The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Earlier this year, the anti-LGBT hate group World Congress of Families (WCF) suspended its conference slated this month in Moscow in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Or did they?
Mother Jones has reported that on September 10-12, something called “Large Families: The Future of Humanity” (aka International Family Forum) congregated in Moscow, at the Kremlin. The WCF conference that was suspended in March had as its theme “Every Child a Gift: Large Families, the Future of Humanity,” and it was originally scheduled to take place the same week in the same locations. ( continue to full post… )
As news of the ultra-violent Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) repugnant activities has filtered into America’s consciousness, right-wing politicians and media outlets have made the group the latest cause célèbre in their endless rhetorical war against the twin evils of Islam and immigration.
An extremist group too radical for even Al Qaeda to stomach, ISIS has horrified the world with the recent beheading of two American journalists and its brutal massacres of Iraqi religious minorities. Though there is no evidence that ISIS has operatives in America, ultraconservative Texas Gov. Rick Perry has suggested that the group has sent combatants over the U.S.-Mexico border, while WorldNetDaily, a far-right conspiracist online tabloid, claims that ISIS is working with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate this country.
The LGBT- and Muslim-bashing hate group Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC), takes it one step further than that.
In an unsigned Sept. 4 blog post apparently written by CADC head Gary Cass (Cass is known to write most of the posts on the CADC site), the group seems convinced that ISIS is already here – and it thinks American Christians must prepare to fight back with “overwhelming Christian just war.” In the post, titled “I’m Islamophobic, Are You?,” CADC says “every true follower of Mohammed wants to … subjugate and murder you. They believe they have been given a mandate by Allah (Satan) to dominate the world.”
That, of course, is in direct conflict with Cass’s own belief that in fact it is Christians who have been given a mandate for dominion. Cass’s mentor, the late D. James Kennedy of the anti-LGBT group Coral Ridge Ministries (of which Cass is the former executive director), once said, “As the vice regents of God, [Christians] are to exercise godly dominion and influence over … every aspect and institution of human society.”
According to the new CADC post, the only way to permanently prevent Muslims from pursuing their “infernal goals” is for Christians to “obtain a gun(s), learn to shoot, teach your kids the Christian doctrines of just war and self defense, create small cells of family and friends that you can rely on if some thing [sic] catastrophic happens and civil society suddenly melts down.”
The CADC post considers and rejects the slightly less harsh options of conversion and deportation. The former is dismissed as “not biblically doable,” because according CADC’s reading of the bible, Arabs are descended from Ishmael, who was cursed to be “an ass of a man; His hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him.” While seemingly keen on deportation (CADC is not specific as to where) or forced sterilization, the post is skeptical that American “politicians will do anything until it is too late, unless, of course, ‘we the people’ demand otherwise.” ( continue to full post… )
Editor’s Note: As of Sept. 5, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has confirmed he will participate in the Values Voter Summit.
Where have all the elected officials gone?
The Family Research Council’s (FRC) annual Values Voter Summit (VVS), set for the end of September, is fast approaching. But unlike prior years, very few high profile politicians have confirmed their participation. And the current line up seems more extreme than ever.
Could this annual rite of passage, a must attend event for politicians courting social conservatives, be losing its luster? ( continue to full post… )
In recent weeks, it has seemed as if the American Family Association—already listed by the SPLC as an anti-LGBT hate group—has been on a mission to transform its public image from that of ordinary family-values advocates to a pack of wild-eyed radicals foaming at the mouth about their perceived enemies.
AFA spokesperson Bryan Fischer has been leading the way. In recent weeks on his radio program, Fischer has:
- Declared it will be “the end of America” if Congress does not impeach President Obama.
- Denounced anyone who uses the word “racist,” then insisted that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are “racists.”
- Sided with radical Islamists in Iraq in calling Obama a “devil worshiper.”
- Suggested on Twitter that accepting homosexuality leads to people to commit acts of necrophilia.
- Said that LGBT people are inherently disqualified from holding public office.
