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.


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 Patheos.com.

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.


Wells Fargo may be linked to persecution of pro-family groups over ‘hate’ accusation

by Doug Mainwaring

This article was first published September 6, 2017, at LifeSiteNews.


The pro-family, pro-children Ruth Institute was notified Thursday that its online donation processor had cut off services because it promotes “hate, violence, harassment or abuse.” Correspondence suggests that there is a line leading directly to banking giant Wells Fargo and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Ruth Institute made public the notice it received of the termination of their online donation processing service by, Vanco, their provider:


“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.”

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization that seeks to create “a mass social movement to end family breakdown, by energizing the Survivors of the Sexual Revolution,” paying special attention to the needs and rights of children.

Donations processor points finger at Wells Fargo

Stephanie Zercher, a spokesperson for Vanco’s public relations firm, Marsden Marketing, told LifeSiteNews, “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.”

Vanco’s reply points directly at its banking partner. Although unnamed in the correspondence, Wells Fargo is listed elsewhere as Vanco’s partner in its online donations processing service.

Wells Fargo leaves questions unanswered

LifeSiteNews reached out to Wells Fargo Bank on Friday and again after the holiday weekend. However, a spokesperson informed LifeSiteNews that the bank was unable to meet its publication deadline.

The questions were straightforward:

1. Vanco's statement to LifeSiteNews indicates that it was the company's banking partner, Wells Fargo, that made the decision to terminate services to the Ruth Institute. Do you dispute this, and if so, why?

2. What led Wells Fargo to determine that the Ruth Institute is a 'hate group?' Does Wells Fargo rely on the Southern Poverty Law Center's published list of 'hate groups' to make such determinations? Were their other sources of input leading to this decision?

3. Is Wells Fargo concerned that it risks alienating and offending millions of Christian clients by actions such as this?

4. Will Wells Fargo investigate this matter further and reconsider its treatment of the Ruth Institute?

Shock

Many have expressed shock at the treatment the Ruth Institute received from its service providers, citing the pro-family organization as a “hate group.”

Jennifer Roback Morse, the Institute’s founder and president, said, “[Our] 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.”

Morse explained, “The Ruth Institute is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Hate Map,’ which was recently in the news. We have been on this ‘Hate Map’ since 2013. To the best of our knowledge, no one has ever been inspired to riot, or shoot anyone by our activities.” Moreover, “No one from Vanco, Card Brands or Wells Fargo ever contacted the Ruth Institute to inquire about how we ‘promote hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse.’”

“The Vanco company markets itself to religious organizations. Many churches use their services for processing donations,” Morse noted. “We surmise that Vanco dropped us because we hold views about marriage, family and human sexuality that are considered ‘Anti-LGBT.’ Our beliefs are the common heritage of all Christian groups. Christian organizations that utilize Vanco’s services may wish to reconsider.”

The Ruth Institute is one of a growing number of Christian pro-family, pro-marriage, pro-family organizations whose online operations and presence is being undermined by tech firms who rely on information provided the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to identify supposed “hate groups.”

Morse said, “Vanco, Card Brands, and Wells Fargo are private businesses. The Ruth Institute respects their right to conduct their businesses as they see fit. We just wish wedding photographers, bakers and florists received the same respect.”

“We have compiled the items which some groups have found objectionable on a page called ‘Where’s the Hate?’ Anyone interested can review that material and judge for themselves whether the Ruth Institute belongs on a list with the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.”

Wake up

The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher, speaking about large corporations refusing services to small Christian clients, said, “Note well the hypocrisy here: it is hateful for a Christian wedding photographer, florist, or baker to refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding out of moral conviction, but it is virtuous for a major financial corporation to refuse to do business with a Christian ministry out of moral conviction. Heads they win, tails we lose.”

“I would wager that the leadership of major American corporations are eager to marginalize and destroy socially and religiously conservative groups, and are more than happy to have SPLC’s ‘hate map’ as an excuse to do so,” Dreher said. “What if banks and lending institutions decide to cut off access to credit for organizations and institutions they deem to be purveyors of “hate”? You don’t think it could happen to your employer, your church, your favorite charities? You don’t think it could happen to you? Wake up."

 

Another Scalp? Donation Processing Company Drops ‘Hate Group’ Christian Nonprofit Attacked by the Southern Poverty Law Center

By Tyler O'Neil

This article was first published September 5, 2017, at PJMedia.

