Late last year, anti-LGBTQ activist Matt Barber announced the formation of a new organization called Christian Civil Rights Watch, which he promised would be a more offensively-minded Religious Right effort to combat the left. So far, the CCRW doesn’t appear to have done much and seems to be focusing most of its efforts on hoping to get President Trump to “publicly denounce” the Southern Poverty Law Center, which Barber has loathed ever since it designated Liberty Counsel, with which he is closely affiliated, as an anti-gay hate group.
Barber has regularly railed against the civil rights organization and its hate list, insisting that the organization is an extremist group that “may be intentionally inciting anti-Christian violence” and was “to some degree complicit” in an act of “anti-Christian terrorism” because a gunman who tried to attack the Family Research Council in 2012 supposedly used SPLC’s hate map to identify FRC as a target.
Given that Barber has spent years warning that the SPLC’s list of anti-gay hate groups is dangerous and fomenting violence, it was a little odd to hear him brag in a recent interview with radio host Audrey Russo that his own Christian Civil Rights Watch organization now intends to do something similar, targeting what he considers to be left-wing, anti-Christian organizations.
The key difference between what his CCRW is doing and what the SPLC is doing, Barber insisted, is that his effort won’t be “dishonest.”
“At Christian Civil Right Watch, we want to be aggressive,” Barber said. “We want to out-Alinsky the Alinskyites. These are Saul Alinsky-type tactics. We have come up with and are building a comprehensive report and interactive map kind of akin to what the Southern Poverty Law Center is doing with their so-called hate groups. We’re detailing and itemizing anti-Christian extremists groups, with the Southern Poverty Law Center, of course, topping the list of these groups.”
“Now people say, ‘Aren’t you just doing exactly what they’re doing, isn’t this dishonest?'” Barber continued. “No, that’s the difference. What they’re doing is dishonest, it’s not rooted in truth. What we’re doing, we provide evidence, we provide the facts, we provide examples of their anti-Christian extremism, whereas the Southern Poverty Law Center, it’s all ad hominem, they don’t have any evidence because there is none.”
Barber insisted that his list of anti-Christian groups is not a smear tactic, like the SPLC’s hate list, but rather “an educational tool” that can be used to hold the media accountable whenever it cites the SPLC.
“We will call them out on that,” Barber said. “We will say, ‘You are now engaging and partnering with anti-Christian extremist group and are, therefore, engaging in anti-Christian extremism.'”