Shooting sparks controversy over 'hate' designation for conservative group
The scene outside the Family Research Council after Wednesday's shooting.
August 17th, 2012
03:06 PM ET

Shooting sparks controversy over 'hate' designation for conservative group

By Michael Pearson, CNN

(CNN) - It's an online gallery of hate.

Here on the Southern Poverty Law Center website is Blood & Honour, a racist skinhead group with members who killed two homeless people they deemed inferior, according to police. A quick scroll away is the World Church of the Creator, which calls nonwhites "mud races" and preaches "racial holy war" that has, according to authorities, inspired some members to commit violent crimes.

Then there's the Family Research Council.

The SPLC says the conservative Washington policy group is listed as a hate group because "it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda" about lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

The designation, in place since 2010, has ignited a fierce debate after an apparently politically motivated shooting Wednesday at the FRC's Washington offices.

Conservatives see FRC attack as part of broader war

A Virginia man who authorities say harbors "strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner" is accused of shooting the manager of the council headquarters, wounding him in the arm.

The suspect was carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, leading investigators to link the attack to recent comments by the restaurant chain's CEO defending traditional marriage and the Family Research Council's staunch defense of traditional marriage.

While the SPLC defended its label Thursday, saying it was about the "demonization" of gays and a long history of anti-gay activism, the FRC and its conservative allies struck back.

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"I believe the Southern Poverty Law Center should be held accountable for their reckless use of terminology," FRC president Tony Perkins said.

In response, SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok said the FRC was looking to make gains from the tragedy.

"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."

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The FRC, through spokesman P.J. Duffy, declined to comment for this article.

Outside opinions were, predictably, mixed.

Tufts University political science professor Jeffrey Berry said the council is a mainstream, if very conservative, public policy shop - one of a multitude in Washington.

"I'm not comfortable calling them a hate group," he said.

"There's probably some things that have been said by one or two individuals that qualify as hate speech. But overall, it's not seen as a hate group," said Berry, who has written extensively about the influence of ideological and public policy groups in Washington.

Peter Montgomery, a blogger for the liberal think tank People for the American Way, said he backs the SPLC's designation.

"If you ask me, 'Does the FRC promote hatred towards gays and lesbians?' I would say yes it does," he said. "The FRC is not the KKK. But that doesn't also mean they deserve a free ride from being called out on their hateful rhetoric."

The FRC opened its doors in 1983, three years after founder James Dobson, then of Focus on the Family, held a prayer session with eight Christian leaders at a Washington, D.C., hotel, according to the FRC's official history.

"FRC's immediate goal was to counter the credentialed voices arrayed against life and family with equally capable men and women of faith," the group writes in its history.

According to its mission statement, the FRC "champions marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society."

"Properly understood," the mission statement continues, " 'families' are formed only by ties of blood, marriage, or adoption, and 'marriage' is a union of one man and one woman."

According to IRS data, the group received nearly $12 million in revenue in 2009, the latest year for which data is available.

It works on a variety of topics, including anti-abortion policy, traditional marriage, educational choice, religious liberty and family tax policy.

What has raised the SPLC's ire is the Family Research Council's stance on homosexuality. The council calls it "by definition unnatural."

"We oppose the vigorous efforts of homosexual activists to demand that homosexuality be accepted as equivalent to heterosexuality in law, in the media, and in schools," according to the council's website.

"Attempts to join two men or two women in 'marriage' constitute a radical redefinition and falsification of the institution and FRC supports state and federal constitutional amendments to prevent such redefinition by courts or legislatures."

The group says it also supports programs to help people overcome "unwanted" same-sex attractions.

But the SPLC says the group goes further than simply promoting a conservative Christian perspective. It spreads lies in pursuit of its own political agenda restricting the rights of homosexuals, the group argues.

Among other things, the SPLC says the council uses dubious science to convince Americans that gays pose a threat to their way of life, particularly that gays are a threat to children.

In 1999, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an FRC analyst co-wrote a booklet called "Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex With Boys."

In the document, which is not available on the FRC website, the authors reportedly argued that "the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the "prophets" of a new sexual order," according to the SPLC.

The group also was heavily involved in the effort to prevent the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy prohibiting military service by openly gay men and women. Among other things, Perkins said, the change would force the military to pay for sex-change operations.

