Ruth Speaks Out

This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.

The Ivory Spires of the SPLC “Poverty Palace”

The Southern Poverty Law Center keeps millions of dollars in offshore accounts and pays lavish salaries - in the name of defending the poor

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by Jacob Grandstaff
This article was first published September 11, 2017, at Capital Research.

The Washington Free Beacon exposed the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a self-appointed hate group monitor infamous for lumping mainstream conservative nonprofits alongside legitimate hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, keeps millions of dollars in multiple offshore accounts.

SPLC tax forms from 2014 reveal that in one year, the 501(c)3 nonprofit transferred nearly $5.5 million to multiple bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda. The bulk of these financial transfers occurred on March 1, 2015, in which two separate transfers were made to two accounts at the same address in Canana Bay, Cayman Islands.

Amy Sterling Casil, CEO of Pacific Human Capital, a California-based nonprofit consulting firm told the Free Beacon that she had never heard of a US-based nonprofit that deals with human rights or social services having foreign bank accounts. “It is unethical for any US-based charity to invest large sums of money overseas,” she said, adding “I know of no legitimate reason for any US-based nonprofit to put money in overseas, unregulated bank accounts.”

Charles Ortel, a former Wall Street analyst and financial adviser known for uncovering a 2009 financial scandal at General Electric also expressed surprise, noting: “It seems extremely unusual for a 501(c)(3) concentrating upon reducing poverty in the American South to have multiple bank accounts in tax haven nations.”

The SPLC pays its staff surprisingly well. In 2015, the organization spent $20 million on salaries, but only spent $61,000 on legal services. This, despite boasting of a staff of 75 lawyers for the purpose of litigating on behalf of “children’s rights, economic justice, immigrant justice, LGBT rights, and criminal justice reform.” The minimum it paid officers, directors, trustees, or key employees, in base salary in 2015 was $140,000—this in Alabama, a state where the mean salary for religious and education directors (which includes private school principals) was $40,820 in 2015. SPLC president and CEO Richard Cohen was paid $346,218 in base compensation, while SPLC founder and chief trial counsel Morris Dees earned $329,560 in compensation, and $42,000 in additional reportable non-taxable benefits.

While the SPLC began with a legitimate mission to tackle hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, it proved so successful that it effectively ran out of hate groups. Seeking a new mission (and source of funding), the group evolved into a far-left outfit intent on smearing any group which disagrees with them as a “hate group.” Because of its history, the SPLC enjoys a reputation with the mainstream media as self-styled hate group experts that it no longer deserves. After the riots in Charlottesville on August 12, CNN ran a wire story entitled: “Here are all the active hate groups where you live.” The story included a map with 917 organizations that the SPLC considers hate groups, including mainstream, conservative, pro-family organizations like Family Research Council (FRC) and the Ruth Institute.

On August 31, the Ruth Institute, a nonprofit that focuses on the impact of family breakdown on children, received an email from the payment processing company, Vanco, announcing that the institute would no longer be able to use the company’s services because it had been “flagged” for promoting “hate, violence, harassment, and or/or abuse.” Dr. Jennifer Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute immediately checked her organization’s website and found the donation feature already disabled. Morse said,

The corporate left is out there doing what they do and I can’t stop them—they’re going to do what they do with their power.

I think it’s convenient strategically and rhetorically for groups like the SPLC to stand me up next to a guy with a swastika and white hood, because then nobody has to listen to what I have to say. Rather than argue with me—or, you know, try to say ‘gee you’re wrong’—rather than have that conversation about why kids need their parents, they just dismiss the whole thing by putting me and Tony Perkins (president of the Family Research Council) in a lineup with guys in white hoods and then they don’t have to deal with it.

Forty-seven individuals and groups, including CRC president Scott Walter, have recently signed an open letter to media outlets, asking them to stop using data from the “discredited Southern Poverty Law Center.”

The attempt by SPLC to silence conservative critics on issues such as gay marriage by lumping them in with legitimate hate groups can have potentially fatal consequences. Floyd Lee Corkins II, who shot an unarmed security guard at the FRC in 2012, claimed to be on a mission to kill “as many people as possible.” He claims to have identified the FRC as “anti-gay” based on information from the SPLC’s website.

Since the Charlottesville riots, millions of left-leaning American citizens and companies have sought to express their displeasure toward racial intolerance by donating to anti-racist organizations. Unfortunately, because the SPLC masquerades as a legitimate anti-hate group, the riots have proven to be a donation boon for the organization. For example, Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees that the company would be donating $1 million to the SPLC and would match employee contributions two to one. JP Morgan Chase promised to pay $500,000 to the SPLC’s “work in tracking, exposing, and fighting hate groups and other extremist organizations.”

With millions in donations covering its generous pay scale and plush off-shore accounts, the SPLC is set to continue its war against charities that disagree with its radical ideology.

Pro-family group blacklisted after being labelled ‘hateful’

This article was first published September 11, 2017, at



The Ruth Institute said its primary focus is family breakdown and its impact on children.


A group helping children suffering from the effects of family breakdown has been axed by its online payments provider after political activists accused it of being a “hate group”.

The Ruth Institute is on a ‘hate map’ alongside 900 other US organisations such as the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis and holocaust denial groups.

Last week, online donation processing company Vanco cancelled its services to the group without notice, stating it believed the Ruth Institute was affiliated “with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse”.


The hate map, compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, also includes groups such as Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council.

In response to Vanco’s move, the Ruth Institute said it “categorically condemns white supremacy, racism, Nazism, and all violent totalitarian political movements”.

“The Ruth Institute’s primary focus is family breakdown, and its impact on children… If this makes us a ‘hate group’, so be it”, it said.

“People who cannot defend their positions using reason and evidence resort to name-calling to change the subject away from their anemic arguments”, the pro-family organisation noted.

“The ‘hate group’ label is a club such people invented to bludgeon their political opponents.”

Traditional stance

The Ruth Institute assured supporters that their financial details had not been compromised. It said the move was probably due to its traditional stance on LGBT issues.

