A Christian TV ministry announced Wednesday that it is suing the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for labeling it a hate group, like the Ku Klux Klan.
Dr. Frank Wright, president of D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM), said he was suing the SPLC for listing DJKM in the infamous “hate map,” according to Christian Today. The SPLC’s hate map lists DLKM, as well as several other Christian and conservative advocacy groups, alongside the KKK and neo-Nazis. Kennedy claimed that the SPLC “illegally trafficked in false and misleading descriptions” of DJKM.(RELATED: 5 Groups Included On ‘Hate Group’ List Published By CNN Are Not Hate Groups)
“We embarked today on a journey to right a terrible wrong,” Kennedy said in the announcement of the lawsuit. “Those who knowingly label Christian ministries as ‘hate’ groups, solely for subscribing to the historic Christian faith, are either woefully uninformed or willfully deceitful. In the case of the Southern Poverty Law Center, our lawsuit alleges the latter.”
A domestic terrorist actually used the hate map in 2012 as the inspiration for an attack against the Family Research Council. The FBI ceased using the group’s list as a legitimate source after the attack.
“These false and illegal characterizations have a chilling effect on the free exercise of religion and on religious free speech for all people of faith,” Kennedy said. “After having given the SPLC an opportunity to retract, we have undertaken this legal action, seeking a trial by a jury of our peers, to preserve our own rights under the law and to defend the religious free speech rights of all Americans.”
Kennedy said the lawsuit included Amazon and Guidestar, who allegedly dropped DJKM from their services, which included the AmazonSmile Foundation’s charitable list, because of the ministry’s listing on the hate map. Kennedy claimed that DJKM’s removal from Amazon’s charitable list limited the methods by which the ministry could receive donations.