President Joe Biden, who attends a Roman Catholic church and identifies as Catholic despite his support for abortion and same-sex marriage, has remained silent after the FBI cited a left-wing smear factory that suggests the Roman Catholic Church holds pernicious views that might qualify it as a “hate group.”
The Biden White House did not respond to The Daily Signal‘s multiple requests for comment Tuesday and Wednesday in the wake of news last week that the FBI’s Richmond office published an internal memo urging agents to probe the alleged nexus between racially motivated violent extremists and “radical-traditional Catholics,” citing the Southern Poverty Law Center for the claim.
The FBI’s national headquarters announced that it retracted the memo, telling The Daily Signal that the document “does not meet the exacting standards of the FBI,” but the bureau didn’t answer questions about how the memo emerged in the first place.
The memo zeroed in on “radical-traditional Catholics” and encouraged FBI agents to develop “sources with access,” including in “places of worship,” suggesting that agents might infiltrate Catholic churches to root out “extremists.” Yet citing the SPLC raises other problems, as well.
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The Southern Poverty Law Center, a left-leaning litigation outfit that routinely brands conservative and Christian nonprofits as “hate groups,” placing them on a map with chapters of the Ku Klux Klan, has a particularly shocking track record on Roman Catholicism.
As I explain in my book “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the SPLC has essentially suggested that the entire Roman Catholic Church should be considered a “hate group.”
The SPLC cited a quote directly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church as proof that the Ruth Institute—a small Louisiana nonprofit dedicated to helping victims of the sexual revolution—is a “hate group.”
The SPLC defines a hate group as “an organization or collection of individuals that—based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities—has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics” (emphasis added).
The SPLC web page on the Ruth Institute quotes the institute’s Roman Catholic founder, Jennifer Roback Morse, on homosexual activity. In fact, it repeats her statement that homosexual activity is “intrinsically disordered” twice.
“It’s really important to be well informed about what the church actually says about homosexual practice. … The church is very clear that same-sex sexual acts are intrinsically disordered and can never be morally acceptable.”
–Jennifer Roback Morse on “Catholic Answers Live,” 2012
This quote comes directly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states:
Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has claimed repeatedly that it does not consider “opposition to same-sex marriage or the belief that being LGBTQ+ is a sin as the sole basis for the hate group label,” noting that the SPLC does not consider Focus on the Family a “hate group.” Yet if one of the supposedly damning statements from Morse that proves the Ruth Institute to be a “hate group” is a direct quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that suggests something far worse.
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“If this claim is enough to make an organization a ‘hate group,’ then the SPLC should call the Catholic Church a ‘hate group.’ Otherwise, it is being intellectually dishonest,” I wrote in my book. “The Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination, claiming one billion adherents. By the SPLC’s criteria, this massive church representing more than one eighth of the world’s population should be considered a ’hate group.’ It doesn’t get more mainstream than that.”
Biden, who often wears his stated Catholicism on his sleeve despite advocating policies out of step with the church’s teaching, should be the first in line to condemn the FBI’s decision to cite the SPLC, no matter how short-lived it was. Yet Biden’s White House has remained silent on the subject, refusing to respond to multiple requests for comment.
Brian Burch, the president of CatholicVote, told The Daily Signal in an interview Tuesday that the burden is on Biden and his administration to disavow the SPLC.
“The burden is now on the Biden administration to distance themselves from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is a totally discredited and extremist organization,” Burch said. “My guess is that there’s large parts of the administration that agree with them.”
As my book explains, the SPLC has faced serious criticisms from the Left and the Right that undermine its credibility. Amid a racial discrimination and sexual harassment scandal in 2019 in which the SPLC fired its co-founder, a former employee came forward describing the organization’s “hate” labels as a “highly profitable scam” designed to “bilk northern liberals.” The SPLC has an endowment of half a billion dollars.
“Does the Biden administration agree with the Southern Poverty Law Center that anyone who holds to traditional Catholic teaching on sexuality and marriage is a hate group?” Burch asked.
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