The Family Research Council released a statement on Wednesday announcing their joining of a coalition of 47 conservative leaders and organizations calling on the news media to refrain from using data provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
SPLC is notorious for labeling mainstream conservative groups like Alliance Defending Freedom and FRC as “hate groups” for their consistent, biblical stance on religious liberty.
In an open letter, FRC asks the media to avoid falling for the disingenuous tactics and claims used by SPLC.
“We are writing to you as individuals or as representatives of organizations who are deeply troubled by several recent examples of the media’s use of data from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC is a discredited, left-wing, political activist organization that seeks to silence its political opponents with a ‘hate group’ label of its own invention and application that is not only false and defamatory, but that also endangers the lives of those targeted with it.
“The fifth anniversary has just passed of the terrorist event for which the SPLC’s hate map and website were used to target its victims for political assassination. The following facts were established in the record of a federal court case. On August 15, 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins II entered the Family Research Council offices in Washington, D.C. and shot and badly wounded its building manager, Leo Johnson, who stopped his intended killing spree. According to his own statements to the FBI, Corkins intended to kill everyone in the building, and then go on to terrorize additional organizations.
“We believe the media outlets that have cited the SPLC in recent days have not intended to target mainstream political groups for violent attack, but by recklessly linking the Charlottesville melee to the mainstream groups named on the SPLC website — those that advocate in the courts, the halls of Congress, and the press for the protection of conventional, Judeo-Christian values – we are left to wonder if another Floyd Lee Corkins will soon be incited to violence by this incendiary information.
“That day, Corkins carried both the means to carry out this act of terrorism and a list of additional targets. The U.S. Attorney stated in federal court that Corkins targeted FRC and the additional targets by using the SPLC website’s ‘Hate Map.’ On February 6, 2013, Corkins pleaded guilty to three felonies, and became the first person convicted of violating the District of Columbia’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002.
“To associate public interest law firms and think tanks with neo-Nazis and the KKK is unconscionable, and it represents the height of irresponsible journalism to do so. All reputable news organizations should immediately stop using the SPLC descriptions of in individuals and organizations based on the SPLC’s obvious political prejudices.”
Family Research Council was founded in 1981 by James Dobson, and promotes traditional family values by advancing “faith, family and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview.” FRC’s current president is Tony Perkins.