Liberty Counsel, the nonprofit civil rights group that has been defending Rowan County, Kentucky, Clerk Kim Davis as she fights to not violate her religious faith as ordered by U.S. District Judge David Bunning, is responding to an article by the Associated Press that cited a “hate” label applied by the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center.

Liberty Counsel argues that under the standard that SPLC uses to call groups “hate” organizations and individuals “haters,” the Catholic Church would qualify.

So, too, would virtually every major Christian group in the world.

And among the individuals would be Jesus Christ. SPLC’s “hate” label also would apply to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, before they “evolved” to become ardent supporters of “same-sex marriage,” according to Liberty Counsel’s founder and chief counsel, Mat Staver.

The controversy was sparked by an Associated Press article that pointed out Liberty Counsel mistakenly used an image from a prayer rally in Peru – a result of miscommunication – at a rally for Davis.

Davis has argued that the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ensure she cannot be forced to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in violation of her faith.

Get the Whistleblower Magazine’s revelations about the SPLC, in its March 2015 edition of “The Hate Racket,” the complete story of how one group fools government into equating Christians and conservatives with Klansmen and Nazis – and rakes in millions doing it.

Bunning ordered her to issue the licenses, and when she refused, jailed her for nearly a week. He later reversed himself and freed her. Davis still is not issuing the licenses, but her deputies in the county are issuing them without her name on the documents.

The anonymously written AP article included interviews with several ardent critics of Liberty Counsel’s Christian agenda, including SPLC Senior Fellow Mark Potok. SPLC, AP said, “lists the Liberty Counsel as an anti-gay hate groups (sic) for spreading false information.”

But Staver told WND that while Liberty Counsel’s position on gay rights is based on age-old Christian beliefs, not hatred, SPLC routinely affixes the “hate” label on groups or individuals who disagree with its pro-homosexual agenda.

Liberty Counsel points out AP is relying on an organization that has been linked to terrorism in the United States.

“By falsely and recklessly labeling Christian ministries as ‘hate groups,’ the SPLC is directly responsible for the first conviction of a man who intended to commit mass murder targeted against a policy organization in Washington, D.C.,” Liberty Counsel’s report said.

“On August 15, 2012, Floyd Corkins went to the Family Research Council with a gun and a bag filled with ammunition and Chick-fil-A sandwiches. His stated purpose was to kill as many employees of the Family Research Council as possible and then to smear Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces (because the founder of the food chain said he believed in marriage as a man and a woman). Fortunately, Mr. Corkins was stopped by the security guard, who was shot in the process. Corkins is now serving time in prison. Mr. Corkins admitted to the court that he learned of the Family Research Council by reading the SPLC’s hate map.”

WND reported a video showed Corkins entering the FRC offices and confronting Leo Johnson.

Corkins later was sentenced to prison for domestic terrorism. It was during an interview with FBI officers when Corkins fingered the Southern Poverty Law Center for his inspiration.

Central to the case, according to the government’s document, was that Corkins “had identified the FRC as an anti-gay organization on the Southern Poverty Law Center website.”

FRC officials repeatedly have explained that 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 in its court case against Corkins.

Just a few days ago, SPLC tried to interfere in the running of a “Values Voter Summit,” in which leading conservative voices gathered to discuss issues and events important to their constituencies.

The fringe progressive organization, which earlier this year also blasted GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson with a “hate” label, wrote letters to GOP presidential candidates suggesting they should not speak at the conference.

The attack on the conference, SPLC explained, was because those groups have “an extensive record of vilifying gays and lesbians with falsehoods – portraying them as sick, evil, incestuous, violent, perverted and a danger to the nation.”

The Christian and conservative organizations describe their position differently. They say they are simply adhering to biblical standards regarding homosexual behavior.

Staver told WND he and his organization don’t have hate for anyone.

“It’s reckless to call people hateful or hate groups if they disagree with them (SPLC) on the issues or marriage or homosexuality,” he said.

Get the Whistleblower Magazine’s revelations about the SPLC, in its March 2015 edition of “The Hate Racket,” the complete story of how one group fools government into equating Christians and conservatives with Klansmen and Nazis – and rakes in millions doing it.

Liberty Counsel argued, “Logically, a ‘hate group’ should be defined as one whose members (1) actually say that they hate a particular group of people; and/or (2) engage in or condone violence or other illegal activity toward such a group.”

But SPLC targets those who disagree with the organization’s advocacy for homosexuality, the report said.

SPLC, Liberty Counsel said, “acknowledges alleged ‘hate group’ activities include constitutionally protected activities such as ‘marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing,’ and that the ‘hate group’ designation ‘does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity.’ However, they do not distinguish between racist or violent groups and legitimate organizations that participate peacefully in the political process – tarring all with the same label.”

While AP commented on Staver’s appearance – “his hair bright white and his ties usually red” – Liberty Counsel raised substantive concerns regarding “false and misleading statements” made by SPLC.

It cited an SPLC posting Sept. 11 headlined “Liberty Counsel Has a History of Advising Clients to Defy the Law.”

“False,” said Liberty Counsel.

“Liberty Counsel has never advised clients to ‘defy the law,’ and Liberty Counsel has never advised Kim Davis to ‘disobey a court’s orders,'” the group said.

Liberty Counsel publicly informed SPLC it needed to correct its report at that time because it released numerous statements distorting the facts of an earlier controversy.

That was when Liberty Counsel, for a time, represented Lisa Miller in a custody fight with a lesbian after Miller left the “gay” lifestyle.

However, Liberty Counsel asked the court for permission to withdraw after the client vanished and lawyers were unable to communicate with her.

Lawsuits followed because homosexual advocates accused Staver and another attorney, Rena Lindevaldsen, of conspiring with Miller before she disappeared with her biological child – the girl her former lesbian partner, Janet Jenkins, wanted in her custody.

The judge in that legal action wrote: “There is no factual support for the assertion that the attorneys committed a tortious act – or conspired to commit a tortious act – that caused injury to Janet Jenkins. There is no suggestion that the attorneys committed a tort by representing their client or publicly voicing their opinions concerning the issues.”

That means, Liberty Counsel stated, SPLC “knowingly misrepresents” the facts and publishes “false and defamatory” information.


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