While the family group noted that it respected the financial company’s right as a private business to make its own decision, it added: “We just wish wedding photographers, bakers, and florists received the same respect.

The Ruth Institute has been on the hate map since 2013, but recently CNN published the nationwide list on its website, initially under the headline “Here are all the active hate groups where you live”.

“No one outside the SPLC knows how organizations come to be included on the list. No one knows how to get off the list. The SPLC sets itself up as judge, jury and enforcer of the charge of ‘hate’”, the Ruth Institute said.

Vanco declined to comment.

Genuine hate groups

Last week, during a US Senate committee hearing considering a new judicial appointment, Senator Al Franken tore into the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), repeatedly noting its inclusion on the hate list.

ADF’s President responded: “There is a real danger of conflating genuine hate groups, like the Ku Klux Klan, with mainstream religious beliefs that are shared by millions of Americans and people from all walks of life across the world.”

Donation Processor Drops Pro-Family Group Over ‘Hate’ Label

by Rachel del Guidice

This article was first published September 1, 2017, at Daily Signal.


Caption: Morris Dees is a co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which labels socially conservative organizations such as Ruth Institute as “hate groups.” (Photo: Robert King/Polaris/Newscom)


The founder of a nonprofit dedicated to repairing families says she thinks being incorrectly labeled a “hate group” prompted the company that processed donations to drop her organization.

Ruth Institute’s biblical stance on issues such as gender identity and same-sex marriage led to its being labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has done the same to other mainstream conservative organizations.

Vanco Payment Solutions, her nonprofit’s online donation processor for several years, abruptly emailed to say “we are severing our relationship with you,” Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of Ruth Institute, told The Daily Signal.

“The most logical conclusion is the fact that we were in the news with this hate map that SPLC [Southern Poverty Law Center] puts out, but no one has said that directly,” Morse, who is Catholic, said.

“I don’t know that for a fact,” she added. “We’re just surmising that must be the case.”

According to a press release from Ruth Institute, based in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the Aug. 31 email notice read:

Vanco has elected to discontinue our processing relationship with the Ruth Institute. The organization has been flagged by Card Brands as being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse. Merchants that display such attributes are against Vanco and Wells Fargo processing policies.

Vanco Payment Solutions is a registered independent sales organization, or ISO, of Concord, California-based Wells Fargo Bank. It is not clear what Card Brands is.

After receiving the email, Morse said, she discovered that the donation function of Ruth Institute’s website was disabled, “so obviously they had done it before they even sent us the notice.” For now, she has opted to use PayPal in place of Vanco.

Morse noted that the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center lists other socially conservative organizations as “hate groups” and “anti-LGBT hate groups,” among them the American Family Association and Alliance Defending Freedom.

In doing so, critics say, the Southern Poverty Law Center equates respected conservative organizations with actual hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the National Vanguard, a neo-Nazi organization.

SPLC flagged Ruth Institute as a “hate group” in 2013, the institute said in its press release.

One of Ruth Institute’s board members, Walter Hoye told The Washington Times that listing Ruth Institute alongside racist groups such as the KKK is “reprehensible.” In Georgia, he said, the Klan lynched his great-grandfather and set his house on fire while his 14 children were inside.

“I understand what the Klan is, and with that understanding, there is just no way that the Ruth Institute should be on that list,” Hoye told the newspaper. “The Ruth Institute is about healing the black family.”

Morse said CNN’s Aug. 17 publication of a map locating “hate groups” listed by SPLC attracted attention to her organization. Afterward, she said, a reporter wrote a story after seeing Ruth Institute on that map.

Morse wrote an article about the experience that was published by The Stream, a conservative news site.

“I think people need to understand that the left takes the sexual revolution very seriously,” Morse said in an email to The Daily Signal. “This is a core issue for them. They think that being against gay marriage is the equivalent of being a skinhead or a member of the Klan. That’s how they are treating things.”

The Daily Signal requested comment from both Vanco and the Southern Poverty Law Center, but did not receive a response by publication deadline.

Sara Hassell, a Wells Fargo spokesperson, told The Daily Signal in an email that “we don’t have anything to share on the matter at this time.”

In June, GuideStar, an organization that calls itself a neutral aggregator of tax data on charities and other nonprofits, incorporated SPLC’s “hate group” labels, a move protested by dozens of conservative leaders. GuideStar then removed the labels.

The “hate group” labeling misrepresents Ruth Institute, Morse said.

“They can’t argue against us, so what they do is they prop us up next to … the Klan, guys in white hoods and guys with swastikas,” she said.

The issue should be of grave concern to conservatives, Morse said.

“The social issues are absolutely core to a free society,” she said. “You cannot have a free society if children don’t have their own parents. If a child doesn’t have a right to their own parents, nobody has got a right to anything.”

Charity That Helps Families May Be Latest Victim of SPLC 'Hate Map'

by Dale Hurd

This article was first published September 12, 2017, at

Ruth Institute, a Christian nonprofit dedicated to helping families, thinks that being labeled a "hate group" is the reason a company that processed its donations has severed ties with the organization.
Vanco Payment Solutions, which processed Ruth Institute's online donations, emailed the charity to say "we are severing our relationship with you," Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of Ruth Institute, told The Daily Signal.
"The most logical conclusion is the fact that we were in the news with this hate map that the Southern Poverty Law Center puts out, but no one has said that directly," Morse said.
Ruth Institute, which takes a biblical stance on issues such as gender identity and same-sex marriage, was labeled a hate group by the SPLC, which has done the same to several Christian and conservative organizations.
Ruth Institute Board member Walter Hoye, who is black, told the Washington Times that listing Ruth Institute alongside racist groups such as the KKK is "reprehensible." He said the Klan lynched his great-grandfather and set his house on fire while his 14 children were inside.
"I understand what the Klan is, and with that understanding, there is just no way that the Ruth Institute should be on that list," Hoye told the newspaper. "The Ruth Institute is about healing the black family."
"I think people need to understand that the left takes the sexual revolution very seriously," Morse said in an email to The Daily Signal. "This is a core issue for them. They think that being against gay marriage is the equivalent of being a skinhead or a member of the Klan. That's how they are treating things."

