Is the Family Research Council a hate group, as the Southern Poverty Law Center claims? After Floyd Lee Corkins II was arrested for shooting a security guard at its Washington headerquarters Wednesday, FRC President Tony Perkins went on Fox News and said he believed Corkins "was given a license to do that by a group such as the Southern Poverty Law Center who labeled us a hate group because we defend the family and stand for traditional orthodox Christianity.”
SPLC responded by deploring the shooting and calling Perkins' accusation "outrageous." FRC deserves the label because it "has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people."
SPLC might have added that FRC cemented its status last month by hiring former Gen. Jerry Boykin as executive vice president with oversight responsibility for "day-to-day operations including policy, finance, development, communications, human resources, facilities, information technology, constituent communications and services." Boykin, you will recall, achieved notoriety (and a public rebuke from President Bush) for virulent attacks on Islam, and he regularly trafficks in conspiracy theories such as how President Obama is creating a Hitler-style militia to bring Marxism to America.
Over at WaPo, Dana (Pox-On-Both-Your-Houses) Milbank called the SPLC "reckless," saying "it’s absurd to put the group, as the law center does, in the same category as Aryan Nations, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Stormfront and the Westboro Baptist Church." I'd say FRC is on the spectrum.
But it doesn't have to be. Next time a pro-life activist shoots a member of the staff of a family planning clinic, all Tony Perkins has to do is go on Fox News and condemn everyone who gave the shooter "a license to do that because they denounce as murderers and baby killers those who enable women to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion." And that would include you, FRC Media Courage Awardee Bill O'Reilly.