 

A map of organizations across the United States which the Southern Poverty Law Center considers "hate groups."
SPLC Hate Map

Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) seemed to claim another scalp. On Thursday, the credit card processing company Vanco Payment Solutions dropped the Christian nonprofit Ruth Institute (RI) over claims that RI "promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse." The group has been listed on the SPLC's "hate map"since 2013.

"The Ruth Institute's primary focus is on family breakdown, and its impact on children. If this makes us a 'hate group,' so be it," the RI's founder and president, Jennifer Roback Morse, declared in a statement.


Vanco sent the Ruth Institute a letter Thursday, declaring that it was canceling their service immediately. "Vanco has elected to discontinue our processing relationship with The Ruth Institute," the letter read. "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."

In a statement to PJ Media, Vanco confirmed that "we terminated our processing relationship with the Ruth Institute on Thursday, August 31." A Vanco spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny whether or not the company's conclusion that RI "promotes hate" was inspired by the SPLC's "hate map."

Morse reported that "no one from Vanco, Card Brands, or Wells Fargo ever contacted the Ruth Institute to inquire about how we 'promote hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse.'"

The Vanco statement did not explicitly link its reasoning with the SPLC "hate map," but the Ruth Institute has been listed on this map since 2013, Morse noted. "To the best of our knowledge, no one has ever been inspired to riot or shoot anyone by our activities," the RI president said.

This stands in marked contrast to the SPLC, which has been linked to two domestic terror attacks.

In the summer of 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins III broke into the Family Research Council (FRC), a Christian nonprofit in Washington, D.C., that the SPLC's "hate map" lists with RI as an "anti-LGBT hate group." Corkins aimed to murder everyone in the building, and he later pled guilty to committing an act of terrorism. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. During an FBI interrogation, he said he targeted the FRC because of the SPLC "hate map."

This past summer, Bernie Sanders supporter James Hodgkinson shot people at a Republican Congressional Baseball Game practice, nearly killing Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.). Hodgkinson "liked" the SPLC on Facebook. Furthermore, the SPLC had repeatedly attacked Scalise for a speech he gave to a white supremacist group in 2002. The SPLC attacked him for it even after he apologized and was called a "sellout" by white supremacists.

Such carelessness has emerged again and again throughout the SPLC's history. In 2014, the group placed retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson on its "Extremist Watch List." Just last week, the group removed the innocent historic town of Amana Colonies from its "hate map." While the SPLC eventually removed Amana Colonies, it first defended the "hate" label because a white supremacist website claimed to have had a book club in one of the town's restaurants.

In a series of three videos, the anti-Islamist group Quilliam International revealed the SPLC's ever-changing reasons for listing Muslim Maajid Nawaz as an "anti-Muslim extremist." One of the reasons the SPLC gave for targeting Nawaz? His visit to a strip club for his bachelor party.

Along these lines, the Ruth Institute compiled all the items that some groups have found objectionable on a page called "Where's the Hate?" Morse suggested that Americans check out this material for themselves, before deciding that the Ruth Institute is a "hate group."

The SPLC was originally founded to fight white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in court. In recent decades, however, it expanded its legitimate list of racist hate groups to include mainstream conservative groups which which it disagrees.

Morse argued that the SPLC hate map places RI "right next to the guys with white hoods and swastikas," in order to silence debate on the sexual revolution.

"If you go around saying that kids don't really need their parents and adults can make any sexual choice that they want and it will all be good because we will contracept away all the problems on one hand or abort away the problems, or the kids will be so resilient that it will all be fine, that's completely irrational. It's completely crazy," Morse told the Christian Post.

In fact, the SPLC's former spokesman, Mark Potok explained that the group's primary goal is to destroy its political opponents. "Our aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them," he said. He later added that the SPLC's criteria for what makes an organization a "hate group" are "strictly ideological."

In addition to RI and the FRC, the SPLC's "hate group" list includes Christian organizations like D. James Kennedy Ministries, Liberty Counsel, the American Family Association (AFA), and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), along with other groups like the American College of Pediatricians and the Center for Immigration Studies. It also lists Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz and women's rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali as "anti-Muslim extremists."

Despite the group's shaky track record and history of terror connections, it has been raking in cash after the riots in Charlottesville, Va. George Clooney and his wife Amal pledged $1 million to the group, and the company J.P.Morgan pledged $500,000. Apple CEO Tim Cook was even more generous, announcing his company would give $1 million to the SPLC and that it would set up a system in iTunes software to let consumers directly donate to the organization.

Other companies like Lyft and MGM Resorts have also partnered with the SPLC, and many companies have matched their employees' contributions to the group, including big names such as Disney, Kraft Heinz, Shell, and Verizon. Pfizer, Bank of America, and Newman's Own have each given the organization at least $8,900 in the past few years.

The SPLC does not need this money, however. The Washington Free Beacon recently reported that the group sent multiple transactions to foreign entities, including two cash payments of $2.2 million into funds in the Cayman Islands. The SPLC takes in $50 million in contributions each year, and had $328 million in net assets as of 2015.

Recent support has not been limited to monetary assistance, however. CNN broadcast the SPLC's "hate map"on its website and Twitter account this month (with the FRC still marked on the map). Two other major media outlets, ABC and NBC, parroted the SPLC's "hate group" label against ADF last month.

917. That's the number of hate groups operating in the US, according to data from the Southern Poverty Law Center http://cnn.it/2wSuoSN

In June, the charity navigation website GuideStar adopted the SPLC "hate group" list, marking each profile of the targeted organizations as a "hate group." This action inspired the first of three lawsuits against the SPLC, launched by the Christian nonprofit Liberty Counsel. Maajid Nawaz followed up with his own lawsuit soon after, and D. James Kennedy Ministries has been the most recent group to sue the SPLC for defamation.

While Morse vehemently protested having her organization unceremoniously blacklisted, she defended Vanco's right to make such a decision.

"Vanco, Card Brands, and Wells Fargo are private businesses. The Ruth Institute respects their right to conduct their businesses as they see fit," Morse said. Chillingly, she added, "We just wish wedding photographers, bakers, and florists received the same respect."

Morse referred to photographers, bakers, and florists because such professionals have been penalized for refusing to take part in same-sex weddings. These people did not discriminate against LGBT people, but rather opted out of serving a particular event. Even so, they have been fined and ridiculed.

Such cases include Washington state florist Barronelle Stutzman, Oregon bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein, Michigan farmers Steve and Bridget Tennes, Colorado baker Jack Philips (whose case will come before the Supreme Court), and many others. An LGBT megadonor has declared his intention to "punish the wicked," by continuing to penalize such actions.

While Morse defended these companies' right to cut off business with her, she did take a different kind of offensive line against them.

"The Vanco company markets itself to religious organizations," the RI president noted. "We surmise that Vanco dropped us because we hold views about marriage, family and human sexuality that are considered 'Anti-LGBT.'"

Although groups like the SPLC may brand such ideas as "hateful," Morse noted, "Our beliefs are the common heritage of all Christian groups. Christian organizations that utilize Vanco's services may wish to reconsider."

The Ruth Institute president was not calling for a boycott per se, but rather a concerted effort on behalf of Christian nonprofits to shame Vanco into reversing its decision. This is exactly the same kind of campaign the SPLC is waging against such groups, but RI decided not to brand Vanco a "hate group." Instead, Morse called on other Christian groups to reconsider working with the company.

Finally, Morse reiterated that the Ruth Institute will still accept donations the old-fashioned way. "Donors to the Ruth Institute can rest assured that their private information has not been compromised," the president said. "Supporters can send checks to our main office, 4845 Lake St.; #217; Lake Charles, LA 70605."

With Apple, J.P. Morgan, George Clooney, CNN, and all sorts of groups teaming up with the SPLC to wage a campaign against nonprofits like the Ruth Institute, Morse's organization needs all the help it can get.


Southern Poverty Law ‘hate map’ label proves costly to pro-family Ruth Institute

Catholic nonprofit dropped by online donation service over listing, fights ‘hate’ label

By Valerie Richardson- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Southern Poverty Law Center "hate map" has come under heated criticism on the right for lumping mainstream conservative organizations with the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. (SPLC)

Southern Poverty Law Center “hate map” has come under heated criticism on the right for lumping mainstream conservative organizations with the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. (SPLC)

Being classified as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center has been costly for the Ruth Institute, a Catholic nonprofit dedicated to combating the breakdown of the family.


First, the online retail giant Amazon refused to allow the group to be included on its Amazon Smile charitable giving program. Then, last week, Vanco Payment Solutions dropped the ministry from its online donation processing service.

“The organization has been flagged by Card Brands as being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse,” said the Aug. 31 notice, according to the Ruth Institute. “Merchants that display such attributes are against Vanco and Wells Fargo processing policies.”

Jennifer Roback Morse, who founded the institute in 2008 and previously taught economics at Yale and George Mason universities, rejected the “hate” label, saying her group “categorically condemns white supremacy, racism, Nazism and all violent totalitarian political movements.”

