In a speech highlighting “new hostility” against religious believers in the United States, Attorney General Jeff Sessions specifically called out the Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal group known for labeling organizations it opposes as “hate groups.”
Sessions spoke Wednesday to Alliance Defending Freedom’s Summit on Religious Liberty. Alliance Defending Freedom is a nonprofit religious liberty legal group that most recently defended Colorado baker Jack Phillips in his 7-2 victory in the Supreme Court.
The SPLC, a liberal nonprofit group which tracks groups like the Ku Klux Klan, has labeled ADF a hate group, as well as other conservative-leaning organizations.
“People of faith are facing a new hostility. Really some of it is a bigoted ideology which is founded on animus towards people of faith,” Sessions told the ADF conference. “You’ll notice that they don’t rely on the facts. They don’t make better arguments. They don’t propose higher ideals. They just call people names—like ‘hate group.’ Does that sound familiar?”
Sessions asserted that the SPLC was once a legitimate group in identifying real hate groups. The SPLC has been a partner with the FBI in identifying certain hate groups.
“They have used this designation as a weapon and they have wielded it against conservative organizations that refuse to accept their orthodoxy and choose instead to speak their conscience,” Sessions said of the hate group label. “They use it to bully and intimidate groups like yours which fight for the religious freedom, the civil rights, and the constitutional rights of others.”
He later said to the ADF, “You and I may not agree on everything—but I wanted to come back here tonight partly because I wanted to say this: You are not a hate group.”
Read the full story from The Daily Signal
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