A letter to Chase by one our supporters

Chase Bank executives,

I'm appalled by the fact that you have donated $1 million to the discredited anti-Christian hate group, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). I am currently a Chase customer in two different ways, but am strongly considering yanking my business from your organization due to this misguided decision.
SPLC is left-wing attack organization that unaccountably labels good, charitable groups as "hate groups," simply because it disagrees with their traditional views on marriage and family. Chase should not call its own credibility into question by siding with SPLC.

SPLC's "hate map" has been the cause of at least two violent incidents: the attempted murder of Family Research Council members in August, 2012, and more recently the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise in Virginia.
Does Chase Bank really want to be associated with an organization that has demonstrably fomented murderous violence?

I urge you in the strongest possible terms to rescind your donation to SPLC, distance your company from them, and issue a press release saying that Chase will have nothing further to do with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Thank you,
[name removed]

Corporate America Dances to the Southern Poverty Law Center's Tune

By Charlotte Allen

This article was first published September 09, 2017, at the Weekly Standard.


The “hate list” generating Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) already has the media firmly in its pocket. If the SPLC calls, say, Bell Curve and Coming Apart author Charles Murray a “white supremacist,” why, so will the Washington Post. And now corporate America seems to be jumping onto the SPLC’s “hate group” and “hate map” bandwagon, trying to cut off the financial livelihoods of organizations that the SPLC has branded as haters because their policy positions don’t accord with whatever the SPLC deems politically correct.

On Aug. 31 Vanco Payment Solutions, an online credit-card processing firm affiliated with Wells Fargo, abruptly canceled its services to the nonprofit Ruth Institute on the ground that it promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse.”



The Ruth Institute? Make a visit to its website and you will be scratching your head as you search for the hate and the violence. “Inspiring the Survivors of the Sexual Revolution” is the organization’s motto. “Whether you are a Child of Divorce, a Donor Conceived Person or a Refugee from the Hookup Culture, the Ruth Institute is here for you,” declares Ruth’s founder and president Jennifer Morse Roback, holder of a Ph.D. in economics. The institute sponsors conferences and “spiritual healing” workshops for people who believe themselves harmed by freely available sex and family breakdowns, and it’s fair to say that it has a distinct traditional-values orientation. (Roback, a mother of two and foster mother of eight over the years, is a practicing Catholic who was named one of the “Catholic Stars of 2013” along with popes Francis and Benedict XIV.) So—where’s the “harassment and/or abuse” that the Ruth Institute is supposed to be promoting?

Well! It seems that the Ruth Institute was affiliated until 2013 with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which opposes same-sex marriage. Furthermore, Ruth devotes one of its web pages to a “circle of experts”—doctors, lawyers, academics, and clergymen who share its traditional views on sex and family life. And that is what caught the attention of the SPLC’s Eye of Sauron.

The SPLC really doesn’t like the NOM, which has been on its “hate group” list for years, and it really doesn’t like the Ruth Institute’s circle of experts. One of them, for example, is Pat Fagan, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, another SPLC “hate group” long-timer because it, too, opposes same-sex marriage (it’s the organization whose office manager was shot in 2012 by a pro-gay-rights terrorist who had consulted an SPLC “hate map” to find the council’s Washington D.C. address). Another is Patrick Henry College professor Stephen Baskerville, reportedly a vehement opponent of what he calls “the homosexual agenda.”

Guilt by association, anyone? But that’s the stock in trade of the SPLC, which slammed a “hate group” designation onto the Ruth Institute in December 2013, pointing out that Ruth’s “focus on heterosexual marriage” could well be “a cover for its campaign against marriage equality and LGBT people in general.” And, although Vanco won’t elaborate on why it suddenly decided that Ruth was promoting hate and abuse, it’s pretty easy to connect the dots.

The Ruth Institute isn’t the first victim of a corporation’s refusal to do business with an organization because the SPLC deemed it a “hate group” on the basis of its promotion of traditional Christian attitudes toward sexuality and marriage. The traditional values-oriented legal aid group Liberty Counsel and the D. James Kennedy Ministries, a media-oriented offshoot of a traditional branch of the Presbyterian Church, have sued the SPLC for defamation. All three, along with the Family Research Council, were essentially blacklisted by the charity rating website GuideStar, which has adopted the SPLC’s hate list as its own. Amazon Smile, a donation setup for Amazon customers, dropped the Kennedy Ministries from its list of acceptable charities.

Corporate America seems to be feeling the love for the SPLC these days. Apple, for example, donated a cool $1 million to the organization in the wake of the Aug. 14-15 melee in Charlottesville, Va. after the SPLC went on a fundraising binge over the 500 or so white supremacists involved. PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil lists other major companies that have recently become SPLC donors or partners: J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Pfizer, Lyft, Newman’s Own.

The irony is that the SPLC, a perpetual-motion money machine famous for its hysteria-generating mailings to befuddled liberals after incidents of right-wing extremism real or imagined, scarcely needs the donations. Here at THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Jeryl Bier has pointed out the SPLC has parked some $69 million out of its stockpiled (that is, not spent on, say, fighting white supremacists) $319 million in donor contribution in offshore hedge funds, a common tax dodge by wealthy nonprofits seeking to mask otherwise taxable unrelated business income.


It’s one thing for corporations to waste their shareholders’ money helping the SPLC be a high-risk, high-return hedge-fund partner in the Cayman Islands. It’s another for them to try to suck the life out of small nonprofits solely because the SPLC blacklists them as hate groups because it doesn’t like the religiously traditional views they promote.



When the Pope Praises You and the World Puts You on a “Hate” List

by Justin McClain

This article was first published at the NCRegister on September 7, 2017.

Alan Sears of Alliance Defending Freedom speaks with CNA in Rome on Nov. 20, 2014.
Alan Sears of Alliance Defending Freedom speaks with CNA in Rome on Nov. 20, 2014. (Bohumil Petrik/CNA)

Ultimately, who determines what is hateful, and who determines what is loving?


