Southern Poverty Law Center calls conservative Christian groups ‘hate groups’

Everybody knows the Southern Poverty Law Center as a venerable promoter and defender of civil rights, taking on the bad guys like white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

But the SPLC has expanded its definition of hate groups to include mainstream Christian groups that the center has deemed “anti-gay.”

In a press release, the center explains: “Generally, the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.”

Groups deemed “hate groups” include the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council, conservative evangelical groups that take an aggressive stance against not only calls for gay marriage but the increasingly mainstream acceptance of gays and lesbians.

I found out about the SPLC’s stance when I got a press release from Coral Ridge Ministries, another evangelical group that didn’t make the hate list but has been labeled anti-gay by the center. Coral Ridge says, in part: “The SPLC released a report  that misrepresents Christian groups’ positions, ignores inconvenient science and repeats claims based on junk science and adopted by professional guilds that long ago, bullied by homosexual activists, abandoned any pretense of objectivity.”

The Family Research Council responded with this: “The Southern Poverty Law Center is a massively funded liberal organization that operates under a veneer of public justice when, in fact, they seem more interested in fundraising ploys than fighting wrongdoing.”

The Council also published ads in two Washington newspapers attacking the SPLC and the ad was signed by about two dozen members of Congress.

Now the SPLC is on the defensive. It came out with an even stronger statement against the Christian groups and the newspapers ads, which ended with this: “At the end of the day, it’s hard to know if the politicians and other leaders who signed today’s anti-SPLC statement really know some of things the groups they are throwing in with support. What’s a fact is that, despite their claims, the groups have so far, without exception, failed to confront the facts of SPLC’s report.”

And the Culture Wars grow…

Jim Russell wants to talk about jobs, not Jews

Have you been following this story about Jim Russell, who is running for Nita Lowey’s seat in Congress?

He’s well known as an anti-immigration advocate from Hawthorne. Now he wants to talk about the economy as he aims for Washington.

But the Republican Party has pulled its support for him — although he still may appear on the ballot — because of an “essay” he wrote in 2001.

The essay will be described in many ways. Controversial. Racist. Anti-Semitic.

I read the whole thing — all 16 pages — twice. To me, it was like reading early Nazi propaganda.

I don’t normally throw around that particular N word. I hate it when politicians and commentators casually describe opponents as Nazis or Communists. I think those labels should be saved for the real deal.

But the N word is what comes to mind when I read Russell’s “The Western Contribution to World History.”

His whole point is that European contributions to Western civilization are being destroyed because Europeans are getting too close to non-Europeans.

Everything started going wrong, he writes, when Alexander the Great conquered Persia and married a Persian princess. He became “the first apostle of multiculturalism and demonstrated the ethnocultural dangers of empire-building.”

He later laments that people in “so-called underdeveloped nations” are living longer because of Western medicine and that Western advances in transportation have reduced the West’s isolation. “As a result,” he writes, “we must develop a heightened awareness of alternate social isolating mechanisms, such as physical appearance, if we wish to enhance our prospects for survival.”

So get to work, Dr. Mengele.

Russell also embraces eugenics (“improving” the human gene pool), promotes psuedo-scholars with far-right and Nazi backgrounds, and offers that “Welfare does away with natural selection.”

And, boy, he doesn’t like the Jews.

He writes: “From Samuel Morse, Nikola Tesla and Guglielmo Marconi to Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Philo Farnsworth came great inventions with the potential to enlighten and fortify our People. Yet this potential was never realized. Instead these inventions were hijacked by Mayer, Thalberg, Warner, and Cohn et al who sought to utilize our media for their financial gain, or worse, to manipulate our opinions and behavior.”

Sounds like a page from Mein Kampf.

Russell later praises Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot for for seeking to “preserve our culture.”

He drops in Eliot’s conditions for an “optimal society,” including “The population should be homogeneous” and “…reasons of race and culture combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable.”

And there’s this: “There is now afoot a conscious effort to de-Europeanize and to re-Judaize Christianity, through scriptural revision, internal treachery and external pressure.”

During a press conference yesterday and an appearance today on Phil Reisman’s radio show, Russell simply refused to address the points he made in his article. He clumsily changed the subject or said that certain points were being overemphasized or taken out of context.

He said he likes the way minorities dress well at church.

But he’s still running for Congress.

He wants to talk about jobs.