World Congress of Families a hate group?

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  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Oct. 25, 2015 3:27 p.m.

    @LeadFarmer: But what is it you think are ok "right wing social policies?" Do you think it's ok to deny human rights to sexual minorities? Some "traditionalists" have advocated locking up all gay people. Others have worked in African countries for harsher penalties, including the death penalty.

    This isn't Saudi Arabia. America was founded on the principle of freedom and equal rights for all people. We may not have always practiced it uniformly, but it remains a goal of our society, one which we inch ever closer towards.

    So, on the one hand, we have your "opposition" which sees no place in society for people who are different, and which has advocated in many ways for being able to shun and punish them, and on the other hand, we have those who want to achieve America's founding aspirations of equality and inclusiveness.

    Your "honest conversation" isn't honest if all you want to do is find a basis to deny civil and human rights to some Americans.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Oct. 25, 2015 11:01 a.m.

    @marxist --

    "Could the writer tell us what the connection is (if any) between the WCF and Pastor Scott Lively?"

    Lively has, in fact, spoken at multiple WCF events.

    Many of you are already familiar with Scott Lively -- the guy who helped get anti-LGBT laws passed in Uganda and Russia, who has blamed Obama for the coup in the Ukraine, who has blamed the Biblical flood on homosexual marriage, who has claimed that homosexuality is worse than genocide, who has blamed gays for causing the Holocaust, and much more.

    And during an interview on Dove TV on 7/31/15, he came out with this gem:

    "Well, I don’t actually believe in 'religious freedom,' the way that the term is used," Lively explained. "I know that when you use it and when most people use it, you're talking about Christianity. We're not talking about freedom for Islam and freedom for Buddhism and Hinduism as if they're equal with God."

    Yes, friends, this is the quality of speaker that WCF attracts. Freedom for me, but none for thee.

  • Lead Farmer OREM, UT
    Oct. 25, 2015 1:25 a.m.

    In the eyes of the far-left, any organization that advocates for right-wing social policies is a "hate group." The far-left doesn't want honest conversation on societal issues. Rather, the far-left wants to silence any and all opposition.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 24, 2015 5:37 p.m.

    Could the writer tell us what the connection is (if any) between the WCF and Pastor Scott Lively? Lively is being prosecuted for crimes against humanity as author of the genocidal Ugandan law against homosexuals.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Oct. 24, 2015 7:29 a.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi 10:03 p.m. Oct. 22, 2015

    "Children have the right to be raised by their father and mother."
    You're saying that children have a right to be raised by heir egg donor and sperm donor, and not their parents - the people who work during the entirety of the child's life for the child's best interests. Genetic contribution does not make someone a real parent, nor a worthy or appropriate parent to raise a child.

    "The misnamed Human Rights Campaign is a hate group because they are campaigning to take away that right."
    Untrue. The Human Rights Campaign is standing up for real parents, not just biologic contributors, and works for ALL families, not just the painfully narrow definition of "family" that the WFC embraces.

    "The Human Rights Campaign has come out in support of laws that prevent Christian bakers and photographers from exercising their rights of freedom of conscience."
    Not true. Conscience in private/religious society are not implicated. The Human Rights Campaign is working to ensure that service/product providers in SECULAR society serve all sinners, and can't just pick and choose the sinners they want to serve.

    The SPLC got it right.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    Oct. 24, 2015 4:13 a.m.

    Tekakaromatagi
    Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    "The SPLC is awfully subjective. I wonder if it if somehow the Gay Right has paid the SPLC off to look the other way about their brand of hate."

    --- You might notice that no one agrees with you, and consider if you go too far

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Oct. 23, 2015 6:57 a.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi --

    "Children have the right to be raised by their father and mother. I applaud the American Family Institute for promoting that right. The misnamed Human Rights Campaign is a hate group because they are campaigning to take away that right."

    Be serious. Nobody is stealing children from happy stable straight homes.

    Would you rather let orphans have same-sex parents, or no parents at all? Would you rather let orphans have single parents, or no parents at all?

