Evangelical group confronts charity website over ‘hate’ slams

By Bob Unruh

How Guidestar had Christian groups labeled

How Guidestar had Christian groups labeled

An organization that holds charities accountable to high standards of financial ethics and behavior has scolded GuideStar for its use of “hate” labels from the domestic terror-linked Southern Poverty Law Center to vilify Christian organizations that don’t support homosexuality and open borders.

It is GuideStar, which describes its work as collecting and presenting information about public charities “while remaining neutral” that found itself in the bull’s-eye of officials with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

WND reported earlier when GuideStar used false “hate” labels from the leftist SPLC to slam Christian organizations on its website, then dropped the labels, and then was sued for the damage created by those labels.

“GuideStar and its political ally, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), are intent on destroying pro-family organizations. The ‘hate group’ label is false and dangerous,” said Mat Staver, founder of the legal advocacy group Liberty Counsel.

“GuideStar’s CEO, Jacob Harold, is using GuideStar as a weapon to defame, harm, and promote his liberal agenda by using the SPLC to falsely label good nonprofit organizations as ‘hate groups,’” he said.

Staver said the only purpose of “providing the SPLC false and dangerous ‘hate group’ label is to inflict reputational and financial harm to Liberty Counsel.”

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

“GuideStar has lost all credibility. GuideStar will now have to answer for its reckless, defamatory, and harmful political labeling,” said Staver.

His group’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia, asks the court to declare that GuideStar’s publication of SPLC’s “false and misleading” report designating Liberty Counsel as a “hate group” amounted to defamation, violating the Lanham Act, which prohibits false or misleading statements that harm a consumer or business.

GuideStar, which describes itself as the “world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations,” used “the SPLC false and dangerous ‘hate group’ designation by placing its logo and rhetoric, which states ‘This organization was flagged as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center,’ on Liberty Counsel’s page. GuideStar placed the same ‘hate group’ label on 46 nonprofit organizations, including Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Family Association, the Family Research Council and others,” Liberty Counsel said.

It was Liberty Counsel that highlighted the ECFA letter sent to GuideStar “reprimanding them” for the labeling.

“The practice by GuideStar of labeling any 501(c)(3) organization as a hate group undermines GuideStar’s credibility among nonprofit leaders as a neutral, objective source of information,” wrote ECFA President Dan Busby.

According to Liberty Counsel, “The ECFA provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with established standards for financial accountability, transparency, fundraising, and board governance. The Christ-centered ministries accredited by ECFA include more than 2,150 tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations, many of which, as well as their donors, have used GuideStar as a resource for obtaining objective, fact-based information about specific exempt organizations and the nonprofit sector as a whole.”

“The ECFA is very clear that GuideStar has undermined its credibility by attaching the Southern Poverty Law Center ‘hate’ label to certain pro-family organizations and is no longer a neutral, objective source of information,” said Staver. “GuideStar can now be viewed as another advocacy group since it introduced this subjective component and embraced a partnership with the SPLC. The ECFA recognizes the detriment of this harmful ‘hate’ rhetoric, which causes financial and reputational injury to Liberty Counsel and other nonprofit organizations.”

GuideStar attached the “hate” label to nearly four dozen Christian groups, and 41 of them earlier sent a letter objecting.

After that letter, GuideStar withdrew the labels, but promised it would continue to define those groups as “hate groups” when people asked.

Busby’s letter explained that the “hate” labels actually were damaging GuideStar.

“The hate group labeling practice introduced a significant subjective component – the views of one particular advocacy group – into GuideStar’s platform. One result of the practice is the undermining of the credibility upon which GuideStar has established itself among many in the nonprofit sector. We believe it would be very damaging to the public service reputation of GuideStar for it to be viewed as just another advocacy organization.”

The critics should just back off the criticism of Christians and the biblical perspective on homosexuality, the organization told GuideStar.

“Faith-based organizations that espouse beliefs held for millennia and based in the Bible do not hold their views as a result of ‘hate.’ Rather, they hold them because they believe that God Himself has decreed the beliefs in His Word,” the letter said.

“As an example, respectfully direct your attention to language in the U.S. Supreme Court case that recognized a constitutional right to same-sex marriage … In Obergefell, the court stated that ‘[m]any who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.’”

The high court explained, “It must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines may continue to advocate with utmost sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.”

The letter continued, “It is appropriate to respect the beliefs of faith-based groups who believe that God Himself has set standards for our lives and given us an opportunity to be with Him forever. Such beliefs are not new, uncommon, or strange. In fact, adherents of such beliefs hope that others can not only respect those beliefs but will also realize that if the beliefs are true, there is an eternal impact for all.”

