Alex Blaze

The good kind of victim or the bad kind?

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 02, 2010 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics
Tags: AFA, American Family Association, American hate groups, Family Research Council, SPLC

Am I the only one who's more than a little surprised that the Family Research Council and the American Family Association cares this much about being labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center? My first thought is "If the shoe fits..." and my second is that the Traditional Values Coalition, MassResistance, and other religious right groups have been labeled hate groups for a long time and there hasn't been this much caterwauling on the topic:

tony-perkins.jpgBut Diane Gramley, president of AFA of Pennsylvania, is curious why government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), and Health and Human Services (HHS) are not included in the list.

"I believe they should be on the list because [the CDC's] fact sheets recognize that the highest rates of HIV/AIDS are among men who have sex with men," she explains. "And under the FDA's policy, [blood donation centers] will not allow a man who's had sex with a man even once since 1977 to donate blood." In addition, the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability voted 6-9 in June not to recommend lifting the lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men.

"I would think that the Southern Poverty Law Center will consider those policies to be discriminatory against homosexuals," Gramley argues.

Yes, the fact that the FRC, et al., has been able to turn their beliefs into policy and get gay blood banned means that they're completely justified in what they do. Turning beliefs into policy makes them completely benign.

But the SPLC's designation is just one more step from the left to move these folks out of the mainstream. It should be contradictory that America is moving to the right on a number of issues - economics, civil liberties, women's reproductive rights - and this is one of the few issues that's inching its way to the left, but it seems that the cultural changes around LGBT issues have somehow outweighed the political movement in the other direction, which is probably why we're complaining so much about the slow pace of change.

Otherwise all this complaining doesn't make much sense. In fact, it's a little inappropriate and probably counterproductive for Tony Perkins to shriek "I'm melting, I'm melting!" all week on whatever media outlet that would let him on - that's not approaching this development from a position of strength.

Then again, he might just be reveling in his victim status. He should be careful - the American right only puts up with victimology if they get the wink that the supposed victims are actually the ones with power and that they're just being assholes. If it's taken too far people might actually start to believe FRC and AFA have no power, and then the party would be over for them.

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Kathy Padilla | December 2, 2010 2:30 PM

I'm shocked Mrs. Gramley thinks it's appropriate for a traditional Christian woman to run an organization that gives direction to men. Or thinks she should tell the SPLC how to run their shop - they do have a man as their executive director.

1 Timothy 2:9

"A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet"

Alex, I ask this out of curiosity, not out of naïveté, and not in defense of either the AFA or the SPLC. In fact, answering this point gives this story the clarity that one needs to defend the SPLC.

What is the exact criterion that, in the SPLC's perception, qualifies the AFA to be a "hate group" -- and specifically, how does a religious group that disapproves of homosexual relationships need to restrain itself when making public statements about said disapproval, if that group doesn't want to be regarded as a hate group?

I mean, to give obvious examples, the statement, "The Bible calls male homosexuality an abomination" should not result in that religious group being called a hate group; but the statement, "Homosexuals should be killed on sight" surely does.

So, what statements by AFA, exactly, according to SPLC policy, crossed that line?

@A.J. - Try this link farm.

Bryan Fischer pretty much single-handedly landed his organization on the hate group list.

Kathy Padilla | December 3, 2010 3:14 PM

Hey - some honesty!

Named by the SPLC a hate group:

"Do I hate? Absolutely," said Faithful Word Baptist Church Pastor Steven Anderson.

Anderson wasn't aware of the new article and label by the SPLC and wasn't surprised. When asked if he hates homosexuals, Anderson quickly said, "absolutley."