“We don’t incite anybody to violence. We don’t say we hate anybody. We don’t demean anybody,” said Ms. Morse. “We disagree with certain policy positions that are being aggressively promoted by professional gay rights organizations. But we disagree with their policies. That’s all.”

That’s enough to qualify for the SPLC’s “hate map,” which has come under heated criticism on the right for lumping mainstream conservative organizations with the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.

Walter B. Hoye II, a Ruth Institute board member and founder of the Issues4Life Foundation in Oakland, California, called the SPLC’s decision to list the institute alongside racist groups like the KKK “reprehensible.”

Mr. Hoye recounted his family’s horrific history with the Klan: His great-grandfather was lynched and his house set on fire — with his 14 children inside — by the KKK in Georgia.

“I understand what the Klan is, and with that understanding, there is just no way that the Ruth Institute should be on that list,” Mr. Hoye said. “The Ruth Institute is about healing the black family. It could not be more different.”

Ms. Morse said.

The Ruth Institute, based in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was part of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) until 2013, when it split off as its own in order to distance itself from politics and concentrate on families and children.

Ms. Morse said her group, which ministers to “survivors of the sexual revolution,” wound up on the “hate map” the same year.

“[O]ver the years, she has steered clear of some of the more virulent anti-LGBT rhetoric, though the institute RI, like NOM at the time, used a tactic in which RI bloggers selectively quoted from virulently anti-LGBT sources while claiming to support LGBT individuals and simply being opposed to marriage equality,” said the SPLC in an Aug. 24 post.

Vanco’s decision comes shortly after CNN posted the “hate map” online under the headline, “Here are all the active hate groups where you live,” later changing it to, “The Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups.”

The SPLC took a public relations hit last week for funneling millions to offshore accounts, according to a report by The Washington Free Beacon, while D. James Kennedy Ministries has sued the center for defamation over its “hate map.”

Still, the SPLC remains popular with celebrities: Apple CEO Tim Cook and actor George Clooney both gave $1 million to the Alabama-based civil rights group after last month’s violent clash between white nationalists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Rod Dreher of the American Conservative blog said he believed that leaders of major American corporations are “eager to marginalize and destroy socially and religiously conservative groups, and are more than happy to have the SPLC’s ‘hate map’ as an excuse to do so.”

“Note well the hypocrisy here: It is hateful for a Christian wedding photographer, florist or baker to refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding out of moral conviction, but it is virtuous for a major financial corporation to refuse to do business with a Christian ministry out of moral conviction,” he said. “Heads they win, tails we lose.”

Vanco specializes in religious institutions: It markets itself as an “online giving solution for churches,” saying that it works with more than 20,000 and has been “trusted by more churches than any other faith-based giving and payments provider!”

Ms. Morse, who’s seeking another online donation service, said other faith-based groups may want to switch companies. A Vanco spokesperson had no comment on the issue.

“Our beliefs are the common heritage of all Christian groups,” she said in a post. “Christian organizations that utilize Vanco’s services may wish to reconsider.”


Will the Southern Poverty Law Center Brand the Roman Catholic Church a 'Hate Group'?

By Tyler O'Neil

This article was first published September 7, 2017 at pjmedia.

Pope Francis closes the Jubilee of Mercy in Vatican City on Nov. 20, 2016. (Rex Features via AP Images)

In 2013, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) branded the Ruth Institute (RI) a "hate group," and has stood by this decision ever since. Last month, the credit card processing company Vanco Payments canceled its partnership with RI seemingly over this issue. Also last month, the SPLC reiterated its attack on RI, claiming to quote RI Founder and President Jennifer Roback Morse. In actuality, the quote they presented to justify labeling Morse a "hater" came from another source — the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


Since the SPLC applied the "hate group" label to RI, "I don't see why they wouldn't also have to say that the Catholic Church is a hate group," Chris Gacek, senior fellow for regulatory policy at the Family Research Council (FRC), told PJ Media in an interview. "Except that it would be totally suicidal at this time."

"Absolutely, I think that's right," Roback Morse herself told PJ Media in another interview. But she argued that the reason the SPLC will not brand the largest Christian denomination a "hate group" has nothing to do with them being "afraid of the Catholic Church."

While Roback Morse admitted she does not know the SPLC's motivation, she explained, "The fact is, inside the Catholic Church, there are many shall we say gay allies. There are people inside the Church who are trying to change the Church's teaching."

"If I were the SPLC, attacking the Catholic Church would not be smart right now," the RI president added. "Better to let the Catholic Church unravel itself from the interior. But for all I know, at some point they may go after the Catholic Church and label it a hate group."

