The Hate Sandwich Behind the Family Research Council Attack

As Paul Bedard reports, new information emerges about the man who entered the DC offices of the Family Research Council and opened fire — a man who would have taken many more lives if the guard had not heroically stopped him:

Floyd Lee Corkins II pleaded guilty to three charges including a charge of committing an act of terrorism related to the August 15, 2012 injuring of FRC’s guard. He told the FBI that he wanted to kill anti-gay targets and went to the law center’s website for ideas.

At a court hearing where his comments to the FBI were revealed, he said that he intended to “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces, and kill the guard.” The shooting occurred after an executive with Chick-Fil-A announced his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Read the rest — including some choice words from FRC President Tony Perkins for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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About Timothy Dalrymple

Timothy Dalrymple was raised in non-denominational evangelical congregations in California. The son and grandson of ministers, as a young boy he spent far too many hours each night staring at the ceiling and pondering the afterlife.
In all his work he seeks a better understanding of why people do, and do not, come to faith, and researches and teaches in religion and science, faith and reason, theology and philosophy, the origins of atheism, Christology, and the religious transformations of suffering

  • BlazerJason

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the person responsible for the shooting was, I know this sounds crazy, the person who did the shooting. If the NRA, Rush Limbaugh, or Fox News is not responsible for various shootings, even if the shooter espouses their views, it stands to reason that the Southern Poverty Law Center can’t be held responsible for crazy shooters either.

    • Jon Gleason

      You’re right, BlazerJason. They are certainly not responsible for the shooting. They are only responsible for providing a hate map. Do the NRA, Rush Limbaugh, or Fox News provide hate maps? Honest question, I don’t know. Do they label people as haters AND tell people where to find those haters?

      Given that everyone knows there are people who act out their hatred with violence, like this man, do you think it is responsible for SPLC to do what they are doing?

      If you were injured by someone who got your address from a “hate map,” would you be considering legal action against the providers of the map?

      • CJ

        The point is, SPLC has blamed the right wing for inciting violence with crosshairs on a map, without any evidence that Giffords shooter had even seen it. They raised a lot of money from that false claim. Now that it has been established that their map did indeed incite violence, they clam up.

        • Jon Gleason

          Funny. I thought only “right-wing Christians” could be hypocrites. Misinformed again…. :)

      • BlazerJason

        Sorry, you sound just like my liberal friends who want to blame everybody but the criminals. Yes, Limbaugh intentionally incited riots during the Democratic National Convention in 2008 by saying “I’m dreaming of riots in Denver”. Fox News broadcast Sarah Palin’s crosshair map. The NRA has a hit list filled with names of celebrities and activists that in their own words “should be silenced.” If any violence came of those things, Rush, Fox, and the NRA while obnoxious and reprehensible, would not be responsible, the people who committed the violence would be. You have your hate speech protected, let them have theirs, it is only fair.

        • Jon Gleason

          Did you read what I wrote? Just wondered. Because I agreed that they are not responsible for the shooting.

          Just that the map is irresponsible.

          And if what you describe is true, Fox, Palin, & NRA are irresponsible, too. Rush? I don’t know, I don’t even think it is possible to listen to him where I live, but does any person anywhere in the world think he was serious if he said that? Not that I’m defending it, but were there any riots?

          I’m not sure why that makes me like your liberal friends, but whatever.

  • Crœsos

    How can you get an address from this map?

    • Jon Gleason

      You scored that point! It doesn’t give the precise street address — so no one would ever be able to find them, right? :)

      It told him where to look. Google is your friend — unless your name is on a hate map. Then, I guess, it is your enemy.

      Are you telling us you think that responsible citizens do what they are doing? Really?

      • MountainTiger

        So is it unacceptable to publicly disagree with organizations, or is such disagreement only unacceptable in map form?

        • Jon Gleason

          We’ve interacted before, and you are much too intelligent to need to pull this kind of stunt. You know that there is a difference between publicly disagreeing and giving them an inflammatory label (hate organisation) and telling people where to find them.

          It would be like Timothy saying to everyone, “Oh, look, here’s MountainTiger, he spreads hate, this is his IP address.” Even if you are using a proxy, that would be despicable behaviour for him to do something like that, even if it might be legal.

