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Supreme Court of the United States

4 Threats to Your Religious Freedom and What You Can Do About It

By Maureen Collins posted on:
December 4, 2019

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) claims to track more than 1,000 “hate groups” across the United States. There are some truly hateful groups on the list. But the SPLC lumps in peaceful Christian organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) with violent and racist groups like the KKK.

The SPLC has been discredited by investigative journalists, commentators, and charity watchdogs as a direct mail scam. Even former employees of the group have openly criticized the SPLC’s practices and leadership.

Despite all this, corporate, media, and political leaders blindly use the SPLC “hate” list.

For those on the list, there are real-world consequences. For example, Family Research Council and conservative author Charles Murray were victims of violence inspired by the SPLC’s “hate” label.

Last year, a billboard attacking ADF was plastered in Times Square in New York City. But this wasn’t just an attack on ADF. It was an attack on you and your beliefs.

Here are four ways the SPLC and its allies threaten to undermine your freedom and attack your beliefs—and those of ADF.

1. Controlling How You Give Your Money

The SPLC and its allies are pressuring credit card companies, like MasterCard, to stop processing gifts to groups on the “hate” list. Some companies blindly follow the SPLC’s propaganda despite the glaring differences between true hate groups like the KKK and Christian groups like ADF.

Banks are also being pressured to stop processing certain donations as part of the “Hate Is Not Charitable” campaign. What list is being used to determine which groups are “hate groups”? The SPLC’s. Even though the group is a biased and discredited source.

This trend is a serious concern for organizations falsely labeled a “hate group” by the SPLC. But it’s also an affront to your freedom. Neither banks nor credit card companies should tell you how—and where—you donate your money.

2. Corporations Blacklisting Conservatives and Christians like You

The SPLC and its allies are weaponizing corporate America to blacklist Christians and conservatives.

One of our attorneys saw this firsthand at an Amazon shareholders’ meeting. A moderate proposal to expand ideological diversity on Amazon’s left-leaning board was met with jeers by the audience. Meanwhile, extreme proposals, including banning the sale of allegedly “hateful” books and other content, were met with cheers.

Amazon no longer accepts donations to ADF via it’s AmazonSmile program for charities. And it’s all because of the false “hate group” label given to us by the SPLC.

3. Censoring Your Speech Online

The SPLC is pressuring social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to restrict certain Christian and conservative speech online. The group launched “Change the Terms,” which is a “set of policy recommendations to help social media and other internet companies reduce hateful activities on their platforms.”

But what is it really about? Censoring groups like ADF. Online censorship is oftentimes directed at conservative, pro-life, and religious ideas.

So, really, this is about censoring you because of your beliefs.

4. Politicians Use the “Hate” Designation to Defame and Discredit

The SPLC’s “hate group” designation has also been used to slander potential judges and government officials.

Recently, the Michigan Attorney General launched a new Hate Crimes Unit. Where is the state getting its information for what constitutes a “hate group”? The SPLC. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Senator Elizabeth Warren used the “hate group” label to defame a former ADF employee who now works for the federal government.

The SPLC’s claim to be a neutral judge of what constitutes “hate” has been discredited, so no one should be using the group’s list. But it is especially disappointing when elected officials use partisan propaganda peddled by the SPLC.

The SPLC pressures corporations, media outlets, and even politicians into censoring groups like ADF. And by doing so, they are censoring you. These attacks seek to delegitimize Christian and conservative voices. They are meant to intimidate Christians and conservatives from expressing their views in the public square.

Enough is enough. It’s time for us to stand together against these groups and show them that we will not be intimidated by their tactics.

Maureen Collins

Maureen Collins

Digital Cultivation Manager

Maureen Collins serves as the Digital Cultivation Manager at Alliance Defending Freedom.

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