Indeed, Gacek's reasoning is sound. In its August update on the activities of "Anti-LGBT Hate Groups," the SPLC justified listing RI in this manner. "Over the years, Roback Morse has claimed that the gay rights movement is 'anti-human' and has used Catholic doctrine to assert that LGBT people are 'intrinsically disordered' and that they should remain celibate (or leave the 'gay lifestyle') and not act on their attractions."

Here is the section on homosexuality from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the authoritative statement of doctrine which Catholics must agree with:

Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

This is the official position of the largest Christian denomination, and if its position justifies calling the Ruth Institute a "hate group," then the SPLC should be consistent and label the Roman Catholic Church a "hate group."

Furthermore, Pope Francis — often a darling of the political Left — has outspokenly condemned LGBT ideology, calling transgenderism in particular "a global war against the family." Why are his remarks not listed on the "Anti-LGBT Hate Group" page?

In her interview with PJ Media, Roback Morse explained the reasons she opposes the LGBT movement. "The reason that I battle the sexual revolution the way that I do is that I believe it has been harmful particularly to children," the RI president said.

"If you start with the idea that children are entitled to a relationship with both of their parents, you'll end up with traditional Catholic morality," she argued. "You'll end up with, 'Don't have sex until you're married, and don't have sex with anybody you're not married to, and contraception and abortion do not get you off the hook.'"

But contemporary secular culture has "thrown all that under the bus for the sake of adult sexual freedom. Whether you're gay or not gay — that's not what we're concerned about." Roback Morse argued that the worst aspect of the LGBT agenda is that it "furthermore undermines the social and legal perception that kids are entitled to a relationship with their parents."

Chillingly, she declared, "I think that adults should be sacrificing for their children, not the other way around."

The RI president also explained why the Catholic Church is the natural enemy of the LGBT movement. "The Catholic Church, at least on paper, is the last big organization taking a stand against the sexual revolution and in favor of traditional morality," she said. "Now, in practice that's not always true because there are priests and bishops who are all over the map, but the Catechism is still very clear on these points."

"If you're a group like the SPLC or any other sexual revolutionary group like Planned Parenthood, they can correctly recognize that the Catholic Church is their enemy," Roback Morse concluded.

The SPLC's "hate group" list has gained traction following the white supremacist riot in Charlottesville, Va. The SPLC originally made its name fighting groups like the KKK in court, but later transitioned to labeling mainstream conservative and Christian organizations "hate groups" along with the KKK. An SPLC spokesman declared that his organization's "aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely."

In recent months, the mainstream media and Internet companies have aided in those efforts. CNN recently broadcast the SPLC's "hate map"on its website and Twitter account (which still includes FRC, by the way), and two other major media outlets, ABC and NBC, parroted the SPLC's "hate group" label against Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) last month.

Google officially announced that it was partnering with the SPLC and ProPublica to launch the Documenting Hate News Index. Similarly, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that his company would give the SPLC $1 million, that it would match employee contributions, and that it would set up a system in iTunes software for consumers to donate directly.

In June, the charity navigation website GuideStar adopted the SPLC "hate group" list, marking each profile of the targeted organizations as a "hate group." This action inspired the first of three lawsuits against the SPLC, launched by the Christian nonprofit Liberty Counsel.

In December, D. James Kennedy Ministries was denied access to Amazon's charity connection service, Amazon Smile, because it was listed as a "hate group" by the SPLC. They also filed a lawsuit against the SPLC for defamation.

The list of "hate groups" is extremely problematic, partially because the reasons the SPLC gives for defaming them shift frequently. The SPLC briefly listed Ben Carson as an "extremist" on its list, and only took his name down following a public outcry. Just last week, the group removed the innocent historic town of Amana Colonies from its "hate map." Furthermore, the group seemed unable to decide why Muslim Maajid Nawaz was guilty of "anti-Muslim extremism." It listed and removed many different reasons, one of which was Nawaz's visit to a strip club for his bachelor party.

The group also recently released a map of all Confederate monuments across America, which just happened to include elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. The SPLC's post publishing the map also warned of "turmoil and bloodshed" if Confederate monuments were not removed.

This map is especially troublesome, considering the SPLC's history of inspiring terror. This past month marked the fifth anniversary of a terrorist attack against the Family Research Center by Floyd Lee Corkins II.

Corkins broke into the FRC, planning to kill everyone in the building, and intending to carry his attacks elsewhere as well. He pled guilty to committing an act of terrorism and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. During an FBI interrogation, he said he targeted the FRC because of the SPLC "hate map."

