Main Menu

Tag Archives | Southern Poverty Law Center

Birther provokes ISIS-linked shooting in US

On April 27, 2011, Barack Obama released his long form birth certificate and that same day blogger Pam Geller declared on Fox Business that it “is actually not a birth certificate.”

She appears to know nothing about birth certificates, but she would have to have been off planet not to know that depictions of the prophet Muhammad have provoked violent responses from Muslim extremists. So in recognition of that fact, she held a contest and an exhibit for drawings of the, wait for it……, prophet Muhammad, and what happened? There was a violent response from Muslim extremists leaving two dead and one injured.

Geller is president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim hate group. Rather than a very large “oops” from Geller, the AP reported that “she said that the shooting showed how ‘needed our event really was,’”

There is an ongoing debate debate in America over freedom of speech and respect for religion. I personally don’t think a public “stick it to the Muslims” event is a good idea.

Read more:

Obama calls Christian evangelicals #1 “extremists”?

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.

Read more:

Southern Poverty Law Center comments on Georgia case

I heard that someone from the Southern Poverty Law Center was in Atlanta for the Georgia ballot challenge hearing. I finally got over to their web site to see what they said. It wasn’t on the front page, but I eventually found it on their Hatewatch blog.

Adding an extra layer of surreality to the already farcical Georgia proceedings regarding President Obama’s constitutional eligibility for office, neither the defendant nor his counsel appeared at this morning’s hearing before an administrative law judge.

You get the flavor of where they’re coming from.