have a high profile for anti-gay activism. He is, however, a convicted domestic violence felon. On Christmas Day 1995 he beat his wife because “that’s the only way I can get her attention.” She was hospitalized with a broken nose and toes.
Then included was a collection of ministers from Church of God in Christ, DL Foster’s denomination: Pastor Glen Sawyer, New Mt. Zion Church of God in Christ, Elizabeth City, NC; Pastor Wil Nichols, Victorious Praise Fellowship COGIC, Durham, NC; Pastor Jon Robinson, Kingdom C.O.M.E. Ministries, Clairton, PA; and Pastor Kenneth Jefferson, Greater Harvest COGIC. The Church of God in Christ is a Pentecostal Holiness black church and it is HUGE, with about five million members and 12,000 congregations in the US alone. By comparison, the largest non racially specific pentecostal church, the Assemblies of God, has about three million US members.
But perhaps no participant in LaBarbera’s little “we got Blaa People too” charade is quite such an example of the type of Blaa People that are so blinded by their evil imagination and their hatred of gay people that they would seek to discredit a respected civil rights organization as Dr. Patrick Wooden, pastor of Upper Room Church of God in Christ. Right Wing Watch caught this particular doozy from an interview with The Peter of just a few days ago (via Joe Jervis):
My belief is that if the medical community would just step forward and just would share with the American people what happens to the male anus, what the problems that homosexuals have with their rectums, the damage that is done, the operations that are needed to sew up their bodies, if you will. And how many of the men don’t even give the stitches time to heal, before they’re back, they’re out there, practicing that wicked behavior. Some are “bleeders”, men who are not turned off by ingesting the feces of other men. If the truth was told, people would literally gag. And no one would want to be in a lifestyle like that. Who wants to practice anything that is ultimately going to lead a grown man to – by the time he’s in his 40’s or 50’s or whatnot – having to wear a diaper or a “butt-plug” just to be able to contain their bowels?
Who indeed? Certainly no one I’ve ever met, encountered, read about, or who ever existed outside the disturbed imagination of Dr. Wooden. If he keeps that sort of nonsense up, the Southern Poverty Law Center may find itself in the unenviable and ironic position of having to add an African American church to its list of Hate Groups.