The word “hate,” one of the strongest in the English language, risks losing its actual potency when it is misapplied. To be clear from the outset, there are legitimately hateful acts. As a Black Catholic whose father was born in 1936 and raised in segregated Durham, North Carolina, I have heard his multiple firsthand accounts of truly hate-imbued actions by other human beings. Catholics, along with other Christians, within the broader framework of morality, readily categorize these as evil. Physical intimidation, outright violence, emotional-psychological abuse, and any other action that does not recognize every single human being’s de facto dignity can be tantamount to hatred. Hence my surprise when, while speaking with some friends recently about the hatred-ridden events in Charlottesville, coupled with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of “Active Hate Groups 2016”, I learned that some of the most upstanding Catholic people whom I am privileged to know (or at least their affiliated organizations) had unexpectedly found themselves on this ever-expanding “Hate List” at various points over the years.

This piece is not a direct diatribe against the SPLC, but it does constitute (no pun intended) a mention of the reality that, to make recourse to the classic Sesame Street song, “one of these things is not like the other.” Now, there are plenty of groups that most people of goodwill would agree deserve to be deemed “hate groups,” e.g., any of the number of groups founded on racist ideologies, those bent on demeaning and belittling others, and those whose intentions are to disrupt and destroy the framework of others’ basic human rights and worth as individuals. When I think of my friend Fran Griffin of the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation (which made the list), or Arina Grossu of the Family Research Council (which made the list), I am baffled as to how their striving to live according to accurate Christian standards could be designated as anything other than beneficent. Even in light of varying approaches to societal matters, those do not comprise abhorrence for the other.

Then there is Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute (which made the list). Never mind that Dr. Morse is an internationally recognized leader in Catholic media initiatives, so much so that Our Sunday Visitor named her one of only eight “Catholic Stars of 2013.” I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Morse speak a number of years ago at the Archdiocese of Washington’s Pastoral Center, and her message promoting chastity, marriage, and the family is easily one of the most loving that I have heard. These figures, whose words I have received and considered, are the antithesis of someone who could justifiably be regarded as “hateful.” And likewise, there is the fascinating situation of Alan Sears of Alliance Defending Freedom (which, you guessed it, made the list). As you will see, Mr. Sears’ circumstances are the most puzzling of all.

Yes, this is the same Alan Sears who, along with his wife Paula, received the Catholic Church’s highest honor for a layperson when Pope Francis inducted them into the Order of Saint Gregory the Great this June. As reported by the Catholic News Agency, according to Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona, this award “is a well-deserved recognition of their many years of defending religious freedom, standing up for the true meaning of marriage and family life, defending the dignity and right to life of every human person, and faithfully living their lay vocation in their home, their parish and the public square.” According to The Catholic Sun (the official publication of the Diocese of Phoenix), “A Scottsdale couple’s heroic efforts on behalf of religious liberty, the Church, the sanctity of life, and rights of conscience have captured the attention of Pope Francis.” Pope Francis, easily recognized by not only Catholics but by other Christians and those of various faiths around the globe, is one of the few veritably unitive purveyors of love in modern times. As such, the discerning mind is correctly led to surmise that the Holy Father is a worthy assessor of what constitutes authentic love. So, where is the disconnect? It comes down to language.

One of the simplest – really, most facile – methods of discrediting a person or a group is to label them derogatively. Admittedly, it is human nature. Sports fans rarely employ warm, inviting terminology when referring to an opposing athletic team. Politicians readily call each other names. Yet, when an organization is unjustly deemed a practitioner of bigotry without the benefit of the doubt, we need to recall a time when the word had more accuracy, not to mention even more of a sting, than it has in modern times: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you” (John 15:18-19). So, who owns the word “hate”? Seemingly, in modern times, disagreement is too often confused with hate, and the word becomes cheapened in the process.

Nearly 30 years ago, Saint John Paul II (who embraced essentially the same views on chastity, on marriage as between one man and one woman, on the importance of the family, on the right to life for the unborn, and other comparable positions that the modern culture finds repugnant to popular sensibilities) wrote his apostolic exhortation Christifideles Laici: On the Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World. This man, who is now in heaven, included an especially astute passage within Christifideles Laici that could be applied to the situation in which many Catholics and other Christians of goodwill find themselves today, increasingly marginalized and relegated to the category of “hateful” because they strive to live according to the Gospel: “A charity that loves and serves the person is never able to be separated from justice. Each in its own way demands the full, effective acknowledgment of the rights of the individual, to which society is ordered in all its structures and institutions” (paragraph 42). The Catholic trying to live his or her faith while serving the broader public will be at odds with society’s standards. Manipulative societal standards of morality are mercilessly ratcheted back and forth, and we need but go back only a few years to recall that two prominent leaders of their political party publicly supported the view of marriage as between one man and one woman, to then-popular acclaim. They were speaking no more “hatefully” then than the Christians around the world who continue to abide by the unchanging words of Christ regarding marriage as we read them in Matthew 19:1-12, teachings which are unyielding to secular definitions.

A little over a year ago, I wrote an article for Catholic Exchange with the frank title of “How to Respond when ‘Christian’ Has Become a Bad Word – A Few Reminders from the Early Church to Today.” As an aside, it is curious how frequently Christians are deemed – whether individually or institutionally – as “hateful” for holding fast to the Gospel when other faiths are spared such a designation, even when their own faith structures [fortunately] have the same social regard for the significance of marriage, the family and children. During these challenging times, replete with pluralism, the faithful need to be more prudent than ever: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves” (Matthew 10:16). There will be more “lists” and millions of dollars more poured into endeavors to discredit those who try to live their faith openly.