In 2010, the FRC was widely denounced after blogger Joe My God published documents that appeared to show the FRC provided $25,000 for lobbying efforts to defeat a congressional resolution expressing opposition to a proposed law in Uganda, which called for the imprisonment of gays and lesbians and the death penalty for those accused of spreading disease and other acts of "aggravated homosexuality."

The story was picked up by several news organizations and still appears in Internet denunciations of the group. In a 2010 statement, the FRC said that it did not support the Uganda bill or the death penalty for gays and lesbians.

In a statement published at the time, the group said it only wanted lawmakers to "remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right."

Not long after that controversy, the SPLC added the FRC to its list of hate groups.

The FRC has been a "font of anti-gay propaganda throughout its history," the SPLC wrote.

However, unlike many of the groups listed in its "intelligence files," it does not accuse the group of any violent or illegal acts.

At the time of its designation as a hate group by the SPLC, the FRC called the label "slanderous" and "character assassination" in an open letter published in Washington newspapers.

"This is intolerance pure and simple," the ad read. "Elements of the radical Left are trying to shut down informed discussion of policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures and the courts."

After Perkins' comments Thursday, the debate began to take off.

In The Washington Post, columnist Dana Milbank noted the controversy.

"I disagree with the Family Research Council's views on gays and lesbians," he wrote Thursday. "But it's absurd to put the group, as the law center does, in the same category as Aryan Nations, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Stormfront and the Westboro Baptist Church."

On the conservative website Newsbusters, a commenter posting as "Blonde Gator" said calling an organization a hate group doesn't make it true.

"Just because the FRC has a mission statement which doesn't align with your own agenda, does NOT make them a hate group," Blonde Gator wrote.

Elsewhere, a blogger going by the name of "Senator Blutarsky" said the designation lowered the bar for what constitutes hate.

"The Great Chicken War showed that in 2012, all one need do is subscribe to a conventional understanding of Christian teaching, and boom! You're a bigot," the commenter wrote, referring to the Chick-fil-A controversy.

On the website for "Truth Wins Out," which describes itself as a nonprofit "fighting anti-gay lies and the ex-gay myth," blogger Wayne Bessen wrote that the SPLC was "100% correct" in labeling the council as a hate group.

"As someone who reads Perkins' anti-gay fundraising letters - make no mistake about it - this group loathes LGBT people with a special passion," he wrote.

One commenter on the site said the shooting "was Lady Karma finally come a-calling on the FRC."

"GLBT people have put up with their hatred, beatings, burning, rapes, murder ... for centuries now," said the poster, writing as "Merlyn." "But the second something like this happen we are blamed and groups like the FRC ramp up the volume of their calls to incarcerate us. I'm not saying I approve of what the shooter did, but all things considered, the FRC got off very lightly."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Politics

soundoff (911 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Religion makes people dumb

      yes it does. It make smart people stupid.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      actions cause change; prayer wastes valuable time.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • stupid followed to its logical conclusion

      becomes atheism

      August 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • williepitt

      Nope. You consider the "Christianity" expressed in these comments to be healthy? You're a fool.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • jeffision

      Then why do children of atheists have higher test scores than children of religious people?

      August 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Freedom FROM Religion

      Time would be better spent actually DOING SOMETHING than praying. And Atheism is far more ethical and enlightening than any belief in something that was conjured up by opium smoking sheep #^%& hippies from the bronze age.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm |


      "Then why do children of atheists have higher test scores than children of religious people?"

      That is interesting...when the schools here in my local area post act and sat score averages by school...the Private Christian school always out performs the public schools in the district.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • bam

      Mr Jesus didnt tell u it is your DUTY to "SAVE" people.
      Mr Jesus didnt preach bigotry, intolerance and hate, why do his followers?

      August 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Bruce Simmons

      Religion has a definite capacity for positive uplift in people's lives, true. When people take the time to examine their own lives against an appropriate yardstick, and when they come together for a good common cause, everyone benefits. The thing is, the role played by a deity in this process is the same as the role played by the stone in stone soup. Belief in a deity can be a positive catalyst, but the actual existence of a deity is irrelevant.