    Remember, Utah legally allowed single-parent adoptions for years before same-sex marriage ever became legal. Why wasn't the AFI fighting against that? Their actions speak louder than their words.

    "The Human Rights Campaign has come out in support of laws that prevent Christian bakers and photographers from exercising their rights of freedom of conscience. So, why aren't they listed on the SPLC website as being a hate group?"

    Again -- nonsense.

    You guys keep forgetting that you lost the discrimination argument 50 years ago with the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Religion can not be used as an excuse for racial discrimination, and it can't be used as an excuse for same-sex discrimination either.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Oct. 23, 2015 6:49 a.m.

    Mr. Erickson, I've done some research on the WCF and the organizations it cooperates with. The picture painted is of hard right religionists who would prefer a world where everyone is forced by law to live according to their rigid, limiting, and punitive moral code. This alone doesn't make them a hate group, but it does raise doubt about their respect for others' religious liberty.

    What does rise to the level of a hate group (IMO) is the support and sustenance these groups give to causes that have led to further vilification and oppression of, and bodily harm to LGBTs. The rhetoric and misinformation consistently directed at this group reminds me of the dehumanizing propaganda directed at Jews during a particularly dark period of human history. Some of the voices within your circle also direct this kind of rhetoric at "feminists."

    So I'm glad the SPLC has added the WCF to its list of Hate Groups. I think it has earned it. IMO the WCF advocates for the same kind of world that groups like the Taliban offer: restrictive, oppressive, punitive. Regressive. Bleak.

    And Utah's governor is welcoming it.

  • OneHumanFamily Provo, UT
    Oct. 23, 2015 4:57 a.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi

    "Children have the right to be raised by their father and mother."

    Guess who has produced the vast majority the gay people? I have a gay brother and several gay cousins, all of whom were raised by loving mothers and fathers. Do those gay kids not have the right to grow up in a society where they are not demonized or denied service at businesses?

    As far as your reference to the Human Rights Campaign being a hate group, please show me where the they have ever disparaged heterosexual couples. Exactly. THAT is the difference between the Human Rights Campaign and the WCF, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, etc. The Human Rights Campaign fights for equal treatment of people. The other groups mentioned fight to PREVENT equal treatment of people and have no problem lying, deceiving, and demonizing to get what they want. I hope you can see the difference.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Oct. 23, 2015 2:06 a.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi: "Children have the right to be raised by their father and mother." If that's the premise of your argument, you failed right there.

    (I'm not sure how you're defining "father" and "mother," but that's irrelevant to the reason your premise fails, so I'll ignore the issues of assisted reproduction, divorce, and single parents.)

    Children have a lot of rights, but those rights are quite independent of the current marital status of their breeding stock.

    Nowhere in Family Law, or in Federal or State Constitutions, in English Common Law, or even in the Bible will you find your premise codified. Children have a right to food, clothing, shelter, and education, and to not be abused. I would say that children have a natural right, and a need, for love as well, but sadly that's not specifically codified anywhere, either.

    If anyone is denying children their rights, it's those who refuse to allow abandoned or abused children to be adopted by capable parents, it's those who deny children a proper education, and it's those who kick their gay kids to the curb because their church or community says so.

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    Oct. 23, 2015 12:49 a.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi wrote: "OK. Children have the right to be raised by their father and mother. I applaud the American Family Institute for promoting that right."

    No such right exists. Otherwise, divorce, estrangement and adoption would be illegal.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Oct. 22, 2015 10:03 p.m.

    "A group that advocates restrictions on the rights of some people is advocating a form of oppression and oppression is a form of hate."

    OK. Children have the right to be raised by their father and mother. I applaud the American Family Institute for promoting that right. The misnamed Human Rights Campaign is a hate group because they are campaigning to take away that right.

    The Human Rights Campaign has come out in support of laws that prevent Christian bakers and photographers from exercising their rights of freedom of conscience. So, why aren't they listed on the SPLC website as being a hate group?

