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Tom Brown Ministries, Not a Hate Group

            The once venerable organization, The Southern Poverty Law Center, has lost its way. In the past it shamed racist organizations, like the Klu KIux Klan, and sued many for damages in behalf of blacks. Their work in the past is commendable. Now since race issues are not front and center as it once was, they have looked for a new hot-button issue. They found it. They have a new focus, not on race issues, but on homosexual issues.

            They see the gay rights movement as the new civil rights movement of their day. And to hop on this issue is a good fund raising tool as well. They have assumed the mantle for fighting for gay rights, but instead of adjusting the tactics, recognizing the obvious that Christians ministries are far from being hate groups, they have continued using the same tactics and labeling against Christian ministries that they used against the Klu Klux Klans. Tom Brown Ministries is one of those ministries attacked by SPLC. They have false-labeled our interracial, women empowering ministry, as a hate group. The FBI now recognizes the unreliability of SPLC to correctly label hate groups. (Click here to read how the FBI dumped it as a hate crime source)

            First of all the word "hate" is a strong word. Hate is the heart-felt, intense and passionate dislike toward someone. The SPLC labeling of Christian ministries as hate is simply wrong. How do they know the motive of ministries like myself that are trying to bring salvation to all people, including homosexuals? As Saint Paul write, "For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him?" (1 Cor 2:11). The SPLC cannot judge people's motives. I can say with a clear conscience that our motive for calling all people to repentance and faith in the gospel is because of our intense love for all people. We do not want to see anyone lost in their sins. We want all people to be saved.

            This is the reason we have done so much to reach out to the gay community to bring God's love to them, but salvation cannot come to them if they refuse to repent of their sins. This is the same message to adulterers, fornicators, thieves, liars, or anyone else living a life of sin. I have never singled out homosexuals as the main group that needs to repent, but have called all people to Christ for a changed life. Actually I spend far less time dealing with homosexuality than I do with other sexual sins, because there are fewer homosexuals than adulterers and fornicators.

            Also, we try to call everyone to Christ with a humble heart, knowing we are frail and sinful without God's grace in our lives. The message of the gospel is that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23). The "all" includes me too. I need salvation too. None of us are without sin.

            When the SPLC meanly put us on the hate list, David Crowder, of El Paso Inc. investigated how they came to their conclusion. He uncovered a terrible secret: that there was no serious inquiring into our ministry, but someone laid one of my articles on the desk of  Heidi Beirich, who, without contacting me or discussing it with their group, made the unilateral decision to put our ministry on the hate list. (Click here to read David Crowder's story.)  

            Mr Crowder read the  supposed hate article, and pointed out in his article that I never used the word "hate". He then counted how often the word "love" is used and he wrote, "The piece Beirich cited does not use the word “hate” or 'hatred,' but the word 'love' appears 33 times." So my one article that supposedly preaches hate speaks of love 33 times! And it is this article, alone, they claimed that put me on the hate list. (Click here to read my article yourself and make your own determination. Even if you disagree with my article, is it really a hate speech and does our ministry deserve to be labeled a hate group simply because of the article?)

            Let's tell the truth about why they labeled our ministry a hate group. It was not my article, it was not even my belief that homosexuality is sinful and that God can change them, because nearly every ministry in my city believes the same thing. I was singled out because I was the most prominent leader that successfully passed the traditional family value ordinance that ended special health benefits to homosexuals. If I had not been on the front lines of this issue, SPLC would have left me alone. They picked on me to intimidate me and others from ever getting involved socially and politically on the issue of homosexuality.

Labeling is Wrong

            Name calling is so childish. Name calling is plain wrong. It is debate tactic used to discount opponents. If the SPLC can convince others that a ministry is  a hate group, then they can cause the public to ignore their arguments and message.

            Why not SPLC simply disagree with my point of view and then explain why I am wrong in their opinion. I love a good debate. But when someone begins name calling, it shows their arguments are weak. When someone enters  a debate, and they are losing, they generally start attacking the person, instead of answering their arguments. This is what SPLC is doing with me. Their arguments are weak and so they have countered by name calling--"Tom Brown Ministries is a hate group."

            You see, I know their view is wrong. Homosexuality is sinful. Same-sex marriage is against the Bible, nature and tradition. It does not and will not work to make society better. It is a wrong approach to fixing and strengthening marriage in our country. This is my view!

            Now if the SPLC disagrees, fine! that's their prerogative. It's a free country. People are allowed to share their views. But by SPLC labeling TBM as a hate group they are in fact involved in the very tactics that promote hatred.

            Here's proof: a gunman pleaded guilty to shooting a security guard last year at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Family Research Council. The gunman said he attacked the facility as a result of the Southern Poverty Law Center listing FRC as a hate group. Do you see what is happening? The SPLC is, in my opinion, inciting hate, rather than dispelling it. The "hate map" that SPLC puts on their site is starting to resemble a "hit map" for mentally unstable people that are looking to justify killings. SPLC should stop this profiling.

            The SPLC, in my view, has turned into a radical-left, Christian-attack propaganda machine. This is not just my view. Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel warns, “The Southern Poverty Law Center has a long history of maliciously slandering pro-family groups with language and labels that incite hatred and undermine civil discourse."

            The SPLC came to El Paso to supposedly enter a "civil discourse," but how can an organization enter a civil discourse when they label Christian organizations as "hate groups" that disagree with their view. The label itself contradicts the claim for civil discourse.

Respect

            What is needed in our world  is respect for differing opinions. We need to learn to disagree without becoming disagreeable. I totally disagree with the SPLC's view on homosexuality and gay marriage, but I am trying my best to respect their views. However, are they giving our ministry the same courtesy? I do not think so.

            I also want to say that every human being, homosexuals included, must be shown  love and respect. No one has a right to hurt another human being. It has been my experience that the vast numbers of people struggling with same-sex attraction are simply hurting and, often confused, individuals that need love and respect and mostly the Love of Christ. Sure, there are some gays, who are activists that are mean, but they are few in number. Most have a open heart to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is to those that I offer God's love and the salvation that comes through the cross of Jesus.

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