Family Research Council creating false hysteria about SPLC program in Hawaii
The Family Research Council is attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center again.
Ever since SPLC named FRC as an anti-gay hate group for consistenly and deliberately launching inaccurate attacks against the lgbt community, FRC has been taking potshots at the organization. From accusing the group of attempting to taint the military against Christians to falsely linking the group to an awful near massacre at FRC headquarters (in which a deranged young man, Floyd Corkins, attempted to force his way in, shoot FRC employees, and stuff Chick-Fil-A sandwiches down their throats), FRC has been practically itching to seek some sort of retribution against SPLC.
And every time the organization attacks SPLC, it gives SPLC's supporters (and yes you can include me in that group) an opportunity to publicly prove the fact that FRC is in fact an anti-gay hate group.
This is the latest attack from FRC:
They say you can't buy love, but that won't stop SPLC from trying! Money may be no object for the anti-Christian group, but mainstream support certainly is. Facing growing scrutiny for their tainted and biased "research" from the military to the media, Southern Poverty Law Center is resorting to bribing teachers to force their agenda into the public schools where unsuspecting children reside. In Hawaii, eyebrows shot up at the news that SPLC was giving teachers a $250 kickback just for attending a local training session on "Teaching Tolerance." The cash incentive struck a lot of people as odd, including state Representative Bob McDermott. In academia, where educators are used to paying for trainings -- not profiting from them -- McDermott thought something smelled fishy with SPLC's offer. In a letter to Hawaii State Department of Education District Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, he asked the office to put the brakes on the session. Matayoshi refused and instead gave the department's blessing to the workshop, which SPLC held the first weekend of March.
That's FRC's sordid rendition of the story. However, a more objective piece from the Hawaii Reporter reveals that the claim of "paying teachers to attend the program" is merely a cover for yet another attack on the lgbt community:
The “agenda” of the program concerns McDermott, because he said there's obvious “social engineering,” including a “disproportionate focus on normalizing homosexuality,” while also trying to discredit Christian beliefs. “The theme of this curriculum is so called ‘anti-bias’ unless, of course, you are a person of faith. One example is the following: ‘Patrick is being raised in a very strict and exclusionary fundamentalist Christian home…’. If that is not biased I do not know what is,” McDemott said.
And there is the rub. From the FRC:
Digging deeper into SPLC's materials, the state rep was outraged to see that almost 25% of the example scenarios "deal with gay acceptance." "Why is the gay population -- which is no more than 4% of the general population -- consistently disproportionately represented in these new teaching materials?"
And yet another portion of the article - courtesy of the Hawaii Reporter - which FRC omitted in its hysterical article:
Maureen Costello, director of the Teaching Tolerance program, said the organization works around the country with various school districts within the guidelines of the school districts, either by donating to the schools or paying a small stipend to teachers who help improve the pilot program and Hawaii did in fact approve teachers to receive stipends.
. . . "There is real tension around the LGBT issues and some faith based people. We work to find common ground. Every parent wants their child to feel safe and accepted at school. We want everyone to get along even if they do not share the same values," Costello said.
Costello said the pilot program is still being revised and Hawaii teachers across the state are having input into the final product. Some teachers have told the law center that they believe more information on native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders should be included, and the law center is working to incorporate that suggestion, she said. Costello also offered to meet with McDermott or his staff via Skype to give them access to the full curriculum and to review it with them.
One wonders if McDermott will take Costello up on the offer. I think he should. I also think he should leave FRC by the wayside because it's obvious that the organization is using him to not only unfairly attack the lgbt community (the main reason why SPLC declared it to be a hate group) but also to make inaccurate statements about SPLC, such as the following: