In case you missed it last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center (the foremost tracker of hate groups in the country) designated the Family Research Council a hate group, on account of FRC’s rhetoric about the LGBT community. It took FRC several days to respond, but the statement they finally issued was rich with chutzpah. These passages in particular jumped out at me:
Family Research Council has, for nearly 30 years, advanced faith, family, and freedom in public discourse. We do so with civility and compassion.
It’s a sad day in America when we can not, with integrity, have a legitimate discussion over policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts without resorting to juvenile tactics of name calling.
Really? This from a group that has:
- called FPL’s effort to pass health care reform an “anti-faith, anti-family, anti-freedom agenda,”
- blamed “the homosexual movement” and LGBT youth themselves for the despair that leads them to commit suicide,
- routinely referred to same-sex marriage as “counterfeit marriage,”
- referred to Democratic congressional leaders as “thugs and criminals,”
- used the dehumanizing term “illegal aliens” to describe young people who could earn US citizenship if the DREAM Act passes,
- dubiously alleged that repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will lead to an increase in sexual assault in the military,
- accused Congressman Bart Stupak of having “turned away from his beliefs” because they disagreed with his interpretation of President Obama’s executive order about abortion funding restrictions in health care reform,
- falsely claimed that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contained billions of dollars in funding for ACORN,
- argued against increasing funding for the PEPFAR AIDS relief program by pointing out that the money in question could buy a month’s worth of free gasoline for every American. (FRC had previously voiced strong support for PEPFAR.)
And this is by no means an exhaustive list of FRC’s incivility, lack of compassion, dishonesty and failure to engage in legitimate discussion of policy issues.
From a public relations perspective, FRC had to say something in response to the Southern Poverty Law Center. I suppose it’s unreasonable to expect them to recant their harmful rhetoric, but they at least could have refrained from invoking principles they flout on a regular basis. [FRC's full statement is available here.]
Kyle at Right Wing Watch has a roundup of reactions from other organizations added to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate group list.