Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Family Research Council already weaponizing Jeff Sessions' 'religious liberty' task force to target SPLC

If you want to know why so many folks are alarmed with Jeff Sessions' so-called religious liberty task force, this tweet sent out today by the Family Research Council should clue you in. Folks on the right are already attempting to weaponize the task force to attack the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The article in question, which contained the following quote from FRC official Jerry Boykin, is nothing but drivel. It is yet another attack on SPLC for accurately designating organizations like the Family Research Council as anti-LGBT hate groups.  What makes this particular situation very problematic is how the article implies that the full weight of the United States Justice Department would fall on SPLC's head under the guise of "protecting religious liberty."

And the drama isn't even about religious liberty or religious beliefs.

SPLC has made that very clear :

Anti-LGBT groups on the SPLC hate list often link homosexuality to pedophilia, claim that same-sex marriage and LGBT people, in general, are dangers to children, that homosexuality itself is dangerous, support the criminalization of homosexuality and transgender identity, and that there is a conspiracy called the “homosexual agenda” at work that seeks to destroy Christianity and the whole of society. 
Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical or simply opposing same-sex marriage does not qualify an organization to be listed as an anti-LGBT hate group. 
Anti-LGBT groups primarily consist of Christian Right groups but also include organizations like National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) that purport to be scientific. Anti-LGBT groups in America have employed a variety of strategies in their efforts to oppose LGBT rights, including defamation. Many leaders and spokespeople of anti-LGBT groups have engaged in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBT people as "perverts" with "filthy habits" who seek to "convert" or “recruit” the children of straight parents into a “homosexual lifestyle.” 
Others link homosexuality to pedophilia and claim that LGBT people are threats to home and society. Others disseminate disparaging "facts" about LGBT people that are simply untrue — an approach no different to how white supremacists and nativist extremists propagate lies about black people and immigrants to make these communities seem like a danger to society. 
More recently, hardline anti-LGBT groups have promoted “religious freedom” and “religious liberty” legislation and legal challenges to justify anti-gay discrimination.

Bear in mind that FRC is guilty of the charges lodged by SPLC, but continues to falsely claim that it is being "persecuted" due to its religious beliefs about homosexuality and marriage equality. Implying even slightly that the Justice Department could get involve to investigate SPLC should bother us all.

It would mean that religious right and conservative evangelical groups are not only weaponizing their religious beliefs to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination, but also to threaten organizations which call them out on it.

1 comment:

Frank said...

I surely support your views and I am a regular reader of your columns. The Huffington Post tweet column referred to yesterday was perhaps indicative of the number of rational minds still actively refuting the lies of this repressive administration. It gives me hope that the whole religious liberty thing is being recognized for the sham that it is.

Let me add a personal reaction to the word "weaponizing" - It makes me cringe. It is one of those newly coined or newly discovered words that has become popular in divisive political discourse. Maybe it's just me, but it sounds simultaneously both accusatory and impotent.