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He said it, not us

by Jeremy Hooper
"But seriously, if [Peter LaBarbera's Americans For Truth About Homosexuality] is a “hate group,” then so is Liberty Counsel, Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, American Family Association, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Roman Catholic Church. Any group that observes and defends traditional sexual morality would have to be labeled such."
-Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber, defending Peter LaBarbera's inclusion on the SPLC's list of "hate sites" *[source]*

Tony Pekins, Jim Daly, Tim Wildmon, Richard Land, and the Pope have now jointly declared their fear of water, so as to avoid being drug into the boat that Matt so forcibly wants to place them in.

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Your thoughts

I'm glad Matt Barber and I have common ground.

Posted by: DN | Mar 25, 2010 12:04:31 PM

This will be the one and only time I will ever agree with Matt Barber about anything: yes, they are all hate groups. His second sentence? Just proving that I'll never agree with him again.

Posted by: ZnSD | Mar 25, 2010 12:54:07 PM

Wow! Matt Barber finally gets it.

Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Mar 25, 2010 1:08:46 PM

I take a slightly more nuanced view, ZN. I think the opposition movement is largely all connected in very real ways. Both FRC and FOF, the most "mainstream" of the groups, have linked to LaBarbera, MassResistance, TVC, and others. And then if you look at things like the Manhattan Declaration signatory list, you will see others like Scott Lively (another SPLC listee) alongside FOF president Jim Daly. So they certainly have each other's mud on their hands.

But I do see a scale. In dealing with FOF staffers or someone like Mags Gallagher in comparison to someone like Peter or Brian Camenker -- be those dealings public or private -- there are def. degrees of hostility. And while those "mainstream" folks have said some truly awful things, and are in many way hurting us much, much worse because of their "mainstream" positioning, they have, for the most part, backed off some of the kinds of actions and things that many of the SPLC listees have done.

It's a fine and imperfect line, because this whole fight is so wacky and unnecessary. But I do think there is a line that the SPLC has certainly set up as the "hate/not hate" boundary.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 25, 2010 1:11:48 PM

I appreciate your attention to the gray areas Jeremy. At the end of the day, the message I receive from these groups is the same: gay is bad, gays shouldn't have equal access to marriage, gays should go away. The only real difference I see is that *some* of the individuals in these groups don't mind gays as long as they stay in their accepted roles: "know your place" as it used to be called. And while those mainstream groups appear not to support some of the more vile, hateful messages of the smaller fringe groups with which they associate, the message of those mainstream groups IS more damaging (as you pointed out) and gives their audience just enough of a push to get to the fringe groups' messages of hate. It's all very subtextual, very political and all about a wink, a nudge, and plausible deniability.

Posted by: ZnSD | Mar 25, 2010 3:21:23 PM

First time I must agree with Mattie Barber.

Posted by: Mykelb | Mar 25, 2010 11:32:10 PM

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