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Don't forget, SPLC watchers: This appearance comes AFTAH Pete's other one!

by Jeremy Hooper

Peter LaBarbera knows that a group or website has to really go beyond a certain pale in order to earn the Southern Poverty Law Center's "hate" label. There are so many groups who fight on the "pro-family" side who have never made their way to any of the SPLC's lists, because while they Peter-with-Brian-Camenker-another-SPLC-listeemay directly challenge LGBT people's lives and loves, they have not done that one thing or combination of things that really goes outside the boundaries of mere "culture war" activism, the way that groups like Westboro Baptist, MassResistance, and the Traditional Values Coalition (just three SPLC hate group listees) have.

Or at least Peter should know how it all works, since he is now earning SPLC's attention for the second time. Yes, that's right: Back when Peter was the executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, Pete gave what the SPLC called a "full-throated endorsement of [Paul] Cameron" when he, in a piece on the discredited researcher's work, said: “Paul Cameron’s work has been targeted for ridicule by homosexual activists, and he’s been demonized by the left”...“but this should not discount his findings.”). This endorsement of Cameron earned the IFI a place on the SPLC's dubious "hate groups" list in the anti-gay category: Solely because of Peter's actions. After current IFIer Laurie Higgins (a major LaBarbera pal) took down the offending piece and pressed the SPLC for removal, the civil rights group did eventually remove IFI from their list. Because as we said: The SPLC's threshold is not willy-nilly, designed add anyone who does anything anti-gay. A group or person has to do something particular, and in the case of IFI it was Pete's action that did it.

So today, if and when you read Peter's latest piece in which both he and the Liberty Counsel's Matt "one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it love" Barber decry the Southern Poverty Law Center as being part of a "manipulation of hate" from the Left because of their choice to list Peter's Americans For Truth as a "hate site"....

There are few things as sinister, and as cynical, as the Left’s manipulation of “hate” as a political weapon to malign Christians and patriotic, conservative Americans.
SPLC Plays Politics with Hate, Smears Americans For Truth as ‘Hate Site’ [AFTAH]

....please remember that Mr. LaBarbera has now found his way there twice. Yes, twice. Focus on the Family's never made it. The Family Research Council's never made it. Concerned Women For America's never made it. The American Family Association has never made it (although that last one, in particular, certainly has to be on the bubble). But Peter deals in the kind of aggressive over-the-topiness (like personally attacking someone's wedding) that merits a repeat performance in the eyes of a group that has proven itself to be quite discerning.

At this site, we don't toss around the "hate" label, preferring to tackle the message rather than prescribing a certain label on the messenger. But at the same time, we cannot deny seeing that there is a sscale on the other side. SPLC has chosen to monitor that scale, and has found LaBarbera to be reliably on the farthest end. Quite frankly, Pete's going to have a tough time spinning his way out of that reality.


***UPDATE: Matt Barber has now willfully put Focus on the Family, FRC, the Vatican, and other groups (including his own Liberty Counsel) in the same boat with Peter's AFTAH.

*The person who has got to be loving this is Christian professor and researcher Warren Throckmorton. Peter has been publicly attacking Warren for the past month or so (12 posts at last count), working to basically get him fired, or at least reprimanded, at his job at Grove City College, simply because Peter personally finds Warren "too soft" on homosexuality. So you have to admire Warren's restraint in saying little more than this:

While the criteria are not completely clear, it is important to note that the SPLC does not list groups because they oppose gay rights or view homosexuality as a sin. Note the many groups which are not listed.
SPLC lists anti-gay hate groups [Throckmorton]

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Your thoughts

I checked out his site (as much as I hate giving him hits) yesterday and saw his rant. Dude is a crazy person, plain and simple. He takes things to the nth degree. Like you said, there's tons of anti-gay groups (NOM is always the first one to mind) that are idiots, but aren't neccessarily....I don't know...so....psychotic? Like as much as I truly dislike NOM, Maggie, and everything they try to push, I don't honestly, 100% think she like, hates all gay people. I don't think she wishes harm (I mean like, physical or serious) harm on them, even if she doesn't quite get (or maybe she does, who knows) the fact that everything she stands for hurts gays, their friends and their families. Everything Pete LaBabs says is downright cruel. It's over the top insulting, hurtful, divisive and in my opinion, has the ability to incite violence. The way he talks (or types, I suppose, because I do my best to avoid hearing him speak) reminds me of KKK leaders, screaming, SCREAMING at groups, inciting rage and anger that really has no basis other than a group mentality and a desire to be part of the group. NOM, and some of the other not so friendly toward the 'mos groups, are kind of more...refined is the wrong word, but not as aggressive. I think Pete has come out supporting the bill in Uganda, for example. Pete, I think, would enjoy watching gay people get beat up, get hurt, get denied housing, get denied a job, get fired....I feel like he would PERSONALLY enjoy that. Maggie, I don't know. I think she would agree with it, but not neccessarily see it as enjoyable, because I think she kind of sees gays as human, where as Pete just looks at gays as rats or cocaroaches, something that must be weeded out and destroyed.

Regardless, Pete can spin all he likes but we all know the truth. He belongs there. He ruins people's lives, and like you said, targets individuals (yourself included! which drives me MAD!)...he doesn't care if he ruins lives, because he doesn't see gays as "alive". I guess that's the big difference between maggie/other groups and Pete - while the other groups are just as bad in denying the LGBT community it's rights and denying their loves, Pete denies gays their own humanity. Where as NOM and such have "hope" for gays to be "normal" (obviously that's their wording NOT mine), Peter just wants to see them removed from society all together, killed, pushed away, made fun of, bullied into non existance.

Really Christian. I'm sure that's what JC would do - you know, if he were real ;)

Posted by: Stef | Mar 25, 2010 9:37:38 AM

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