    The SPLC is awfully subjective. I wonder if it if somehow the Gay Right has paid the SPLC off to look the other way about their brand of hate.

  • OneHumanFamily Provo, UT
    Oct. 22, 2015 2:00 p.m.

    Spin it all you want, but WCF is a hate group. This is not just a group of people that think it is ok to disagree. They think it is ok to put gay kids in discredited, harmful therapy. They think it is ok to put their beliefs into law to limit the freedoms of others. They think it ok to lie to make research fit their own biased views. I am disturbed that Utah would be a host to this group. Would we host a white supremacist group? I think Utah is better than this.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 22, 2015 1:11 p.m.

    This is at least the fourth opinion column in the DesNews in the past few weeks promoting the WCF. I also hear regular radio ads for it. Is conference registration so far below goals that it must be marketed so heavily?

    There are actually some items on the WCF schedule I can agree with (e.g. fighting human trafficking, importance of families generally), but the whole agenda is wrapped in the mantle of a very restrictive definition of family that excludes huge portions of humanity. The apologists gloss over this reality. The underlying subtext of the event is one of protecting Our Own and keeping The Other (read "LGBT") down. Groups nominally dedicated to liberty are finding common cause with authoritarian, liberty-denying regimes in Russia and Uganda. That is disturbing.

    Why not take a cue from the recent Parliament of World Religions and use faith to include and welcome rather than exclude and reject?

    And what’s with the mandatory mention of the Piano Guys in every column? I’m sure they are talented and entertaining, but are they that much of a draw? Is this a dog whistle kind of thing?

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Oct. 22, 2015 1:03 p.m.

    If Mr. Erickson is equating the Family Research Council to the World Congress of Families, he just completely validated the SPLC's conclusion that they're a hate group.

    "In February 2010, the Family Research Council's Senior Researcher for Policy Studies, Peter Sprigg, stated on NBC's Hardball that gay behavior should be outlawed and that "criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior" should be enforced." --Wikipedia

    Far from a spurious utterance, Sprigg's statement is typical of FRC. They insist that LGBT people should not exist in society, that society should be cleansed of them, via imprisonment or worse. Their work in Africa promotes the death penalty for homosexuality.

    "Hate group" is mild. "Cleansing" a society of a minority has stronger words, including fascism for one. One mustachioed Austrian undertook just that, ridding society of political, religious and sexual minorities in one of the most strikingly awful intentional acts of inhumanity on record.

    FRC militates against LGBT people even existing in society. "Hate group" is a pretty fair assessment. WCF likewise spreads a message accepting no place in society for gay couples. People are entitled to call them out for it.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Oct. 22, 2015 12:44 p.m.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center website shows Gov. Herbert as one of the scheduled speakers. Is this accurate?

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Oct. 22, 2015 12:36 p.m.

    "you've also likely heard the spurious accusation that the WCF is a 'hate group.'"

    The managing director of the WCF, Larry Jacobs, recently took part in a Moscow conference that included an official resolution stating: "sexual relationships or alliances intentionally that exclude the birth of children are meaningless for they are devoid of the notion set down in the very definition of the word 'family.'" -- meaning that infertile couples, adopting couples, and couples who choose not to have kids are all "meaningless" by their definition.

    Did you catch that? Even **straight** adopting families are not "real" families according to the WCF.

    And Jacobs has also called Russia, with its anti-gay laws, "Christian saviors to the world".

    Also, the list of partners for its conferences includes the Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Watch International, Focus on the Family, National Organization for Marriage, Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, the Family Research Council, and the American Family Association -- all virulently anti-gay groups.

    Finally, they repeatedly welcome speakers like Scott Lively -- who recently stated that he doesn't believe in freedom of religion, and who has blamed gays for causing the Holocaust and other fantasies.

    Spurious? Not at all.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 22, 2015 11:45 a.m.

    "Likening the “World Congress of Families” to the “Aryan Brotherhood” and other sponsors of criminal violence is absurd."

