August 16, 2012

Hate Is A Two-Way Street


Ah yes...the deafening silence from the anti-hate organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in the wake of the hate-filled shooting at the offices of a Christian lobbyist organization named the Family Research Council.

You could hear a pin drop at the SPLC.

It is interesting that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has posted nothing about the most recent attempted shooting at the Family Research Council (FRC) building in Washington D.C. early yesterday. It is also interesting that the SPLC and pro-abortion and gay rights groups consider groups like the FRC (shot up two days ago) as a hate group because it opposes abortion, gay marriage and also pornography and divorce. All these opinions are legal and biblical to have and the sins they oppose are right to oppose on moral grounds. Just because a small morally ambiguous group or their ilk do not like them does not make them illegal. 

I suspect SPLC is now in a conundrum of defining what "hate" truly is and when or if they say it is. If they do not come out and condemn this act as terroristic and driven by anger or even hate they have themselves created a double-standard of what hate is, what tolerance is and what is generally morally acceptable and what is not. They are then effectively redefining or deconstructing the meaning of the word hate (not to mention the words tolerance and justice). The unstated but implied intent from this unbiblical organization right now screams duplicity. Within a 24 hour period the SPLC was quick to point out the “alleged” shooter at the Sikh Temple was a hate crime by a skinhead but two days after the FRC event, still nothing on the shooting at the FRC offices...absolutely nothing. All of a sudden the definitive anti-hate organization in the United States has no opinion and remains mute.

In most recent act of hateful violence, Floyd Lee Corkins II posed deceitfully as an intern and eventually shot a security guard in the arm at the FRC office around 10:45 on August 15th. The security guard subdued the shooter. The gunman was observed carrying a gun, ammo and sandwiches from Chick-fil-A and was quoted as screaming to the security guard one of the following depending on your sources: “It was not about you, it was what this place stands for" or " "I don't like your politics". He has now admittedly been tied to LGBT organizations as even a precursory perusal of the internet news sites will verify.

So here we have an act of violence driven by an ideology. The FRC is a Christian organization that stands for Biblical ideals and therefore Biblical morality at least to outward observation. The shooter is therefore stating indirectly that he is shooting and committing an act of overt violence because it was because the FRC stood for Biblical morality which is "what they stand for" or their "politics".

...and this is the very reason I believe we will see and hear little from the SPLC. Its because their ideals and ideologies fall along the same lines as the shooter's. Although the SPLC does not explicitly call the FRC a hate group, they categorize it as such as they have included it on a list of potential candidates for Hate Group classification. It is through the power of suggestion being the first step in propaganda that the FRC will eventually be considered just that: A Hate Group. For what? Having Biblical values and the Scriptures as a basis for their existence and motives.      

So this presents a problem for the SPLC. They either view this shooting (attempted shooting) as motivated by similar malicious hateful motives as they did as the shooter in Aurora and the Sikh Temple or they have "categorically" denied this being a hate crime which it clearly was motivate by. The duplicitous double-standard of the SPLC is then on full display along with blatant hypocrisy.

In this situation, for something to have been hypocritical, the person of group that is hypocritical has to have complained about something being wrong or as being an infraction to another but then condone the exact same behavior committed by someone with their same ideology or they themselves doing it. Compound this with the added insult of not finding said behavior wrong when done by those within their own ideology makes a potent hypocritical witch's brew. Hypocrites by their very nature: Usually engage in the same behaviors they condemn others for, professes certain ideals, but fails to live up to them, or hold other people to higher standards than he holds themselves. It is the practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess.

It is a condition of a person or group pretending to be something they are not, especially in the area of morality. Therefore they present a false or prejudiced presentation of belief or feeling.

Enter SPLC and those with similar ideologies.

What is truly ironic is that accusation of prejudiced or intolerant beliefs is the very same gauge by which they have categorized the FRC. The SPLC's very statement on their web sites about the FRC hateful ideology is that they are "anti-gay". This is a horribly disingenuous statement and an incorrect reframing of the argument to make the homosexuals themselves look like the enemy to Christian eyes (or as they are referred to in error in the SPLC website: The Religious Right). The FRC is not anti-gay, they are pro-Biblical and therefore adhere to Scriptural or Biblical mandates or Biblical morality. Therefore they hate sin, not the sinner. It is no different than hating the drugs and their misuse (also a sin), not the addict.

Another disingenuous statement from the SPLC is: "...the Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as “the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,” but its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians."

