SPLC: The Self-Appointed, National Thought-Crime Hall Monitor

The Poverty Palace

The Poverty Palace

From the New York Times:

For the second time, George W. Bush has written a warm letter in support of a conservative group that bills itself as promoting the “natural family” based on heterosexual marriage but that is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The group, the World Congress of Families, based in Rockford, Ill., is holding a conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, where it had planned to honor Mr. Bush. But he declined to attend, a spokesman said.

In a letter dated May 2016, the former president says: “I commend your efforts to recognize the importance of families in building nations. Your work improves many lives and makes the world better.”

The article continues:

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, added the World Congress of Families to its list in 2014, calling it “one of the key driving forces behind the U.S. religious right’s global export of homophobia and sexism.” But the liberal-leaning center has been criticized for including groups that fall within the conservative mainstream, like the Family Research Council, based on their stances on gay issues.

The World Congress of Families has strongly disputed the hate-group designation and the implication that it supports violence against the L.G.B.T. community.

“Nothing could be further from the truth, as W.C.F. strongly opposes violence and would never advocate violence or hatred toward any group of people, regardless of differences,” the group wrote in 2014.

Larry Jacobs, the group’s managing director, said in a statement that it seeks to fight “the sexual revolution and the harm that it has brought millions of victims worldwide.”

We here at Salvo support The World Congress of Families and the work of The Howard Center, one of the groups responsible for putting it together (and also a Salvo partner organization). The Southern Poverty Law Center has been targeted in Salvo‘s “Surveillance” column. I encourage you to read up on the SPLC, I’ve posted an excerpt from the Salvo article below. Frankly, I’d be proud to be on their naughty list.

. . . With the KKK having, thankfully, shriveled to a statistically trivial 2,000 members by the year 2000, the SPLC moved away from filing lawsuits to raising awareness about the threat of “hate groups.” A cursory look at the organizations so designated, though, reveals a malignant streak. Organizations that uphold pro-life, pro-family, and pro-marriage (of the man-woman variety) morals are (ta-da!) “hate groups” and earn a spot on the SPLC’s “Hate Map.” (Yes, Salvo would qualify.) Like a self-appointed, national thought-crime hall monitor, the SPLC presents regular “intelligence files” and an annual “Year in Hate” report to municipal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

Never mind that traditional morality does not constitute “hate,” and that “heightened awareness” by itself has never helped the actual victims of anything, “hate-mapping,” too, is apparently quite profitable. According to tax records, at the end of 2010 the SPLC was sitting on “private investment funds” exceeding $200 million, with Dees and top SPLC execs—including co-founder Levin—collecting annual salaries well into six figures. They have stamped out poverty quite splendidly—for themselves. There’s big money in hate.

Further reading from Salvo:

Family Matters
An Interview with Allan Carlson, President of the Howard Center
by Bernard Chapin

World War Sex
A Global Revolution Imperils Men, Women & Children: An Interview with Gabriele Kuby
by Benjamin J. Vail

And up at the Touchstone blog:

The Dangerous Foolishness of Modern Man by Michael Avramovich

. . . Throwing fuel on the fire, Professor Marci Hamilton of the University of Pennsylvania, believes that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), passed in 1993 and signed by President Bill Clinton, gives a green light to discriminate today. RFRA bans the federal government from unjustly meddling in the way Americans express religious beliefs. RFRA provides “a claim or defense to persons whose religious exercise is substantially burdened by government.” But that is not exactly how Professor Hamilton sees things. In a recent interview with CBS, available here, Professor Hamilton said that RFRA is “Jim Crow. It’s just that there are different targets at this point for some of the people. [Religious traditionalists and conservatives] are arguing now, in these groups, is that they have ‘rights’ in order to be able to discriminate against others. But the ‘rights’ that they’re talking about are made up. They are not rights from the Constitution.” Thus, according to Professor Hamilton, religious liberty, although cited as our first freedom in the First Amendment, is not constitutional, whereas unlimited abortion license, a redefinition of marriage, and now, transgender bathroom policies throughout the nation, which are not in the Constitution, are fundamental constitutional rights. . . .

