MONTGOMERY, AL (Talon News) — The word “tolerance” has gained new importance in the American lexicon, in large part due to the aftermath of the Civil Rights era. In recent years, however, interest groups, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), have used “tolerance” to push agendas that run counter to the views of many Americans.
In anticipation of a new Civil Rights Memorial Center being built adjacent to the current Civil Rights Memorial scheduled for completion in 2005, the SPLC has begun a mail fundraising campaign that capitalizes on the strength of the so-called “Tolerance Movement.”
The campaign takes advantage of the average American’s fear of not being considered tolerant by offering such recognition for money.
“The Wall of Tolerance will give much deserved public recognition to people like you who stand for justice and practice tolerance in their daily lives,” the fundraising letter reads in part.
“Every name added to the Wall will serve as a call to action for other Americans of good will to follow your example and join in this great campaign for tolerance and justice,” the letter adds.
The SPLC is one of the primary propagators of the term “tolerance,” through its National Campaign for Tolerance. Having made the term as powerful as it is, the SPLC is now capitalizing on those efforts to fund its projects.
The term “tolerance” has been used countless times over the past decade to promote acceptance of formerly unpopular liberal movements. The pro-family movement is currently facing difficulties because its supporters fear being labeled “intolerant.” Efforts to keep English as the primary language in the Southwestern U.S. have run into the same problem.
In November 2001, the SPLC criticized the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) for praying to God for the ability to convert Muslims to Christ. SBC President James Merritt had prayed that God “will miraculously reveal himself through Jesus Christ to Muslims,” but the SPLC insinuated that the mere act of conversion is intolerant.
Ironically, the SPLC shows little of its famous tolerance for the essential, basic Christian conviction that Jesus is the only means of salvation, but does tolerate similar Muslim views vis-a-vis Muhammad.
The SPLC has also attempted to influence Christians’ own decisions regarding their choice of spiritual leaders.
After Franklin Graham stated that Islam was a root cause of the September 11th attacks, the SPLC immediately tried to create a wedge between Graham and President Bush and to dash Graham’s hopes of being an advisor to future presidents in the tradition set by his father Billy Graham.
An SPLC news article read, “Prior to this controversy, Franklin Graham appeared poised to replace his father as source of advice for world leaders,” suggesting that Graham’s remarks had hurt his standing with other politicians. This does not appear to be the case at all.
The SPLC also quoted a statement by Billy Graham that “God cares for us, whatever our ethnic, religious or political background may be” as evidence that the father and son were in disagreement over the nature of Islam.