“There is a network of American extremists who work tirelessly to undercut LGBT people around the world at every turn. They spew venomous rhetoric, outrageous theories, and discredited science.”Sounds terrifying. Actually, these ominous words are in a new report profiling Christian and conservative pastors, writers and other media as “radical extremists” who need to be shamed and monitored.
The Sept. 15 report entitled “Exposed: The Export of Hate” by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay “civil rights organization” has highlighted several members of “the radical right” they want to demonize as dangerous criminals.
The report looks like the FBI’s Most Wanted list, with hand-drawn black and white mugshots of the perpetrators and their “rap-sheet” listed on the side.
HRC has used this report in a social media campaign that celebrities and politicians are sharing on Twitter. For the past week, the HRC has tweeted out mugshots of their targets, labelled with the word “Hate” in bold font.
The media is on board too. Yahoo! News reported on the story Sept. 15, seemingly having no criticism of the report and referring to the people listed in the report as “anti-gay.” Jason Rahlan, communications director for HRC, told Yahoo news reporter Liz Goodwin, “Our primary focus is naming and shaming.”
Among those on the list were Independent candidate for governor of Massachusetts Pastor Scott Lively, Christian radio host and Townhall columnist Michael Brown, Liberty University Law School dean and talk radio host Mat Staver, Christian conservative blogger Matt Barber, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, Concerned Women for America's Janice Shaw Crouse, Benjamin Bull of the conservative Christian law group, the Alliance Defending Freedom and Jordan Sekulow of another conservative Christian litigation group, American Center for Law and Justice among many other smaller Christian and conservative groups and professors.
Scott Lively has even reported that since the list was published, he has received two death threats. This isn’t the first time either. Not only himself, but Matt Barber, Mat Staver and several others were listed in a threatening message Lively received.
Before he received the death threats, Lively responded to the report, calling for a retraction, since the report could incite violent behavior against himself and those listed.
HRC’s response to Lively’s concern? Six paragraphs bashing him while not even mentioning the possibility of violence. In their eyes, he deserves it.
In one of the vulgar emails Lively received, filled with obscenities (“Fucking asshole! Fucking idiot! Prick!” etc), the pastor was compared to Hitler and the KKK.
Lively has been targeted by the media before. Liberal comedian John Oliver called Lively that “crazy guy” in a June 29 episode, and deemed him, “clearly an idiot, and luckily, over here we just get to laugh at him."
Lively defended his public ministry, claiming “None of my comments, taken in context, encourage hatred or violence against homosexuals. But HRC’s comments are clearly designed to incite both against me.”
He continued to call out the media for standing by while this group continues their dangerous campaign:
“Where are the cultural gatekeepers in our society to call HRC on its dangerous rhetoric and its hypocrisy? They all seem to be in bed together.”
These kind of lists are not innocuous and harmless, as they inspire their own brand of extremism, as was seen in 2012 when an armed man entered the conservative Family Research Council’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., intending to kill, because the FRC was on another pro-gay group’s hate list.
Clearly HRC isn’t interested in tolerance. They have to know the history of the violence the Southern Poverty Law Center incited, because they cited the SPLC in their report, and yet they made a similar list themselves. It couldn’t be more clear their dangerous tactics, than with their ending demand, “It's time to take action.”