GUIDESTAR SEEMS TO THINK SO
Visit the Family Research Council’s blog this week and you’ll find an article titled, “Ten Things Every New Father Should Know,” a touching essay by a writer experiencing Fathers Day as a new dad of a six-month-old.
The council is a nonprofit organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as such, and is unabashedly conservative Christian and family focused, promoting traditional values of strong marriages between men and women as the foundation for a strong society. The mission statement is “FRC advances faith, family and freedom in government and culture from a Christian worldview.”
That mission statement is no longer a statement of faith, but a statement of hate, according to Guidestar, the nonprofit tracker that manages a database of all nonprofits, their financials, their programs, and their reports to the Internal Revenue Service.
Guidestar, a nonprofit itself, bills itself as the largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. It is the self-styled gatekeeper of the nonprofit sector. Organizations big and small live and die by a Guidestar rating. So when the site puts a warning flag on a nonprofit, such a designation cannot be ignored.
But now Guidestar has adopted standards set by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and has decided to put a “scarlet letter” over its listing of the Family Research Council and other groups like it. The pro-marriage group is now considered the equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s on the “hate group” watch list.
The warning banner has also been placed over Guidestar’s information for at least two Jewish nonprofits and some other groups that may or may not be religious in nature. These include the American Freedom Defense Initiative, the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the American College of Pediatricians, the National Task Force for Therapy Equality, the American Family Association, the London Center for Policy Research, and the Jewish Institute for Global Awareness.
However, no warning banner exists above the listing for the Council on American and Islamic Relations — CAIR. That group’s mission is “to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”
In 2014, the United Arab Emirates placed CAIR on its list of terrorist groups, along with al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, al Shabab and Boko Haram. CAIR may or may not be related to groups that fund terror; there is disagreement in the public arena about its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website, “all hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”
Among the groups listed as hate groups is Act for America, founded by Brigitte Gabriel, a terrorism expert who has first-hand experience as a child victim of Islamic-inspired terrorism. She is a lecturer and author who has advised the Trump Administration, the United Nations, British Parliament, the Pentagon, Joint Forces Staff College, US Special Operations Command, US Asymmetric Warfare group, the FBI, and others. She is a Christian who warns people about Islam and terrorism.
The David Horowitz Foundation is also now listed as a hate group by Guidestar. Horowitz is the founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center (formerly the Center for the Study of Popular Culture). He is a rational conservative, but he takes no intellectual prisoners.
GuideStar’s president and CEO, Jacob Harold, told the Associated Press that his organization defends the use of the hate group listing and said the warning labels are in response to a recent increase of “hateful rhetoric” in the U.S.
Look for the influence and credibility of GuideStar to wane if they persist with an increasingly partisan and biased rating system.
INCOMING TO ALASKA: FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL CRUISE
Family Research Council’s political action committee endorsed Joe Miller for Senate in 2016, when he ran as a Libertarian in Alaska, supplanting Cean Stevens at the last minute. Alaska former Governor Sarah Palin spoke at the organization’s Values Voter Summit in 2014. The group has been a recent critic of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s stances on abortion and the public funding of Planned Parenthood.
The council and some of its supporters will be on its first-ever fundraising cruise to Alaska July 29 – Aug. 5 with the organization’s president Tony Perkins.