          • MountainTiger

            But part one of your hypothetical (“he spreads hate”) is not, in principle, objectionable. I would argue that it is untrue (as I would argue that the SPLC’s definition of “hate group” is seriously problematic), but if Timothy believes that a group or individuals have hateful motivations there is nothing wrong with him saying that. Part two is basically irrelevant to this case. The SPLC’s map is only marginally more detailed than a list by state, which is still more detail than a disturbed person would need given that the FRC lists their address on their own website. And this is the key point: the “hate group” label is in no way an incitement to violence. Holding the SPLC responsible for the most deranged reception of their advocacy is wrong, though wrong in a way that would, in a perfect world, lead the SPLC to reconsider their own indulgence in such tactics.

          • Jon Gleason

            Just to be very clear: “Holding the SPLC responsible for the most deranged reception of their advocacy….”

            I don’t in the least hold them responsible for the deranged reception of their advocacy. I only say that, since it is obvious that there are such deranged recipients, that they are irresponsible in this tactic.

            It is irresponsible for the left, and it is irresponsible for the right. And similarly, it is irresponsible to blame either right or left for the actions of deranged people. The individuals who commit the act are responsible for the act. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that everyone else has behaved responsibly….

      • Crœsos

        Wouldn’t that make Google the one responsible then, by your reasoning?

        • Jon Gleason

          Does Google call them hate organisations? Does the phone book call them that?

          I asked a question. Do you really think responsible citizens do what SPLC is doing? Yes or no. If you think it is responsible, perhaps you wouldn’t object if someone created a “Perverts Map” that showed the location of every organisation in the country that supports LGBT rights. That wouldn’t bother you? It would bother me a lot. I’d call a map like that reprehensible.

          Disagreement does not justify targeting. There are too many nut cases who will take the target literally. And yes, I’m sure SPLC is legally “right”, but they are morally wrong.

  • Basil

    I find it a bit rich (and somewhat amusing) that FRC is accusing SPLC of incitement, especially given the horrific things FRC asserts in the public square, to try and defame and stigmatize gay people in order to thwart the movement for LGBT equality.

  • George Yancey

    It is pretty clear that the only person responsible for the attempted shooting at FRC is the idiot who wounded the guard. But it is ironic that SPLC has argued in the past that concervative commentators are morally responsible for hate crime violence. I think inthe future it will be hard for them to make that argument without being defensive about what happened here.

  • BlazerJason

    Okay, I actually looked at the hate map and I really don’t see how this is any more provocative than the NRA’s big list of who we think hates guns. Oh wait, I get it, political stuff, it is not supposed to be sensible. You should see what the world looks like from the view of a political moderate, it is surreal how much the extreme left and extreme right behave in almost identical ways.

  • peicurmudgeon

    I just don;t understand how anyone could make the argument that the SLPC is in any way responsible for this shooting. On their site, they have example of why each organozation is defined as a ‘hate group’. Whether they are neo-Nazis, white supremacists, animal rights groups, or any other group that promotes violence, they list thir intelligence files on why they qualify. The FRC has a history of calling for violence against gays, and is deservedly on the list. In no instance, do they call for violence against these organizations.

    • Crœsos

      Actually I think the FRC is listed because of their history of promoting defamatory falsehoods about a specific, identifiable group rather than any direct involvement in (or promotion of) violence. It’s similar to the reason the Council of Conservative Citizens (the renamed version of the old White Citizens Councils) are listed by the SPLC. The CCC aren’t active terrorists, like the Klan, but their rhetoric is just as poisonous and their efforts to promote racism through political influence is no less pernicious.

  • peicurmudgeon

    There is no equivalency here. One side (FRC) calls for violence. The other side (SPLC) calls them out for promoting violence, and they are the same? Please justify.

    • Jon Gleason

      Calls for violence? I missed that, but admittedly I’m a long ways away. Do you have a link for that?

    • Jon Gleason

      OK, I checked the entire SPLC writeup on them. Even the SPLC doesn’t say they called for violence. You are making stuff up.

  • peicurmudgeon

    The FRC is well known for supporting the anti-gay legislation in Uganda and calling for the imprisonment of gays.