    Yes, which is why most people use common sense and realize there are differences in scale. Jimmer and Lebron are both basketball players but that doesn't mean we think they're at the same level. A group that advocates restrictions on the rights of some people is advocating a form of oppression and oppression is a form of hate. To those of you who think the government is trampling on Kim Davis' rights, that doesn't mean you think the government is just like the Nazis. There are differences in scale, and what is really absurd is pretending people don't think that scale exists.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    Oct. 22, 2015 10:45 a.m.

    Better watch what you say when you comment on the World Congress, or any of the featured speakers. And, apparently any and all criticism leveled at the motivations of Mr Erickson are off limits. So I will try to be as positive as I can.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center's work needs no defense. It is the gold standard for ferreting out hate groups. I would stand with them and their judgments at any time. That Mr Erickson has chosen to impune the organization says less about the SPLC than it does its critic.

    We are known by the company we keep, and I chose to keep it with the SPLC and their ongoing battles to defend minorities in this country from violence. They seek not to circumscribe others rights, but to expand them to all Americans.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 22, 2015 9:29 a.m.

    Michael Erickson must not have read Elder Dallin H. Oaks speech.

    Name drop all the Mormons attending the World Congress of Families you want,
    Doesn't change who the WCF is, and what their motives are:

    The World Congress of Families is a project of the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, founded in 1997 by conservative historian Allan Carlson.

    The event honors activists who advocated for laws criminalizing:
    homosexuality and even meetings between gay people,
    and any free speech which is in favor of gay rights and abortion.

    [If that isn't a hate group, or at least trampling the Constitution -- then I don't know what is...]

    BTW --
    Hosting the World Congress of Families gathering in Salt Lake City is the Sutherland Institute.

  • intervention slc, UT
    Oct. 22, 2015 8:48 a.m.

    Sorry that should read "you can't take the effect and make it the cause." You can't advocate hate then get angry when labeled a hate group.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 22, 2015 8:28 a.m.

    Yeah, sounds like they are.

  • intervention slc, UT
    Oct. 22, 2015 8:17 a.m.

    you can't the effect and make it the cause. You cannot advocate for the oppression and dehumanizations of others then get angry at their response. If you don't want to be labeled a nhate group don't advocate for the oppression of others and treat them as less then fully human.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 22, 2015 6:40 a.m.

    The writer puts the World Congress of Families in the best possible light. That's fine but consider the following from the Human Rights Campaign:

    "Uganda, Russia, and Nigeria have enacted horrific anti-LGBT laws within the past year, and LGBT people in those countries have suffered vicious and violent backlashes in their wake. This includes harassment, discrimination, prosecution, public beatings, and murder. WCF and its affiliates are connected to anti-LGBT advocacy in each of the three countries, among many others."

    Has the writer a reponse?

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    Oct. 22, 2015 3:55 a.m.

    From Chritian Post:
    As Tim Wildmon, President of AFA, wrote in explanation, "The truth is that the American Family Association doesn't hate anyone. We love everyone, including homosexuals, enough to tell them the truth about the moral, spiritual, and physical dangers of homosexual conduct. Disagreement about the normalizing of homosexual behavior is not hate; it is simply disagreement."

    --- Defaming our fellow citizens and blocking their equal rights is NOT "simply disagreement"

    The AFA PERFECTLY fits the definition of a hate group.

    If you do not see that, try plugging into his statement, Blacks, Jews, mormons, Filipinos, etc rather than Gays

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    Oct. 22, 2015 12:36 a.m.

    The evidence of the WCF being a hate group is the words they produce. Take some time and read about some of the speakers at the event, such as Peter Labarbera, Pat Fagan, Don Feder, Brian Brown, Theresa Okafor, Peter Sprigg, Rafael Cruz. I'm sure there are even more outrageous speakers there, but these are the names that popped out to me.

    These are people who oppose gay rights legislation. Ms. Okafor, for instance, has spoken out in favor of anti-gay laws in Nigeria that prevents gay people from meeting in groups. Mr. Fagan thinks that contraception should never have been legalized.