- Written an article in which he wonders if Robin Williams will go to heaven and insults Williams’s mother’s belief system (she was a Christian Scientist, Fischer says, and that is “a counterfeit form of religion that is neither Christian nor scientific”)
It’s not just Fischer, though. A couple of AFA analysts recently decried the recent editorial direction of Archie Comics, saying they now promoted “the occult and homosexuality.”
But as absurd as all these declarations might be, Fischer may not be the only one from AFA making such spurious claims. Kevin McCullough, a fellow AFA pundit who contributes at the organization’s commentary site, The Stand, recently published the following headline and article:
The ALS Challenge is a wildly popular fundraising stunt for the ALS Association in which people are encouraged to pour a bucket of ice water over their heads, record it on social media and then challenge other people to otherwise join them or make a donation to the association.
The stunt has become an Internet sensation, with participants including movie stars, pop singers and politicians, as well as a wide range of others. It has also inspired some moments of accidental low comedy on the Web.
But according to McCullough, the fun and frivolity is overshadowed by his view that “this very challenge is contributing to the on going destruction of human life – intentionally.”
The ALS association is actively now funding embryonic stem cell research and admitting that they likely will continue to do so in the future.
The funding of embryonic stem cell research means that children are created and at their earliest stages of life they are destroyed so that the stem cells (from usually the base of the brain) can be harvested to perform tests with.
Embryonic stem cell research has proven zero percent effective in combating diseases like ALS and other neurological degenerative diseases.
Stem cell research has proven to be a controversial issue for years, with many conservative Christians, including the Southern Baptist Convention, viewing it as akin to abortion. The embryos used for the research are fertilized in the laboratory, and there has never been a baby born or created in such conditions.
The ALS Association also claims to have produced substantial scientific research that, contrary to the AFA’s claims, indicates progress toward finding a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, the progressive and fatal neuromuscular malady commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.”
ALS afflicts about 30,000 Americans, with about 5,600 new cases diagnosed annually. More than 5,000 people die each from the disease. The ALS Association reports that so far more than $31 million has been raised by the ice-bucket challenge.
Two leaders of the racist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS), who have followers in Boundary County, Idaho, and in nearby Bountiful, British Columbia, have been charged again with practicing polygamy.
Winston Kaye Blackmore, 57, and James Marion Oler, 49, were first charged in 2009, but those charges were dropped after a judge ruled a special prosecutor in the case had been hired improperly. But a judge ruled that Canada’s anti-polygamy law is valid and does not violate the group’s religious freedom, allowing the charges to be filed again last week. ( continue to full post… )
A number of candidates who hold extreme views on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and government have either won their primaries or appear poised to do so. Here are some of the most notable examples.
In Colorado this week, state House candidate Gordon Klingenschmitt, who was court-martialed while a U.S. Navy chaplain and later claimed he performed an exorcism on a lesbian soldier, advanced to the general election, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.
Klingenschmitt runs the Pray In Jesus Name Project, which is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBT hate group. He defeated Dave Williams in the Republican primary by about 300 votes – 52.5 percent of the vote – to earn the right to face unopposed Democrat Lois Fornander in the GOP-leaning district on Nov. 4.
Klingenschmitt spells out many of his controversial, anti-LGBT views on his radio show, where once said, “The ultimate hate speech is to endorse homosexuality.”
As his political career took hold this week, he told the Colorado Springs newspaper: “I’m very humbled by the support of the voters. This was their campaign.”
“The voters are rising up with me to defend the First Amendment, religious freedom, smaller government, lower taxes and the right to life,” Klingenschmitt told the newspaper. “And those are the values I will fight for in Denver.”
In neighboring Oklahoma, Steve Kern, an evangelical pastor whose legislator wife has made incendiary comments about minorities and gay people, has advanced to an Oklahoma state Senate runoff, the Associated Press reported.
Kern’s wife, Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern, is running unopposed for re-election. In 2008, she made national headlines when she said gay people pose a greater threat to the United States than terrorists. Two years ago, Sally Kern was reprimanded after denigrating blacks and women during a state House debate on an affirmative action bill.
