The rhetoric of the left appears to have provoked a terror attack on a leading conservative organization yesterday. Floyd Corkins II, who shot a guard at the Family Research Council yesterday, appears to have been a gay activist who may have been inspired to violence by rhetoric claiming that opposition to redefining marriage amounts to hate. AP reports:
the shooter made a negative reference about the work of the Family Research Council before opening fire. The officials spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.
David Mariner is executive director of The DC Center for the LGBT Community. He says Corkins had been volunteering at the center for about the past 6 months. Mariner describes Corkins as "kind, gentle and unassuming."
William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection has been following the Southern Poverty Law Center, which raises millions and pays its leadership lavishly, falsely applying the hate label to those with whom it disagrees, including the FRC:
In seeking to justify its hefty salaries, budget and fundraising, SPLC made a very dangerous leap to treating political opponents as "hate groups" and speech it didn't like as "hate speech." (snip)
SPLC continued its agenda against the Tea Party and conservatives when it persisted in claiming that Jared Loughner was "right wing" long after it was clear that was not the case.
SPLC also moved on to the issue of marriage, and named several groups - including the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage - as hate groups, SPLC Demonizes Supporters of Traditional Marriage:
Time and again SPLC, through its Hatewatch division, seeks to shut down debate by applying the "hate group" or similar epithets to political opponents, and those political opponents almost always are conservative.
Being labeled a "hate group" by SPLC can be devastating, because most of the country is unaware of how politicized SPLC has become....
SPLC is at it again, with a list of 18, "anti-gay"groups, 13 of whom also will make SPLC's upcoming "hate group" list....
Most of these groups are unknown to me, although a couple are well-known Christian groups, such as American Family Association and Family Research Council (both of these entities will be on SPLC's upcoming Hate Group list). I don't defend or not defend these groups because I don't know much about them, but based upon SPLC's past performance, the burden should be on SPLC to make the case for including a group on a hate list.
All these groups, with one exception below, were included for having a fundamentalist Christian view of homosexuality and gay marriage. Oddly, no Orthodox Jewish or Muslim groups were included, even though those religious affiliations have views not much different from fundamentalist Christians....
The inclusion of NOM on this list really is outrageous, and typical of how SPLC seeks to demonize a mainstream conservative (and in this case, constitutional) view. The explanation SPLC gives for including NOM is flimsy and filled with innuendo.
And so it came to pass, support for retaining the centuries old definition of marriage as one man, one woman, routinely now is labeled as "hate speech" on campuses and increasingly in the liberal-dominated media. Groups which support retaining the definition now are hate groups - with SPLC cited as the authority.
With the SPLC fanning the flames, the Chick fil-A company has been subjected to vandalism, protests, and charged with serving "hate" (This from famous Chicago chef Art Smith, reportedly a favorite of the Obamas when dining out) merely because its president does not favor redefining marriage.
One of the foremost tactics of the left, particularly the gay left, has been to label those with whom the disagree as "haters." This stops arguments over substance, and turns to emotional blackmail and victimology. But it also has consequences. Convince yourself that others hate you, and response "in kind" (hating them) is natural. Sadly, a portion of the public (of all political stripes).
The National Organization for Marriage is directly challenging the SPLC. Jordy Yager in The Hill:
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), one of the nation's leading opponents of same-sex marriage, told The Hill the shooting was a direct result of the Southern Poverty Law Center's decision in 2010 to place the FRC on its list of hate groups for its rhetoric on gays.
Brian Brown, the president of NOM, pointed to a recent blog post by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), one of the largest gay-rights groups in the country. The post, "Paul Ryan Speaking at Hate Group's Annual Conference," called attention to the vice presidential candidate's scheduled appearance at the FRC's national summit next month.
"Today's attack is the clearest sign we've seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as 'hateful' must end," Brown said in a statement issued following the shooting.
"For too long national gay rights groups have intentionally marginalized and ostracized pro-marriage groups and individuals by labeling them as 'hateful' and 'bigoted.'"
It is time for responsible supporters of gay marriage to admit that opposition to redefining marriage is not hateful, that it is legitimate position. Those who continue to hurl the "hate" label ar those who disagree, are themselves haters, and now they have blood on their hands.
John Hinderaker of Powerline has a characteristically intelligent summation of where we now stand:
Of course, denouncing proponents of traditional marriage as "haters" isn't the only instance of over-the-top liberal rhetoric; on the contrary, hysteria is their stock in trade. Thus, we see Barack Obama claiming that Mitt Romney causes cancer, and Joe Biden asserting bizarrely that Republicans want to put someone-African-Americans, I guess, by a process of elimination-"back in chains." Liberals should take a deep breath and re-think how they talk about public policy issues. If they are looking for haters, it would seem that the mirror is a good place to start.