After an apparently politically motivated shooting at the Family Research Council, Washington Post commentator Dana Milbank says, and I agree:

“…[W]hile much of the political anger in America today lies on the right, there are unbalanced and potentially violent people of all political persuasions. The rest of us need to be careful about hurling accusations that can stir up the crazies….”

However, Millbank is dead wrong to go on to castigate the Human Rights Campaign and the Southern Poverty Law Center for labelling the FRC a “hate group”:

Southern Poverty Law Center

‘Human Rights Campaign isn’t responsible for the shooting. Neither
should the organization that deemed the FRC a “hate group,” the Southern Poverty Law Center,
be blamed for a madman’s act. But both are reckless in labeling as a
“hate group” a policy shop that advocates for a full range of
conservative Christian positions, on issues from stem cells to
euthanasia.

I disagree with the Family Research Council’s views on
gays and lesbians. But it’s absurd to put the group, as the law center
does, in the same category as Aryan Nations, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Stormfront and the Westboro Baptist Church. The center says the FRC “often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science.” ‘

Exactly how similar to the Aryan Nation does a group have to be to have Millbank’s permission to be under scrutiny by the SPLC? And exactly what percentage of hateful principles does a full-spectrum Christian group have to support for them to have Millbank’s permission to be labelled as hateful? What, exactly, does Millbank mean by the sloppy and vague assertion that the SPLC “puts the group in the same category”?

The SPLC has done more to break the back of bigotry and hate speech than any other advocacy group. Their approach is thoughtful and evidence-based, in contrast to Millbank’s hysteria. I trust their judgment if they have concerns about the policies promulgated by a group, no matter the sheep’s clothing of mainstream respectability the organization cloaks itself with.