      August 18, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Dave W

      Explain. You can't just put that out there and expect people to accept it. Why is it damaging? Children like to question, but Christians forbid it. And possibly, it's too embarrassing to try to explain to an inquiring mind why this mythical god-person is flying around creating worlds and then punishing people – it seems very small-minded. The bible, while a good fairy-tale with a lot of good, common sense morality in it, was not written by or inspired by some big old white guy sitting on a cloud. Sorry, it just didn't happen. It's healthy for children to hear truth, not religious cant.

      August 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  2. Spartacus713

    The SPLC is a hate group.

    And the people who defend the hateful actions of this failed mass murderer are also haters.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • nmmell08

      I fail to see how the SPLC is a hate group. Has it promoted anti-gay agendas, has it promoted anti-anything values? No. FRC promotes anti-gay groupes and legislation. This shooting was inexcussible, but the FRC actions led to the motivation for this

      August 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm |

      Sure the splc is a hate group...they spread lies and propaganda which is their criteria to join the ranks of the kkk, and neo nazi's on there list.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • bam

      and the K K K promotes anti-black. but that is ok.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm |

      Uh, the k' k' k has done a lot more than " promote anti-black. but that is ok " And no...its not okay to discriminate against black people. This whole deal about lbgt is not that they exist...but they are trying to get their propaganda into the public schools and get special rights from the government as well as un-define the traditional marriage. That is the issue.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  3. ben

    FRC is a hate group

    August 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Harkkonen4

      Hadn't heard of the FRC before...wow , they are a hate group ?? Is anyone going to do something ?? Picket , write/e-mail campaign, etc. ?

      August 17, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Cindy

      No it isn't. It just stands up for what the Bible says and those who don't agree can't stand it.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Susie

      No one is boycotting them, because they aren't a hate group.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • williepitt

      Which part of the bible, Cindy? It matters.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • bam

      "No it isn't. It just stands up for what the Bible says and those who don't agree can't stand it."
      the bible DOES not say this. ignorant

      August 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • jinxmchue

      williepitt – THE William Rivers Pitt? Really? Don\'t you have some alcohol to down while making stupid posts on DU?

      Anyway, to answer your question to Cindy, that would be ALL parts of the Bible except the parts that liberals like yourself deliberately misinterpret or just plain make up.

      August 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  4. Russ

    shooting people: hate
    shooting people with words: sophisticated hate
    labeling people in hopes to prevent them from speaking: politically correct hate

    "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

    August 17, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  5. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Disclaimer – I am a former dues paying member of SPLC who withdrew from membership due to the self-serving, publicity-seeking Morris Dees, who appears to be more interested in getting ink than he does actually helping people who need it.
    That being said – holding Dees and the SPLC responsible for the FRC attack makes the same amount of sense holding Sarah Palin responsible for Loughner's shooting spree in Tucson. Tony Perkins and his ilk have done more to draw negative attention to themselves than any tagline that Dees could apply to him and his group. The actions against them were part of the violence they engender against anyone they believe is different from the way they think God intended thinbgs to be.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • mdwolff

      So you hate them and they got what they deserve?

      August 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Freedom FROM Religion

      Thank you Joe! Spouting hate like the FRC has only breeds more of it and eventually it comes back to get ya.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:47 pm |

    Are they going to add any group to their list that lies and spreads propaganda?

    August 17, 2012 at 5:55 pm |

      If the only criteria to be added to the "ha'te map" is spreading lies and propaganda then the lbgt groups can be added to that list or is their ha'te acceptable to the splc? Why not add political parties to that list given they spread lies and propaganda? I know if you try and comment on the splc articles on their website and you have an opposing position...it will not be posted...they are doing this merely out of their beliefs..not on actual crimes that anyone has commited.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  7. Bob

    I agree with virtually nothing the Family Research Council says or does, but homosexuality is a disorder. That derangement had an unfortunate sequela in a sad young man one day. Face it. That's what caused the shooting. The FRC shares none of the blame.
    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      nor does the Southern Poverty Law Center.

      Should we have a conversation on why this man was armed? Or the white-supremacist Sikh shooter, or the Aurora Batman shooter?

      August 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • sam stone

      A disorder? Based on what?