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

WND reported just this week that the Alliance Defending Freedom had written to ABC News demanding retraction of a story that quoted the SPLC’s vilification of the ADF as a “hate” group.

The ABC story was about Attorney Jeff Sessions speaking at an ADF event. The network, citing SPLC, referred to ADF as “an alleged hate group.”

Kerri Kupec, ADF legal counsel charged: “ABC News has committed journalistic malpractice. For ABC News to essentially cut and paste false charges against Alliance Defending Freedom by a radically left-wing, violence-inciting organization like Southern Poverty Law Center is a discredit to ABC News and to the profession.

“Americans’ trust in media is cratering, and the blatant bias and lack of professionalism that ABC attempted to pass off as news can only serve to confirm and intensify that distrust,” she said.

“Alliance Defending Freedom is one of the most respected and successful Supreme Court advocates in the legal profession, having won seven cases at the high court in the last seven years. Southern Poverty Law Center spends its time and money attacking veterans, nuns, Muslims who oppose terrorism, Catholics, Evangelicals, and anyone else who dares disagree with its far-left ideology. Meanwhile, ADF works every day to preserve and affirm free speech and the free exercise of religion for people from all walks of life and all backgrounds because we believe freedom is for everyone.

“For the sake of its own integrity, ABC News should issue an apology to Alliance Defending Freedom and retract the defamatory story it published Wednesday,” she said.

SPLC cited by domestic terrorists

SPLC has been linked to two Washington, D.C.-area domestic terror incidents, both shootings.

SPLC “admitted James Hodgkinson, the D.C. shooter who gunned down Rep. Steve Scalise, two staff members and two U.S. Capitol Police officers, ‘liked’ the SPLC on Facebook,” Liberty Counsel said.

SPLC previously had contended Scalise “promoted white supremacy and supported a ‘hate group,’” LC noted.

“The SPLC is also linked to the attempted mass murder in the 2012 shooting at the Washington, D.C. office of the Family Research Council (FRC). Floyd Corkins II was stopped by the FRC security guard, who was shot in the process. Corkins confessed to the FBI that he intended to commit mass murder and was motivated by the so-called ‘Hate Map’ on the SPLC website that listed FRC as a ‘hate group,’” Liberty Counsel said.

Liberty Counsel 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 that Corkins named SPLC as his source of information.

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.”

SPLC also exhibited behavior so egregious that it was reprimanded by the far-left administration of Barack Obama.

Judicial Watch, citing a letter to Michael M. Hethmon, senior counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, and others, said the DOJ reprimand came in 2016 but was “kept quiet at the agency’s request.”

“[It] involves the SPLC’s atrocious behavior during immigration court proceedings. Two groups that oppose illegal immigration, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), were the target of personal, baseless and below-the-belt attacks from SPLC attorneys during official immigration court proceedings. The SPLC filed a motion attacking and defaming the two respected nonprofits by describing them as ‘white supremacist,’ ‘eugenicist,’ ‘anti-Semitic,’ and ‘anti-Catholic.’ In its reprimand the DOJ says it is troubled by the conduct of SPLC lawyer Christopher Strawn and that his conduct ‘overstepped the bounds of zealous advocacy and was unprofessional.’ Furthermore, SPLC made ‘uncivil comments that disparaged FAIR and its staff,’ the rebuke states, adding that the language constitutes frivolous behavior and doesn’t aid in the administration of justice,” Judicial Watch explained.

“The Obama administration kept the reprimand confidential and asked FAIR and IRLI to keep it under wraps. In the meantime, SPLC continues to publicly trash the groups and escalate attacks against them by putting them on the official hate list. The executive director and general counsel of IRLI, Dale Wilcox, says his nonprofit and FAIR will keep fighting for immigration policies that put America first. ‘The SPLC’s latest tactic in its never-ending witch-hunt and the federal government’s resulting reprimand should send the following message to the mainstream media,’ Wilcox said: ‘Stop using the SPLC as a legitimate hate-watch source in your news coverage. That a cabal of biased list-keepers can play such an important role in distorting the immigration debate in this country is testament to the utter failure of much of the mainstream media which frequently publishes their inflammatory commentary and refuses to question their baseless methods or financial motivations,’” Judicial Watch said.

The letter explained the DOJ stopped short of “formal disciplinary proceeding[s],” instead opting for the rebuke in the letter.

“We take this opportunity to remind the attorney practitioners involved in this misconduct that practitioners before EOIR should be striving to be civil and professional in their interactions with each other, the public, the board and immigration courts. Attorneys owe a duty of professionalism to their clients, opposing parties and their counsel, the courts, and the public as a whole.”

Get Whistleblower Magazine’s revelations about SPLC in “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 in the process.

Source:: World Net Daily Faith

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