The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Is the Bible ‘Hate Speech’?

Posted on | February 22, 2019 | 1 Comment


Trigger warning: Homophobia and slut-shaming.

“There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.”
Deuteronomy 23:17 (KJV)

What would happen if a student started quoting the King James Bible in an American university classroom nowadays? It’s frightening to imagine the riots that would probably ensue, with masked Antifa smashing windows and purple-hair fat girls marching around with protest signs.

We are living in an age of decadence and depravity, and Christianity is now so counter-cultural that any teenage rebel looking to cause trouble just needs to keep his Bible handy. It’s easy to joke about the insanity of the Left, but we must remember that Crazy People Are Dangerous.

Floyd Lee Corkins had a pistol and planned to kill everybody at the Family Research Center in 2012. He might have done it, had it not been for the heroic courage of Leo Johnson. That event was foremost in my mind Wednesday when the Southern Poverty Law Center issued its latest “Hate Map.” Make no mistake — if you disagree with the SPLC’s left-wing agenda, they want you dead. The whole point of their annual “Hate Map” is to dehumanize the people listed, to make them targets of reprisals (see “The Terrifying Rise of Financial Blacklisting,” by Allum Bokhari). If you become a dot on the SPLC’s “Hate Map,” it could cost you your life.


Years ago, I started my journalism career at the Cobb News Chronicle, a weekly paper in Austell, Georgia, that has since gone out of business. Our circulation was in the South Cobb area — Austell, Mableton and Powder Springs — and I got paid $4.50 an hour, including my Wednesday duties driving a van to deliver the paper on a route that took me up past the mill in Clarkdale to Powder Springs. In those days, McEachern High School in Powder Springs was a phenomenal force in football, having installed the “Chinese Bandits” offense of the Delaware wing-T, and so I knew that community very well. Growing up in nearby Lithia Springs — in eastern Douglas County, just across the county line from Austell — that whole area was my old stomping grounds. Well, imagine my surprise this week when I clicked on the SPLC map for “Anti-LGBT Hate Groups” . . .


That dot on the map is American Vision, a Christian conservative group I’d never heard of, but my curiosity was aroused, and I began researching. Research is a habit of mine, you know. Unlike a lot of journalists, I’m not content to regurgitate whatever propaganda is manufactured by the machinery of media hype — that wasn’t the way my editors taught me back in the day. So I started digging into everything I could find about American Vision and realized they are a very familiar sort of latter-day Calvinists — Rushdoony, “theonomy,” “dominion,” etc. — with a strong libertarian streak. If you know who Joe Morecraft is (he preached the sermon at Larry McDonald‘s funeral), you recognize this kind of hard-core Presbyterianism, which is not remotely as scary as the SPLC might have you think. The current president of American Vision has a Ph.D. in theology and has written several books, and it occurred to me — as it apparently never occurred to any other reporter in America this week — to give Dr. Joel McDurmon a call at his office:

Citizens of Powder Springs, Georgia, probably have no idea they are a dot on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual “Hate Map,” which was published this week and achieved its purpose, i.e., generating scary headlines: “Hate group count hits 20-year high amid rise in white supremacy, report says” (USA Today), “U.S. Hate Groups Rose 30 Percent In Recent Years, Watchdog Group Reports” (NPR), and “Trump ‘fear-mongering’ fuels rise of U.S. hate groups to record: watchdog” (Reuters). The journalists who supply the SPLC with this kind of free publicity seldom if ever bother to dig down into the details of these annual reports, so it’s unlikely that USA Today readers or NPR listeners in Powder Springs are aware that one of these “hate groups” has made their town a dot on the map.
Located in the prosperous Cobb County suburbs of Atlanta, Powder Springs has more than tripled its population in the 30-odd years since I worked there as a young newspaper reporter. However, I had no idea there was a “hate group” in Powder Springs until I clicked on the SPLC’s latest map and found that the town of 14,000 people is home to American Vision, a small 501(c)3 “Biblical Worldview Ministry” currently led by Dr. Joel McDurmon, author of such books as God Versus Socialism: A Biblical Critique of the New Social Gospel (2009) and Restoring America: One County at a Time (2012). A theologian by training, McDurmon’s views can perhaps be most easily summarized as Calvinist and libertarian, and the question is: Why is this Christian non-profit organization with an office in Powder Springs labeled an “Anti-LGBT Hate Group” by the SPLC?
“Merely because we have always stood by the Bible’s position on homosexuality,” McDurmon told me in a phone interview the day the latest “Hate Map” was published. . . .

You can read the rest of my column at The American Spectator (which got linked today by Professor Reynolds at Instapundit — thanks).




One Response to “Is the Bible ‘Hate Speech’?”

  1. If All You See… » Pirate's Cove
    February 23rd, 2019 @ 2:00 pm

    […] blog of the day is The Other McCain, with a post on the Bible being considered “hate […]