Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Information in SPLC column should not be accepted blindly

Regarding the recent guest column about the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), we should not blindly accept the SPLC’s definition of and statistics about hate. The SPLC tracking half as many more hate groups does not mean there are that many more. The clearest example is their increase of “anti-LGBT hate groups.” For one of many samples, SPLC lists small Christ the King Church (CKC) of Larkspur, Colo., as an anti-LGBT hate group. I don’t know much about CKC, but it is misleading to include one small church in the same 50-percent increase math with the 45-chapter New Black Panther Party, listed as a Black separatist/nationalist hate group. Not all “hate groups” are the same, nor should they all be counted equally.
I caution the well-meaning Stillwater Rising group about wandering into deeply entrenched activism where objective truth is often slanted and very hard to discern. The column’s ending Bible verse use is a great example. Amos 5:24 “…let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (ESV) has absolutely nothing to do with the earthly legal and social justice the SPLC pursues. It is only about God’s justice and righteous work in Jesus Christ flowing down from Heaven on the cross and from the empty tomb. Applying Amos 5:24 to the SPLC’s work is inaccurate at best, probably disingenuous, but deceptive at worst. No surprise. The Bible is often misused the same way people and groups are often mislabeled with hate.

Pastor Russell Dewell
Saint Paul Lutheran Church — Park City