Steve Kern has given every indication that he shares his wife’s views and agenda. He will face anesthesiologist Ervin Yen in an Aug. 26 run-off election to decide which of the two Republican candidates will face Democrat John Handy Edwards in November.
Yen, a Republican candidate for the Oklahoma State Senate District 40 seat, received the most votes – 39 percent of those cast for six candidates. A native of Taiwan, Yen will now have about two months to campaign against Kern to represent a district that is home to Oklahoma City’s largest community of Asian Americans. ( continue to full post… )
Every election season brings out candidates from across the political and ideological spectrums. The current level of polarization, particularly on the right, has facilitated the emergence of extremist candidates. These candidates tend to promote antigovernment conspiracy theories and demonize minority groups – some even have ties to hate groups.
We recently profiled a dozen such candidates in the latest issue of SPLC’s Intelligence Report. Since that article went to press, additional candidates in the extremist mold have to come to light. Here are five that caught our attention.
Jody Hice, running for U.S. Congress in Georgia’s 10th district as a Republican, clinched a spot in a July runoff in the race to replace former Rep. Paul Broun, a fellow Republican who said in 2012 that evolution, the Big Bang, and embryology are “lies from the pit of hell” and claimed that President Obama was developing a secret police force to install a dictatorship. Broun run for the U.S. Senate but lost in the primary. Hice, a pastor and talk radio host, may very well be to the right of Broun.
In his 2012 book, It’s Now or Never: A Call to Reclaim America, he promoted a number of anti-LGBT falsehoods, including claims that homosexuality causes shorter lifespans and depression, and that LGBT people cannot raise healthy children. He also compared pro-choice advocates to Nazis and argued that states can nullify federal power and take up arms against the federal government if they consider a federal law “unjust.” Hice also says that Muslims must be viewed with suspicion, and Islam should not be protected under the First Amendment.
On his campaign website, Hice claims that he is a leader in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual event sponsored by the hard-right Alliance Defending Freedom in which religious clergy violate IRS regulations that prohibit tax-exempt organizations (like churches) from endorsing or opposing political candidates.
Hice’s first unsuccessful run for Congress was in 2010, when he made it to the primary in a neighboring district but was defeated by Rep. Bob Woodall. During that campaign, Hice had a billboard erected that featured President Obama’s name with a Soviet-era symbol. ( continue to full post… )
Judith Reisman is not well-known outside the anti-LGBT echo chamber, but she should be. Over the course of her three-decade career as a sought-after conservative talking head, lecturer and writer she has managed to paint herself as an “expert” in sexuality, gender, pornography and child sexual abuse. She is also listed as a “visiting professor of law” at the right-wing Liberty University and has appeared as an “expert” on congressional panels and court cases over the years. That’s no small feat for someone with a Ph.D. in communications and no formal training, education or credentials in law or psychology.
Now the friendly, grandmotherly Reisman is being tapped to serve as an “expert witness” in Jamaica in a court case that was filed last year challenging the constitutionality of the country’s 1864 anti-sodomy statute. Jamaica has a long history of homophobia, and its anti-LGBT policies have created a climate of violence and fear.
The judge in the case authorized a number of religious groups and a child advocacy group to join the case as interested parties. One of those groups, the virulently anti-LGBT Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS), has submitted an affidavit (PDF) to the court to grant Reisman expert witness status.
The JCHS has tapped other American anti-LGBT activists in the past. In December, Peter LaBarbera of the anti-LGBT hate group Americans for Truth about Homosexuality and Brian Camenker of the anti-LGBT hate group Mass Resistance spoke at a conference that JCHS organized.
Now they’re trying to bring Reisman into the fold, citing her background in the “fields of Science Fraud, Human Sexuality, Child Sexual Abuse, and Mass Media Effects.” However, Reisman has no formal training, background or credentials in these fields, with the exception of “mass media.” She wrote her dissertation, for her Ph.D. in communications, on pioneering TV anchorwoman Dorothy Fuldheim. Nonetheless, she’s made a career out of promoting sexual pseudoscience and conspiracy theories about the work and life of prominent sex researcher Alfred Kinsey. ( continue to full post… )
The neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS) gathered outside the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery today to protest same-sex marriage today, a departure from the group’s racist activism surrounding Southern heritage.
