Tell me if you’ve heard of any of these organizations.
- Alliance Defending Freedom
- Family Research Institute
- Family Research Council
- James Kennedy Ministries
- American College of Pediatricians
I imagine at least one or two of these are very familiar. In fact, you may receive their publications and have perhaps donated to some of the ministries. However, they all have something in common, something far more “ominous”.
Each of these organizations has been classified as hate group. That’s right, they are grouped right alongside Westboro Baptist Church, Aryan Nations, and the Ku Klux Klan.
Southern Poverty Law Center has classified the aforementioned organizations as hate groups because they support a biblical interpretation of marriage (SPLC Hate Groups). You might ask, “who cares?” The U.S. government, that’s who. Government entities such as the military are using this list to identify potential problem groups to watch!
I find it sad to admit that it was only a matter of time. The cry for tolerance by a group can easily matriculate into intolerance by them for those who disagree with their agenda. What is even more worrisome is that others will accept these types of hate labels without critical analysis.
So, how can you be classified as part of a hate group? Apparently, all it takes is standing for your deeply held biblical values. I, my family, and many of you have been yelled at, verbally abused, and called “bigots” and “homophobes” for standing for our key biblical beliefs. And that’s here in North Dakota, folks.
What can you do? First, love those who treat you this way. Christ loved those who hated, abused, and ultimately killed him; we can only try our best to mirror His love. Make no mistake, we have no choice in this matter.
Second, calmly try to explain that you don’t hate anyone, but simply want to be permitted to exercise your religious beliefs. After all, religious freedom was central to the founding of our country. Whether this dialogue takes place face-to-face, in letter to the editor, perhaps in a committee meeting during testimony, or in some other situation, it makes no difference. The message is the same: we don’t hate, but are also not willing to give up our religious liberties.
Finally, pray for tolerance. This is not the same as advocating for values counter to Scripture, but is telling the truth in love, while recognizing that others are entitled to their own personal beliefs.
Are these things easy? Not a chance. Are you really part of a hate group? No, but some will define you that way because you stand for your beliefs.
Christ and his followers over the centuries have endured much. If we are labeled a hate group for standing on biblical principles and if we cannot change that label through our best efforts, it’s a small price to pay for following him and standing for our deeply held beliefs.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:10
President and Executive Director