Thursday, September 27, 2012

Peter Sprigg is further proof of the Family Research Council's 'hate group' status

Peter Sprigg
Poor Family Research Council. They just can't lay off the Southern Poverty Law Center.

FRC is still sore over being designated as a hate group by SPLC.

Personally, I like it when FRC or one the organization's phony experts attack SPLC because it gives me the opportunity to demonstrate yet again their hypocrisy.

Today, FRC spokesman Peter Sprigg attempts to get semantic about what exactly constitutes a "hate group." He published a summary of the SPLC, making sure to note how much money the organization receives and and relying on old articles or straw man arguments to attack the group.

Like this for example:

What does the SPLC consider a "hate group?"
  • Logically, a "hate group" should be defined as one whose members 1) actually say that they hate a particular group of people; and/or 2) engage in or condone violence or other illegal activity toward such a group.
  • The SPLC, however, uses much broader criteria for defining "hate groups," and criteria which can vary depending on which of fourteen categories of "hate groups" you are looking at-ranging from "Neo-Nazi" to "Black Separatist" to "Radical Traditional Catholicism." These criteria are entirely subjective and largely ideological.
  • While their rhetoric ties "hate groups" with actual "hate crimes," the SPLC acknowledges alleged "hate group" activities include constitutionally protected activities such as "marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing," and that the "hate group" designation "does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity." However, they do not distinguish between racist or violent groups and legitimate organizations that participate peacefully in the political process-tarring all with the same label.
  • As genuine "hate groups" such as the Ku Klux Klan have dwindled, the SPLC has broadened its target list in order to justify its continued existence. In recent years, whole categories and new groups have been added not because of actual "hate" activities, but because they hold conservative positions on controversial political issues such as immigration and homosexuality.

Basically, Sprigg's gist is that SPLC is simply "creating" new hate groups because the organization is in need of money. If you look at Sprigg's piece, you will notice that he doesn't even address the reasons why SPLC considers FRC a hate group except for this one line - In recent years, whole categories and new groups have been added not because of actual "hate" activities, but because they hold conservative positions on controversial political issues such as immigration  and homosexuality.

I continue to be amazed by the absolute dishonesty of Sprigg and FRC. The following is what SPLC head Richard Cohen recently said:

Contrary to what the FRC has repeatedly claimed, we do not list the FRC as a hate group because of its opposition to gay marriage or because of its religious beliefs. Instead, we list the FRC because it engages in baseless, incendiary name-calling and spreads demonizing lies about the LGBT community. The FRC portrays gay people as sick, evil, perverted, incestuous and a danger to the nation. It insists that gay people are “fundamentally incapable” of providing good homes for children – a myth that has been rejected by all relevant scientific authorities.

Sprigg seems to be implying that since FRC is not advocating for violence against gays, then the organization is not a hate group. However, Cohen makes an excellent point.  The organization creates an image of gays as dangerous, diseased individuals who are out to "corrupt" children or destroy America.  And the organization does this via bad science, distorted science, and out-and-out lies.

And ironically, the proof of this is none other than Sprigg himself.

'Religious right spokesman caught telling a HUGE lie about Romney rally' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Exclusive: Conservs (like Matt Barber) trying to pass off Obama '08 rally as a Romney '12 event - Looks like Matt Barber has been caught RED-HANDED lying about the size of Romney's rally. (so much about the Biblical verses regarding truth). Good job, Goodasyou

 An Obama rally from 2008 (photo courtesy of Wonkette/Getty Photos)


And what how religious right spokesman Matt Barber distorted this photo today:


Minnesota Vikings’ Chris Kluwe Attacked As Pedophile For Supporting LGBT Equality - Hot mess number one:


Fischer: Thanks to DADT Repeal, We Can 'Expect to See More Instances of Pedophilia' in the Military - Hot mess number two. Actually that's not true. I keep telling folks not to get so angry at Bryan Fischer that we don't recognize what good he does our side. He is so outrageously homophobic that he undercuts the "sweet and light" message of bigotry propagated by folks like Maggie Gallagher. In other words, put this fool on center stage with a HUGE spotlight: 

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Gay community MUST do more to promote our families

In our pursuit of equality, the gay community must do more for same-sex families. This point was driven home to me by an excellent piece by GLAAD.

The subject of the piece was that while T.V. shows featuring same-sex families like Modern Family are raking in awards and accolades, actual same-sex families face a barrage of negativity from the religious right.

A vivid portion of the piece was when Jeremy Hooper, the post's author, detailed various comments made about same-sex families:

Here are just a sampling of things that prominent GLAAD CAP figures from groups like the National Organization For Marriage and the American Family Association have recently said about parents like Mitchell and Cameron:
Compared children losing their parents on 9/11 to children with gay parents: "Our President gave a speech a few days ago in which he said, ‘the tragedy of 9/11 was that it robbed so many children of having a mommy or a daddy.' Well, you know something Mr. President, your failure to defend marriage and to redefine marriage means that everybody who is under that redefined marriage will lack either a mommy or a daddy and that is morally wrong.”
Jim Garlow [CAP]
- Claims that children with gay parents will end up “behind bars for committing violent crimes.” (0:00 - 0:56)
Mat Staver [CAP]
- Says gay couples who adopt “turn children into little teacup dogs -- it's an accessory to put in my purse" (see video from 4:35-5:16)
Chris Plante [CAP]
- Leant credence to a widely discredted study suggesting gay parents are not ideal: "What we should avoid at all costs is silencing such research and such discussion because it is seen by some as politically incorrect. Where optimizing the well-being of children is involved, no stone should be left unturned." 
- Claimed lesbian parents need to be studied to see if they "turned" their child transgender: "We have two women raising a child. He's adopted. And he's come to believe that he too is female. That argues for a complete psychological evaluation, not just of the boy, but of his parents as well to see whether psychological forces are at play here to make him say such things" 
Keith Albow [CAP]
- Said two loving gay parents add no value to parenting: "But the fatherhood ‘effect’ is not cumulative - two daddies are not better than one
Jim Daly [CAP]
- Referring to President Obama’s Father’s Day recognition of gay parents: “[H]ere we have the leader of our nation and the Democrat [sic] Party celebrating sexual behavior which is contrary to nature and pushing a household structure that we know is harmful to children ... [O]ur President is so committed to normalizing homosexual conduct that he is putting the twisted sexual desires of adults ahead of the needs of children.”
Tim Wildmon [CAP]
- “That lifestyle [homosexuality] is outside of God’s design for the family.” (0:23-0:28)
Bob Vander Plaats [CAP]
- On multiple occasions, called for an “Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households
- Claims "allowing gay adoption is a form of sexual abuse
Bryan Fischer [CAP]
- Warned: “We’re not going to allow gay people to adopt children, that’s against nature, it’s against nature’s God.” (1:24-1:28)
Bill Donohue [CAP]

 So what do we do to combat this mess? Simple. By not putting up with it. By loudly and without apology declaring offense when comments like the above are made, even if those making them play the "deeply held religious belief" card.

And even before comments like the above are made, the gay community must not allow folks like Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, and others to own the idea of "family."  We all know that when these individuals talk about family love and support, they are talking about only the heterosexual (and usually married man and wife) model.

Reality tells us that families come in all numbers and are brought together due to a multitude of circumstances. Families are not determined by the number of designated models in it, but by the love and support it gives out.

Our families are as loving and supportive as any other family unit and it's time that we let people know it.

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