Can someone please tell me what the correlation is between these two statements and where is the backing citations for the accusations that FRC defames gays as there are none included in this false caricature and misrepresentation of the FRC? Why are apples being compared to oranges? Families and supposed defamation are two distinct and separate issues. A  Red Herring fallacy not to mention a faulty generalization that these to groups are completely incompatible from a Scriptural standpoint. There are also many other fallacies put forth on SPLC's Family Research Council page that include Appeal to Fear, Appeal to Pity, Arguments from Silence, Straw man, etc. I will quote and match up these fallacies if pressed to do so but for the sake of time I did not mention them here. Leave a comment and I will gather them up.

What a reader ends up sadly and ironically realizing having read much of the misrepresenting rhetoric on the Southern Poverty Law Center's page about the FRC is that it is heavily biased and, well, hateful (or at least rancorous). These facts in themselves make the site high hypocritical. Compound these obvious facts with the additional damning and noticeable absence of any mention of hate perpetrated by their own "protect groups" like the most recent shooting at the FRC...and it makes their "hate" rhetoric absurdly laughable and one-sided.

Conversely, what I will say is that many within the media have properly reported this as a hate crime or terrorist act (although at times with a definitive bias). Perhaps this is so because it also flows along the lines of other ideologies that the media also propagates such as gun control? Regardless, even the bias media outlets realize that few arguments are won through militant and or violent means. As such there have been a coalition of 25 gay rights groups that have released a statement through GLAAD condemning the shooting and are smartly backing away from any direct association with this nutty individual and labeling him as the terrorist and violent person that he is. They have classified him as a rogue agent and are sacrificing one for the good of the whole. There is no deontological ethics here, only teleological. The ends justifies the means. Throw him to wolves so he does not derail all the positive aspects of the parent group and prime directive of getting unbiblical behaviors normalized in society. Did all of them LGBT groups do this? No. If I said that, I would be making sweeping generalizations like the SBLC. What is for certain though is that a majority of them did. They tossed one of their own under the bus. 

On the other hand, I have not seen a similar distancing from the issue by the SPLC and don't expect that I will. I suspect that it is because by taking a stand against anyone from their "protected groups", they will undermine some of the very tenants and beliefs that they have struggled so hard to redefine and deconstruct over the last 40 years.

Hate is a two-way street. Hate can most certainly be reciprocal. To think it can only go one way defies logic or is at least incredibly naive. The difference between naive and hypocritical is intent and thought processes (or lack of them). I am nearly certain that because the SPLC has now painted themselves into a rhetorical corner they will not be decrying the anger, bitterness and intolerance that enabled the violent and hateful action towards the FRC. Nor will they broad stroke the entire LGBT community because of one loose cannon (and rightfully so). Conversely, the SPLC are all too quick to make sweeping generalization about vocal Christians that stand by a biblical worldview labeling them the "Christian Right" thereby linking them synonymously into the "Radical Right" politically. If someone reads the SPLC website closely enough they will see the menacing and misleading nature of the organization. This is especially true when they make sweeping generalizations about Christians in combination the "Right" or "Religious Right" in general. In their "Anti-gay" category they then try to make tenuous connections between the Christian Right/Religious Right which is a mischaracterization as I am not Right or Left and then stretch this even further and group or associate the wingnut Fred Phelps from the Westboro Baptist Maniacs in the same group (guilt by association) through clever manipulation and placement of pictures of Fred adjacent to the article. 

The SPLC makes little effort in differentiating the above categorizations leaving it open for broad and loose interpretation. They have openly mischaracterized an otherwise decent Christian lobbying organization that good Christians donate to by stating that they their "intentions" are to, and I quote: "denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy"I seriously doubt that is so based on some of the people that have been involved with FRC and Focus on the Family including Dr. James Dobson himself who is as close to a decent Christian as this generation is bound to see (Focus on the Family is also considered a "Religious Right" organization by the  SPLC also which they have likened to other unsavory groups elsewhere in their site). The FRC and FotF's intention is to preserve Biblical behavior in society not propagate an unbiblical one. They are trying to show the LGBT lifestyle for what it is...sin. They are not purposely maligning the sinner but trying to establish what is Biblical behavior for society and lobbying for it before immorality steamrolls all of us.

The SPLC make no attempts at differentiation between regular Christians and the likes of Fred Phelps and radicals of other faiths as they are all grouped together on one website. This thereby allows for casual readers readers of the site to accidentally make the leap that, "If one's guilty, they're all guilty" or a  fallacy of composition and fallacy of affirming the consequent. At their base they are also making  logical inference based on fake arguments or fabricated scenarios that do not exist in reality. Straw man arguments. This ironically is the very same thing liberal-minded media doesn't want others doing with this most recent shooting at the FRC...making sweeping generalizations and false misrepresentations. For an organization mostly manned by lawyers, this is pretty sloppy rhetorical language and poor or inconstant logic.

