It’s been a year since Amazon removed Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) from its AmazonSmile program, which allows customers to choose a non-profit group to receive a percentage of any Amazon purchase.
It didn’t take us long to find out why.
Amazon pointed to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which labels ADF as a “hate group” simply for holding beliefs shared by millions of Christians across the world.
These are beliefs that you likely share: Marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Life is sacred from conception until natural death. God created man in His image – male and female.
But the SPLC has decided that these beliefs are no longer welcome in the public square. And it has directed its powerful allies and considerable resources – its assets are more than $500 million – toward silencing anyone who holds these beliefs.
Since then, the attacks have only intensified.
- Microsoft used the SPLC’s “hate” label to cut off our ability to buy software at non-profit pricing. This adds more than $100,000 to our annual costs.
- In Arizona, a secularist organization attacked ADF in newspaper editorials, billboard ads, and proposed legislation over our ability to sponsor a specialty license plate that proclaims our national motto: “In God We Trust.”
- Members of the mainstream media parrot the SPLC’s false talking points.
- For several months, opponents attacked ADF with vicious and dishonest billboards in Times Square.
But that’s not all.
ADF team members have also paid the price for the SPLC’s false charges.
They have been harassed online, disowned by their alma maters, and shouted down in public places. Some have had to be escorted by security officers when they speak on college campuses. One team member walked out of church to find her car window shot out days after arguing on behalf of our client Jack Phillips at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Those with ties to ADF – allied attorneys, Blackstone Fellows, and even highly qualified judicial nominees – have been doxxed and dragged through the mud in the media.
This is now how the SPLC spends its vast resources and power – harassing peaceful, conservative organizations and people simply because it disagrees with our beliefs.
It’s a far cry from the good work that the SPLC used to do, combatting truly despicable groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. Since then, the SPLC has devolved into a far-left propaganda machine that raises money by labeling legitimate groups as “haters.” Even recent revelations that the SPLC suffers from an internal culture of sexual harassment and racial discrimination hasn’t seemed to slow it down in its campaign to silence those with whom it disagrees.
But the “hate” label doesn’t just impact us here at ADF. It impacts you.
ADF is the largest and most effective legal organization in the world dedicated to the defense of religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family. We advocate for the right of all people to freely live out their faith. And we do so at the highest levels – winning nine Supreme Court cases since 2011.
When we defend clients such as Jack Phillips and Barronelle Stutzman, we are defending the right of all people to live and work consistently with their beliefs.
When we win for free speech on college campuses, that secures that right for everyone on campus – and gives future generations a better understanding of what it means to peacefully interact with opposing viewpoints.
Ultimately, when we defend religious freedom and free speech, we are defending you.
In all of this, ADF is motivated by this principle found in 1 Corinthians 13: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. [Love] always protects…”
We strive to uphold the truth and to protect freedom for everyone – not just for our clients or for ourselves, but for all Americans. In all our work, we seek to cultivate a society defined by respect and tolerance for different views, the free exchange of ideas, and robust debate and dialogue.
But if the SPLC had its way, we wouldn’t be defending that freedom for anyone.