      August 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      All the "WHITE" bashing during election time. Pathetic comes to mind how low the PR is for the democratic party.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • jeffision

      Then heterose xuality must be a disorder also because heteros exuals kill millions of people every year. And beat their wives. And beat each other. And abuse their daughters.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • md

      Disorder? according to who? And where the hell do you get off being the judge of anyone – GFY you ignorant cornpone! You should worry more about the crap in your life & less about other tax paying, law-abiding citizens.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  8. W247

    Why isn't the Occupy organization listed as a hate group then? They hate the 1% and have incited violence against them! YEAH! Get the occupy organization on that hate list!

    August 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Zob

      You're accusing an expressly nonviolent protest group of inciting violence?

      Are you an idiot?

      August 20, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  9. Spartacus713

    Posted by Laura:
    The -truth- is what led this man with a gun to the FRC offices. The intolerance of the FRC brought this man's anger to a head. The "family" research council is a facade for hatred and feigned superiority. The result of which will always be the oppressed retaliating in kind. Labeling anyone as unnatural will always get negative results. The gunmen was just giving them something to consider and it was long overdue.

    So you are advocating murder and shooting Christians. Your anti-Christian bigotry is on display for all to see.

    If you want to see a real hater, Laura, go look in the mirror.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Susie

      Sparticus you are as crazy as the shooter.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Freedom FROM Religion

      I'm sorry but I agree with Laura, these people have incited violence on numerous individuals over the years and now that they finally see what their hate has brought them they cry foul??? It's pathetic! that said there are other methods of utilizing violence without the need to injure anyone and one group over 40 years ago was able to accomplish just that. A gold star goes to the person who can name that infamous group who NEVER spent one day in jail and their case was thrown out due to the FBI's deplorable and illegal attempts at apprehending them.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  10. Laura

    The FRC isnurturing the public's fear of the L.G.B.T. community and with that fear the FRC agitates the unstable into committing violent criminal acts against gays, lesbians and transgender people. That is why they are definitely a hate group. They take a more sophisticated approach to the mission of hatred but hatred it is indeed.

    This is what the C.I.A. calls plausible deniability. . They have planned for the moment when the S.P.L.C. labeled them a hate group. They calmly take out their canned response of misleading lies and deny the fact that they alone instigate violence against the L.G.B.T. community. Their lies won't change the fact that the Family Research Council does promote hatred of Lesbian, Gay and Transgender Americans. End of story.

    August 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Tweet

      You're a psychotic nut who's wrapped herself up in conspiracy theories Laura. Here. I'll send you a bow for your head and a from ___ to ____ card you can tie around your neck.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      well said.

      It boggles the mind that the 78% of Americans who call themselves Christians would be so afraid of the 4% of Americans who call themselves atheists or agnostics that they feel the need to express even the concept of persecution at the hands of a 4% minority, unless of course their philosophy is built on such a flimsy premise that it is in fact threatened by the 'truth' of the 4%.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Tweety

      Where in the bloody hell are you getting these numbers from? Also, I suppose it's more effective propaganda to use the term threatened, when the accurate term would be offended. And about that 'truth'. Funny.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      This is 2007 data. They have some new data but it's not much different. The 16.1% "Unafilliated" is apparently now around 19%.


      Share and enoy.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Tweety

      I'll pass. Pew is a known leftist organization from way back. I'd trust them about as much as I'd trust you.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      because they are a 'lefty' organization, do you think they are undercounting Christians at 78% or overcounting atheists + agnostics at 4%?

      Lots of atheists who post here want the atheist number to be larger. But it's not.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  11. Arie Csillag

    When a shooting victim is discussed as a hate group, unless they shot someone first, there is something perverted in the conversation.
    I would say the SPLC should be introduced totheir own medicine. Their listing the FRC may be the proximate cause of the shooting and the FRC should sue to establish that the SPLC in listing them as a hate group crossed a line and became liable for violating their civil rights. It is a model the SPLC succesfully promoted. I'd say they deserve a dose of their own medicine.

    August 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Spartacus713

      And regardless of the outcome, people should from this point forward regard the SPLC as the fomenter of lethal violence that it has now established itself as. If that is not hate, then what is?

      August 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Tweet

      Check this out.


      SPLC is nothing more than a front for communist propaganda.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      do you not recognize the irony of your comment? You post a reference to a website called "atlasshrugs2000" as a reputable "commie watch" source!

      Bwaaa Haaa Haaa. Thanks! After after the prolonged Ayn Rand discussion we've had here for the last week, that was hilarious.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Tweet

      Still you choose to criticize the messenger rather than to dispute the message. You're an ass hole. Now there's a good ad hom for you.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      I didn't criticize you in any way or insult you in any personal way. Nor do I need to and nor will I.

