BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
By recently unveiling its "Bigotry Map," which exposes "Anti-Christian Bigotry in America," the American Family Association, apparently tired of being monitored, tracked, and vilified, has decided to turn the tables on "anti-Christian bigots" in the United States, and do some tracking of its own.
On its website, a newly developed interactive map of the United States is marked by symbols identifying "groups and organizations that openly display bigotry toward the Christian faith." You can do a state-by-state search to discover which of these groups reside in your neck of the woods.
The symbols designate whether the group identified is part of the "Homosexual Agenda" – "Advocates for the legalization and promotion of same-sex marriage and viciously attacks Christians who exercise their First Amendment right to voice support for God's plan for marriage as between one man and one woman -- is out-and-out "Anti-Christian" – "Actively engages in the complete eradication of the Christian faith from society, government and private commerce. These groups file lawsuits and use intimidation to silence any reference to Christianity from the public square" -- is "Atheist" – "Does not believe in God and is critical of those who express their faith in public" – or "Humanist" – "Believes critical thinking and physical evidence are the sole basis for beliefs. Humanists believe science triumphs faith in issues of morality and decision-making."
The website also singles out four organizations, two of which deal directly with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. They are the Human Rights Campaign; GLSEN; the Freedom From Religion Foundation; and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has been a particular thorn in the side of the AFA ever since the SPLC labeled the AFA a hate group.
People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch pointed out that the AFA's Bryan Fischer, who knows a thing or two about bigotry, "thinks the new map is a game-changer, crowing in a typically clueless fashion on his radio program ... that the key difference between the SPLC designating the AFA as a hate group and the AFA labeling everyone else as anti-Christian bigots is that the allegation that the AFA is a hate group is false while the AFA's designation is true."
In a brilliant rhetorical thrust, Fischer declared that the SPLC "falsely accuse[s] of us hate, but we accurately and truly accuse these groups of anti-Christian bigotry."
"A common practice of these groups is threatening our nation's schools, cities and states," said AFA President Tim Wildmon. "By threat of lawsuit, they demand that prayer be removed from schools and city council meetings, that Ten Commandments monuments be stricken from courthouses, and that memorial crosses be purged from cemeteries and parks.
"Because of anti-Christian bigotry, private business owners have been sued and forced to close their businesses. Families and businesses that express a Christian worldview on social issues often face vicious retaliation from anti-Christian zealots, and it's time to call them out for their intolerance."
The American Family Association, founded by the Rev. Donald Wildmon, is a multi-million dollar conservative Christian organization that spreads its messages via various media platforms. It is probably best known for always being the first out of the gate when it is "War on Christmas" time, and for launching a succession of boycotts on products and companies it deems offensive to Christians. Most recently, it launched a boycott against the movie "Fifty Shades of Grey"; a boycott that, judging from box office numbers, never really got off the ground.
Despite wins or losses, the group never stops. It runs a highly successful radio network called American Family Radio. It distributes regular Action Alerts; produces a weekly email on what it sees as the most important anti-Christian stories of the week; and, has several mobile apps available for the iPhone and iPad on the Apple App Store, on Google Play and on the Amazon Appstore for Android.
In an AFA Action Alert, the organization went a bit further than just accusing the designated groups as being anti-Christian: "Some members or supporters of these groups have committed violent crimes against Christians and faith-based groups. Physical and profane verbal assaults against Christians are methods frequently exercised in their angry methods of intimidation."
While the purpose of AFA's Bigotry Map is to show just how many anti-Christian groups there in the U.S., one of the unintended consequences of the Map is that people residing in states where progressive resources are few and far between and difficult to find, will have a better way of locating each other.