The SPLC has also been connected to Bernie Sanders supporter James Hodgkinson, the man who shot Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) this summer. Hodgkinson "liked" the SPLC on Facebook, and the SPLC had repeatedly attacked Scalise — even after he apologized and distanced himself from the remarks that earned him a spot on the SPLC "extremist" list.

The SPLC also has a huge endowment ($328 million as of 2015), and The Washington Free Beacon recently reported that the group has sent multiple transactions to foreign entities, including two cash payments of $2.2 million to the Cayman Islands.

Why Google, Apple, GuideStar, and Amazon take the SPLC's "hate list" seriously is anyone's guess. James Damore, the former senior software engineer who wrote a memo attacking Google for fostering an "intellectual echo chamber," was likely on to something.

In her remarks to PJ Media, Jennifer Roback Morse noted that "the Left believes they are correct on the substance of the issues," but also denounced the hypocrisy.

Ironically, the RI president defended Vanco Payments' decision to stop doing business with her, even though it was inspired by the discredited SPLC "hate group" list. "They can do business with anybody they want, for any reason they want," Roback Morse said. "But I wish that florists and cake bakers and photographers were accorded the same privilege."

Many Christian bakers, photographers, and florists have been penalized by the government for refusing to serve at same-sex weddings. Roback Morse defended their free speech, religious freedom, and free association rights to opt out of such business, so she also defended Vanco's right to do the same with the Ruth Institute.

Would that the Southern Poverty Law Center followed such consistency.



Southern Poverty Law Center Gets Creative to Label 'Hate Groups'

Principled conservatives are lumped together with bigots.

By Megan McArdle
 

This is an actual hate group. It shouldn't be lost in a list of 900. Source: Hulton Archive, via Getty Images




Online payment company discontinues service to Christian organization over SPLC 'hate group' label

by Jardine Malado

This article was first posted

An online payment company has stopped providing its services to a Lousiana-based Christian organization that has been labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

In a statement issued on Friday, The Ruth Institute, a Catholic nonprofit based in Lake Charles, Louisiana, announced that Vanco Payment Solutions has opted to discontinue their business relationship.

"The Ruth Institute learned at 2 PM Thursday that Vanco, our online donation processing service, was cancelling our service immediately," the statement read, reported by Life Site News.

Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, said that the organization was "flagged by Card Brands as being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse."


"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," Morse stated.

Morse noted that The Ruth Institute has been listed on SPLC's "hate map," since 2013, adding that no one from Vanco, Card Brands or Wells Fargo has ever contacted the Christian group to inquire about the designation.

After confirming that the online payment service had indeed cut them off, Morse and her staff contacted the institute's regular contributors to alert them about the news and assure them that their private information has not been compromised.

The Ruth Institute, which describes itself as an organization that seeks to create "a mass social movement to end family breakdown by energizing the Survivors of the Sexual Revolution," was just one of a growing number of Christian organizations that have been included on SPLC's list of "hate groups."

Last month, D. James Kennedy Ministries, formerly known as Coral Ridge Ministries, filed a defamation lawsuit against the SPLC for including the ministry on the list, alongside racist and anti-Semitic extremist groups like the Aryan Nation and the Ku Klux Klan.

The Christian ministry has recently aired a special on SPLC called "Profit$ of Hate," in which it details how SPLC's designation has led to violence against Christian organizations.

In 2012, a gun-wielding LGBT activist named Floyd Lee Corkins headed to the headquarters of Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington D.C. and targeted its employees, but he was thwarted by the building manager Leo Johnson.

Corkins later told the FBI that he found FRC through the "Southern Poverty Law [Center] lists [of] ... anti-gay groups."

Morse asked her supporters to redirect their donations to their main office, located at 4845 Lake St. #217 Lake Charles, LA 70605.

She said that she respects the right of Vanco, Card Brands, and Wells Fargo to conduct their businesses as they see fit since they are private companies. "We just wish wedding photographers, bakers and florists received the same respect," she said.

The Ruth Institute has compiled a list of items some groups have found objectionable on a webpage called "Where's the Hate?" Morse said that anyone interested can review the material and judge for themselves whether the Institute belongs on a list alongside the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.



SPLC’s McCarthyism Knifes Catholic Non-Profit

By Rod Dreher

This article was first posted September 1, 2017, at The American Conservative.

One more small but significant step in making it hard for orthodox Christians to buy and sell in America:

Vanco Payment Solutions has cut off services from a Louisiana-based Christian ministry, citing the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Map,” which accuses the ministry of promoting “hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse.”

Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, told The Christian Post on Friday that her organization received a message Thursday around 2 p.m. that the online payment processing company had opted to discontinue their relationship.

The Ruth Institute is a Catholic nonprofit based in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and was “flagged by Card Brands as being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse,” Morse explained to CP.


“Merchants that display such attributes are against Vanco and Wells Fargo processing policies,” Vanco’s correspondence read.

Morse commented, “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.”

Here’s a link to the Ruth Institute’s “About” page. It’s basically about advocating for traditional marriage, family, and sexual standards. That’s now hate? Why, yes, according to the despicable Southern Poverty Law Center, which says, in part:

Roback Morse … has used Catholic doctrine to assert that LGBT people are “intrinsically disordered” and that they should remain celibate (or leave the “gay lifestyle”) and not act on their attractions.

The woman believes what her church, the Roman Catholic Church, teaches about homosexuality. That makes her a hater. That makes the Roman Catholic Church a hate organization, according to SPLC’s expansive definition.

The Washington Free Beacon has been looking at the public tax filings of the non-profit SPLC, and has found some interesting information. Excerpt:

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal, Alabama-based 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization that has gained prominence on the left for its “hate group” designations, pushes millions of dollars to offshore entities as part of its business dealings, records show.

Additionally, the nonprofit pays lucrative six-figure salaries to its top directors and key employees while spending little on legal services despite its stated intent of “fighting hate and bigotry” using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is perhaps best known for its “hate map,” a collection of organizations the nonprofit deems “domestic hate groups” that lists mainstream conservative organizations alongside racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and is often referenced in the media. A gunman opened fire at the Washington, D.C., offices of the conservative Family Research Council in 2012 after seeing it listed as an “anti-gay” group on SPLC’s website.

The SPLC has turned into a fundraising powerhouse, recording more than $50 million in contributions and $328 million in net assets on its 2015 Form 990, the most recently available tax form from the nonprofit. SPLC’s Form 990-T, its business income tax return, from the same year shows that they have “financial interests” in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda. No information is available beyond the acknowledgment of the interests at the bottom of the form.

However, the Washington Free Beacon discovered forms from 2014 that shed light on some of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s transfers to foreign entities.

Read the whole thing.

Politico — not a conservative publication — takes a very hard look at the SPLC in a recent piece. Excerpts:

And as Dees navigates the era of Trump, there are new questions arising around a charge that has dogged the group for years: that the SPLC is overplaying its hand, becoming more of a partisan progressive hit operation than a civil rights watchdog. Critics say the group abuses its position as an arbiter of hatred by labeling legitimate players “hate groups” and “extremists” to keep the attention of its liberal donors and grind a political ax. Which means that just as the SPLC is about to embark on its biggest fight in decades, taking on rising racism and prejudice across the country, its authority to police the boundaries of American political discourse is facing its greatest challenge yet.

“I do think there is a desperate need for more objective research on hate crimes and domestic extremism—especially now,” says J.M. Berger, a researcher on extremism and a fellow with the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism at The Hague. But like many observers, he worries that the SPLC has gone too far in some of its hate group characterizations. “The problem partly stems from the fact that the organization wears two hats, as both an activist group and a source of information,” he says.

More:

You might imagine the Southern Poverty Law Center as a handful of scrappy lawyers in a dingy office suite somewhere. In fact, it boasts 250 staffers and offices in four states, and its headquarters is testament to the fact that, in America, even fighting racism can be very good business. The building—a six-story postmodern edifice that could be the outhouse for Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao—is the most architecturally striking structure in downtown Montgomery.

And:

William Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell and critic of the SPLC, says the group has wrapped itself in the mantle of the civil rights struggle to engage in partisan political crusading. “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,” he says. “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,” Jacobson adds. “It taints not only the group or person, but others who associate with them.”

Ken Silverstein, a liberal journalist and another critic of the group who authored a scathing investigation of its marketing and financial practices for Harper’s in 2000, attributes the growing scope of the SPLC’s censures to a financial imperative to wade into hot-button issues that will rile donors. “The organization has always tried to find ways to milk money out of the public by finding whatever threat they can most credibly promote,” he says.

Here, in a short passage from the Politico piece, is why this matters:

The SPLC’s hate group and extremist labels are effective. Groups slapped with them have lost funding, been targeted by activists and generally been banished from mainstream legitimacy. This makes SPLC the de facto cop in this realm of American politics, with all the friction that kind of policing engenders.