      I simply laughed that the notion that a Ayn Rand website would be a 'balanced opinion' on 'communist' organizations.

      You need to be a little less thin skinned if you want to go lobbing grenades around here.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Laura

      The -truth- is what led this man with a gun to the FRC offices. The intolerance of the FRC brought this man's anger to a head. The "family" research council is a facade for hatred and feigned superiority. The result of which will always be the oppressed retaliating in kind. Labeling anyone as unnatural will always get negative results. The gunmen was just giving them something to consider and it was long overdue.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Tweet

      Oh fvck off you evil psychotic cvnt.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      boy, are you charming or what?

      I think I'm going to have to rescind my statement that I don't need to insult you.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • williepitt

      Tweeeet, you're living in the distant past with your fulminations about "communist".

      And besides that, your alleged Web site is inoperative.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Tweet

      @ ass hole

      so now you want to play nice? Fvck you. You didn't even visit the site, let alone read the information. You just went off half-coc ked on the name. Bwaaahaha my ass. You know what else, ass hole? It is personal. Maybe not in a stinking playtime blog, but it is out in the streets. This polarizing political horses hit has gone too far. Shootings. Burnings. All happening at an accelerated rate. Soon the riots will start. Then what? You think the London riots will be allowed to happen in the U.S.? Don't tell me this isn't personal. It's destined to be.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Tweet


      the link works fine. You're just too fvcking stupid to use it.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • williepitt

      Oh, OK, Tweeeeeeeeeet. Maybe I meant it was lacking in logic and humanity.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      you know what, I agree with these comments of yours 100%: "This polarizing political horse shit has gone too far. Shootings. Burnings. All happening at an accelerated rate. Soon the riots will start. Then what? You think the London riots will be allowed to happen in the U.S.?"

      – Yes polarization in our politics has gone to far.
      – We do nothing in this country about shootings except wring our hands and say, "It's so sad that insane people are allowed to have guns, but the 2nd amendment is sacred. Too bad there's nothing we can do."
      – Bigots burn down houses of worship (in all likelihood) and hundreds post here that those people had it coming and they should leave this country.
      – We were only a couple of amoral idots away from our own version of the London riots during the Occupy movement.
      – The religious right pushes us closer to Facism every day.

      I am terrified – the rule of law is fragile if people are coerced to revolt.

      And you're right I didn't look at your web reference. I don't believe in objectivism, or it's minions. Why should I consider this source?

      August 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tommie Tom has a new dummy handle of Tweet. Pathetic.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Tweety

      The religious right pushes us closer to Facism every day.

      Illustrate this for me without sounding like a bigoted fascist atheist yourself.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Tweety


      I've never spoken to you before. Ever. Not even once. But if you think I'm Tom without reading the content of my posts, then you're truly lost in the woods.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The hallmarks of Facism are:
      – 'Right' wing policies
      – Nationalism
      – State endorsed religion
      – Militarism and the projection of military power
      – The security of the state superceding individual liberty

      The fundies stand for everyone of these things.

      I could go on but it's tedious and you probably won't agree anyway. I'm certainly no facist, that should be abundantly clear by my posts.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • williepitt

      "@ ass hole so now you want to play nice? Fvck you."

      "Oh fvck off you evil psychotic cvnt."

      "You're a psychotic nut who's wrapped herself up in conspiracy theories Laura. Here. I'll send you a bow for your head and a from ___ to ____ card you can tie around your neck."

      Tweeeeeeeeeeeeeetybird, you seem filled with a lot of hate. Which of these hate groups are you a member of?

      August 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Tweety

      The 'I don't like leftist coc ksuckers like you" club.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Tweety

      The hallmarks of Facism are:
      – 'Right' wing policies
      – Nationalism
      – State endorsed religion
      – Militarism and the projection of military power
      – The security of the state superceding individual liberty

      Did you actually read this somewhere or are you making sh it up again?

      So, leftists can't be fascists? What utterly contrived bullsh it. You think if you keep repeating it enough people will believe it?

      August 17, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      apparently you need to go back to class on political 'isms.

