Disagreeing with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins’ contention that “the SPLC [Southern Poverty Law Center] had given [the FRC shooter] ‘a license to shoot’“, saying the comment “goes too far”, the National Review’s Rich Lowry reminds conservatives that
Nothing the SPLC does sanctions violence, and [the shooter]’s alleged crime is his responsibility and his alone. But the SPLC’s designation of the Family Research Council is intolerant all the same, a bullying attempt to short-circuit free debate.
It’s not as if the SPLC considers the Family Research Council mildly offensive, or barely hateful. Asked if someone addressing a Family Research Council meeting was as guilty as someone addressing an Aryan Nation rally, the SPLC’s research director said “yes.”
I agree with Lowry that the SPLC goes too far in labeling the Family Research Council a “hate group.” They may put out some pretty strange and generally inaccurate statements/opinions on gay people, but, like many groups with strange opinions, including the SPLC, they don’t advocate violence against the individuals or groups they criticize. Rich laments that it’s fortunate the outfit . . .
. . . can’t tell the difference between people who hate blacks and people who support the traditional definition of marriage. . . .
The SPLC calls the Family Research Council a “hate group.” This puts it in the same league as the True Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nation, the Supreme White Alliance, the Old Glory Skinheads and, of course, the American Nazi Party.
As they ask in kindergarten, which of these things isn’t like all the others?
Via Instapundit. Read the whole thing Lowry goes on to call the SPLC’s categorizing “profoundly illiberal” and suggest is purpose is to shut down discourse on gay marriage.
They’re not the only group who wants to shut down debate on this topic. If gay marriage advocates believe they have a strong case to make for state recognition of same-sex marriage, they should welcome criticism as it will afford them a better opportunity to make their case, which (they believe) is the stronger argument (than the case for traditional marriage).