Signs and Wonders

Signs and Wonders: SPLC maps out conservative Christian ‘hate’


Who’s bullying whom? What do the Family Research Council, Aryan Nations, and the home of Spokane’s Singing Nuns have in common? They’re all on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of “hate groups.” Mount Saint Michael, home to a Latin Rite or Tridentine Catholic church, school, and convent north of Spokane, Wash., has been listed since 2006 by the law center as a radical traditional Catholic group and accused of anti-Semitic activities. The designations made the news again last week when the SPLC released the annual update of its “Hate Map” of groups across the country. The map now includes interactive, easy-to-use online graphics. The Rev. Casimir Puskorius, pastor of Mount Saint Michael, told The Spokesman-Review the listing is “very unfair” and contends “it’s a result of a liberal organization taking issue with the teachings of a conservative Christian group.” Puskorius added, “We considered suing them, some years ago, but they have more resources than us.”

Hypocritical? Former astronaut Mark Kelly has been campaigning for restrictions on military-style weapons. Kelly is the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in January 2011 in Tucson, Ariz., at a supermarket rally she had organized. Six people died, and 13 others injured in the incident. Since then, Kelly and Giffords have championed gun control. So why did he recently buy a rifle and handgun at a shop in Arizona? He says to highlight the need for gun control. But gun rights supporters are accusing him of hypocrisy, asking why he needed to purchase a gun to prove that point. Kelly and Giffords are trying to ban semiautomatic weapons like the AR-15 rifle Kelly bought. They want to raise $20 million for the 2014 congressional elections, an amount they say matches the National Rifle Association’s spending in last November’s election. Doug MacKinlay, the owner of Diamondback Police Supply where Kelly bought the gun, told Reuters he would not have sold Kelly the rifle if he knew the $1,000 purchase was going to be used to make a political statement: “We do not support his stance that civilians should not be able to purchase assault-style weapons. Not by a long shot.”

Happy birthday, Justice Scalia. Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice writes this week at that Justice Antonin Scalia’s 77th birthday this week is “a reminder of the all too likely prospect that President Obama will pick a successor for Scalia or his colleague Anthony Kennedy, who turns 77 in July.” Levey explains that “conservatives can hope that Scalia and his four center-right colleagues will all outlast President Obama, but a probabilistic analysis suggests otherwise. Obama will likely replace at least one of the five, with the resulting liberal majority wrenching the court to the left on issues ranging from gay marriage and religious liberty to immigration, racial preferences, voter ID laws, and the death penalty.”

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More Title IX casualties. Maryland’s Towson University announced that as of Friday it would be cutting its baseball program, and the players on the current, so-far-still-playing baseball team covered up the name “Towson” on their uniforms with black duct tape. Yahoo Sports quotes catcher Zach Fisher: “We don’t support Towson, so we don’t want to wear something that says ‘Towson.’” The men’s soccer team is getting cut, too, freeing up about 65 roster spots for women’s sports, in order to comply with Title IX. Athletic director Mike Waddell said the moves will save the school about $800,000. He’s the one who blamed Title IX for the cuts.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren is vice president of mission advancement for The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and the host of WORLD Radio’s Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.


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