      Facism is conventionally held to be right-wing extremism and Communism to be left-wing extremism. Arguably, the further you go to the right or to the left, you kind of end up in a similar extremist totalitarian space.

      Kind of like fundamentalist Muslims and fundamentalist Christians. In the extreme their behavior is indisguishable.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
  12. Isaiah 5:20
    August 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • I

      There is nothing to be proud about sinfulness, grace abounds to the sinner when they repent.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • williepitt

      Isaiah impersonater, ever hear of Jesus?

      August 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Heretics all. Why is it you know nothing of the Bible. Repent and believe.
      Based on the stories and the laws recorded in The Bible, there are twelve basic and explicit rules regarding marriage:

      ■Marriage consists of one man and one or more than one woman (Gen 4:19, 4:23, 26:34, 28:9, 29:26-30, 30:26, 31:17, 32:22, 36:2, 36:10, 37:2, Ex. 21:10, Judges 8:30, 1 Sam 1:2, 25:43, 27:3, 30:5, 30:18, 2 Sam 2:2, 3:2-5, 1 Chron 3:1-3, 4:5, 8:8, 14:3, 2 Chron 11:21, 13:21, 24:3).

      ■Nothing prevents a man from taking on concubines or s'e'xual sla'ves in addition to the wife or wives he may already have (Gen 25:6, Judges 8:31, 2 Sam 5:13, 1 Kings 11:3, 1 Chron 3:9, 2 Chron 11:21, Dan 5:2-3).

      ■A man might choose any woman he wants for his wife (Gen 6:2, Deut 21:11), provided only that she is not already another man’s wife (Lev 18:14-16, Deut. 22:30) or a relative (Lev 18:11, 20:17, Lev 20:14, Lev 18:18). The concept of a woman giving her consent to being married is not in the Bible.

      ■If a woman cannot be proven to be a vir'gin at the time of marriage, she shall be stoned to death (Deut 22:13-21).

      ■A ra'pist must marry his victim (Ex. 22:16, Deut. 22:28-29), unless she was already a fiancé, in which case he should be put to death if he ra'p'ed her in the country, but both of them killed if he r'a'ped her in town (Deut. 22:23-27).

      ■If a man dies childless, his brother must marry the widow (Gen 38:6-10, Deut 25:5-10, Mark 12:19, Luke 20:28).

      ■Women must marry the man of their father’s choosing (Gen. 24:4, Josh.15:16-17, Judges 1:12-13, 12:9, 21:1, 1 Sam 17:25, 18:19, 1 Kings 2:21, 1 Chron 2:35, Jer 29:6, Dan 11:17).

      ■Women are the property of their fathers until married and the property of their husbands thereafter (Ex. 20:17, 22:17, Deut. 22:24, Mat 22:25).

      ■The value of a woman might be approximately seven years’ work (Gen 29:14-30).

      ■Inter-faith marriages are prohibited (Gen 24:3, 28:1, 28:6, Num 25:1-9, Ezra 9:12, Neh 10:30, 2 Cor 6:14).

      ■Divorce is forbidden (Deut 22:19, Matt 5:32, 19:9, Mark 10:9-12, Luke 16:18, Rom 7:2, 1 Cor 7:10-11, 7:39).

      ■It is better to not get married at all—although marriage is not a sin (Matt 19:10, I Cor 7:1, 7:27-28, 7:32-34, 7:38).

      August 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • williepitt

      Good points, realbucky! Wonder why most of those precepts haven't been brought up in ANY of these discussions?

      August 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Bucky, why stop at those scriptures, you might as well not understand the following either?

      Jude 1:7
      1 Corinthians 6:9-10
      1 Timothy 1:10
      Romans 1:24-27
      Leviticus 18:22
      Leviticus 20:13


      August 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • bam

      Mayans, Aztecs, Incas were Heretics. thusly they were slaughtered and those that knelt before the murdering priests are now Devout Christian central/south americans.... congrats religion of peace and luv

      August 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  13. williepitt

    Any organization that tries to stir up trouble against people doing perfectly legal things is a hate organization. That includes about 90% of the organizations supporting "conservative" principles. "Conservative" is a synonym for prejudiced.

    August 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Nathan

      willipitt must be code word for moron

      August 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Tweet

      What – you've never heard of Tokyo Rose or Hanoi Hanna? williepitt's just another propaganda blow hole stirrin' the sh it.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Susan

      It's also perfectly legal to hold Christian views. So your point is ??????????