Nor is the sin ever differentiated from the sinner on the SPLC's website when it comes to homosexuality. If you speak out against the sin you are immediately labeled a hater of the person. Any true Christian knows this is not true. It is a shame that there is such unmistakable and obvious double-standard when it comes to biblical morality which is the underlying and mitigating factor in all this. The perpetrators own words condemn him in this situation as it came directly out of his mouth, “it was not about you, it was what this place stands for" or " "I don't like your politics". The very same politics or ideologies the shooter hated...the SPLC hates too. The only difference between the shooter and the SPLC and similar groups is the methodology to silence their opposition. One tried to do it with a bullet, the other does it through strategic rhetoric and the legal system. Both can destroy lives when the mediums or vehicles that they use are misappropriated and misused.

Addendum

I have revisited the SPLC web site as of August 18th, days after the event and I do indeed see a post concerning the shooting at the FRC. As I suspected, in a token manner they only generically state that the shooting is a tragedy and in a casually generalized manner denounced "all violence" before launching into the real intent of their article. Their intent was to malign the comments made by the FRC after the shooting which specifically blame the half-truths and mischaracterizations by the SPLC as the mitigating factor for the shooting. The very type of thing I tried to initially explain when I originally most this article...that hate is indeed a two-way street and can spur individuals to violence. The SPLC has again attempted to re-frame the argument and make this an "anti-gay" issue. The response from the SPLC wasn't so much a denunciation of the violence as it was another purposeful mischaracterization of the FRC as being haters of homosexuals themselves which is patently not true (while simultaneously loosely grouping all Christian groups together on their web site as the "religious right". This in liht of the fact that the FRC has repeatedly stated that they do not support the hate crime tactic because it is pro-homosexual but rather on the grounds that the FRC opposes all hate crime laws on principle, calling them "Thought Crime laws," and has singled out the sexual orientation portion of hate crime laws as particularly objectionable from a biblical point of view.

The SPLC is still doing what it does best with its entourage of unbiblcial lawyers. They purposely twist words, decontextualize statements, dilute ideas and misuse tragedies to benefit their views.  Sadly, this is exactly what the SPLC is accusing the FRC of doing as is clear in their most recent post about this incident:

"Perkins and his allies, seeing an opportunity to score points, are using the attack on their offices to pose a false equivalency between the SPLC’s criticisms of the FRC and the FRC’s criticisms of LGBT people. The FRC routinely pushes out demonizing claims that gay people are child molesters and worse — claims that are provably false. It should stop the demonization and affirm the dignity of all people.

Right within SPLC's own closing statement they are attempting to fraudulently reframe the argument to be about the supposed wrong-doing of the FRC as being anit-gay. They then use incendiary comments like "demonize" to solicit emotional reaction. In terms of rhetoric fallacies they are Appealing to Pity and Appealing to Fear, Appealing to Ignorance, among others. The SPLC also states that the FRC's claims are "provably false". They have decontextualized and taken quotes from an Executive Summary written by Peter Sprigg of the FRC that links homosexuality to other sinful behavior such as pedaphila. In removing it from its context is paints Sprigg in a negative light. What the SPLC completely fails to tell its readership is that the data Sprigg uses...comes directly from the Pentagon therefore from a reliable source. Ironically, the SPLC cites none of their sources unlike Sprigg and the FRC who do so and if they did it is not readily available. Shoddy and unschooled work from supposedly educated lawyers. Sadly, the SPLC having little to defend their position on revert to ad hominim attacks on the members of the FRC itself and when they dredge the waters all they find is men defending biblical views through protest such as anti-abortion outside abortion clinics and the like. They also try to draw false connections between members of the FRC and other unsavory groups such as White Supremacists, just as they do elsewhere in their site.

To conclude this addendum,  this shooter of the FRC is a terrorist even in the eyes of the US government who defines terrorism as:

"... as a dangerous action that is intended to intimidate or coerce a "civilian population," influence government policy by intimidation or affect a government's actions by "mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping." Terrorism can be the work of one isolated individual, or a larger network of criminals.

"Anti-Gay | Southern Poverty Law Center." Southern Poverty Law Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Aug. 2012. <http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/ideology/anti-gay>.

Tucker, Eric. "News from The Associated Press." News from The Associated Press. N.p., 16 Aug. 2012. Web. 16 Aug. 2012. 

"Family Research Council | Southern Poverty Law Center." Southern Poverty Law Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Aug. 2012. <http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/family-research-council>.  

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