I never expected to be on the same list with the leader of the New Black Panthers (Malik Zulu Shabbaz), a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (David Duke), a Jew-bashing White Supremacist (Don Black), and a Neo-Nazi (Morris Gullet), but thanks to the investigative genius of the Southern Poverty Law Center (the SPLC), I have made it into the big time.
Yes, according to the SPLC’s latest “Intelligence Report” (Summer 2012, Issue Number: 146), I am now on the illustrious list of “30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right.” (You may want to think twice about reading the rest of this article. It’s possible that your computer or digital device will be tracked by anti-radical-right cybermoles.)
Also on the list were Pamela Geller (anti-Muslim!), Joseph Farah of World Net Daily (Patriot movement!), and David Barton (anti-gay historical revisionist!), among others. Yes, these are just some of the “new activists heading up the radical right.” How ominous.
In keeping with their pattern of not always getting the facts right, the SPLC lists my year of birth as 1967, which would make me really precocious (and probably all the more dangerous), since it would mean that I was bar-mitzvahed at the age of one in 1968 (surely a first in Jewish history), that I graduated high-school at the age of 6 in 1973, was married at the age of 9 in 1976, and became a father at the age of 10 in 1977, the same year I graduated from college. That should get me membership in Mensa rather than a place on the SPLC’s hit list.
Interestingly, what the SPLC actually reports about me is not that bad: I am “not typical of most who push the idea that a cabal of liberal media elites have orchestrated a so-called ‘homosexual agenda’ to indoctrinate children into a lifestyle that makes a mockery of Christian values.” But I have “ventured beyond seminary walls to take on a new, activist anti-LGBT project, selling [myself] as an expert speaker on the issue of ‘cultural revolution.’” Regarding the silencing intimidation of gay activists and their allies, the SPLC quotes me as saying, “Speak now or forever hold your peace.” I plead guilty as charged!
So what is it that earns me the honor of making the big list of 30? The article actually states that, “Unlike many other voices on the religious right, Brown generally has avoided the kind of slashing rhetoric that often devolves into rank defamation. His work is heavily footnoted and avoids the blanket pronouncements that have gotten others in trouble.”
Well then, what’s the problem? Apparently it is this: “But he still can sound conspiratorial.” How dastardly of me to dare suggest that gay activist organizations share common goals and visions!
Here, then, are the very worst quotes that the SPLC can lift from my 691-page book A Queer Thing Happened to America. “When it comes to denying the existence of a gay agenda, there is ‘immense unity’ in the gay community. Why? It is because the denial of that agenda is part of the agenda. … That is the necessary piece of the puzzle.” And, “[I]t is not good that homosexual behavior is presented as just another alternative to heterosexual behavior, that bisexuality is celebrated, that transgenderism [sic] is normalized, that sex-change surgery is presented as the thing to do, that ex-gays are ridiculed and their very existence denied.”
Quotes like that earn me a place on the SPLC’s hit list? These are the words of a dangerous, radical right activist? Regarding the first quote, doesn’t the LGBT community constantly mock the idea that there is such a thing as a “gay agenda,” all while the clearly articulated goals of that agenda are unfolding before our eyes? Regarding the second quote – well, just read it again. How in the world can it possibly be called “radical”?
To be clear, I am flattered to be on the SPLC’s hit list and I wear it is as a badge of honor. And being associated with a “radical” cause is hardly an insult to me if that cause be a righteous one. The more radical, the better. I’m just exposing the ridiculous nature of the SPLC’s “evidence.”
All of which makes me wonder if, perhaps, there was something else that earned me a place on their list. Could it be the fact that I’ve written articles like, “The Southern Poverty Law Center Debunks Itself,” and, “Isn’t the Southern Poverty Law Center the Real Hate Group?” and “The SPLC Fails the Intelligence Test”?
Either way, I want to publicly thank the SPLC for making my day and bringing a real smile to my face. Coupled with the fact that in March, I made it onto GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project list of 36 Christian leaders to avoid, I am overflowing with thanksgiving and appreciation. As Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man [meaning, Jesus]. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.” (Luke 6:22-23)
Please take a moment and leap for joy with me. I can hardly wait to see what’s coming next.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
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