Leave it up to the extremist Christians at the American Family Association to create a map of their own which outlines what they perceive to be anti-Christian groups operating in America. Of course, some of their main targets are the Southern Poverty Law Center, Gays, Atheists, Humanists, GLSEN and Anti-Christians.
Picking up the story from David Badash writing for The New Civil Rights Movement website:
The American Family Association continues to object to the Southern Poverty Law Center adding them to its list of anti-gay hate groups. Despite wearing the label as badge of honor, the AFA often mischaracterizes the attribution, falsely claiming the SPLC included them because of their Christian beliefs in going to “church on Sundays,” “intact families,” “free speech,” “freedom of religion” and “belief in Jesus Christ.”
Last month the American Family Association was forced to remove Bryan Fischer as its official spokesperson, over comments he has made for years claiming gays are Nazis, Hitler was a Nazi, and other similar claims. That came immediately before the AFA sponsored a trip to Israel for about 60 GOP lawmakers and Republican leaders, despite a long anti-Semitic streak displayed by AFA founder Don Wildmon, and Fischer.
Now, the AFA is fighting back. They’ve created a Bigotry Map highlighting groups that advocate for the “homosexual agenda,” along with “atheist,” “anti-Christian,” and “Humanist” categories.
Among the national groups listed are the Human Rights Campaign, GLSEN, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and of course, the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Claiming these are “groups and organizations that openly display bigotry toward the Christian faith,” and “are deeply intolerant towards the Christian religion,” the Bigotry Map claims the groups’ “objectives are to silence Christians and to remove all public displays of Christian heritage and faith in America.”
“A common practice of these groups is threatening our nation’s schools, cities and states. By threat of lawsuit, they demand prayer removed from schools and city council meetings, Ten Commandments monuments stricken from courthouses and memorial crosses purged from cemeteries and parks.”
Of course, those lawsuits are almost always successful because of the First Amendment and our nation’s devotion to the idea of separation between church and state.
“Because of anti-Christian bigotry, private business owners have been sued and forced to close their business,” the AFA claims, without naming one. Exactly which private business owners have been “forced to close their business”?
“Some members or supporters of these groups have committed violent crimes against Christians and faith-based groups,” the AFA claims. Aside from one who attacked the Family Research Council headquarters, exactly whom else?
The map actually has few organizations on it, mostly local branches of the above mentioned groups, proving that the persecution the American Family Association claims is mostly non-existent.
Right Wing Watch adds their own research:
Ever since the Southern Poverty Law Center designated the American Family Association as an anti-gay “hate group” back in 2010, the AFA has vehemently objected to being designated as such. In addition to regularly attacking the SPLC, the AFA has also taken a few half-hearted steps to try and distance itself from Bryan Fischer, who was almost single-handedly responsible for getting the AFA placed on the SPLC’s hate list in the first place, in an effort to salvage its reputation.
Now, it seems, the AFA has decided to take a page out of the SPLC’s playbook by releasing its own “Bigotry Map” which seeks to highlight organizations that it claims “openly display bigotry toward the Christian faith”:
These groups are deeply intolerant towards the Christian religion. Their objectives are to silence Christians and to remove all public displays of Christian heritage and faith in America.
A common practice of these groups is threatening our nation’s schools, cities and states. By threat of lawsuit, they demand prayer removed from schools and city council meetings, Ten Commandments monuments stricken from courthouses and memorial crosses purged from cemeteries and parks.
Because of anti-Christian bigotry, private business owners have been sued and forced to close their business. Families and businesses that express a Christian worldview on social issues often face vicious retaliation from bigoted anti-Christian zealots.
Some members or supporters of these groups have committed violent crimes against Christians and faith-based groups. Physical and profane verbal assaults against Christians are methods frequently exercised in their angry methods of intimidation.
At first glance, the map appears to be pretty heavily populated, but a quick search of the actual groups listed reveals that the AFA basically just listed every atheist, humanist, or freethinker organization it could find, as well as the state chapters of national organizations such as Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, SPLC, the Human Rights Campaign, and GLSEN:
We’re honored to see that we here at PFAW also made the map as one of the groups that supposedly “actively engages in the complete eradication of the Christian faith from society, government and private commerce. These groups file lawsuits and use intimidation to silence any reference to Christianity from the public square”: