- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More than 200 groups and organizations that “openly display bigotry” toward the Christian faith have been identified on an interactive map, a traditional values group said Tuesday.

These atheist, humanist, gay rights or anti-Christian groups have made the list because they have tried to silence Christians or remove all public displays  of Christian heritage and faith in America, said the American Family Association (AFA) in Tupelo, MS.

“A common practice of these groups is threatening our nation’s schools, cities and states,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon.

“By threat of lawsuit, they demand that prayer be removed from schools and city council meetings, that Ten Commandments monuments be stricken from courthouses, and that memorial crosses be purged from cemeteries and parks,” he said.

“Families and businesses that express a Christian worldview on social issues often face vicious retaliation from anti-Christian zealots, and it’s time to call them out for their intolerance,” said Mr. Wildmon.

The AFA’s web site, www.afa.net/bigotrymap, identifies groups whose actions have been deemed “deeply intolerant of the Christian religion.”

“Because of anti-Christian bigotry,” Mr. Wildmon said, “private business owners have been sued and forced to close their businesses.”

Groups deemed intolerant of Christians included the Human Rights Campaign, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

The SPLC has long published its own list of “hate groups,” and currently identifies 939 “active hate groups” in the United States. Its list includes the AFA, as well as Family Research Council (FRC), Traditional Values Coalition and Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute in the District, for being “anti-LGBT.”

In 2010, SPLC President Richard Cohen said his organization is not opposed to the “invigorating clash of ideas in the public forum,” but calls groups “a hate group” to “sound a warning alarm.”

The FRC and AFA decry the SPLC’s “hate group” list, since in 2012, a heavily armed man used it to find the FRC’s office and shoot and wound a security staffmember. The gunman, Floyd Corkins II, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for attempted mass murder.

AFA warned its members to be aware that some people associated with its 200 intolerant groups have “committed violent crimes against Christians and faith-based groups,” and that “physical and profane verbal assaults against Christians” may also be used as “angry methods of intimidation.”

• Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at cwetzstein@washingtontimes.com.

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