Will orthodox, Bible-believing Christians find it harder and harder to buy and sell in America? If you had asked that question a few decades ago, people would have thought you’d lost all rationality. But that is a question Rod Dreher rightly asks in a recent editorial.
He points to the decision by Vanco Payment Solutions to cut off services to a Christian ministry because it is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Map.” The Ruth Center is a Catholic nonprofit located in Louisiana, flagged because the service company believed it promoted “hate, violence, harassment, and/or abuse.”
You can go to the ministry’s website and see that it does not even come close to promoting anything like that. People in the ministry believe what the Roman Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality. And because they support traditional marriage and biblical sexuality, the SPLC tagged then as a hate group.
The Washington Free Beacon has been looking into the SPLC and found that it has become a fundraising powerhouse by expanding its list of domestic hate groups. It recorded more than $50 million in contributions and $328 million in net assets. The group also has “financial interests” in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda.
An article in Politico says that you might imagine the SPLC as “a handful of scrappy lawyers in a dingy office suite somewhere. In fact, it boasts 250 staffers and offices in four states” and its main office “is the most architecturally striking structure in downtown Montgomery.”
At one time the SPLC provided a necessary function of identifying true hate groups. Today it slaps the label indiscriminately on ministries and organizations like the Ruth Center that do not deserve it. This, in turn, makes them a target and they lose vital services.