Sessions Forms Entire New Arm of DOJ, Targets Anti-Conservative Bigots at SPLC
This is something the hucksters at the Southern Poverty Law Center are really going to “hate.”
The Alabama-based group is best known for branding conservative, Christian organizations as “hate groups,” simply for working toward goals that are exactly the opposite of the liberal left. And in doing so has collected obscene amounts of money from gullible (or cynical) liberal donors.
But an announcement this week by Attorney General Jeff Sessions could be putting the SPLC in the cross hairs of legal action. And it’s not the kind of place it’s used to being.
Speaking at the Justice Department’s Religious Liberty Summit on Monday, Sessions announced DOJ is forming a new religious liberty task force aimed at protecting the freedom of religion Americans that are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.
“A dangerous movement, undetected by many, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom,” Sessions said, according to a Justice Department transcript of the remarks. “There can be no doubt. This is no little matter. It must be confronted and defeated…
“We have gotten to the point where courts have held that morality cannot be a basis for law; where ministers are fearful to affirm, as they understand it, holy writ from the pulpit; and where one group can actively target religious groups by labeling them a ‘hate group’ on the basis of their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
And while he didn’t name any names specifically, it wasn’t hard to guess one particular group Sessions had in mind as presenting a direct threat to what Sessions called a “core American principle.”
Many organizations on the left and in the mainstream media toss around the term “hate group” to brand anyone they disagree with. But the SPLC’s use of the word – and its unchallenged acceptance by major corporations and media organizations – is in a class by itself.
It was the SPLC’s branding of the Family Research Council as a “hate group” that led directly to a 2012 attack on the FRC’s Washington headquarters that was foiled by an unarmed security guard who wrestled the gunman to the ground. According to the Washington Examiner, the attacker specifically cited the SPLC in explaining his motive to the FBI.
It was the SPLC that designated the religious legal group Alliance for Defending Freedom as a “hate group” that led to the ADF being removed from a fundraising program operated by Amazon.
And it was the SPLC that produced its own “hate map” of monuments to, and places named for, Confederate figures – including schools. It doesn’t take a genius to see a move like that could put huge numbers of children in danger, simply because the liberals at the SPLC don’t like the name of their school.
Despite the years of mounting evidence that the SPLC has long since abandoned its primary mission as a civil rights organization, it continues as a liberal fundraising behemoth, capitalizing obscenely on racial strife in the United States.
In the aftermath of the Charlottesville riot in June 2017, it received $1 million donations from Hollywood actor George Clooney and his wife, Amal, as well as Apple, according to a commentary piece in The New York Times by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the anti-Islamist former Dutch lawmaker.
This spring, according to the Washington Examiner, the SPLC had roughly half-a-billion dollars in its war chest, thanks to the donations it receives from people who either think it really is a civil rights organization, or from groups and organizations that have a vested interest in helping the SPLC attack conservative groups – the ones it brands “hate groups.”
So, no, Sessions didn’t specifically cite the SPLC in his remarks about the new task force to defend religious liberty, but he didn’t have to. It was SPLC-style bigotry he clearly had in mind. And those who have been attacked by the SPLC knew who he was talking about.
“My guess is that Sessions is setting the FBI or some outlet of the Justice Department to take an objective look at this whole concept of hate labeling, its impact, its origins, and its legitimacy,” retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council, told PJ Media.
“The SPLC has targeted religious groups particularly — not exclusively, but particularly Christian groups and Christian individuals — that’s why we at FRC were targeted.”
Boykin also noted a relationship between the SPLC and the FBI that started in the Obama era, according to a Fox News report by Tucker Carlson.
“When you’ve got an organization in the United States that is illegitimately targeting groups because of their Christian views and you have agencies in the federal government that are legitimizing that data, that is a recipe for disaster,” Boykin told PJ Media.
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has got to get to the bottom of that problem.”
With Monday’s announcement of the task force for religious liberty, Sessions might have started to do just that.
And the SPLC might really have something to “hate.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.