The shooting at the Family Research Council’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. was the result of the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center stoking the flames by labeling the conservative Christian organization as a hate group, the group’s president Tony Perkins told reporters Thursday.
The suspect, 28-year-old Floyd Corkins of Virginia, was charged with assault with intent to kill after he allegedly shouted “I don’t like your politics” and shot an unarmed guard in the arm. Investigators found ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the suspect’s backpack, according to the Associated Press.
In late 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled the Family Research Council, which opposes gay marriage and abortion, as a “hate group” because of its positions on gay issues and its general religious condemnation of same-sex behavior. It placed the group in the same company as the Aryan Nations, Nation of Islam and KKK.
But the FRC, unlike the Aryan Nations, is not an underground group nor has it ever condoned violence. It is a mainstay in conservative politics and its top members are often key players in Washington politics.
“Let me be very clear here that Floyd Corkins was responsible for the wounding of one of our colleagues and friends at the Family Research Council,” Perkins told Megyn Kelly of Fox News. “But I believe he was given a license to do that by a group such as the Southern Poverty Law Center who labeled us a hate group because we defend the family and stand for traditional orthodox Christianity.”
“Terrorism is designed to intimidate and to drive people back and make them feel fearful,” Perkins said. “Well, that I believe would describe what they tried to do here yesterday at the Family Research Council and by extension to traditional value supporters, Christians across the nation.”
“But I want to tell you it’s not going to work,” Perkins continued. “We’re not going anywhere. We’re more committed today than we were yesterday to defending and advancing faith, family and freedom here in our nation’s capital.”
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