This article refers primarily to events from 2012 and 2013. It is included here for reference.
If you listened to InfoWars, WorldNetDaily, Fox News Radio, The Blaze, The Washington Times, the Free Republic or a host of other conservative-oriented news sources, you might think so.
Wake up you fool. nobama hates our Military and Christians, but he loves morons like you that believe his every word.
— Terry Ford
— Comment at Google+ (November 2013)
If you don’t frequent those sources, you may not have heard about it.
What actually happened was the the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks hate groups in the US, provided a training presentation on extremism for use in National Guard, presented in Pennsylvania in 2012. In that presentation, a list of religious groups (see page 24), including Catholics, Christian evangelicals, Muslim extremists and the Ku Klux Klan, indicating that some members of those groups are extreme. The text that goes with the list says:
Extremism is a complex phenomenon; it is defined as beliefs, attitudes, feelings, actions, or strategies of a character far removed from the “ordinary.” Because “ordinary” is subjective, no religious group would label itself extreme or its doctrine “extremism.” However, religious extremism is not limited to any single religion, ethnic group, or region of the world; every religion has some followers that believe that their beliefs, customs and traditions are the only “right way” and that all others are practicing their faith the “wrong way,” seeing and believing that their faith/religion superior to all others.
In December 2013, a coalition of religious leaders wrote a letter to the Secretary of Defense complaining about religious discrimination in the military, including this SPLC presentation, and apparently the conservative media finally got the story.
Some conservative commentators have objected to listing the Klan as a “religious group” but at least historically the Klan was associated with Protestantism. Today the Klan is so fractured that I don’t what they believe.
The best web coverage of the issue I found came from the Christian News Service, which is a good source of information on topics with a religious link.
The SPLC seems to this writer to get a little extreme sometimes too; however, in the presentation in question, they are specific in listing 25 hate groups (page 32 in the presentation) in Pennsylvania, including 3 labeled Catholic.
The Defense Department is reviewing the materials.
- Article at WorldNetDaily
- The Blaze video from 2013