Essential Salvo Articles on Science & Faith

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36nicollFaith Removal
Militant Science & Apostle Krauss
by Regis Nicoll

. . . Francis Bacon, Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, and Isaac Newton were all men of faith whose faith gave them hope that scientific knowledge was attainable. Because the universe was the product of an Intelligence that made it intelligible to intelligent beings, they had confidence that man could discover something of the true nature of nature by careful observation and experimentation. Kepler put it this way: “The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God and which he has revealed to us in the language of mathematics.” . . . .

36rossETI In the Sky
What the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life Means for Us
by Hugh Ross

. . . In many respects, SETI research is a waste of time, money, and talent. However, these latest SETI efforts are yielding greater insights into and appreciation for just how many plans, preparations, and preliminary steps—especially the carefully orchestrated introduction of certain forms of non-intelligent life—are needed to make possible a narrow time window during which an intelligent living species can exist on a planet, and how many more plans, preparations, and carefully orchestrated steps must be taken to enable such a species to launch and sustain a high-technology civilization. . . .

34cavanaughCosmic Seer
Georges Lemaître, the Catholic Priest Behind the Big Bang
by Ray Cavanaugh

. . . Lemaître presented this theory in writing to Einstein in October 1927, when the two first met at a conference in Brussels. As the priest later recalled, Einstein’s response was, “Your calculations are correct, but your physics is abominable.” Lemaître’s work was more or less dismissed by the New York Times, which called his theory “highly romantic.” The encyclopedia Notable Scientists said that Lemaître’s main problem was that his theory “lacked sufficient mathematical backing for widespread acceptance.” Such backing would arrive in the fullness of time. . . .

33olearyProving Grounded
Multiverse Supporters Put the Brakes on Falsifiability
by Denyse O’Leary

. . . Here is a prediction: To the extent that science is dominated by naturalist atheists, falsifiability will not survive as a criterion. That’s because it depends on the idea that there is something out there that can falsify things—call it “god” or whatever you want. Instead, whatever speculation supports the multiverse or some similar shibboleth will count for far more than any failure of evidence. And the naturalist atheists’ next war will, of course, be against the very idea of evidence. What evidence counts for will depend on who is presenting it and what causes it is thought to support. . . .

32clemmons-2Clearing Up Cosmos
The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos: Fact and Fiction in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Landmark Science Series
reviewed by Terrell Clemmons

. . . If you like science—science done well, that is—you’ll find invaluable help making sense out of Cosmos with The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos: Fact and Fiction in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Landmark Science Series, an easily readable volume co-authored by Ell, Richards, David Klinghoffer, and Casey Luskin. The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos sorts out, episode by episode, the legitimate science from the liberal doses of materialist philosophy, revised history, and brazen ideology the makers of the series have carelessly (or intentionally?) stirred into the mix. . . .

29rossMoon Strike
Lunar Origin Causes “Philosophical Disquiet”
by Hugh Ross

. . . In yet another article in the same issue as Canup’s review, earth scientist Tim Elliott observes that the degree and kinds of complexity and fine-tuning required by lunar origin models appear to be increasing at an exponential rate. Among lunar origin researchers, he notes, “the sequence of conditions that currently seems necessary in these revised versions of lunar formation have led to philosophical disquiet.” . . .

27luskinLogged Out
Why Scientists Can’t Reconstruct Darwin’s “Tree of Life”
by Casey Luskin

. . . About the same time, another discovery was made that confounded evolutionary biologists who studied genes: they found that the three domains of life could not be resolved into a tree-like pattern. This led the prominent biochemist W. Ford Doolittle to famously lament: “Molecular phylogenists will have failed to find the ‘true tree,’ not because their methods are inadequate or because they have chosen the wrong genes, but because the history of life cannot properly be represented as a tree.” He later acknowledged, “It is as if we have failed at the task that Darwin set for us: delineating the unique structure of the tree of life.” . . .

