fighting the "hate" label
BY MICHAEL P. FARRIS, President, CEO and General Counsel
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)
I've had enough.
We're at an all-time low in terms of the public's trust in major media. And it's no wonder why. Last week, ABC and NBC News showed their true colors when they copied and pasted as fact false charges from the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The outrageous headline, falsely labeling Alliance Defending Freedom a "hate group," was in response to an appearance by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions at our annual ADF Summit on Religious Liberty.
In his speech, Attorney General Sessions expressed the Trump Administration's commitment to preserving and protecting religious freedom as our Founding Fathers intended — "that every American has a right to believe, worship, and exercise their faith in the public square." General Sessions, an outstanding leader with decades of public service, appealed to our tradition of freedom for all, quoting heroes like Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Does that sound like a message of hate to you? Of course not!
But, if the SPLC and its media allies are to be believed, these are the words of a "hateful" man, speaking at a gathering of "hateful" Christians, hosted by a "hateful" organization.
The simple truth is that ADF is one of the most respected and successful Supreme Court advocates in America, having won seven cases at the high court in the last seven years, including a 7-2 win just last month.
We stand for everyone's freedom to express their views and peacefully live out their faith. To use just one example, on campuses across the country we have won 400 victories protecting free speech and have helped to undo bad university policies that were silencing more than eight million students.
The SPLC, however, ignores all of this. They despise that we, and millions of other Americans like you, support marriage between one man and one woman. And they can't stand that we defend people like Jack Phillips and Barronelle Stutzman, whose sincere religious faith will not allow them to create artistic expression that celebrates same-sex weddings.
So they publically attack us, vilify us, and falsely label us as a "hate group." They want to take us out — to marginalize us and to marginalize you.
But the SPLC doesn't just focus their attention on us. They attack anyone who opposes their leftist agenda. They've begun targeting veterans, Catholics, Muslims who oppose terrorism, and even nuns.
I will not stand by and let this happen.
The goal of this "hate group" label is simple: silence and shame anyone who disagrees with them. They want to portray a conference dedicated to religious freedom as a sinister gathering of extremists. And they want to discredit ADF and our beliefs about marriage — beliefs that the Supreme Court still recognizes as decent, honorable, and reasonable.
Americans deserve ethically sound reporting. That's what fosters honest and civil dialogue. But instead, they got journalistic malpractice
There is too much at stake not to fight back. If these outlandish charges against Christians stick, freedom of speech and religion, particularly for Christians, may never be the same again.
That's why we've demanded a retraction from ABC News. That's why we've been forced to spend significant resources and devote countless hours to combatting these baseless charges.
It's shameful that any news organization would reprint propaganda from a far-left group and pass it off as journalism, especially from a group like SPLC, which in recent years has been discredited by those on the left and the right.
That's why I'm asking for your help.
If you care about the future of religious freedom in America and believe it is worth preserving, please stand with us today.
We will not be silenced. We will not stop protecting religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and the family. We will not stop serving you and defending our brave clients. And God willing, together, we will not stop winning these important legal battles and making a positive impact on our culture.
Thank you for giving generously.
Donate now to stand with ADF and fight the "hate" label.
Yours for religious freedom,
Michael P. Farris
President, CEO & General Counsel
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