by Robert Spencer, Front Page Mag:
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is one of the Left’s premier, well-heeled, and most dishonest and ruthless attack dogs. It relentlessly smears legitimate conservative individuals and groups by labeling them as purveyors of “hate” and lumping them in with the likes of the KKK and neo-Nazis. Its name-calling and defamation would be just more of the same rubbish that comes daily from the Left were it not for the fact that the social media giants and numerous other major corporations still take the massively discredited SPLC seriously and use its smear pieces as a guide to shun and deplatform various dissenters from the Leftist agenda. So the SPLC sounds like the perfect organization for the Biden regime to work with, right? Oh, absolutely. Now this sinister and hateful group is partnering with the equally corrupt and politicized FBI.
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The Daily Signal reported Sunday that the FBI “appears, at least briefly, to have joined the Southern Poverty Law Center’s attempt to demonize Roman Catholics who follow the church’s teachings on marriage and who celebrate the Latin Mass.” One of those Catholics, Michael J. Matt, editor of a newspaper called The Remnant and producer of Remnant TV, noted that his organization, which is not remotely connected with violence or terrorism, was listed on a “leaked FBI memo,” along with other Catholic groups that he pointed out were “defunct.”
Matt declared that this was an example the “FBI phoning it in,” as its list of “radical-traditional Catholic hate groups” came from a 2007 list compiled by the SPLC’s Heidi Beirich and Rhonda Brownstein. Matt asked incredulously: “They took Heidi Beirich and Rhonda Brownstein’s word for it, from 2007?!” He added: “There has been an explosion of traditional Catholic groups since Pope Benedict XVI brought back the Latin Mass. None of the new groups who are in positions of real influence are targeted in the memo.” That’s good, but the fact that the FBI is working with the SPLC and targeting law-abiding citizens because it disapproves of their religious beliefs is disquieting enough.
The Daily Signal notes that the SPLC “has branded mainstream conservative and Christian nonprofits ‘hate groups,’ placing them on a map with chapters of the Ku Klux Klan.” This includes Jihad Watch and the David Horowitz Freedom Center, which have committed no offense other than standing for human rights for all people. The Signal goes on to note that “former employees have condemned the ‘hate’ labeling as a ‘highly profitable scam’ tracing back to the co-founder’s talents as a fundraiser. In 2019, the SPLC fired that co-founder amid a racial discrimination and sexual harassment scandal, the full truth of which has yet to be revealed.”
Nevertheless, “the FBI’s Richmond, Virginia, office cited the SPLC in a January memo, which the national FBI office publicly rescinded in February. That memo listed nine organizations, most of which the SPLC first added to the list of ‘hate groups’ in 2007. The SPLC suggested that those organizations espouse and support antisemitism, and it has kept most of them on the list and the ‘hate map’ for nearly two decades.”
The FBI is not just keeping a list. In early March, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) asked Gestapo chief Merrick Garland, “Are you cultivating sources and spies in Latin Mass parishes and other Catholic parishes around the country?” Garland pleaded innocent, insisting, “No, the Justice Department does not do that and does not, uh, um, do investigations based on religion.” But it later came to light — okay, get ready for the shock of your life — that Garland was lying. The feds did have informants in Catholic churches, snooping around and looking for evidence of that domestic terror threat that the Biden regime keeps insisting is the worst such threat we face today. Nor is there any indication that they’ve taken these spies out of the pews.
Fox News reported on April 10 that the FBI “recently sought to develop sources inside Christian churches and Catholic dioceses as part of an effort to combat domestic terrorism.” This was clear from internal FBI documents that the House Judiciary Committee released to the public. The documents reveal that the FBI was attempting to use “mainline Catholic parishes” as “new avenues for tripwire and source development.”
The feds wanted to educate sympathetic Catholics about “the warning signs of radicalization,” and then get them to help stop the rosary-praying terrorist by obtaining “their assistance to serve as suspicious activity tripwires.” This is nothing short of breathtaking in its resolute determination to construct a reality other than the one we happen to be living in. If there were a steady stream of terrorists routinely “radicalized” in Catholic churches and going out to bring the wrath of the Immaculate Heart of Mary upon the populace, there might be some justification for this program. As it was, it was plain and simple harassment and scapegoating of Christians.