For the Religious Right, Boycotts are Both a Celebrated Tool and an 'Immoral' Instrument of 'Economic Warfare'

Back in July we asked how Religious Right groups were able to keep a straight face while railing against the very concept of boycotts as part of their defense of Chick-fil-A, seeing that anti-gay organizations such as the American Family Association and the National Organization for Marriage champion many boycotts of their own. In fact, the AFA and its affiliates are leading numerous boycotts of clothing, auto, home improvement, publishing, entertainment and food companies.

But AFA host Sandy Rios today spoke to James Simpson, a conservative writer who wrote a report for the right-wing Capital Research Center criticizing the Southern Poverty Law Center, and said that the Chick-fil-A controversy shows that the left uses boycotts and pressure campaigns to wage “economic warfare against their political enemies.” After deriding “economic boycotts,” Simpson said that conservatives “are not inclined to do that because we are not that immoral.” Seeing that the AFA is heavily publicizing their two campaigns against JC Penney and Home Depot and its subgroup OneMillionMoms seems to be boycotting or pressuring a different company every week, maybe Simpson is attacking the wrong organization if he is so zealously opposed to boycotts.

Rios: This is the other striking thing Jim, because Chick-fil-A has been in the news so much lately and I haven’t had a chance to even explain to my audience the conclusion of all that but let me just say that they did come out and their policy is that they will not give to any organizations that are working on marriage amendments or marriage initiatives but they will support marriage. OK my point is organizations, foundations are scared to death to give to the FRC’s, the American Family Association’s, the CWA’s, but they’re not scared to give to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the list on here is amazing to me.

Simpson: It is economic warfare against their political enemies, that’s the only way to describe it, it is literally economic warfare against their political enemies; it is nothing more than that, nothing less than that. The left is almost universally unscrupulous, they are amoral—that’s part of their philosophy—so they feel free to attack anybody and anything that they don’t like and they have legions of lawyers willing to go into court and sue and sue and sue again. They’re organized base is willing to uniformly engage in economic boycotts of companies so it’s a highly organized, almost a military type of organization, very monolithic that gets behind the leaders on any issue and they attack people, and they attack people and terrify people. We don’t have anything like that we are not inclined to do that because we are not that immoral, we just don’t do those kinds of things unless we are attacked first.

Simpsons also told Rios that the SPLC merely exaggerates bigotry and extremism in the US in order to marginalize critics of illegal immigration and marriage equality, which he said would lead to the “cultural destruction.” According to Simpson, “truthfully speaking, the Southern Poverty Law Center is the epitome of hate.”

Simpson: The Southern Poverty Law Center focuses on “hate groups” and people and haters and they try to—

Rios: According to their definition.

Simpson: Yeah, and they try to create a narrative which makes you and I haters because we have concerns and we have facts and information that they don’t like publicized. They don’t like the fact that we are very concerned, legitimately, about illegal immigration, about open borders, we are very concerned about the hugely deleterious impact of gay marriage and that type of cultural destruction to our society. We have very legitimate concerns but their tactic is to call us haters and that’s what they are all about but truthfully speaking, the Southern Poverty Law Center is the epitome of hate; they are the epitome of hate.