After a speech by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Southern Poverty Law Center just labeled Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) a “hate group.” Sessions addressed an ADF group in California, and this occasioned a firestorm of criticism, with the SPLC leading the charge. Others quickly followed–here’s ABC News, NBC News, and the Daily Beast chiming in and spreading the smear.
What is ADF, you ask? ADF is a non-profit entity that provides legal representation and public engagement on matters of “religious freedom, sanctity of life, and marriage and family.” Alan Sears was the long-time leader of the organization; now Michael Farris, a key figure in the homeschooling movement in America (a movement I enthusiastically support), heads up ADF. ADF is an outstanding voice for faith, freedom, and the family. Those who followed the Trinity Lutheran case recently will know, for example, that ADF won that legal battle, with ace attorney David Cortman adding another win to his spotless Supreme Court record.
ADF works on numerous fronts. Most significantly, it is currently representing numerous religious folks who have been penalized for not following the dictates of the secular order. Those who have landed in the crosshairs of the formal push to change American law and culture by the LGBT movement go to ADF for help–see here for more information. Included here: Jack Phillips of the Masterpiece Cakeshop ordeal, Barronelle Stutzman of Washington, the Tennes family of Michigan, Blaine Adamson of Kentucky, Kelvin Cochran of Atlanta, and the Larsen family of Minnesota.All of these individuals have been penalized for not affirming same-sex marriage in some way. Their religious liberty–the first freedom of the USA–has been compromised. Religious liberty, after all, is not a crutch, or an agent for oppression. It is the very core of human dignity, of a free and unfettered life. If you can bring religious liberty down, then you have this country and all its citizens in your thrall. You have in truth brought America to its knees, and you have turned free beings into wards of the state. This is not a neutral outcome. This is evil, politically-involved evil.
Caesar constantly seeks to be Christ, but we will not let him. Not on our watch.
So let’s take stock. This is what makes you a “hate group” today: you promote religious liberty. You defend good-hearted, ordinary Americans who dare to live out their faith. You are a voice for the voiceless. You do not want to compel anyone to believe a certain creed, but you want to free every person to believe as they wish. You recognize the biblical and natural wisdom inherent in marriage, the union of one man and one woman, and the family.
We cannot miss this: it’s ironic that ABC, NBC, and other outfits call ADF a “hate group.” In truth, it is these outlets who are fomenting hate. But those of us who support and stand with ADF refuse to play their game. We will not hate. We will love our enemy. We will stand against evil out of love for neighbor, even those who persecute us (Matthew 22:34-39). Like Christ our savior, we will never give up, we will never leave the fray, and we will never abandon the unborn, the defenseless, and those who now suffer for practicing the faith.
If this looks like hate to some, it looks like much love to us.