You might not think it from their altruistic-sounding name, but the Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate group! What they hate with consuming passion is intolerance. Make that religious intolerance. More accurately, they hate Christian intolerance, since they rarely inveigh against Islamic fanatacism or (Gott in Himmel!) Zionism.
Can you be more specific (I hear you ask) about who the SPLC hates? Why sure. According to Wikipedia, the SPLC recently counted 784 American societies, churches and organizations that it describes as "active hate groups". These included:
72 separate Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups with 52 websites
142 neo-Nazi groups with 89 websites
115 white nationalist groups with 190 websites
119 white power skinhead groups with 25 websites
21 Christian Identity groups with 37 websites
37 neo-Confederate groups with 25 websites
113 black separatist groups with 40 websites
165 general hate groups (subdivided into anti-gay, Holocaust denial, racist music, radical traditionalist Catholic and others)with 172 hate websites.
So let's see... If the SPLC is against groups which are anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, etc., then they must be for queers, immigrants, Muslims, etc... right? And if they're against "Christian Identity" groups, who are they for? That would be a good question to ask their CEO, Richard Cohen.
The "Christian Identity groups" most often targeted by the SPLC are evangelical Protestants and "radical traditional Catholic" groups. High on their fecal roster are Catholic Family News/Catholic Family Ministries, The Fatima Crusader/International Fatima Rosary Crusade, and The Remnant/The Remnant Press, all of which Walt endorses whole-heartedly. [WWW didn't make the list though. Maybe Walt isn't as widely read as we like to think. Ed.]
The SPLC doesn't restrict its hate to groups. They routinely indulge in ad hominem attacks against named individuals including Michael Matt (see "Further viewing" below), John Vennari, Rush Limbaugh and the late Father Nicholas Gruner+. Since these individuals have all expressed disappointment (to put it mildly) with Pope Francis, you might think the SPLC is pro-Pope, but you would be wrong.
The SPLC doesn't restrict its scurrilous attacks to Catholics. Evangelic Protestants are pilloried for their fundamentalist Christian beliefs, and particularly their insistence that the United States of America was created as, and should remain a Christian nation -- "one nation under God".
Their primary target at the moment is the Hon. Roy Moore, Chief Justice of Alabama. Judge Moore, who has the temerity to wear Christian symbols on his lapel and signet ring, won fame (or notoriety) for three actions he took while serving as a circuit judge.
He posted a hand-carved wooden plaque of the Ten Commandments in his court room, opened court sessions with prayers led by a local clergyman, and later installed a granite monument to the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Alabama State Judicial Building. For those acts, and for telling supporters at a rally in Tennessee that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and that Christians should "take back our land", Judge Moore was removed from the bench in 2003. He was reinstated in 2012.
Now, from his position as Alabama's chief justice, Judge Moore is leading the fight against gay "marriage". On January 6th he instructed the state's probate judges not to grant marriage licences to same-sex couples. He argues that a prohibition of the Alabama Supreme Court last year remains in effect, despite a recent ruling of the United States Supreme Court, because the USSC ruling involved four states other than Alabama.
Judge Moore has described homosexuality as "an inherent evil". Gay "marriage", he says, means "the destruction of the foundation of our country."
Richard Cohen, CEO of the SPLC, replies by calling the jurist "the Ayatollah of Alabama" and says his reasoning is "completely deceptive and legally bogus". Judge Moore's comment? "When you stand up for the truth these days, you are going to be attacked."
This week's Economist quotes Judge Moore as saying America was founded on "the God of the Holy Scriptures", and that those whose beliefs are contrary to God's laws live and worship in the USA on sufferance. He invokes Thomas Jefferson in holding that the religious freedom of Christians is granted by God, not by government. Thus, he says, social change, such as recognition of gay "marriage", "is not to be dictated by a court."
Millions of Americans agree with Judge Moore that their country's precepts have been forsake, and its greatness lost. That is why Donald Trump's slogan -- "Make America great again!" -- is resonating so strongly in Iowa, New Hampshire and America's heartland. And that's why the SPLC hates Judge Roy Moore.
Further VIEWING (Yes, it's a video!): "Michael Matt talks about the worldwide persecution of Christians, Vatican II and the victory of relativism", WWW 15/9/13.