Sometimes the most effective way to deal with a bully is to simply pop him in the chops. While it may not shut him up entirely, it usually gives him pause before he resumes flapping his toxic jaws. It also has the effect of showing the other kids in the schoolyard that they have nothing to fear. Though the bully struts about projecting the tough-guy image, he's typically the most insecure pansy on the block.
Such is the case with the bullies over at the fringe-left Southern Poverty Law Center. Having been recently "popped in the chops," if you will, for a series of hyperbolic and disingenuous "anti-gay hate group" slurs against a dozen-or-so of America's most well respected Christian and conservative organizations – the SPLC now finds itself publicly struggling, outside of an extremist left-wing echo chamber, to salvage a modicum of mainstream credibility.
In response to the SPLC's unprovoked attacks, a unified coalition of more than 150 top conservative and Christian leaders across the country has launched a shock-and-awe "Start Debating, Stop Hating" media blitz to educate America about the SPLC's ad hominem, politically driven smear campaign.
The mainstream pro-family conglomerate already includes presumptive Speaker of the House John Boehner, former presidential contender Mike Huckabee, four current U.S. senators, three governors, 20 current or newly elected members of the House of Representatives and many more.
As the controversy wears on and the facts become public, the moribund SPLC has understandably become increasingly defensive, strongly suggesting that it has come to regret this gross political overreach. Catch the tiger by the tail, you get the teeth.
Still, lazily labeling its ideological adversaries "hate groups" has yet to satisfy the anti-Christian law center. It's taken the slander even further down petty path, launching a succession of amateurish personal attacks against a number of individual Christian advocates (to include yours truly). This is a clear sign that the sexual relativist left recognizes that it's losing the debate on the merits.
Indeed, the SPLC's poorly constructed analysis bears deconstructing, but first I'll make a prediction. The center has yet to pin its official "SPLC designated hate group" badge of honor on either me or Liberty Counsel, the civil rights group with which I'm affiliated.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).