26scifi-keas2In the Beginning
Episodes in the Origin & Development of Science
by Michael Keas

. . . Why have we forgotten most of the positive contributions of Christianity to the rise of modern science? This cultural amnesia is largely due to the influence of a number of anti-Christian myths about science and religion. These myths teach that science came of age only in the victory of naturalism over Christianity. This article will review and correct some of those myths, so that the next time you hear one of them, you can counter it with the true story of science and faith. . . .

26scifi-hughesBlinded by Science
Believe Science Has All the Answers? Evolutionary Biologist Austin Hughes Says, Open Your Eyes

. . . If it’s real science, then it’s not scientism. Scientism is taking the mantle of science and claiming for it an authority that it doesn’t have. Examples would include scientists who maintain that evolution disproves the existence of God or who say that we exist in a purposeless, random universe. And then there are those physicists who insist that the universe gave rise to itself, or the whole field of what is called evolutionary psychology. These are examples of speculative storytelling that have absolutely no evidence behind them. . . .

26scifi-reardonCan Science Explain “Origins”?
by Patrick Henry Reardon

. . . Fortunately, we live in a more enlightened age, don’t we? Modern people invariably rest their cases on well-founded and proven facts, don’t they? You never hear anybody nowadays adhering to exotic and improbable theories about the origins of nature and the structure of the universe. Indeed, what do modern people believe on these subjects? Let us take an outstanding example of modern enlightened thought. Let us consider Dr. Lawrence Krauss, head of the “Origins Project” at Arizona State University. . . .

26koukl“Faith” No More
It’s Time We Did Away with the Notion of Religious Wishful Thinking
by Greg Koukl

. . . Someone once said, “The heart cannot believe that which the mind rejects.” If you are not confident that the message of the Bible is actually true, you can’t believe it no matter how hard you try. The “I just take Christianity on (blind) faith” attitude can’t be the right approach. It leaves the Bible without defense, yet Peter directs us to make a defense for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). Also, the biblical word for faith, pistis, doesn’t mean “wishing.” It means “active trust.” And trust cannot be conjured up or manufactured. It must be earned. . . .

26scifi-wybrowAre Science & Religion at War?
by Cameron Wybrow

. . . modern historical study suggests not only that Christianity is compatible with science, but that it was a central historical cause of the birth of modern science. This claim, made by Pierre Duhem, Michael Foster, R. G. Collingwood, Reijer Hooykaas, Francis Oakley, Stanley Jaki, and many others, is now widely accepted among historians of science, even if it has not yet filtered down to the popular press. . . .

32ranaThe Evolution Of a Christian
An Interview with Dr. Fazale Rana
by James M. Kushiner

. . . As a scientist, you can be highly trained—but poorly educated. You don’t take courses in the philosophy of science or the history of science. You just learn how to do science, and the training is basically, “Here, this is how you do science.” And part of that training is the idea that you don’t appeal to the supernatural. In retrospect, it’s blatantly obvious, but as a scientist you are simply drinking the Kool-Aid: “This is how you do science.” . . .

16luskinSci-Fact or Sci-Fi?
What We Won’t Learn from Hyped-Up Science News Headlines
by Casey Luskin

. . . So why are such paltry and uncertain claims being hyped in the first place? Materialists are apparently desperate for such “good news” stories because they need them in order to convince their patrons, the public, to continue funding their work. The media willingly cooperates, printing stories that sound plausible but that are ultimately science fiction. The fact that materialist cultural elites are willing to hype such modest—and dubious—claims tells you everything you need to know about the state of the evidence. If they had something better, we’d surely know about it. . . .

Salvo26-supplement

For years Salvo has been publishing thoughtful articles on science & faith, and you can be sure that we will continue to do so. Subscribe today at a discounted rate and receive Salvo in your mailbox, only $19.99 PLUS the special Science & Faith issue.

A Nasty Guy with No Heart?

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In the news: Donald Trump has lashed out at Dr. Russell Moore on Twitter recently. You can read the why about it here, but let us just assure you that Mr. Trump is way off base. We’ve interviewed Dr. Moore in Salvo, where he discusses religious liberty, the gay issue, raising children, and what the church should be focusing on.

