Clarence Thomas rants against SPLC’s 'hate group' designation of anti-LGBTQ Christian church

Clarence Thomas rants against SPLC’s 'hate group' designation of anti-LGBTQ Christian church
Justice Clarence Thomas with Sonny Perdue on April 25, 2017, Wikimedia Commons
Bank

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday appeared to agree it is a “blatant falsehood” that a far-right Christian ministry that has claimed “homosexuals say yes” to pedophilia and promotes anti-LGBTQ lies is a “hate group” that deserves to be placed on the same map and the KKK and neo-Nazis.

Justice Thomas’ rant appears as the only opposition to the Court’s decision Monday to not take up a case that would effectively revisit the landmark First Amendment case New York Times v. Sullivan, which requires a plaintiff suing for defamation to prove “actual malice.”

Coral Ridge Ministries asked the Supreme Court to review its case, which it lost, against the Southern Poverty Law Center for designating it an anti-LGBTQ hate group. The case is not about whether or not the church is a hate group, but whether or not the Southern Poverty Law Center has the First Amendment right to say so. The court refused, but Thomas in an angry dissent wrote:

Who would you vote for in 2024, Biden or DeSantis? Vote now.

“SPLC’s ‘hate group’ designation lumped Coral Ridge’s Christian ministry with groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis. It placed Coral Ridge on an interactive, online ‘Hate Map’ and caused Coral Ridge concrete financial injury by excluding it from the AmazonSmile donation program. Nonetheless, unable to satisfy the ‘almost impossible’ actual-malice standard this Court has imposed, Coral Ridge could not hold SPLC to account for what it maintains is a blatant falsehood.”

Thomas also writes:

"Coral Ridge maintained that although it 'opposes homosexual conduct' based on its religious beliefs, it is in no sense a 'hate group.' … To the contrary, it 'has nothing but love for people who engage in homosexual conduct' and 'has never attacked or maligned anyone on the basis of engaging in homosexual conduct.'"

That’s false.

In its iconic 2010 report, “18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda,” the Southern Poverty Law Center explained that the “late Rev. D. James Kennedy started turning fundamentalist Coral Ridge Presbyterian into a mega-church in the 1960s.”

In an especially nasty 1989 edition of a CRM newsletter, Kennedy ran photographs of children along with the tagline, “Sex With Children? Homosexuals Say Yes!”

“Over the years,” the SPLC report adds, Rev. Kennedy “emphasized anti-gay rhetoric, particularly in his TV ministry. He recommended as ‘essential’ the virulent work of R.J. Rushdoony … who believed practicing gays should be executed.”

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}