The Southern Poverty Law Center is the Most Dangerous Hate Group in America

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By Dr. Michael Brown, a Senior Contributor to The Stream, Aug. 25, 2017

Michael BrownWhich is more insidious, the enemy that you recognize or the enemy that appears to be your friend? Which is more dangerous, a rag-tag bunch of poorly-funded White Supremacists or a well-organized, massively-funded, “civil rights” organization which demonizes Christian conservatives? And which lie is more likely to spread, one that is false from beginning to end or one that mixes falsehood with truth?

Based on the obvious answers to these questions, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is the most insidious and dangerous. And the lies of the SPLC are more likely to spread. The SPLC even has blood on its hands. By its own definition, it should be listed as a hate group (more on both claims below).

Holocaust Deniers, Islamic Terrorists and … Catholic Ministries?

To give you an idea of just how dangerous the SPLC is, consider this recent headline from the San Diego Union-Tribune: “Eight hate groups are in San Diego’s backyard, civil rights organization says.”

Really? Eight hate-groups in San Diego’s backyard? How does that make you feel if you live nearby? What protective action should you take? And who, exactly, are these groups?

Some are Black Supremacist groups. One denies the Holocaust. One supports Islamic terrorism and wants to establish Sharia Law. And two are conservative Christian organizations.

That’s right, two conservative Christian organizations, including the Ruth Institute, a Catholic, pro-family organization, led by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, are listed side by side with radical Muslims, Black Supremacists, and Holocaust deniers.

This is the insidiousness of the SPLC. It exposes genuine hate groups alongside fine Christian organizations whose great sin, according to the SPLC, is being “anti-LGBT.”

 The SPLC exposes genuine hate groups alongside fine Christian organizations whose great sin is being “anti-LGBT.”

Put another way, you are “anti-LGBT” if you believe that it’s best for kids to have a mom and dad. Or that marriage should be limited to the union of one man and one woman. Or that homosexual practice is sinful. Or that gays can change, or that Bruce Jenner is not a woman, or that a 15-year-old boy should not be able to play on the girls’ sports teams and share their locker rooms and showers.

And since you are “anti-LGBT,” according to the SPLC, you are a hater. And if your organization or ministry is known for such views, you belong on their hate list side by side with the KKK, neo-Nazis, Black Supremacists, and Islamic radicals.

As for the Ruth Institute, that organization explained that its “primary focus is family breakdown, and its impact on children: understanding it, healing it, ending it. If this makes us a ‘hate group,’ so be it.”

As for the SPLC having any constructive interaction with the Christian groups they vilify, why would they do that? As the Ruth Institute noted, “No one who creates those designations has ever contacted us, to inquire about our mission or values. We do not know how an organization becomes christened a ‘hate group’ or how an organization gets off such a list.”

When Dr. Ben Carson is an “Extremist”

In 2012, I was included on an SPLC list featuring profiling “30 Leaders of the Rising Radical Right.” I was listed alongside men like David Duke of KKK infamy and Malik Zulu Shabazz, former head of the New Black Panthers.

According to the press release:

Thirty key leaders of the radical right, both longtime agitators and newcomers, are profiled in the report. These extremists — including anti-government activists, racist neo-Nazis and propagandists who promote falsehoods about Muslims and the LGBT community — are making headway by exploiting anger over the nation’s ailing economy, non-white immigration and the shrinking white majority.

Once again, you see the insidiousness of the SPLC’s work. Christian conservatives like me (and prayer leader Lou Engle and historian David Barton) were included among leaders of the “radical right” simply because we believe what the Bible says about homosexual practice. (For my response, see here.)

Using this same logic, should the SPLC one day publish a list of “hate books,” the Bible would be on their list. (Note also that groups and individuals which expose radical Islam are also on the SPLC’s hate list.)

The SPLC subsequently removed me from their list (with no explanation and no response after I exposed their error and called for face to face interaction). But a few years back they added a new name to the list: Dr. Ben Carson!

That’s right. Famed neuro-surgeon, presidential candidate, and now Cabinet member Ben Carson was on SPLC’s “extremist” list until Bill O’Reilly exposed it. SPLC then removed his name with an apology. How in the world do they still have credibility?

Lumping Christian Legal Groups in With Neo-Nazis

Thankfully, the FBI, among other law-enforcement agencies, no longer relies on the SPLC’s data. But for years the SPLC was a major source of information for our government, reminding us once more of just how dangerous they are.

And thanks in part to CNN republishing their national hate map in the aftermath of Charlottesville, the SPLC is receiving a fresh wave of financial support. This includes a one million-dollar donation from George Clooney and, with consistency, millions of dollars from J. P. Morgan and their ilk.

And lest you think that the SPLC is hurting financially, its 2016 Annual Report shows net assets of almost $34 million and an endowment fund of just under $320 million.

Their “hate group” map breaks groups down into major categories. They include: Racist Skinhead, Neo-Nazi, White Nationalist, Black Separatist, Ku Klux Klan, General Hate, and Anti-LGBT(!). So, along with lots of accurate reporting about truly hateful, dangerous groups, they mix in some deadly poison. Specifically, their libelous misrepresentation of Christian conservatives organizations.

And just which Christian organizations are they attacking? Here’s a small sampling:

  • The Alliance Defending Freedom, one of the most respected Christian legal firms in the world. ADF has successfully argued cases before the Supreme Court and was involved in arguing the landmark Obergefell vs. Hodges.

  • The American College of Pediatricians. This group of medical professionals broke away from the larger national pediatric group because it felt it was wrong to affirm transgender identity in children.

  • The America Family Association, which for several decades has stood for family values in our nation.

  • Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, which simply disseminates factual information about LGBT issues.

  • Liberty Counsel, another highly respected Christian legal firm which represents Christians in major cases across the land. (The Pacific Justice Institute, yet another fine Christian legal firm, makes it onto this same list. How dare these Christian groups defend their constitutional rights!)

This is just a sampling of some of the Christian groups listed. Once again, a fine organization like the Illinois Family Institute is put on the same list with Westboro Baptist Church of “God hates fags” infamy.

Time to Expose the Real Hate Group

Another group on the list, D. James Kennedy Ministries, has decided that it’s time to fight fire with fire. They filed a lawsuitagainst the SPLC (along with Amazon and Guidestar, which, they claim were influenced by the SPLC).

According to the suit:

SPLC acted knowingly, intentionally, and with actual malice in publishing the Hate Map that included the Ministry and in publishing the SPLC Transmissions to Guidestar that included the Ministry. SPLC’s conduct in making these publications was beyond the reckless disregard for the truth standard required by Alabama law for punitive damages.

In 2011, after the SPLC labelled Focus on the Family a “quintessential hate group,” I pointed out how the SPLC, based on its own criteria, was the real hate group. Their criteria included the knowing dissemination of false information and the demonizing of other people and groups. This describes the SPLC to a tee when it comes to their defamation of Christian conservatives.

They must now be exposed and called to account, since their lies have actually led to the shedding of innocent blood.

The SPCL must now be exposed and called to account, since their lies have actually led to the shedding of innocent blood.

I’m speaking, of course, of the attack on the FRC by Floyd Lee Corkins, a gay man who was hoping to carry out a massacre of Christians but was thwarted by a security guard whom he wounded. As Corkins himself stated, “Southern Poverty Law lists anti-gay groups. I found them online, did a little research, went to the website, stuff like that.”

Corkins even found their address courtesy of the very same map just reposted by CNN. Yet the SPLC never apologized.There were never consequences to their recklessness. And millions of dollars continue to pour into their coffers.

It’s high time they are exposed for the hate group they have become, leaving them with two choices. Either they remove the fine groups and individuals whom they defame from their lists, or they become ignored and discredited.

Since they’ve shown no signs of contrition for their wrongful acts so far, the best we can do right now is expose them.

Help me do so by sharing this article if you agree. We don’t want to see any more bloodshed because of the SPLC’s irresponsible spreading of hate and fear.


Dr. Michael Brown ( is a Senior Contributor to The Stream, and the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

He became a believer in Jesus 1971 as a sixteen year-old, heroin-shooting, LSD-using Jewish rock drummer. Since then, he has preached throughout America and around the world, bringing a message of repentance, revival, reformation and cultural revolution. He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a visiting or adjunct professor at Southern Evangelical Seminary, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (Charlotte), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Fuller Theological Seminary, Denver Theological Seminary, the King’s Seminary and Regent University School of Divinity, and he has contributed numerous articles to scholarly publications, including the Oxford Dictionary of Jewish Religion and the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament.

Dr. Brown is the author of more than 25 books, including Our Hands Are Stained with Blood: The Tragic Story of the “Church” and the Jewish People, which has been translated into more than twelve languages, the highly acclaimed five-volume series, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, a commentary on Jeremiah (part of the revised edition of the Expositor’s Bible Commentary), and several books on revival and the Jesus revolution. His newest books are Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide (2015), The Grace Controversy: Answering 12 Common Questions about Grace (2016) andBreaking the Stronghold of Food (2017).

Dr. Brown is a national and international speaker on themes of spiritual renewal and cultural reformation, and he has debated Jewish rabbis, agnostic professors, and gay activists on radio, TV and college campuses. He is widely considered to be the world’s foremost Messianic Jewish apologist. He and his wife Nancy, who is also a Jewish believer in Jesus, have been married since 1976. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.