      August 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Tweet

      willie doesn't have a point beyond condemning Christians. willie is a liberal propaganda tool.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • williepitt

      Lots of people here with inhuman-style politics I can make a good guess about.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Tweet

      Except that making a good guess requires having a clue.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • williepitt

      Susan, you need to find another word for your views. "Bigoted", maybe?

      Christian, they aren't. Jesus wouldn't recognize them.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Laura

      You're absolutely correct willopot. These so called christian family organizations are spreading hatred under the guise of family values. I haven't met a real family that sits around the dinner table practicing hatred.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Laura

      The true Christians don't spread hatred. Only the self-labeled Christians do this. They have to label themselves as Christians because no one else will recognize them as Christians.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • W247

      Then that would put the Occupy movement firmly in the "hate organization" category.... they have done more violence the the FRC has.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      the Occupy movement was dangerous not because it is a 'hate' organization (it wasn't) but because it mobilized so many people with no real purpose other than to say 'life isn't fair'. It was a really dangerous powderkeg and fortunately it was (mostly) non-violent.

      The fact that it existed should be frightening to anyone who believes in the 'rule of law'.

      This grandstanding on wherther FRC or the SPLC are 'hate' groups is moot.

      There are real problems here. People are unhappy. They need jobs. People like the FRC are willing to amp up the rhetoric over what happens in people's bedrooms and define culture wars in terms of bronze-age mythology. When you start giving people who are already unhappy more reasons to want to 'stick it to the man' watch out, you're playing with fire.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Freedom FROM Religion

      I agree conservatism is just another word for prejudice... look at the policies they try to enact, you cannot tell me that is what jesus would do.... oh like say lying to get a war started, robbing from the poor to give to the rich, etc.... conservatism is the philosophy of fools with circular and backwards thinking based entirely on fear and hate. hate of gays, hate of muslims, hate of the poor, hate of the sick, hate of the intelligent, hate of science, hate hate hate hate i can't believe someone didn't pull a gun out on these crazies sooner! perhaps its time for the GOP to rethink its stance on gun control! hahahahahahah

      August 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  14. Spartacus713

    So according to the logic of the SPLC, all Christian groups are "hate" groups.

    Very nice.

    The real haters here are the ones antagonizing and fomenting violence against other people or groups. With that in mind, surely the SPLC deserves to be considered as being among the "haters" themselves.

    August 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Said with all of the logic that is expected by people who believe in magic sky fairies.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Tweet

      the problem with Honey Badger is that it Don't Care.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • williepitt

      Spartacus, you need to find another word for your views. "Bigoted", maybe?

      Christian, they aren't. Jesus wouldn't recognize them.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      It's election time and the PRs are out in full force doing their damage from both sides.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      I must admit, sometimes I agree with you. It is election season. Nothing said by anyone remotely in the political sphere is absent that context.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  15. Nathan

    The FRC hates no gay anymore then a gay hates someone who doesn't believe in their views.

    August 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  16. Honey Badger Dont Care

    I just don’t understand the word controversy in the ti tle of this article. There is no controversy, they spread hate and bigotry as well as give money to organizations that advocate for the kiIIing of gay people. No controversy there, there is a paper trail all the way through.

    August 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm |

      All you against these people make me sick! So in your warped un-American brain it's OK and "Cool" the Black Panthers, Mexican Mafia, La Raz and all these other groups that blantanly call for the murder of AMERICANS and even go on the news with Wanted posters. But let a "White" group say anything against those poor, weak, downtrodden, peaceful minority races and you want to lynch them. How about you spread your hate around to everyone equally.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Tweet

      The next American Civil War will be between liberals and conservatives, so go by a gun now.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      it won't be liberals and conservatives.

      When the GOP reforms itself as the National Republican Facist Party and designates a former televangelist as President for Life, then the American Social Democratic Labor Party will organize the proletariat revolution against the 1%.

      Be ready when the revolution comes. The new Secretary for Human Responsibility (another former televangelist) will be the first against the wall.