So: the SPLC has enormous powers given to it by no publicly accountable agency or institution — powers that it uses to demonize mainstream conservative and Christian groups. It exercises these powers to stoke its liberal donor base. Meanwhile, a little non-profit Catholic ministry in Lake Charles finds itself suddenly unable to do business with its online fee processor because it takes SPLC’s McCarthyite charges seriously.

Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute responded to the shutdown of the donation page on its website:

  • 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.

  • Vanco, Card Brands, and Wells Fargo are private businesses. The Ruth Institute respects their right to conduct their businesses as they see fit. We just wish wedding photographers, bakers, and florists received the same respect.

  • No one from Vanco, Card Brands or Wells Fargo ever contacted the Ruth Institute to inquire about how we “promote hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse.”

  • The Ruth Institute is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Map,” which was recently in the news. We have been on this “Hate Map” since 2013. To the best of our knowledge, no one has ever been inspired to riot or shoot anyone by our activities.

  • We have compiled the items which some groups have found objectionable on a page called “Where’s the Hate?” Anyone interested can review that material and judge for themselves whether the Ruth Institute belongs on a list with the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.

  • The Vanco company markets itself to religious organizations. Many churches use their services for processing donations. We surmise that Vanco dropped us because we hold views about marriage, family and human sexuality that are considered “Anti-LGBT.” Our beliefs are the common heritage of all Christian groups. Christian organizations that utilize Vanco’s services may wish to reconsider.

  • Donors to the Ruth Institute can rest assured that their private information has not been compromised. Supporters can send checks to our main office, 4845 Lake St.; #217; Lake Charles, LA 70605.

(PayPal seems to be working for the site, by the way.)

Note well the hypocrisy here: it is hateful for a Christian wedding photographer, florist, or baker to refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding out of moral conviction, but it is virtuous for a major financial corporation to refuse to do business with a Christian ministry out of moral conviction. Heads they win, tails we lose.

I would wager that the leadership of major American corporations are eager to marginalize and destroy socially and religiously conservative groups, and are more than happy to have SPLC’s “hate map” as an excuse to do so. That’s why unless there is a federal investigation of some sort (though on what grounds, I don’t know), or a huge wave of public pressure, we won’t see Apple, Amazon, J.P. Morgan Chase, or any of the other big banks and corporations that do SPLC’s bidding and fill its coffers being dissuaded by actual reporting of its charlatanry.

What if banks and lending institutions decide to cut off access to credit for organizations and institutions they deem to be purveyors of “hate”? You don’t think it could happen to your employer, your church, your favorite charities? You don’t think it could happen to you? Wake up. The Law of Merited Impossibility (“It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it.”) is unrepealable in this environment.

UPDATE: A reader writes:

Only a matter of time before Credit Card companies won’t let you buy certain books that promote “hate.” We’re just so stupid. By being lured into convenience, we have given up our privacy. But now that information will be used to censor, punish, and shame.


Donation Processing Company Cancels Christian Group’s Service Because SPLC Labeled It a “Hate Group”

by Steven Ertelt

This article was first published at Life News on September 1, 2017.

 

 

A company that processes online donations for organizations cancelled its service with a Christian organization after the pro-abortion Southern Poverty Law Center labeled it a “hate group” over its conservative political views. This action highlights longstanding concerns pro-life conservatives have had about of the kind of discrimination pro-life Christians can expect for their beliefs.

The Ruth Institute, whose primary focus is family breakdown, and its impact on children, informed LifeNews today about the discrimination. Officials indicated Ruth Institute’s on-line donation processor cut them off from further funding for allegedly promoting “hate, violence, harassment or abuse.”

The Ruth Institute learned late Thursday that Vanco Payment Solutuons, their on-line donation processing service, was cancelling their service immediately.


Their letter stated: “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.”

Ruth Institute immediately went to the donation page on its web site and found it had already been shut down. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, told LifeNews she is very upset by the decision.

“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,” she said. “We surmise that Vanco dropped us because we hold [pro-life and conservative] views about marriage, family and human sexuality.”

The Ruth Institute is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Map,” which was recently in the news. It has been on this “Hate Map,” since 2013. No one from Vanco, Card Brands or Wells Fargo ever contacted the Ruth Institute to inquire about how it supposedly “promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse,” she added.

The Vanco company markets itself to religious organizations. Many churches use their services for processing donations but they may be reconsidering following this discrimination.

“Our beliefs are the common heritage of all Christian groups. Christian organizations that utilize Vanco’s services may wish to reconsider,” Morse told LifeNews.

ACTION: Contact Vanco to complain here.

Donate now!