How Close Is Christianity To Becoming A Hate Crime?

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   6/26/2014

The FBI made heads turn when it recently dropped a fiery lobbyist group as a resource on their "hate crime" webpage. This came after the Family Research Council and other pro-family groups made an official request to the FBI to disconnect with the fiery group called the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

The SPLC promotes itself as a group "fighting hate," "teaching tolerance," and "seeking justice." When delving deeper into their page, however, one will find that they categorize various organizations under descriptions like, "Ku Klux Klan," "Neo-Nazi," "Black Separatist," "Christian Identity," "Racist Skinhead," "Anti-LGBT," and "Radical Traditional Catholicism." At least, those are the words they used to categorize organizations they targeted in Minnesota (check it out for yourself here: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/hate-map#s=MN ).

Some of those groups- like the Ku Klux Klan- sound like probable hate groups. But some of the categories just didn't sound like "hate." As I continued clicking on their page, I found that the SPLC describes "Christian Identity" as a movement among "white racists" who believe that "the return of the Jews to Israel is essential to the fulfillment of end-times prophecy."

I didn't realize this belief made one racist. Perhaps more alarming, though, is this statement following the SPLC's description of this label: "Only a prolonged period of aggressive efforts by law enforcement, together with the demise of influential leaders who were not replaced, brought about its present decline." http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/ideology/christian-identity

Another of the SPLC's labels that intrigued me was the "Anti-LGBT" label. One of the Minnesota groups who was awarded this label was the "Parents Action League," a group of citizens in the Anoka-Hennepin school district who are supporting the rights of parents and roles of public schools as stated in Minnesota State Statutes. When looking at their website, this group did not seem to register as a "hate" group at all, but a group of parents who wanted defined roles in their school district. These parents wanted to be able to instruct their kids morally without being undermined by the school, especially since moral convictions differ between persons.

Sarah Padbury wrote for WORLD magazine  that the SPLC "does not differentiate between those who promote violence and those who simply have opposing points of views." That was well said. The SPLC has crossed the line if they feel they have the authority to police our thoughts. Only God can do that. The FBI needs to track organizations who are threatening the safety of society by physically harming people or property. They do not need to police the thoughts of organizations whom the SPLC disagrees with. I found it rather comical as I continued searching on the SPLC's website. It appears they went out of their way to place peaceful organizations on their "hate" list by creating labels like "general hate" and "racist music." 

Thankfully, these categories do not match the FBI's definition of a hate crime. The FBI has posted its definition of a "hate crime" on its website. It reads: "A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.” Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties. "

We must send a note of appreciation to the FBI and the Family Research Council for making a motion that has supported the freedom to believe and peacefully act on that belief in our country. This is an excellent course of action in an otherwise turbulent environment for religious beliefs.

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