The media’s propaganda campaign serving the Southern Poverty Law Center just hit close to home in my state, Ohio. A recent hit piece in the Columbus Dispatch stunningly displayed misplaced trust in the SPLC’s radical, bigoted profit machine.

Citizens for Community Values (CCV) is a leading Christian family-policy organization, led to a position of prominence in Ohio and the national political scene over the last two decades by its former president, Phil Burress. Following Burress’ recent retirement, the group tapped promising newcomer Aaron Baer to fill some very big shoes.

This group’s hard work and dedication to families deserves far better than the treatment given by the Dispatch, which sent out this tweet about CCV prior to an event on Oct. 8: “Is the organization sponsoring tonight’s GOP gubernatorial forum a ‘hate group’?”

And the paper followed up with a Sunday headline article citing the SPLC as its source for the smear label. CCV landed on the SPLC infamous hate list years ago while standing against same-sex “marriage” and the harmful behavior of homosexuality.

This same hit list was used as a map by one wannabe mass murderer and publicly admired by another.

Creating controversy does get some clicks for a dying paper. But thankfully, many Dispatch readers found the reporter’s tactic to be underhanded and irresponsible, with numerous comments like this one: “To cite the Southern Poverty Law Center as credible is ludicrous. You can do better and should do better, Dispatch.”

Another reader wrote, “Sheer ignorance when quoting SPLC. Do some research people. Get to know the SPLC for what it is. Very dangerous.”

Apparently, the SPLC couldn’t care less. They peddle their bigotry, and they are sticking to it.

And predictably, a major network had one takeaway from last week’s Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. – shock that a flyer about homosexual health risks was included in the attendee packet.

NBC News was outraged that Trump spoke to a group where a flyer promoting Mass Resistance’s important resource, “The Health Hazards of Homosexuality,” was part of every registrant’s packet.

But NBC provided this justification for its dismay: “The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated MassResistance a hate group since 2008.”

Oh, then blatant distortion is OK. America can trust SPLC, right? Well, no. Apparently, NBC did not get the memo.

SPLC is being exposed as a group of faith-baiting frauds and frankly, seditious, anti-American revolutionaries.

A defamation lawsuit was filed recently against SPLC by a Christian group, the D. James Kennedy Ministries, formerly known as Coral Ridge Ministries. And the cheers were heard from coast to coast.

Also, the Pentagon recently cut ties to SPLC.

The lid is coming off the Southern Poverty’s war chest, used to launch baseless attacks against sane, civilized values. Yet clueless or hopelessly biased reporters continue to cite the radical activist group as a credible monitor.

CNN came under massive criticism for publishing a link in August, following the Charlottesville riots, to the SPLC “hate map,” which functions as a McCarthy-like black list. White supremacists and neo-Nazis appear alongside long-respected Christian conservative groups that hold no such views.

That map was consulted as a reference by Floyd Corkins who entered the Family Research Council in 2012 guided by the SPLC hate map. Corkins, armed to the teeth and ready to commit mass murder, only succeeded in wounding the lobby guard who then recovered. Corkins told the FBI about his use of the SPLC list, an admission revealed by CNN itself in a 2013 article.

Doesn’t CNN believe its own material? The final quote in that piece, however, seems to rationalize violence.

Full disclosure: our group, Mission America, is on this hate map. And it’s completely unjustified.

Regional media copied CNN in mid-August and mindlessly produced local-angle stories featuring SPLC’s erroneous smear map, including stations or papers in Washington, D.C., Oklahoma City, Cleveland, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Dayton, Kansas City and many others.

Among its compatriots, the SPLC counts “LGBTQ” activists, anti-American communists, open-borders groups and Islamic Shariah advocates. Even Al Jazeera links to the SPLC map. How convenient for jihad-apologists that so many conservative Christian groups appear on the list.

The SPLC criteria lack validity. Here’s how SPLC claims to assess a group: “All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”

But homosexuality and gender confusion are not immutable. These are immoral, changeable behaviors long opposed for factual, historical and health-based reasons by virtually all major religions.

Southern Poverty tricksters magically alter a few definitions and assign unsubstantiated motives – and voila! Multiple Christian hate groups suddenly appear.

Few Muslim groups are listed, yet most would qualify based on strong opposition to homosexuality and vicious persecution of other faiths.

When “LGBTQ” groups like the Human Rights Campaign publish hostile, inaccurate material about Christian leaders (example here), does HRC land on this infamous list?

You know the answer. Of course not!

No one is supposed to notice the glaring problems with the “born that way” narrative nor the hypocrisy of selectively applied SPLC criteria.

SPLC pads the “hate group” list, creating numerous fake crises, inflaming emotions of marginally informed people as a tool for raising money while conducting scant “legal” services.

These scam-tactics put responsible groups trying to do good in America, many of us on a slim budget, in danger.

The “hate list” misinformation has been implicated not just in the attack on Family Research Council but that of Rep. Steve Scalise. Both attackers were fans of SPLC.

Columbus Dispatch reporter Darrel Rowland smeared a long-standing Ohio conservative group with the SPLC “hate group” label without any qualification whatsoever. This is abysmally shoddy reporting, but the implications go beyond that.

When does cooperating with reckless libel and slander, which has shown it can lead to targeted violence, become an actionable legal offense? I think we are there.

Can reporters be sued? I guess we will see if this keeps occurring.

It needs to end, now.

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