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    Southern Poverty Law Center Fosters Climate for Domestic Terrorism Against Christians

    ALIPAC NOTE: We agree with the Family Research Council on the point that the Southern Poverty Law Center uses lies and distortions to demonize Christians, conservatives, and anyone fighting against illegal immigration to portray them with rhetoric that is clearly violence inspiring defamation.

    Family Research Council head blames Southern Poverty Law Center

    By MACKENZIE WEINGER | 8/16/12 3:22 PM EDT Updated: 8/17/12 10:46 AM EDT

    Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Thursday said the shooting at the conservative Christian organization’s Washington, D.C., headquarters was an act of terrorism and he accused the Southern Poverty Law Center of fostering the climate that allowed the crime to occur.

    Fox News’s Megyn Kelly asked Perkins whether he thought the Wednesday shooting of an unarmed security guard for the group “was an act of domestic terrorism.”

    “Terrorism is designed to intimidate and to drive people back and make them feel fearful. Well, that I believe would describe what they tried to do here yesterday at the Family Research Council and by extension to traditional value supporters, Christians across the nation,” Perkins said. “But I want to tell you it’s not going to work. We’re not going anywhere. We’re more committed today than we were yesterday to defending and advancing faith, family and freedom here in our nation’s capital.”

    The gunman suspected of shooting the guard and shouting a political statement was charged with assault with intent to kill on Thursday, according to reports. Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, of Virginia told the building manager, Leo Johnson, “I don’t like your politics,” and then shot him in the arm on Wednesday morning, The Associated Press reported. Johnson then unarmed Corkins and the suspected shooter was taken into custody.
    In Corkins’s backpack, investigators found ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, the AP said.

    Perkins — who called Johnson’s actions “heroic” and said the building manager is “doing well” — said Corkins’s intentions “were clearly evil and to do massive damage” at the FRC.

    The FRC head noted that while he holds Corkins solely responsible for the shooting, he believes the Southern Poverty Law Center must also be held accountable for its “reckless” labeling of the FRC as a hate group.

    “Corkins was responsible for the wounding of one our colleagues and one of my friends yesterday here at the Family Research Council, but I believe he was given a license by a group such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, who, as you pointed out earlier, labeled us a hate group because we defend the family and we stand for traditional, orthodox Christianity,” Perkins said.

    The SPLC, based in Montgomery, Ala., is a national civil rights watchdog organization that describes itself as “dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society,” according to the SPLC website. In 2010, the SPLC listed the FRC as a “hate group” and called the organization a “font of anti-gay propaganda throughout its history.” On Wednesday, the SPLC released a statement on its blog, saying, “There are unconfirmed reports that the shooting was ideologically motivated. We condemn all acts of violence and are following the story closely.”

    And in response to Perkins’ comments on Thursday, the SPLC said that the FRC head’s “accusation is outrageous.”

    “The SPLC has listed the FRC as a hate group since 2010 because it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people — not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage,” the SPLC stated on its blog. “The FRC and its allies on the religious right are saying, in effect, that offering legitimate and fact-based criticism in a democratic society is tantamount to suggesting that the objects of criticism should be the targets of criminal violence.”

    “Perkins and his allies, seeing an opportunity to score points, are using the attack on their offices to pose a false equivalency between the SPLC’s criticisms of the FRC and the FRC’s criticisms of LGBT people. The FRC routinely pushes out demonizing claims that gay people are child molesters and worse — claims that are provably false. It should stop the demonization and affirm the dignity of all people,” the SPLC added.

    Perkins told Fox News he believes certain people such as Corkins could be inspired by the “hate group” label bestowed by the SPLC.
    “It opens up for people who are not right, that are imbalanced, like Corkins who comes in and literally had the intent of killing people here yesterday,” he said. “And I’m not saying that the Southern Poverty Law Center is responsible for the shooting — Mr. Corkins is responsible for the shooting — they are responsible for creating an environment that led to yesterday’s shooting.”

    And at an afternoon press conference, Perkins told reporters that the SPLC “should be held accountable for their terminology” and reiterated that Corkins was “given license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations” like the SPLC.

    Perkins also said he“wanted to express my appreciation to the groups and organizations that we do not agree with on many public policy issues who have also expressed their outrage for what took place” and called on them “to go a step further and to join us in calling an end” to the “reckless rhetoric.”

    Tomer Ovadia contributed to this report.

    Last edited by ALIPAC; 08-17-2012 at 12:20 PM.
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