By: J. Matt Barber
Sometimes the most effective way to deal with a bully is to simply pop him in the chops. While it may not shut him up entirely, it usually gives him pause before he resumes flapping his toxic jaws. It also has the effect of showing the other kids in the schoolyard that they have nothing to fear. Though the bully struts about projecting the tough-guy image, he's typically the most insecure pansy on the block.
Such is the case with the bullies over at the fringe-left Southern Poverty Law Center. Having been recently "popped in the chops," if you will, for a series of hyperbolic and disingenuous "anti-gay hate group" slurs against a dozen-or-so of America's most well respected Christian and conservative organizations – the SPLC now finds itself publicly struggling, outside of an extremist left-wing echo chamber, to salvage a modicum of mainstream credibility.
In response to the SPLC's unprovoked attacks, a unified coalition of more than 150 top conservative and Christian leaders across the country has launched a shock-and-awe "Start Debating, Stop Hating" media blitz to educate America about the SPLC's ad hominem, politically driven smear campaign.
The mainstream pro-family conglomerate already includes presumptive Speaker of the House John Boehner, former presidential contender Mike Huckabee, four current U.S. senators, three governors, 20 current or newly elected members of the House of Representatives and many more.
As the controversy wears on and the facts become public, the moribund SPLC has understandably become increasingly defensive, strongly suggesting that it has come to regret this gross political overreach. Catch the tiger by the tail, you get the teeth.
Still, lazily labeling its ideological adversaries "hate groups" has yet to satisfy the anti-Christian law center. It's taken the slander even further down petty path, launching a succession of amateurish personal attacks against a number of individual Christian advocates (to include yours truly). This is a clear sign that the sexual relativist left recognizes that it's losing the debate on the merits.
Indeed, the SPLC's poorly constructed analysis bears deconstructing, but first I'll make a prediction. The center has yet to pin its official "SPLC designated hate group" badge of honor on either me or Liberty Counsel, the civil rights group with which I'm affiliated.
Somehow we were able only to earn the equally deceptive lower ranking of "anti-gay." I suspect this is because I've been a primary public critic of the center's feeble "hate group" crusade. Even the far-left understands that premature retaliation would betray dishonest political motives.
Still – and you heard it here first – within the next year or two (maybe less) the SPLC will move to even the score by tagging Liberty Counsel an "official hate group." At that point – and beyond the question: "If the SPLC calls you a 'hate group' in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?" – any remaining media outlet that may wish to treat the center as an objective arbiter of "hate" will do so at grave risk to its own credibility.
Nonetheless, the SPLC has begun to grease the skids. Quotes cherry picked, taken out of context and misapplied are a powerful tool of the propagandist. Such are the Maoist techniques of the SPLC. Among other things, here's what the group has said about me:
"Barber suggested against all the evidence that there were only a 'miniscule number' of anti-gay hate crimes …"
Let me be clear: I didn't "suggest" there were a "miniscule number of anti-gay hate crimes" in 2007. I proved it. I merely cited the FBI's own statistics which demonstrate the fact beyond any serious debate. Let's look at "all the evidence" to which the SPLC refers. Here's what I actually wrote in the Washington Times:
"Consider that according to the latest FBI statistics, out of 1.4 million violent crimes in 2007; there were a mere 247 cases of aggravated assault (including five deaths) reportedly motivated by the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity. There is zero evidence to suggest that, where appropriate, perpetrators were not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in every instance."
A bit different than the SPLC portrayal, no? Let's do the math:
Approximately 247 aggravated "hate crime" assaults, taken within the context of 1.4 million violent crimes means that exactly 0.017643 percent of violent crimes in 2007 were "anti-gay hate crimes." A miniscule number? You be the judge.
Continued the SPLC:
"Barber had argued that given 'medical evidence about the dangers of homosexuality,' it should be considered 'criminally reckless for educators to teach children that homosexual conduct is a normal, safe and perfectly acceptable alternative.'"
Note that the SPLC neither identifies nor addresses the "medical evidence about the dangers of homosexuality." It's no wonder. Again, the evidence proves the case beyond any serious debate.
For instance, a recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that, as a direct result of the demonstrably high-risk and biologically incongruous act of male-male anal sodomy, one-in-five "gay" and "bisexual" men in American cities have been infected with HIV/AIDS.
If five people got into a car and were told that one of them wasn't going to survive the drive, how quickly do you suppose they'd scatter? Yet we systematically promote celebration of homosexual conduct in our public schools.
Criminally reckless? You be the judge.
Or consider that current U.S. health regulations prohibit men who have sex with men (MSM – aka "gays") from donating blood. Further studies conducted by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration categorically confirm that if MSM were permitted to give blood, the general population would be placed at risk.
According to the FDA: "['Gay' men] have an HIV prevalence 60 times higher than the general population, 800 times higher than first-time blood donors and 8,000 times higher than repeat blood donors."
The FDA further warns: "['Gay' men] also have an increased risk of having other infections that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion. For example, infection with the Hepatitis B virus is about 5-6 times more common, and Hepatitis C virus infections are about 2 times more common in ['gay' men] than in the general population."
A 2007 CDC study further rocked the homosexual activist community, finding that, although "gay" men comprise only 1-to-2 percent of the population, they account for an epidemic 64 percent of all syphilis cases.
Again I ask: Is it "criminally reckless" to indoctrinate children into this potentially deadly lifestyle?
Again I say: You be the judge.
So, according to its own "hate group" standard, the SPLC is left one of three possible choices: Either it remains consistent, tagging the CDC, the FDA and the FBI with its pejorative "hate group" moniker; it offers a public retraction and apology for its attacks against me and other Christians; or it remains silent while its credibility continues to swirl down the toilet bowl of irrelevancy.
Still, the SPLC has done a significant disservice to its homosexual propagandist and sexual relativist allies. My friend Gary Glenn with the American Family Association of Michigan (a "hate group" target of the SPLC) sums it up nicely:
"The SPLC's demonization of groups that tell the truth about the public health implications of homosexual behavior may be the biggest boon we've seen in years to efforts to publicize those health consequences. We welcome this opportunity. The SPLC has provided a public service by focusing attention and discussion on the severe public health consequences of homosexual behavior."
Indeed, the SPLC and its allies are flailing violently as they swim upstream against a torrent of settled science, thousands of years of history and the unwavering moral precepts of every major world religion.
It's little wonder they've resorted to childish name calling.
Matt Barber is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He is author of "The Right Hook – From the Ring to the Culture War" and serves as director of cultural affairs with Liberty Counsel.