Salvo: It seems that Christians are in a difficult period in history, considering that there was a time when American culture more closely reflected Christian values. Given that, are you optimistic about the world your children and future grandchildren will grow up in?

Dr. Moore: I’m very optimistic because I don’t think the Church’s survival is dependent upon the culture. I think the cultural shifts happening around us right now may be very bad for America but very good for the Church. We have had in certain regions of this country an American civil religion with an “almost-gospel” that I think is now falling away. And what is left is the Church. And I think that’s a very good thing. What we need is an authentic Christianity with an explicit gospel witness, not the sort of nominal affiliation in which people become identified with Christianity because that’s the American thing to do. I think that God quite routinely in history shakes his Church out of complacency and out of cultural captivity, and I think that’s what’s happening now.

The whole article can be found here: Don’t Miss Mayberry: An Interview with Russell D. Moore by Marcia Segelstein

Dr. Moore is also the president of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, which we are proud to list as a Salvo partner organization.

Fake Ad Blues

I’ve been wondering why it seems more difficult these days to come up with ideas for the Salvo fake ads.* Then I saw this and realized the problem.

GhassanHageRIt turns out that the world is just getting harder to parody. Sigh….

*But fear not, we’ll have some more good ones in the next issue. Subscribe to Salvo to see.

This is the Captain Speaking

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Here is a great reflection on the latest Captain America movie: The Captain of Conscience by Jordan Ballor for The Acton Institute. His take-away from the movie? “Moral self-government is the surest path to oppose tyranny.” Excellent.

I did enjoy the movie–more so after reading Mr. Ballor’s thoughts on it, and even more so after seeing this review at Salon: Captain America’s a douchey libertarian now: Why did Marvel have to ruin Steve Rogers?

Further reading from Salvo:

The Materialist Magician
Materialism, magic, and the Global Consciousness Project
by Jordan J. Ballor

State Purposes
Utopian Creep & the Struggle for Human Rights & Freedom

Truth vs. State
It Takes Courage to Confront False Ideologies

Controlling Factors
Here Are Two Surefire Paths for Losing Your Freedoms
by Arthur W. Hunt III

The “REAL Sex Week”

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Here’s an inspiring story about what girl power and liberation should really look like. From lifesitenews.com: Pro-life college student had enough with ‘sex week.’ So she organized her own.

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, May 10, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Disgusted by the growing trend on university campuses of holding an annual “Sex Week” one student at the University of New Mexico decided to respond proactively this year.

UNM Students For Life president Sade Patterson was outraged after two years of watching UNM’s “SexUality Week” glorify self-destructive promiscuity and other perversions.

“The pattern of objectification and a lack of responsibility became evident,” Patterson wrote in The College Fix.  “It was clear organizers had an agenda: teach my peers that anything goes, and there are no consequences.”

She wasn’t the only one outraged. There were many, decent students upset by it. The difference with Patterson is, she took matters into her own hands. This March, she ran “The REAL Sex Week,” with positivity and honesty about sex from a moral perspective. continue reading. . .

You will NOT be surprised to hear how some of the regular Sex Week participants responded.

Sade’s “The Real Sex Week” was denounced by feminists, who tore down promotional posters, bullied students into not attending, set up competing pro-abortion sessions, called the event “homophobic” and demanded that the university president shut down the event.  They set up a table dressed as genitalia, and handed out condoms. . . .

Their antics reminded of an article I recently posted by Terrell Clemmons about how “. . . the Modern Liberal will at every turn side with the evil over the good, the wrong over the right, the lesser over the better, the ugly over the beautiful, the vulgar over the refined, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success.”

Well, Salvo salutes this young woman for taking a stand!

Further reading from the pages of Salvo:

Guide for the Misguided
A Clarifying Journey of Intervention, Detox & Recovery
by Terrell Clemmons

Germs of Promiscuity
Sexually Transmitted Infections
by Marcia Segelstein

Wise Man on Campus
An Interview with J. Budziszewski
by Marcia Segelstein

Femi-Nihilism
The Feminist Mistake
by Terrell Clemmons