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. . . .