So, where do we go from here? With the nation in turmoil, it is more important than ever for American Catholics to heed the bishops. As one example of various of how the Church and secular society are speaking two different languages, note the plausible title of this Catholic World Report piece from back in January: “NYTimes: Trump Creating Christian Theocracy; Bishops: Trump Against Christian Faith.” Some inopportunely see the United States as tantamount to a theocracy akin to the setting of The Handmaid’s Tale, while the world is increasingly looking like that which is presented in Lord of the World (which both Pope [Emeritus] Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have recommended). Two different languages. According to Pew findings from 2015, American Catholics notoriously dissent from the Church’s teachings on marriage, human sexuality and ideal family structures. This dilemma has been a downward spiral ever since the mid-1960s in the United States. When Catholic politicians feel that they can histrionically legislate in direct opposition to what their faith professes (read: on an unfortunate variety of issues), and when events like the “Catholic Spring” revelations of October 2016 indicate political forces attempting to surreptitiously undermine the Church’s influence in society, one wonders little why entities external to the Catholic Church end up confused when Catholics actually try to live pursuant to their faith, lumping them in with actually hateful organizations in the process.

What are some ways that American Catholics can come to deepen their faith by heeding the bishops before other prominent, and frequently errant, voices within society? Foremost, actually read the USCCB’s news releases. The social doctrine of the Church does not, and should not, follow neat political lines. In my recent book Our Bishops, Heroes for the New Evangelization: Faithful Shepherds and the Promotion of Lay Doctrinal Literacy, I encourage the laity to better fathom the Church’s teachings, via the writings of the bishops, who are there to help us know our faith better. Of course, as is the emphasis in this article, this will frequently put people of faith at odds with what society says is acceptable, occasionally earning the opprobrium of the well-funded powers-that-be along the way.

Ultimately, who determines what is hateful, and who determines what is loving? Independent of theology, we are speaking two different languages. Who knows how Catholics who bring their faith into the public square will be regarded in future years and centuries. Despite the name-calling that may come, we find solace in the Lord’s reminder: “In the world, you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).

SPLC ‘Hate Map’ Targets Christians, Pro-Family Groups

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the Alliance Defending Freedom and other Christian organizations as ‘extremist,’ and they have decided to fight back.

by Joan Frawley Desmond

This article was first published at NCRegister on August 31, 2017.

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, answers questions at a news conference in Washington, D.C., related to the shooting incident at FRC headquarters. Because of its opposition to same-sex 'marriage' and gender ideology, FRC was targeted by an armed assailant who said he was inspired to take action after he saw the organization listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s 'hate map.'
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, answers questions at a news conference in Washington, D.C., related to the shooting incident at FRC headquarters. Because of its opposition to same-sex 'marriage' and gender ideology, FRC was targeted by an armed assailant who said he was inspired to take action after he saw the organization listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s 'hate map.' (2012 photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — When Jennifer Roback Morse, the Catholic founder and president of the Ruth Institute, tried to register her nonprofit for the “Amazon Smile” program, which allots a percentage of a customer’s purchase to a designated charity, she witnessed firsthand the outsized power of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“You have been excluded from the Amazon Smile program because the Southern Poverty Law Center lists the Ruth Institute in an ineligible category,” stated a December 2016 email from Amazon in a reference to the center’s designation of the Ruth Institute as an “anti-LGBT” extremist group in its widely publicized “hate map.”

Yet the Ruth Institute has never been implicated in any political violence, nor does it have any ties to recognized extremist organizations. The nonprofit’s mission, Morse told the Register, is “to create a mass movement to end family breakdown by energizing the survivors of the sexual revolution.

“I got involved in the gay-marriage debates because I could see that redefining marriage would end up redefining parenthood and creating new inequalities among children,” Morse added. “Some children would have a legally recognized right to know both of their parents, and other children would not.”

She emphasized, however, that most of her work focuses on the behavior and choices of heterosexual couples.

“How this has to do with ‘hate,’ I cannot say,” she said.

Morse is not alone. A growing number of Christian organizations and ministries, including Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, two leading conservative advocacy groups, are also on the “hate map” created by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). And during a time of political polarization, many will assume the “hate” label is an accurate definition of a group’s mission.

Indeed, even as several SPLC targets have filed lawsuits against the group , alleging defamation, the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, have prompted technology giant Apple and J.P. Morgan, the nation’s largest bank, to announce plans for large gifts to the center.

Founded in 1971 and based in Montgomery, Alabama, the SPLC made its name as a determined legal opponent of the Ku Klux Klan and of Jim Crow-era segregationist policies. Along the way, it developed a large database of extremist organizations and became an authority on white supremacist groups, like the neo-Nazis that participated in the Charlottesville protests.

More recently, however, the center expanded its definition of “extremist” groups to include Christian organizations that uphold free-exercise rights for religious believers and biblical teachings on marriage and gender.

According to the center’s website, hate groups are organizations with “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” Further, the SPLC contends that it only lists Christian nonprofits that denigrate members of the “LGBT community,” and not groups that only oppose the redefinition of marriage.

But its many critics argue that this working definition of “hate groups” is too vague and allows the SPLC to smear mainstream organizations and individuals with whom it disagrees, whether the issue is marriage, immigration reform or Islamic extremism.

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a respected Christian legal organization, is the latest faith-based nonprofit to appear on the hate map.

Alan Sears, ADF’s founder, told the Register that key supporters of his organization had urged him to push back against the center.

Sears, for his part, is worried that “potential supporters,” Christians who would otherwise embrace the ADF’s mission, will dismiss it without taking the time to research the SPLC’s claims.

Likewise, the “extremist” designation could damage ADF’s ability to recruit lawyers to take on important cases, a reminder that the “anti-LGBT” label is anathema in the predominantly liberal legal establishment.

“The ADF has been at the Supreme Court more times than any other religious-liberty group in the country. None of those cases dealt with marriage issues, and they say we are a ‘hater,’” Sears said.

“Pope Francis talks at length about ideological colonization, the attempt by powerful Western forces to impose gender-identity issues and marriage redefinition on other cultures,” he added. “Is the Pope’s call to uphold the teaching of the Bible and the Catechism a form of hate?”

The SPLC’s controversial tactics have also prompted charges that it has fueled violence against mainstream organizations listed on its hate map.

Back in 2012, when a gunman stormed into the Family Research Council’s Washington, D.C., offices and shot a building manager before he was wrestled to the ground, court documents noted that the assailant was inspired to take action after he saw the organization listed on the SPLC’s hate map.

