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News You Should Know: Will the SPLC Give Up Its Dangerous Smear Campaign?

By Michael Farris, Jr. posted on:
August 23, 2019

This week, we look at an op-ed written by ADF Senior News Writer and Editor Jessica Prol Smith as she recalls the terror of a gunman invading the offices of the Family Research Council. What inspired the gunman? The Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Map.” Plus, the Trump Administration does more to protect religious freedom, a new study looks at the effects of cohabitation and religion, and Roe v. Wade goes under the microscope. All of this from the Alliance Alert team.

ADF in the News

USA Today: The Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate-based scam that nearly caused me to be murdered

When a thoroughly discredited national advocacy group descends to name calling and baseless smears against other advocacy groups, the results can be disastrous. Case in point: ADF Senior News Writer and Editor Jessica Prol Smith recalls the moments of terror when she was on staff at the Family Research Council and a gunman attacked the FRC offices because the SPLC listed FRC on its so-called “Hate Map.” That attack only deepened Jessica’s convictions to fight for the sanctity of life, marriage, and religious freedom, she writes. Yet seven years later, the SPLC still lumps highly principled groups FRC and ADF alongside truly despicable groups like the KKK—stoking fear and division to raise more money even as its own credibility crumbles from a series of highly public, self-inflicted scandals. As Smith concludes, we would all be better off if the SPLC stopped slinging slurs and began pursuing justice—and learned to love its neighbors.

Religious Freedom

The Daily Signal: Labor Department Rule Broadens Religious Protections in Federal Contracting

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a rule that seeks to broaden religious protections for organizations that contract with the federal government. Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella said in a statement, “As people of faith with deeply held religious beliefs are making decisions on whether to participate in federal contracting, they deserve clear understanding of their obligations and protections under the law." The Department of Labor cited three U.S. Supreme Court cases in which ADF was involved (including Masterpiece Cakeshop and Trinity Lutheran) and several executive orders from President Trump as its rationale for creating the rule.

Marriage and the Family

The Public Discourse: How the Rise in Unreligious Americans affects Sex and Marriage: Comparative Evidence from New Survey Data

Are modern-day views of marriage and sexuality leading to fewer religious Americans? That's what analyzing survey data from a national survey conducted by University of Texas at Austin Sociology Professor Mark Regnerus suggests. Regnerus takes particular interest in the increasing number of people who identify as non-religious and the increase in cohabitation over marriage. Looking at data from 2015 and 2018, Regnerus argues that since views on cohabitation among the non-religious are unlikely to have changed, it's more likely that those who once considered themselves as religious have shifted both on the issue and on their own choices.

Sanctity of Life

The Washington Times: Roe v. Wade on the fault line

As legal challenges to Roe v. Wade continue to mount, Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins writes that the shaky legal ground upon which Roe stands is becoming much more vulnerable. By now, Hawkins writes, both sides of the abortion debate have conceded that Roe has nothing to do with a woman's "right" to an abortion and more to do with a doctor's “right” to execute one. Hawkins says it's time to do away with the idea that abortion helps women once and for all, noting that even Justice Ginsburg has recognized Roe as creating faulty law.

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Michael Farris, Jr.

Michael Farris, Jr.

Legal Content Manager

Michael Farris, Jr., serves as Legal Content Manager for Alliance Defending Freedom and is a Virginia-born Idaho convert.


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