We here at GayPatriot have never been fans of the Family Research Council (FRC). And much as we disagree with many of that social conservative organization’s policies, particularly its narrow (and often inaccurate) portrayal of gay Americans, we disagree as well with those, including the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, who dub FRC a “hate group.” As John Hinderaker puts it, “gay activists and their allies have consistently smeared the Family Research Council as a ‘hate group’ because it supports traditional marriage.”
Yet, given that the man who shot a guard at the Family Research Center in Washington, D.C. yesterday had volunteered at a local gay and lesbian center, we need to ask if a different climate of hate , a climate that exists within all too many gay organizations and which we read on some gay left blogs, spurred him on. Indeed, there are reports that the shooter “made statements regarding [FRC’s] policies, and then opened fire with a gun striking a security guard“.
It is, to be sure, facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman’s act directly to Democratic or LGBT activists. But it is legitimate to hold gay organizations and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the a good number of threats against advocates of traditional marriage, setting the nation on edge. Many on the gay left have exploited the arguments of division, reaping media favor by demonizing Mormons (and other Christians), or social conservatives, or Republicans. They seem to have persuaded many Americans that social conservatives are not just misguided, but the enemy of the people.
The motivation and circumstances behind today’s tragedy are still unknown, but regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence. We wish for a swift and complete recovery for the victim of this terrible incident.
These groups need to do more than just condemn the attack; they should also examine how their harsh rhetoric may have contributed to it.
Some, however, just can’t seem to shake this “hate” rhetoric. Within hours of the shooting, Anne Sorock reports at Legal Insurrection, the Huffington Post “promoted on its front page” a piece by an “’LGBT rights activist’ referring to the Family Research Council as an ‘extreme right-wing group’ and a ‘hate group’.”
Extreme (and misguided), some of FRC’s views may be, but the group promotes neither hate nor violence. Will editorialists who attempted to link recent shootings to conservatives link this one to anti-social conservative invective on the gay left? Will gay organizations (and gay left bloggers) examine their own readiness to define as “hate” any opposition to issues they support?
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