At the heart of the protest was an SPLC lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, which seeks to overturn the state’s 1998 Marriage Protection Act, which bans the recognition of same-sex marriages from other states. The suit also seeks to overturn the 2005 Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, which enshrined the ban.
The League, a neo-Confederate hate group that advocates for a second Southern secession and a society dominated by “European Americans,” seemed to use the protest to branch out into more mainstream conservative issues.
“We’re protesting the Southern Poverty Law Center’s stand against the state of Alabama and its position on homosexual marriage,” Dr. Michael Hill, president of the League, told Hatewatch. “We’re here as much to support the concept of Christian marriage and the family as we are to protest anything.”
And so they protested, not with screams and chants, but with a dull murmur.
League members held signs that said “God Sanctions Marriage. SPLC Should Not,” and “Support Christian Marriage,” along with Alabama state flags and Christian Confederate flags. They milled about, quietly, caught up with friends and talked about ideas such as what the South would use as its currency when it does secede. This protest was lackluster compared to previous gatherings, and not as comical.
In 2004, about 50 demonstrators in town for a national League meeting brandished Confederate and southern state flags outside the SPLC. On a street corner, League supporters placed a pink toilet with an adjacent sign read, “Flush the SPLC.” There were none of those antics today, not even from the younger leaders who have argued that street protests like the one today are the future of the movement.
Brad Griffin, a League member and editor of the Occidental Dissent blog, who writes under the nom de plume “Hunter Wallace,” has been instrumental in shifting the LOS toward more frequent protests. In a piece titled “The Logic of Street Demonstrations” published last month to Occidental Dissent blog, Griffin expounded on the need to use public protests to address the “taboo” of being pro-white, pro-South and pro Christian.
“By taking to the streets on a regular basis, we are demonstrating that we are no longer going to observe these taboos or acknowledge their legitimacy in the South. We believe our cause is moral and just, that our demographic displacement is an immoral assault on the birthright of future generations, and we invite our fellow Southerners to publicly violate the reigning taboos and join our movement,” Griffin wrote.
But even in the former cradle of the Confederacy, the public involvement with the League was lacking. The only engagement came from a group of young girls, standing in front of the Civil Rights Memorial, singing negro spirituals. And just as they had been all morning, the proud and graying League protestors were silent in response.
The man who tried to kill a crowd of 750 people packed inside a popular Seattle gay bar by setting it afire on New Year’s Eve has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of arson. Despite some evidence that he was motivated by hatred of LGBT people, Musab Mohammad Masmari will not face federal hate crime charges.
The Seattle Times reports that Masmari, a 30-year-old American-born man of Libyan extraction and upbringing, reached an agreement with prosecutors on Friday to plead guilty to arson. Though prosecutors had substantial reason to believe it was an anti-LGBT bias crime, he will not face federal hate-crime charges. Prosecutors said that Masmari’s motives will be addressed by the judge during the sentencing phase, which comes next week.
The plea agreement specifies that prosecutors will only seek a five-year prison sentence for the crime. However, prosecutors told KOMO-TV that the judge was free to ignore their recommendations and sentence Masmari to a prison term ranging up to 20 years.
Masmari got into Neighbours, a popular Capitol Hill bar, last New Year’s Eve with a canister of gasoline hidden inside another container, making it past security by entering through an adjoining tavern. He then tried to set a stairwell leading up to the rear entrance afire by dousing it with the gas, lighting it and fleeing. Alert action by bar patrons managed to douse the flames before they could spread.
Video surveillance cameras inside the bar captured Masmari’s image as he walked through with the container, and his neighbors and acquaintances identified him to detectives in short order. After Masmari was brought in for questioning and released, he apparently attempted to flee the country by buying a plane ticket to Turkey. But he was arrested at Sea-Tac Airport and subsequently charged with arson. ( continue to full post… )