The Family Research Council (FRC) accused the center of “inciting violence,” but the SPLC rejected that charge.

“Spreading demonizing lies [against the LGBT community] is what is dangerous, not exposing them,” read a statement issued by the center after the shooting.

Chris Gacek, an FRC spokesman who was in the organization’s offices at the time of the shooting, expressed frustration with the media’s selective coverage of an attack on a conservative group and also predicted the steady expansion of the center’s rolls of right-wing “extremists.”

“If we were left liberals and this was an abortion clinic, you would never have stopped hearing about the attack,” Gacek told the Register.

Looking ahead, Gacek expects the center will press ahead with its tactic of “systematic defamation” of Christian and conservative groups that take policy positions rejected by the center.

“If you oppose anything the left wants, you are a hater. This is where the dialogue in the country has gone,” he said.

The center did not respond to a request for comment from the Register. But it’s worth noting that conservative leaders are not the only critics to challenge the center’s tactics.

“Time and again, I see the SPLC using the reputation it gained decades ago fighting the Klan as a tool to bludgeon mainstream politically conservative opponents,” William Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell University, told Politico this summer.

“For groups that do not threaten violence, the use of SPLC ‘hate group’ or ‘extremist’ designations frequently are exploited as an excuse to silence speech and speakers.”

Earlier this year, the SPLC’s controversial methods were again in the spotlight, after Allison Stanger, a Middlebury College professor, was attacked by an angry mob after she appeared at a public forum with Charles Murray, an influential social scientist.

In a column on the opinion page for The New York Times, Stanger said that the center’s description of Murray as a “white nationalist” played a role in the heated reaction to his presence on campus.

“Intelligent members of the Middlebury community ... concluded that Charles Murray was an anti-gay white nationalist from what they were hearing from one another and what they read on the Southern Poverty Law Center website,” said Stanger, who was physically attacked and suffered a concussion.

“Never mind that Dr. Murray supports same-sex marriage and is a member of the courageous ‘never Trump’ wing of the Republican Party.”

The SPLC’s critics and targets charge that the hate map is integral to its fundraising strategy, which is designed to stir up a vast donor base that has helped fund an endowment of more than $200 million.

A recent article in Politico notes that Morris Dees, the center’s co-founder and a civil-rights crusader in the 1970s, has effectively mined his expertise in the “direct-mail marketing of consumer goods, a pursuit that earned him a small fortune in the 1960s and a spot in the Direct Marketing Association’s hall of fame.”

Later, after helping “George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign — in exchange for McGovern’s mailing list,” Dees gained access to more than a half-million liberal donors.

In an assessment of the SPLC’s policies and governance for the Philanthropy Roundtable, Karl Zinsmeister concluded that the center’s “two largest expenses are propaganda operations: creating its annual list of ‘haters’ and ‘extremists’ and running a big effort that pushes ‘tolerance education’ through more than 400,000 public-school teachers. And the single biggest effort undertaken by the SPLC? Fundraising. On the organization’s 2015 IRS 990 form it declared $10 million of direct fundraising expenses, far more than it has ever spent on legal services,” said Zinsmeister.

On Aug. 31, The Washington Free Beacon published an article titled “Southern Poverty Law Center Transfers Millions in Cash to Offshore Entities.” It reported that, according to its 2015 Form 990 nonprofit tax filing, the center holds “financial interests” in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda.

No specifics of those “financial interests” were provided on the 2015 Form 990, but the Free Beacon reported that a different 2014 tax form disclosed that the SPLC transferred $960,000 to a pooled investment fund in the Cayman Islands in one November 2014 transaction. The newspaper also reported that, according to Securities and Exchange Commission records, the center transferred a total of $4.4 million to two other funds located in the Cayman Islands on March 1, 2015.

“I've never known a U.S.-based nonprofit dealing in human rights or social services to have any foreign bank accounts," Amy Sterling Casil, CEO of Pacific Human Capital, a California-based nonprofit consulting firm, told the Free Beacon. "… I am stunned to learn of transfers of millions to offshore bank accounts. It is a huge red flag and would have been completely unacceptable to any wealthy, responsible, experienced board member who was committed to a charitable mission who I ever worked with."

Some SPLC targets have begun to push back, filing lawsuits that charge the organization with defamation.

D. James Kennedy Ministries, based at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, filed a lawsuit in an Alabama federal court that accuses the center of libel and “subjects the ministry to disgrace, ridicule, odium and contempt in the estimation of the public,” according to an Aug. 23 statement.

A second lawsuit filed by Maajid Nawaz, a British politician and founder of the anti-Islamist organization Quilliam International, this summer highlights the center’s practice of designating critics of Islam as “anti-Muslim extremists.” That charge is especially striking, as the SPLC does not include Islamic extremist groups in its hate map.

“The SPLC, who made their money suing the KKK, were set up to defend people like me, but now they’ve become the monster that they claimed they wanted to defeat,” Nawaz charged in a video that introduced his lawsuit against the SPLC for defamation.

Thus far, the lawsuits and scathing public criticism have not shaken the support of the group’s major donors.

When Kimberley Strassel, a Wall Street Journal columnist, contacted J.P. Morgan to probe its decision to make a $500,000 donation to the SPLC, an email from the bank did not address accusations leveled against the group. It merely cited J.P. Morgan’s “long history of supporting a range of organizations that are committed to addressing inequality.”

Nevertheless, Strassel and other critics of the SPLC have warned that its exaggerated rhetoric and personal attacks are counterproductive and could erode support for the important fight against extremist groups.

“Sadly, the SPLC has become an ideological institution that uses its noble past to give authority to its smear campaigns against any who dissent from progressive orthodoxies,” said R.R. “Rusty” Reno, the author of Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society, which examines the campaign by progressive groups to politically isolate faith-based speech and activism on marriage and abortion.

“Crying wolf too many times will make it impossible for the SPLC to have credibility when the real threats of hate and bigotry emerge.”

Did this group lose its fundraising page because of its view on marriage?

