What’s the easiest way to shut down a debate? Well these days, just label your opponent a hate-filled bigot.
No doubt at Thanksgiving dinner, many of you shared what you are thankful for. Foremost on my list was the freedom we as Americans still enjoy to practice our religion. This includes the right to promote laws and leaders who uphold our values. But in the week before Thanksgiving, an influential civil rights group that claims to fight “hate and bigotry,” was making a list of its own.
In its newly-released Winter Intelligence Report, the Southern Poverty Law Center labels eighteen Christian organizations as “anti-gay groups.” The charges? “Pumping out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities.”
And which Christian organizations engage in those activities? None other than the American Family Association, the National Organization for Marriage, and the Family Research Council! For heaven’s sake! The report also announced that 13 of these organizations will be added this January to its list of official “hate groups.” They join the likes of Neo Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan!
J. Matt Barber of The Washington Times calls the report a joke. This organization, he says, “has leveraged…its . . . waning credibility to target and undermine organizations” not because they’re hate-mongers, but because “they pose a direct threat to the advance of the postmodern secular” agenda.
He says the report will end up damaging the SPLC’s credibility more than anyone else’s. Well, I agree with him. But on the other hand, I don’t think this is any joke. It’s a trend.
Remember back in August when Federal Judge Vaughn Walker overturned California’s Proposition 8, he said “…beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.”
So often today, conscientious objectors to homosexual marriage are being accused of hatred. It’s a dangerous trend. Princeton professor Robbie George, who helped draft the Manhattan Declaration, said this in a recent interview: “If belief in marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife comes to be treated in law as a form of bigotry, persons and institutions that dissent from the new political orthodoxy will quickly find…disabilities imposed upon them.”
Just last week—as you’ll hear in today’s Two Minute Warning, which I urge you to go watch at Colson Center.org—Apple decided to kill the iPhone app for the Manhattan Declaration. Why? Because it, quote “offended large groups of people.” End quote. Those people were gay activists who accuse the Manhattan Declaration of gay bashing, and, what else, promoting hate.
Anyone who’s read the Declaration knows that’s not so, but so much for civil discourse. More and more, rather than engage in a reasoned and civil discourse about the issues, backers of so-called “gay marriage” are determined to silence opposition. The methods range from judicial activism and censorship, to accusations of “hate.” But the goal remains the same: to shut down the debate.
Nearly half a million signers of the Manhattan Declaration have pledged to defend the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious freedom. And one way to defend these principles is to stand up to the political bullying. And we will. But we will always respond in love to those who accuse us of hate.