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Defense Dept. uses hate group material to train personnel

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A series of news reports over the past five years indicates that the Obama Defense Dept. (DOD) has used training sessions for personnel to disparage the Tea Party, evangelical Christians, citizens who are vocal in their support of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and pro-Israel groups.

However, a new investigation has discovered that the DOD is still using material provided by the hate group, The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), to train personnel. The government watchdog group, Judicial Watch, reported Wednesday that it had sent a letter to the DOD asking that the department stop using the material.

Controversy has been stirred in the past by the DOD's use of SPLC material. Each time such material was used, citizen protests ensued, followed by promises by DOD personnel to thoroughly check out material before it is used. And the military has reported that it fired or reassigned trainers who made disparaging remarks about Christians, the Tea Party, and other groups associated with conservative principles.

Yet somehow these problems keep reappearing despite the DOD's reassurances. Judicial Watch has uncovered close ties between the Obama Administration and the SPLC, and the DOD is not the only government agency involved. Their influence has been apparent at the Justice Department as well.

The latest example involves anti-Christian training material the DOD secured from the SPLC. The material routinely refers to conservative Christian groups, such as the Family Research Council, as "hate groups."

In August of 2012 a crazed gunman went on a rampage at the headquarters of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. But before anyone was harmed, a security guard at the Council stop him, taking a gunshot to the arm in the process. Just prior to shooting the guard, the shooter stated that he disliked the political views espoused by the Family Research Council.

The Council is a conservative Christian organization dedicated to advancing family values that are rooted in faith and freedom.

But the SPLC refers to the organization as a hate group in its material. One of the reasons for the designation is that the Council strongly supports a traditional, faith-based understanding of the word "marriage."

Judicial Watch vehemently protested SPLC's description of the Council as a hate group, as did many other groups and individual citizens. Tony Perkins, president of the Council, stated that SPLC's hate-filled description of his group gave disturbed individuals a license to kill.

Morris Dees, co-founder of SPLC, was invited to speak at a DOD diversity training event in July of 2012, just prior to the violent incident aimed at Family Research Council personnel.

Yet the DOD somehow continues to use SPLC material for its training events:

Incredibly, the SPLC is also providing our military with supplies and briefings, according to various reports of training incidents in which Army instructors relied on the group’s anti-Christian materials. This evidently led Army Secretary John McHugh to issue an order a few months ago to “cease” the SPCL’s anti-Christian briefings in that branch of the military. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) followed by declining to endorse the SPLC as a source.

But it appears that other branches of the U.S. military continue to use SPLC training materials and briefings. Led by the FRC, a coalition of conservative groups—including Judicial Watch— are asking Hagel to end the practice. In a letter to the Defense Secretary, the groups ask that installations stop relying on the SPLC and other non-governmental sources as approved resources for equal opportunity training.

SPLC has routinely sought to smear the reputations of conservatives when they speak out about traditional values, faith, and even when they dare criticize the actions of Islamic extremists. The group is also known to be a vociferous opponent of gun rights.

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