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Are Christians Falsely Being Classified as Hate Groups?

Fervor for the tenants of Christianity is often misinterpreted as something else. “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves,” as Matthew 10:16 tells us. Persecution will come by many names, and we must recognize it as such when it appears its ugly head. In the modern world, man will make use of the first section of Matthew 10:17 (“For they will deliver you over to courts”) rather than the second part (“and flog you in their synagogues”), but both are placed side by side for a reason.

A deliverance to court must be taken with the same level of seriousness as the flogging in the synagogue. When the venerable ministry of D. James Kennedy is attacked as a hate group, we are all negatively affected. D. James Kennedy Ministries was listed as the number 1 hate group in all of Fort Lauderdale, Florida by CNN and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

It is important to note that when the SPLC comes after an organization, there are many other entities coming after than organization as well. The SPLC does not generate its own capital; it only takes from other companies. For instance, the SPLC has recently benefited from a $1 million donation and technical support from Apple. Supporters of the SPLC are now able to donate directly to it through a new iTunes feature.

The SPLC is an organization that made its name providing legal defense for members of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s along with many other white supremacy groups. Actions such as this leave little room for the SPLC to label anyone as anything, yet they are given leverage to run down a great ministry for no good reason at all.

After its success in this arena, the SPLC expanded its reach into issues of sexuality and immigration. Its bias is set in its history – there is no getting around it. For anyone to take the SPLC seriously, especially about a ministry that helps tens of thousands, is a great misgiving.

Fortunately, D. James Kennedy Ministries has understood the Good Word and taken it seriously. Because of the truth of Matthew 10:22 (“You will be hated by all because of Me,”, D. James Kennedy Ministries has adhered to Luke 22:36 (“And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”)

D. James Kennedy is fighting back with its own federal district lawsuit set in its home state of Alabama against the SPLC.

The Ministry’s lawsuit hits the SPLC in a way that it has needed to be hit for a long time. It alleges that including D. James Kennedy Ministries on a list of hate groups is disseminating false information and engaging in trademark violations. The lawsuit also includes these claims against GuideStar, a charity research site that has sided with the SPLC with the hate group talk.

The effects of properly interpreting and acting upon the Word of the Lord do not always happen immediately. However, in this case, action was swift. CNN immediately corrected its online hate map to state that the distinction as a hate group reflected only the opinion of the SPLC, not CNN. CNN also now includes contextual information on the map for the organizations who do not believe they should be on the list, including D. James Kennedy Ministries.

The lawsuit also emboldened allies of D. James Kennedy to speak up. The Family Research Council, the American Family Association and the Alliance Defending Freedom had their hate labels completely removed from the SPLC map. Other Christian groups who speak the same truth about traditional marriage and sexual chastity also demanded an apology from CNN and the SPLC. All of these actions shoot holes in the SPLC case against D. James Kennedy Ministries.

Our call from this example is quite clear. When we are persecuted by the rod or by the court, we must take up arms and fight in the name of the Lord. We may not win every battle. However, in the way that the Lord works through us, we may have a positive effect that we did not even intend. D. James Kennedy may not win its lawsuit. However, the backlash that the SPLC has been given so far is on the record for good.

~ 1776 Christian

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