September 07, 2017 - By Catholic News Agency

A non-profit group dedicated to studying and explaining the effects of the sexual revolution claims that its ability to process donations online was cancelled because of its views on sexuality. “The Ruth Institute's primary focus is family breakdown and its impact on children: understanding it, healing it, ending it. If this makes us a ‘hate group,’ so be it,” Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute, said on Friday.

Morse said that on Aug. 31 she received a letter from Vanco Payments, which processed the Ruth Institute’s donations online, telling her that the service would be discontinued that day. The reason Vanco gave for cutting their service was that the Ruth Institute “has been flagged by Card Brands as being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse. Merchants that display such attributes are against Vanco and Wells Fargo processing policies.”

“We surmise that Vanco dropped us because we hold views about marriage, family and human sexuality that are considered ‘Anti-LGBT’,” Morse said. Vanco did not reach out to discuss or inquire about allegations that the institute “promoted hate, violence, harassment, and/or abuse,” prior to sending the Ruth Institute a notice that service was being terminated, she said. “We’ve never had any incidents or problems” with Vanco, Morse told CNA of their years-long relationship with the payment service. She said that the sudden termination of service without any prior notice was “rude” and “uncivil.”

Asked about the decision to cut ties with the Ruth Institute, a Vanco representative on Sept. 1 told CNA, “Vanco depends on the assessment of its banking partners to guide its decisions on continuing customer relationships that those partners believe violate processing policies. Accordingly, based on that assessment, we terminated our processing relationship with the Ruth Institute on Thursday, August 31.” On Sept. 5, the representative retracted that statement, and issued a new statement saying, “Vanco terminated its processing relationship with the Ruth Institute on Thursday, August 31. Otherwise, we have no additional comment on the issue.”

Vanco did not specify how it had determined that the Ruth Institute “promoted hate, violence, harassment, and/or abuse,” Morse said. However, groups including the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) have criticized the Ruth Institute’s stance against same-sex marriage.

The SPLC was founded in 1971 and originally monitored persons and groups fighting the civil rights movement. It began to track racist and white supremacist groups like neo-Nazis and affiliates of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1980s. It also claims to monitor other “extremist” groups like “anti-immigrant” and “anti-Muslim” groups. More recently, the SPLC has listed mainstream Christian groups like the Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom as “hate groups” for their “anti-LGBT” stance. The Ruth Institute has also been included in this list by SPLC. The Ruth Institute has faced consequences for this designation.

Morse told the National Catholic Register that the institute was denied its application for the “Amazon Smile” program, which sends portions of purchases to charities in the program, because of the SPLC’s “hate” designation. SPLC has recently faced questions regarding its financial administration, after reports that the non-profit has transferred millions of dollars to offshore accounts and investment firms.

Morse voiced concern that one group like SPLC holds so much power in the public sphere for its designations. Still, she said, the Ruth Institute will not be deterred in its mission of speaking out against “the sexual revolution in all its forms” – from divorce to the hookup culture to same-sex marriage – because these things are harmful to the human person. “What the sexual revolution promotes is irrational,” she said.

Do Progressives Really Believe in Public Accommodation?

By George Yancey

This article was first published September 4, 2017, at

Last year I offered progressives an opportunity to show their ideological consistency. Many of them had affirmed that Christians have a right to be free in their own churches as long as they stayed out of the public square. I do not accept such a “deal.” I believe that conservative Christians have just as much of a right to the public square as any other group. But if progressives were being honest, then they should have been upset at Eric Walsh’s dismissal from a government position. He was fired for sermons he delivered in his church. Progressives had a chance to show that they actually believe in freedom of worship even if they did not believe in freedom of religion. The silence of progressives defending Walsh indicated just how badly they failed that test.

Well we have now been given a second opportunity to see if progressives believe what they really say they believe. For the past few years progressive activists have touted the value of public accommodation. It appears that the value of public accommodations is particularly important to them as it concerns issues of sexuality. We all know the drill. A same-sex couple asked a Christian florist, baker or photographer to serve at their wedding. The Christian turns them down citing their religious beliefs. The weight of the government falls upon the Christian as accusations of failing to provide accommodations rain down on him or her. Every progressive politician or activist feels obligated, either internally or externally, to condemn the Christian as a bigot. Perhaps the most significant case right now is Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. It is going to go before the Supreme Court based on an appeal from Masterpiece Cakeshop which has lost in the lower court. And every progressive who writes about the case is on the side of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

So the question I have is whether they are on the side of the Civil Rights Commission because they truly believe in public accommodations or because they do not like conservative Christians. That is a little blunt but given my research on Christianophobia, my concern is quite reasonable. If you think that last comment is out of bounds, then there is an easy way to prove that I am wrong. Take a case where a Christian organization needs protection for public accommodations and see if progressives will protect that organization. If the principle of public accommodations is driving the concern of progressives, then certainly they would defend that Christian organization.

Well we now have a great opportunity to test that possibility. Last week the Ruth Institute was dropped by Vanco Payment Services. The Ruth Institute is a Catholic nonprofit based in Lake Charles, Louisiana. They definitely have a traditional perspective on issues of sexuality and family. As a result, they are not supportive of same-sex relationships. I am certain they have been critical of those relationships and that critique caught the eye of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) who put them on the hate list. It was because of the hate list that Vanco decided to stop serving them.

We also get to see if progressives truly believe in public accommodations. When people truly believe in rights, then they extend those rights to everyone, even their enemies. For example, I do not believe for a second that a progressive activist would be okay with someone at the Ruth Institute being killed. That is because they believe that not being killed is a right shared by everyone. But do that believe in public accommodations for everyone? If they do, then they would protect the right of those at the Ruth Institute to be protected from abuses of public accommodation.

