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Black Pastor: I Get 'Hate and Racism' From the Left 'For Being a Bible-Believing Christian'

WASHINGTON, D.C. — E.W. Jackson, a black pastor and the president of Staying True to America's National Destiny (STAND), as well as a former Republican candidate for lieutenant governor and governor, told PJ Media that the most hate and racism he had ever experienced came from the Left "for being a Bible-believing Christian." He gave the remarks at the Values Voter Summit in response to a question about the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

"I've never experienced more racism than I've had coming from the Left, calling me a crazy black preacher, and every sort of imaginable thing they can conjure up against me — not only against me, but against all black conservatives," Jackson declared at a press conference.

"On the whole issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center, as a conservative American who happens to be black, I have never experienced more hatred and vitriol and accusations and name-calling than I've experienced from the Left simply because I'm Bible-believing Christian who believes in life for unborn children, who believe marriage is the way the Bible defines it to be, who believes that gender is male and female," the STAND president said.

"I don't say those things out of hatred," Jackson added.

The SPLC has become notorious for listing mainstream conservative and Christian organizations along with the Ku Klux Klan on its notorious "hate group" list. The Family Research Council (FRC), the Christian nonprofit that hosts the Values Voter Summit, has been marked as a "hate group," as has Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian legal nonprofit that won 9 Supreme Court cases in the past 7 years.

The SPLC marked these groups "anti-LGBT hate groups" because they oppose same-sex marriage and transgenderism, as if the only motivation for disagreeing with these policies is "hate." The Left-wing group twists decades-old rhetoric out of context in order to present such organizations as hateful, but the real motivation for defaming them is political.

Sadly, many media outlets have uncritically cited the SPLC "hate group" list. Massive social media companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google have referenced the SPLC list. Even television shows have referenced that "hate group" label in smearing FRC.

For this and other reasons, E.W. Jackson decided to set the record straight.

"Let's set the record straight — Christians love and pray for people we don't agree with," the pastor said. "We don't want to hurt them, we don't want to harm them. We don't like their ideas, but we still love them as human beings. We don't get any credit for that, I understand, but that's the way we feel."

"But what comes at us is anything but love and tolerance and understanding, but rather hatred and vitriol," Jackson told PJ Media. "FRC had a guy go in there with the intent of killing every staff member who works for FRC," he said, referencing Floyd Lee Corkins II, a convicted terrorist who used the SPLC's "hate map" to target FRC.

"Now you ask me, who's the hate group? Who's spewing the hate, and who's spewing the love?" he asked.

"I would say our side is trying to love people, as Dr. King said, in spite of their hatred for us. We're wearing them down with love," Jackson argued. "Frankly, it seems to me, in the case of Judge [Brett] Kavanaugh and others, the only thing that ever comes at us is hatred, and they try to destroy us as human beings — not to defeat our ideas, but to destroy us as people."

"We are people, too. We are humans, too," the pastor declared. "We have families, we have people that we love and who love us. We're not out there to hurt folks. We're in a battle of ideas, and we're going to continue to fight on the high road and on the high plane of moral excellence."

Due to the SPLC's designation of FRC as a "hate group," both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and actor Dean Cain received harsh criticism for attending the Values Voter Summit. PJ Media asked Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) CEO Michael Farris what he would say to Pompeo and Cain.

"I would encourage Mike Pomepo and others to follow the United States Supreme Court," Farris replied. "They have continued to take cases from Alliance Defending Freedom." He noted ADF's many Supreme Court victories, and added, "That's not the profile of a hate group."

The people like the SPLC "making these scurrilous accusations are just not connected to reality," The ADF CEO told PJ Media. "The FBI used to rely on them, no longer. And that was under Obama that they stopped relying on the SPLC." [The FBI did announce it was not relying on the SPLC under Obama, but a recent report on Tucker Carlson revealed that the relationship between the two was "ongoing."]

Farris mockingly praised the Left-wing smear group. "They are a great, great fundraising organization," he said, noting that the SPLC has bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. The founder has "decided that the best way to raise money in this season of the organization's life is to attack legitimate conservative organizations who stand against progressive values."

"I think it's simply a political ploy that ought to be ignored," the ADF CEO explained. "If it wasn't for the media and companies giving them credence they would be a blip on the radar and not worth talking about."

Later in the press conference, a reporter asked about the barriers to a national dialogue about fundamental first principles.

"Because of groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center — that the media has been complicit in raising up to credibility — we have a marginalization taking place of almost half of America," Tony Perkins, president of the FRC, argued. "And so that discussion is not taking place, and so as a result we’re not talking to one another."

Until conservatives and liberals can speak to one another, "we won't reach consensus." Perkins also argued that activist Supreme Court decisions would not bring consensus. "You don’t reach consensus by having the heavy hand of the court deciding that something is true. It requires the American people," acting through their elected representatives in Congress.

Farris argued that Americans can disagree on many things, but they should all agree on free speech.

"What all Americans should believe in is the freedom of speech for everybody," the ADF CEO said. "There are progressives like Louis Michael Seidman of Georgetown Law School, who has decided that freedom of speech is no longer a viable or appropriate strategy because it stands in the way of the accomplishment of progressive values," Farris noted, referencing an article Seidman wrote earlier this year.

"When anyone thinks that their political agenda is more important than freedom of speech for everybody, we’ve got a real problem in this country," The ADF CEO lamented. "Rather than trying to silence and shame people and coerce people to give a message they don't want to give, we need to stand for free speech for everyone."

About 60 organizations branded "hate groups" by the SPLC are considering separate defamation lawsuits.

Watch the videos of E.W. Jackson, Michael Farris, and Tony Perkins below.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.