Saturday, January 22, 2011

I have the definition right in front of me

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has been rating some anti-gay organizations as hate groups, in a manner similar to white supremacist groups. To achieve that status, an organization must do more than say they don't like gays and think that gays will go to hell. That's bad enough. Those that get the hate group tag work to demonize gay people and intentionally misuse science, or outright lie, as part of that demonization.

When the Traditional Values Coalition and MassResistance (the anti-marriage group) were so designated in the past most in the anti-gay business essentially rolled eyes, shrugged, and went about their work. The leaders of these groups seemed the most extreme and everyone else could say, "We're not like them."

This year the ranks of hate groups included Family Research Council with mentions of the National Organization for Marriage and Concerned Women for America. And this year there was a loud reaction, calling SPLC all manner of vile names.

So what's the difference between TVC and FRC?

Timothy Kincaid of Box Turtle Bulletin offers an explanation. TVC is essentially political and FRC is essentially religious. Branding a political group as a bunch of haters is doesn't stretch one's imagination too much. Ah, but branding Christians with the same hot iron is another matter. According to Fundies, Christians -- by definition -- cannot hate.

It was Jesus himself who set up that definition. From John 13:35 -- "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." The non-negotiable part of being a Christian is that you love.

So if the SPLC says FRC is a hate group they are saying FRC is not Christian. I think SPLC hit the target exactly.

One thing to note about that passage from John. A person (or organization) cannot decide if he is Christian. It is the outsider (in this case SPLC) who gets to make that determination.

Lying about us is loving us?

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