A key leader of the Washington-based Family Research Council, the pro-family organization attacked by "gay" terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins, II, last year, says he is asking the government to stop utilizing the organization that likely influenced Corkins' decision to attack innocent workers at FRC's Washington office.
Retired Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin, the executive vice president of FRC and also a member of the board of WND.com, also is asking the U.S. news media to stop citing reports, statements and claims from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which he said legitimizes the organization.
The reason is that Corkins, who has pleaded guilty to a charge of domestic terrorism, confirmed to the FBI that he obtained information about the FRC from the "hate group" listing posted online by the SPLC, and that's how he picked his target.
According to the government's sentencing memorandum in the case against Corkins, who is now expected to be sentenced sometime in June, the "mass killing of innocent civilians" was averted narrowly by "the heroic intervening actions of Leonardo Johnson, a building manager/security guard who was seriously injured as a result."
It happened when Corkins came to the FRC office intending to shoot everyone he could, but was stopped by Johnson, who wrestled Corkins into submission even though he had been shot in the arm.
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Among the counts to which Corkins has pleaded guilty is an "Act of [Domestic] Terrorism while Armed."
During an FBI interview of Corkins after he was taken into custody, an agent asked Corkins, "What was your intention … You're … a political activist you said?"
Corkins responded: "Yeah, I wanted to kill the people in the building and then smear a Chicken-fil-A sandwich on their face."
FBI: "And you, what was your intention when you went in there with the gun?"
Corkins: "Uh, it was to kill as many people as I could."
Key to the case, according to the government's document, was that "He had identified the FRC as an anti-gay organization on the Southern Poverty Law Center website."
FRC officials repeatedly have explained they adhere to a biblical perspective on homosexuality, but are not "anti-gay."
"Consistent with his statement to the FBI, a … search of Corkins's family computer revealed that on the afternoon of Sunday, August 12, Corkins used the computer to visit the Southern Poverty Law Center's website, as well as the websites for the FRC and the second organization on his handwritten list. The FBI later recovered from Corkins's home several printed Mapquest and Google maps, dated August 12, 2012, for directions to the FRC and the second organization, as well as the pad of stationary paper used by Corkins to create his handwritten list of targets," the government explained.
A video that has been assembled, from security cameras and other sources, of Corkins' attack on the FRC, as well as his videotaped confession, is to be released tomorrow, FRC officials said. FRC President Tony Perkins is scheduled to be on a Fox News program with Megyn Kelly, where it is to be aired for the first time.
A WND message left with Rebecca Sturtevant of the SPLC requesting a comment did not generate a response.
Boykins told WND, however, that the video includes the interrogation by police "where he [Corkins] admits that he targeted us, as an 'anti-gay' group, because we were listed on the website of the SPLC, as a 'hate group.'"
"It tells you the SPLC directly is connected to domestic terrorism," Boykins told WND. "They are connected to domestic terrorism, in a federal case in Washington, D.C."
He continued, "We want the U.S. government to stop supporting … and using the SPLC. They're now connected to domestic terrorism."
He cited the reports from SPLC that law enforcement periodically references, the classes the SPLC teaches to law enforcement officers, and other influences.
And Boykins said the U.S. media needs to "stop giving them a voice to spew their hatred."
Such validation simply gives the appearance that "their dangerous actions" are "sanctioned by the U.S."
"Third, we'd really like for the Congress to take some kind of action to do a legitimate assessment of the recklessness of this organization, and assist with forcing our government to stop supporting them," he said.
Perkins previously said that the SPLC's statements about the FRC "gave license" to Corkins' to attack.
Corkins, 28, confessed he was motivated by FRC's stance against homosexuality and same-sex "marriage."
"The Southern Poverty Law Center can no longer say that it is not a source for those bent on committing acts of violence," Perkins said earlier.
The significance of the Chick-fil-A sandwiches Corkins bought and brought to FRC was that the owner of the restaurant chain was under fire last summer from homosexual activists for stating his support for the morality of traditional marriage.
Prosecutors said Corkins claimed he was at FRC headquarter interviewing for an internship. When a security guard asked for ID, Corkins took a pistol from a backpack and fired three shots, striking security guard Leonardo Johnson in the arm.
Johnson, however, was able to wrestle away the gun from Corkins, preventing further bloodshed.
Perkins said that only by "ending its hate labeling practices will the SPLC send a message that it no longer wishes to be a source for those who would commit acts of violence that are only designed to intimidate and silence Christians and others who support natural marriage and traditional morality."
That the U.S. government utilizes the opinions endorsed by the SPLC is evidenced in a number of ways, including the fact that the U.S. Army Reserve recently was found to be using a training brief that slams Catholics and evangelical Christians.
Members of Congress were outraged.
"Our nation needs to have an honest conversation about religious extremism and what we can do to avoid religious violence. However, labeling these major world religions as extremists is wrong and hurtful," said a letter by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., that was signed by dozens of other members.
