The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), with some $353 million in assets, is sinister and hazardous because its lies damage the reputations of non-profits it labels “hate groups” for political purposes. This labeling has been adapted by an information service specializing in reporting on U.S. nonprofit companies. GuideStar, the raters, began posting SPLC notices as some groups were listed as “hate groups” by the SPLC earlier this year. It has since stopped, but says it could continue.

A pair of civil lawsuits, filed by Christian ministries against the two organizations, asks for a permanent injunction from GuideStar declaring Liberty Counsel or D.

James Kennedy Ministries a “Hate Group” and attorney fees.

Who hates whom?

In its filing against GuideStar, Liberty Counsel claims it is not engaged in any criminal or violent activity. Further, the SPLC agrees. The 31-page lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Newport News, VA, against GuideStar cites the SPLC’s alleged examples of defamation and religious discrimination. Mark Potok, the senior fellow at the SPLC, repeated as much numerously, including on audio files on Internet Archives.

“We see this political struggle,” Potok is quoted from in an audio file in court papers, “We’re trying to wreck the groups, and we are very clear in our head, this is – we are trying to destroy them . . .

as a political matter, to destroy them.

“Sometimes the press will describe [SPLC] as monitoring hate groups and so on. I want to say plainly that our aim is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them,” he added.

GuideStar’s attorney, the high-priced Washington-firm Hunton & Williams, has filed a motion to dismiss. It claims the organization correctly stated the SPLC labelled Liberty Counsel and no libel was committed.

The attorneys also claim ‘ “hate” describes subjective feelings and emotions. The word also admits abroad range of uses and meanings.”

Hunton &Williams lawyers also claim the labelling on GuideStar’s compilation was not commercial speech. Fortunately for them, Liberty Counsel asked for a judge and not a jury in this case. Both Liberty Counsel and the SPLC rely on the generosity of donors.

If the Christian group can present potential donors or former donors who left after seeing the SPCL label on GuideStar would that open a “viewpoint of a reasonable reader” question in this case? Liberty Counsel did not make such a claim in its filing, but it would have been interesting.

Is this hate?

As far as violence is concerned, only the SPLC is linked to violent attacks. The man who shot and critically wounded Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and congressional staffers June 15, 2017, was an SPLC follower. James Hodgkinson, the attempted mass murderer, followed the group on social media and wanted to murder pro-life/antiabortion lawmakers, according to federal investigators.

Five years prior to that, Floyd Corkins II attempted to commit mass murder in the Washington D.C.

office of Family Research Council, another Christian group designated as haters by SPLC. Corkins said his motivation was based on the SPLC’s designation of FRC as a “hate group” and “hate map” that provides the addresses of those nonprofit organizations labeled as “hate groups.”