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SPLC puts parents in education groups on its ‘hate map,’ labels them racist, bigoted, anti-government extremists


“Name-calling parents who want to be a part of their child’s education as ‘hate groups’ or ‘bigoted’ just further exposes what this battle is all about: Who fundamentally gets to decide what is taught to our kids in school — parents or government employees?”


The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated several parent’s rights groups fighting to protect public school children from secular and LGBTQ indoctrination as “hate” groups, as the push is on to paint concerned and dissenting parents, including Armenian Christians and Muslims, as transphobic radicals allied with white supremacists.

Quick Facts

The SPLC released its Year in Hate and Extremism 2022 report this week and on its “hate map” were many parents’ rights groups, including Moms for Liberty and Parents Defending Education.

SPLC claims that Moms for Liberty is at the forefront of the “hard-right attacks.” SPLC charges that the group’s “activities” make it clear that its “primary goals are to fuel right-wing hysteria and to make the world a less comfortable or safe place for certain students — primarily those who are Black, LGBTQ or who come from LGBTQ families.”

The SPLC argues that the parents’ rights organizations are “reactionary and rooted in racism.” Likening them to segregationist parents of the Civil Rights era, the SPLC writes,

“Today’s so-called parental rights activists have also copied and pasted from the scripts of past groups, adapting old racist and homophobic ideas, as well as conspiracy theories asserting Marxist indoctrination. They are now adding a dash of QAnon rhetoric, accusing progressives of attempting to groom and sexualize children.”

It further claimed,

“Thanks in part to its grand disruptions at school board meetings, political alliances and extremist ties, Moms for Liberty has quickly become one of the most recognized names in the anti-student inclusion movement. Like the mothers of massive resistance before them, Moms for Liberty is ready to fight tooth and nail to preserve the unseen but understood caste system existing in their public schools and communities.”

According to SPLC, Moms for Liberty and other parents’ groups in education “denigrate lessons on diversity and inclusion.” They also “spew homophobic and transphobic speech in the name of protecting their children’s innocence, disregarding and disrespecting children in the LGBTQ community.”

In addition, the SPLC says that parental rights’ groups “ban reading materials that they deem inappropriate, which almost always happens to be LGBTQ or non-white in subject matter. They embrace racist and nationalist ideology, claiming to want the teaching of America’s accurate history in the schools but label the true, harsh history of the country as unpatriotic and unsuitable for children.”

The report also said that these “reactionary anti-student inclusion groups” are “wielding coded language for white, cisgender, straight rights above all others.”

The parents’ groups responded by stating that they would continue their efforts. “We consider it to be a badge of courage. That just means we’re doing our job,” stated Suzanne Gallagher, national executive director for Parents Rights in Education.

Moms for Liberty co-founders Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich said in a statement,

“Name-calling parents who want to be a part of their child’s education as ‘hate groups’ or ‘bigoted’ just further exposes what this battle is all about: Who fundamentally gets to decide what is taught to our kids in school – parents or government employees? We believe that parental rights do not stop at the classroom door and no amount of hate from groups like this is going to stop that.”

Gallagher counters that it is the SPLC that is provoking violence by labeling concerned parents who speak up for their children as bigots and political extremists. “Are they just listing groups because they want us to be a target?” she asked. “Because that is actually what will result.”

There is precedent for this statement. In 2012, the Family Research Council, for example, was targeted and attacked due to its inclusion on the SPLC’s hate map.

It isn’t just these organized parent groups, which SPLC characterizes as white moms, that are being characterized as hateful. Any parent that questions secular indoctrination is called out.

For example, when a group of Muslim parents protested after Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland updated its policy so they could no longer opt their children out of lessons featuring LGBT-themed books and when multiple Muslim students spoke before the school board to complain that being forced to read the books violated their religious freedom, Councilwoman Kristin Mink said they were aligned with white supremacists.

“This issue has put some, not all of course, but some Muslim families on the same side of an issue as white supremacists and outright bigots,” she stated.

And in Glendale, California, when parents from traditionally conservative Armenian and Hispanic communities announced a planned protest at a local school board meeting over, among other concerns, celebrations of LGBTQ+ “Pride Day” during school, the violent left-wing group Antifa labeled them as “hate groups” and called for a counterprotest. When violence broke out between the two groups, the media and left-wing politicians immediately blamed the parents, rather than Antifa, with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, D, accusing the parents of engaging in a “campaign of hate.”

The SPLC is a leftist organization and its designations have long been more character assassination than anything rooted in truth. One need only read the report and it is quickly apparent that the SPLC views anyone with differing views from the left on any issue as a “hard right” bigot. The report reads more like the summary of a group therapy session for members of “the Squad” than any reliable report. Yet the “hate” designation of parent groups will be used by the media and many on the left to try to discredit and target them.

1 Peter 3:16 states,

“…and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.”

Christians must make sure that we do not engage in any type of violent activity that would give people like the SPLC real evidence to make accusations. At the same time, we should not be intimidated into silence. In time, their false accusations will be shown for what they are: lies.

We know that as Christians we will be hated and persecuted, but we must continue to live in obedience to God’s Word and always be willing to speak the truth. That speech includes exercising our duty as citizens to vote for candidates who will guard children from ideologies that are designed to deceive, indoctrinate, exploit, and harm them.

Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.

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