This is not about the SPLC. I have been critical of SPLC in the past. I anticipate that I will be critical of them in the future. They were once an important organization in the fight for civil rights, but they have degenerated into a partisan hit squad. But this is not about them except for the fact that they are a private organization. They are not part of the government, and their opinion about who is a hate group carries no legal weight. Vanco does not have the protection of stating that they are reacting to an official government list. They are reacting to the opinions of those at SPLC about what they define as a hate group. In short Vanco dropped the Ruth Institute because they did not like some of the implications of their religious beliefs. Since religion is a protected group, this is every bit a public accommodations violation as it would be for Masterpiece Cakeshop.

In fact, I think it is a worse violation of public accommodation than the Masterpiece case. Consider it this way. A same-sex couple goes to a bake shop and asked for a wedding cake. The owner turns them down because of religious beliefs. What has the couple lost? Well to be fair, they may feel humiliated. They may feel unfairly judged and rejected. They may feel a good deal of things. But all that they have lost is emotional distress. Are they out any money? No. Will they be able to get a cake? I bet going down the street they will easily find a baker who will be happy to take their money. Will they be out of time? They may lose at most an hour locating another baker. Their feelings are hurt, and that should be recognized. But it is hard to see what other costs there would be for them. If we are going to enforce public accommodation laws in this situation, then we are arguing that placating the emotions of those in the same-sex couples is sufficient for punishing a given business.

Perhaps that should be enough to prosecute a case. The larger issues of fairness may dictate that those feelings of humiliation and loss are too costly for us to allow a business to go unpunished. Perhaps as a society we want to make a statement that no one should feel bad because they are not accommodated. That is a respectable position, although it is not mine. My personal position is that business should be forced to provide a product for a person in a store that they can take and do with it whatever they want to do. But when it comes to serving events or promoting a cause, then the business owner has freedom of conscience rights. That means that someone has to serve a same-sex couple that comes to eat in his or her restaurant but does not have to cater a same-sex wedding.

The penalty for those that use their conscience rights should be the marketplace and not official sanction. Thus the baker or florist may lose business from the same-sex couple and their friends. Organized boycotts are allowable in these circumstances. If the business owner truly has religious beliefs, then he or she should accept such loss of business. But when the government gets involved, then inevitably they fail to be content neutral and certain individuals are punished for not have the “right” beliefs for government officials. Often attempts to combat some forms of bigotry leads to other forms of bigotry. In fact the actions of Vanco illustrate one such time when this is the case.

Since we have looked at public accommodations from the point of view of the same-sex couple, to be fair we also need to look at accommodations from the point of view of the Ruth Institute. They hired Vanco to process their online donations. Now Vanco has dropped them. First, we have to recognize that all of the emotional trauma visited on the same-sex couple certainly applies here. Vanco dropped them due to the idea that they are a hate group. Why is this not as much of a humiliation, rejection and judgment as the same-sex couple felt when not provided a cake? The SPLC list of hate includes organizations such as KKK and Nazi groups. The Ruth Institute has been lumped in with truly hateful groups and in addition to that humiliation, they are now losing the services of their online processing company. It is reasonable to argue that the members of this group have at least as much right to feel rejected as the same-sex couple. Some would say they have even have more reason to feel rejected.

So now the Ruth Institute has to find someone else to do their online processing. And while they are trying to find someone, they are losing actual money from those who are unable to give them money online. And this is different from the effort of the same-sex couple to find a baker. It has now been advertised that the Ruth Institute is on the SPLC hate list, and for that reason they have been dropped from their previous company. Don’t you think that some of the other companies may turn them down so that they are not serving “haters.” I think they will find another company, but it will take them more time than it will take the same-sex company to find a baker. And while that same-sex couple will only lose a little time, the Ruth Institute will lose money for every day they have to go without online donations.

I contend that the Ruth Institute has suffered worse than the same-sex couple. However, even if that is not true, it is hard to argue that they have not suffered at least as much as that couple. So if the ideals of fairness and public accommodations are so important that we cannot hurt the feelings of the same-sex couple, then certainly it is so important that the Ruth Institute should be protected.

Now some may argue that the Ruth Institute is not being punished for their religious beliefs but for promoting hate. Once again I will not engage with the criteria used by SPLC to determine what a hate group is. But even if they used a proper methodology for making such a determination, this argument about not punishing the Ruth Institute because of their religion does not hold water. Likewise, many of the Christian businesses argue that they are willing to serve the same-sex couple but not their wedding.
Progressive activists have not been willing to accept such an explanation as they argue that such weddings are natural consequences of same-sex love. If that is true, then is not the Ruth Institute promoting the natural consequences of their religious beliefs? If businesses cannot abstaining from serving same-sex weddings because is it homophobia then business should also not be able to abstain from serving Christian organizations that do not believe in same-sex unions because it would promote Christianophobia.

Will progressives truly show that they agree with public accommodations even for groups they do not like? Given my experience with the unwillingness to support Eric Walsh, I do not hold out much hope. But I would be very happy to be proven wrong. It would give me pleasure to know that progressives are truly committed to tolerance. It would give me pleasure because I am committed to such tolerance. That is why I explained my position above as to allowing freedom of conscience with informal, but not formal, sanctions.

Will progressives put pressure on Vanco to accept the business of the Ruth Institute? Or will they pressure other companies to follow suit and reject the Ruth Institute? Do progressives hope that unequal treatment of organizations like the Ruth Institute will lead to their demise and at least indirectly lead to a dramatic reduction of Christina influence? Perhaps a radical reduction in Christianity in the United States. Now is the time when we will see the intentions of those who call themselves progressive.
If there are not progressive activists and politicians who begin to speak out, then I will conclude that all of their talk of tolerance is a charade. They need not wonder why individuals like myself do not believe them when they insist that want equality. They have shown their true colors. They fight for the rights of those they like but not others. I have no problems calling out hypocrisy among conservative Christians who talk about moral leaders and then voted for Trump. But I also have no problems calling out hypocrisy among progressives who only show concern for equality for those they prefer.

I am never impressed when progressives talk about being tolerant and that tolerance is reduced to groups for which they already have affiliation. Their true test of tolerance is what happens when they deal with groups they do not like. In the past progressives showed such tolerance with actions such as the ACLU defense of the Nazi’s right to speech in Skokie. I am not sure if modern progressives passes this test.

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