Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are demanding an apology from the Secretary of the Army over a lecture led by an Army trainer that included a slide comparing Catholicism and Evangelical Christianity to groups like Al Qaeda, Hamas, and the KKK.
Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, spoke with the Army officer in question; DOD told Breitbart News the individual was a civilian contractor over one week ago until “new information” was “made available” to DOD spokesman George Wright. According to Fox News, the officer told Crews that she got her information from the Southern Poverty Law Center:
But Mark Potok, a spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told Fox News they did not provide the military with any list about religious extremism.
He said the SPLC has never labeled Evangelical Christianity or Catholicism as extremist groups.
DOD refuses to reveal to Breitbart News if the instructor is still training military personnel or whether SPLC was used as source material. The department now considers the matter “closed.” It is not the first time SPLC has allegedly been used as source material for an attack. Back in February, a gunman used the SPLC “hate map” on their website to identify the Washington based Family Research Center (FRC) as his target.
SPLC categorizes FRC as a “hate” group because of the organization’s stance against same-sex marriage and other political battles with LGBT groups.
Additionally, Washington, D.C. based watch-dog group Judicial Watch revealed, via FOIA requests, e-mails between the Justice Department and SPLC detailing SPLC co-founder Morris Dees’ “annual diversity training” for DOJ employees. The e-mails about Dees coming from DOJ were particularly adoring, and Dees’ lecture on diversity was mandatory for DOJ staffers.
SPLC also discusses on their site “Active Radical Traditional Catholicism Groups.” In an essay, SPLC writer Heidi Beirich describes the “Radical Traditionalist Catholic” movement as “tiny in comparison with the approximately 70 million Americans who are mainstream Catholics, ‘radical traditionalist Catholics’ may form the single largest group of hard-core anti-Semites in America.”
More recently, in March SPLC sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano expressing concerns about an “increase in the number of conspiracy-minded, antigovernment groups as well as in the number of domestic terrorist plots.”
In the letter, SPLC’s president Richard Cohen pointed to the organization’s report on the “state of hate and extremism” in the nation.
“During that decade, the growth in the radical antigovernment movement was fueled in large part by anger over the passage of the Brady Bill in 1993 and the enactment of the assault weapons ban in 1994,” Cohen wrote. “Now that gun control is again being hotly debated, we are seeing a repeat of that anger, and it is likely to continue to swell the ranks of antigovernment groups.”