He said he had a chance to speak with the officer who conducted the briefing and she told him that she got her information from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Why is there such dependence upon the work of the SPLC to determine hate groups and extremist groups,” Crews said. “It appears that some military entities are using definitions of ‘hate’ and ‘extreme’ from the lists of anti-Christian political organizations. That violates the apolitical stance appropriate for the military.”
But Mark Potok, a spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told Fox News they did not provide the military with any list about religious extremism.
“It’s emphatically – 100 percent false,” Potok said.
He said the SPLC has never labeled Evangelical Christianity or Catholicism as extremist groups.
Crews said he is extremely disappointed in the military’s handling of the incident and said they need to fix the “gross distortions presented in the briefing.
“Those soldiers who were presented this material – they need to have a new briefing with corrected materials,” Crews said. “They need to undo the damage that was done.”
He also wants the military to consult with chaplains about matters involving religion.
“All religious issues of this sort in the U.S. military should be channeled first through the Chiefs of Chaplains offices for review,” he said. “Do they really want to classify evangelicals and the Catholic Church as extremist groups?”