      Only then will we reap the unintended consequences of the 2nd amendment.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Tweet

      You're an ass hole. Chances are that you were born into an ass hole family and spent too much time with other ass holes when you were growing up.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tweet, cough, Tommie Tom, get off your broomstick and come out. LOL.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  17. The Secret Revolt

    Sad that a man thought he would make things right with a gun. Sad for those who experienced the violence.
    On another note, it is ironic how the last commenter quoted in the story is angry at the FRC for hate. This typifies the discussion of these issues. Hate-labelers stir the hate, they don't solve it. Further, the first amendment restricts government from restricting speech. Private citizens and private organizations cannot violate the first amendment. But isn't it a principle America holds dear? Just because you don't like someone's speech, even their hateful speech, doesn't mean we can force them to shut up. Critique it. Debate it. Do so intelligently. But responding with like speech will not be helpful and certainly a gun will not solve the issue either.

    August 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Secret Revolt.

      Perkins has zero interest in solving this issue. He wants it to take center stage. It's pure McCarthyism at its finest.

      Wrap yourself and your religion in the flag. Any attack on you is an attack on America by the Godless commies.

      We've all seen it before, but it's it helps get out the 'votes for Jesus' in Pennsyltucky and along the Cuyahoga.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  18. Reality

    Moving out of the Dark Ages into the 21st century.

    o "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    3. See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-se-x unions not same-se-x marriages.

    To wit:

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

    As noted, there are basic biological differences in gay unions vs. heterose-xual marriage. Government benefits are the same in both but making the distinction is important for census data and for social responses with respect to potential issues with disease, divorce and family interactions.

    August 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Psychiatry and psychology are complete opposite of Jesus Christ's truth. Now you know why violence, as well as other criminal activities, obsessive compulsions, and other negative human activities have skyrocketed in society ... LOL, keeps the shrinks in the green.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • TC

      A Marriage is a Marriage. Calling some people's marriages something else is just silly.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Reality

      Britannica Concise Encyclopedia:

      "Legally and socially sanctioned union, usually between a man and a woman, that is regulated by laws, rules, customs, beliefs, and atti-tudes that prescribe the rights and duties of the partners and accords status to their offspring (if any). The universality of marriage is attributed to the many basic social and personal functions it performs, such as procreation, regulation of se-xual behaviour, care of children and their education and socialization, regulation of lines of descent, division of labour between the se-xes, economic production and consumption, and satisfaction of personal needs for social status, affection, and companionship. "

      Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/marriage#ixzz23qH05Tkg

      August 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  19. Dyslexic doG

    if you are wondering why athiests and agnostics comment as vitriolically as they do on this belief blog, check out au . org which is a site devoted to the first amendment and the separation of church and state.

    many christians (but by no means all) in this country are behaving like the taliban and trying to change the laws and education to force the christian religion down everyone's throats. this has got to stop.

    August 17, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • nofaith

      Better yet...check this out!


      August 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Separation of church and state was taken out of context by the atheists due to a personal letter of Jefferson's years after the amendment was implemented. Jefferson upheld freedom of religion, whereas the atheists spun this truth so that the atheists lies prevailed.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      The seperation of church and state is a fact of law that has been proven time and again in court case after court case. Just becasue you dont like it doesnt meant that your opinion matters in this.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Honey Badger Dont Care, only when the lie of the atheist is quoted over insisting the entire first amendment is read into the court proceedings.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • W247

      wait, someone shoots at a Christian organization – and you blame Christians for being haters???

      August 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      I'll happily stipulate that Floyd Lee Corkins II is a hater, if you'll stipulate that
      – they people who burnt down the mosque in Joplin were haters
      – the white-supremacist who killed Sikhs in WI was a hater
      – Tony Perkins is deliberately disengenuous

      August 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  20. Portland tony

    There are numerous nonprofits set up for and against any multiple number of "controversal" causes across the entire world. Just because one loon who apparently couldn't even shoot straight attacks one of these organizations with a handgun doesn't necessarily mean a declaration of war. It makes good headlines, but in truth he's just another crazy who thinks you can kill a belief with a bullet!

    August 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      If Jesus Christ's truth was still taught in the public school system, this senseless violence would cease.

      Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

      Romans 12:19


      August 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      Heaven Sent: It is not the place of public school system to teach kids about god. That is the responsibility of the parents and the churches

      August 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, as if atheists parents will teach their children Jesus' wisdom over man made lies!

      August 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Atheism is taught in public schools. Notice how Jesus Christ's truth is replaced by the atheists religion of lies.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.