Dear Marriage Supporter,
It could have been me or my staff. That crossed my mind when I learned the deeply disturbing breaking news:
The Family Research Council shooter told the FBI he used the Southern Poverty Law Center's "hate group" designation on their website to ID and target his victims for a would-be mass murder rampage.
According to the Associated Press, the shooter "also planned to target other organizations that oppose gay marriage if he wasn't stopped. [...] In his pants pocket, police found a handwritten list of groups that also oppose gay marriage."
The brave security guard, Leo Johnson, a real hero, jumped the gunman after being shot, and saved the lives of countless decent, loving law-abiding Americans... but to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Leo's a hater in a hate group.
The SPLC, once a respected civil rights organization that targeted racist skinhead hate groups bent on dehumanizing their fellow Americans, has decided that it can use the same tactics against mainstream Christian conservative organizations.
So far, according to the Associated Press, the SPLC has refused to comment on what it now knows about the damage its hate list caused.
An innocent man was shot because a killer openly and admittedly used the SPLC's list to pick out and target his victims — and SPLC has no comment?
No comment on the chilling revelation that this disturbed man, inspired by the SPLC's hate group list, walked into FRC with 50 rounds of ammo and Chick-fil-A sandwiches that he intended to smear on the mouth of each of his victims!
SPLC and the Media Must be Held Accountable
Now, you know that NOM has not (yet) been designated a "hate group" by the SPLC, despite vast reporting to the contrary. But let me tell you that today that doesn't matter: today, we are standing with Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council demanding justice from the media and accountability from the Southern Poverty Law Center for their reckless disregard of truth and decency.
I know the SPLC will say it does not support using its hate group list for political assassination. But that's not good enough. The reason this disturbed shooter could use this list in this way is that the groups SPLC is targeting are not quasi-violent extremists wandering around in the woods with guns — but mainstream Americans with known offices in convenient locations, working democratically to support their views.
Let me make something clear here: I do not blame gay people for this shooting. Most homosexual people are law-abiding fellow citizens, equally appalled by violence.
I do blame the Southern Poverty Law Center for taking organizations of other decent, law-abiding fellow-citizens, and lumping them in with neo-Nazis, labeling them "hate groups," as part of a deliberate strategy to marginalize, stigmatize, and repress the speech and democratic rights of conservative Christians.
And I blame the media — for refusing to admit that SPLC's reckless rhetoric damages the moral credibility of the SPLC, and for continuing to take the organization's "hate group" designation seriously. Where there should be editorials denouncing this illegitimate tactic, instead we get articles that blindly repeat the "hate group" mantra.
That's why, yesterday, I called on the media to act responsibly:
For far too long, media outlets and reporters have allowed activist groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center to label opponents of same-sex ‘marriage' as ‘hate groups' and regularly describe organizations that hold traditional Judeo-Christian views of sexual morality as ‘anti-gay.' But words have consequences, and we know that allowing such inflammatory terms to be used in media reports describing those who object to redefining marriage can lead to harassment and even violence against members of those organizations.
We know of people who have had their jobs threatened or their families reviled by anonymous bloggers simply for posting words in opposition to gay marriage. The attempt to turn good people who support marriage as the union of husband and wife into pariahs, the target of hatred and harassment must end today!
We will not stop standing up for marriage, or working tirelessly to protect your rights to participate freely in our democratic process. An America where people have to be afraid to say what Genesis teaches — that marriage is the union of a man and woman ordained by God and oriented towards the next generation¬ — is not recognizably the America we cherish and love.
We will not give up until we see justice done: not just in the court of law, but in the court of public opinion.
Tony Perkins deserves great credit for standing bravely against this onslaught. I will stand with him, for God's truth, against all the lies and the hatred and the intimidation that they can send our way.
You Spoke, and the Boy Scouts of America Heard You!
Another piece of breaking news: The Board of the Boy Scouts of America has decided to delay its decision on whether to admit openly homosexual scoutmasters and scouts until May. Thanks to each of you who responded to our call to let the Board know that you do not want them to let money interests trump values.
The Human Rights Campaign's corporate network is now being deployed not to help gay people in the workplace, but to insist that this Judeo-Christian-based youth organization embrace homosexuality or else face financial punishment.
That's the world we live in: the world we must not take into our hearts, or respond to with hatred, but in which we must bravely, nobly, fiercely, and intelligently fight for what is right and true and good.
We may not win every battle, but we know Who wins in the end, don't we?
NOM's Peters on Crosstalk: Marriage is a "Life Saving Message" for the Next Generation
Let me end by giving you a glimpse of a next generation leader you ought to know and love: NOM's own Thomas Peters.
Here he is, the voice a new next generation of leaders who will not be silenced or intimidated, whose voice must and will be heard:
I'm so grateful to you for making NOM's work possible.
Stay strong, pray for Tony and all the staff at FRC — and pray that the hard hearts at SPLC and in the media will be melted.
This message has been authorized and paid for by the National Organization for Marriage, 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006, Brian Brown, President. This message has not been authorized or approved by any candidate.