It was addressed to Army Secretary John. M . McHugh at the Pentagon.
"We call on you to rescind this briefing and set the record straight on the Army's view on these faith groups by providing a balanced briefing on religious extremism," the letter said.
The letter was prompted by reports that soldiers were taught that evangelical Christians are an extremist threat to America along with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, KKK, Nation of Islam, al-Qaida and Hamas.
"Men and women of faith who have served the Army faithfully for centuries shouldn't be likened to those who have regularly threatened the peace and security of the United States," said retired Col. Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. "It is dishonorable for any U.S. military entity to allow this type of wrongheaded characterization. It also appears that some military entities are using definitions of 'hate' and 'extreme' from the lists of anti-Christian political organizations. That violates the apolitical stance appropriate for the military."
The U.S. Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training briefing, given to an Army reserve unit in Pennsylvania, was titled "Extremism and Extremist Organizations."
The material mentions neo-Nazis, the KKK and other white supremacist organizations. Pictures are shown on various slides of people in Klan attire and Nazi flags. The significance of gang tattoos, racist acronyms and numbers was also discussed.
While the material on gangs and racist organizations is similar to what one might receive from a local police briefing on gang issues, after teaching on neo-Nazis in the military such as Timothy McVeigh, the material makes a remarkable link.
A slide titled "Religious Extremism" lists multiple organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, Hamas, the Nation of Islam, the Ku Klux Klan and the Christian Identity movement as examples of extremist groups.
However, the first group on the list is evangelical Christianity. Catholicism and ultra-orthodox Judaism are also on the list of religious extremist organizations.
Crews said the major problem with the training brief is that it relies heavily on material provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has claimed that WND, the Family Research Council and other pro-family groups are hate groups and extremists.
"We’re concerned the use of the SPLC list is not isolated," Crews said. "The Army should make sure its equal opportunity officers across the military do not fall prey and use this SPLC list that identifies Christian and conservative organizations as hate groups as the basis for their briefing."
When the Boston Marathon was bombed, the SPLC jumped right into action, charging that it was unlikely a tea-party, patriot or right-wing group perpetrated the attack because the victims weren't "black people or Jewish people or gay people or Muslims," claimed a senior fellow of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The SPLC – a left-wing, nonprofit organization that describes itself as dedicated to fighting "bigotry" and monitoring domestic "hate groups" – keeps an eagle eye on tea-party, patriot, Christian, gun-rights and right-wing organizations, often insisting their fires are fueled by racism and hatred, rather than politics or policy.
SPLC Senior Fellow Mark Potok continued the narrative in an interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Live" when the host asked Potok if the Boston bomber was more likely to be a lone wolf or part of an existing group.
"It's more likely to be a lone wolf, these kinds of things, at least in the radical right. The non-Islamic radical right, they don't tend to be carried out in groups at all," Potok replied. "It may be, in fact, a home grown radical, but perhaps of the jihadist sort. And the reason I think about that in that way is think about who the targets were. You know, this was not a target that one would associate with a radical right-wing bomber. It was not a government building, it was not the IRS, although it was Tax Day on Monday. It was not a minority group. It wasn't black people or Jewish people or gay people or Muslims."
Potok's interview with Piers Morgan can be seen below:
Perkins also said "inflammatory rhetoric" by Army officials could prompt President Obama to put evangelical Christians and Catholics on a "watch list" to prevent them from purchasing guns.
Perkins said on his "Washington Watch" radio broadcast recently that the Senate's bipartisan proposal requiring background checks for Internet gun sales is "very concerning given the fact that the United States military has been increasingly showing hostility toward evangelicals and Catholics as being somehow threats to national security and people that need to be watched."
In an email to FRC supporters, Perkins explained that a recent Army briefing on "religious extremism" declared evangelical Christians and Catholics are among the biggest threats to America, along with Islamic supremacist groups such as al-Qaida and Hamas.
Perkins said it was also discovered that, in an email, Army Lt. Col. Jack Rich highlighted FRC and the American Family Association as groups that do not share "our Army Values."
In his broadcast Wednesday, Perkins tied together the Army rhetoric with the proposed Senate legislation.
“Well, what does that have to do with gun control?” he continued. “Well, what happens if all [of a] sudden you are identified as an evangelical, Bible-believing fundamentalist and the government decides you’ve got to be put on a watch list?”
Perkins explained that under the legislation, if "a caution comes up when they put your name in, you don't get a chance to buy a gun.”
He said the SPLC should stop labeling organizations that oppose "their promotion of homosexuality."
"Whether the SPLC continues to demonize those who hold to biblical morality or not, the Family Research Council will remain unequivocally committed to our mission of advancing faith, family and freedom," said Perkins.
Last August, Potok did responded to Perkins, calling his comments "outrageous."
He also repeated the SPLC's labeling of the FRC as a "hate group," because it "has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people."
On its website, SPLC has a page on FRC.
"FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science," the group says. "The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy."