(CNSNews.com) – Bishop E.W. Jackson,
called the Southern Poverty Law Center’s classification of Dr. Ben Carson as an extremist “racism at its worst,” adding that the SPLC is “no longer about helping poor people, they’re now about being ideological police.”
“When an organization like the Southern Poverty Law Center decides that a black man who doesn’t agree with them can be slandered the way they slandered him, what it tells me is that there is a certain level of racism that they are operating under,” Bishop Jackson said Wednesday at an anti-bigotry conference at the National Press Club.
“I say that for this reason,” he continued. “To me, this is no different than what maybe slave masters or segregationists would’ve said -- you know, some black people are okay as long as they do what we expect them to do and they think the way we expect them to think; in other words, they’re the good ones and so apparently if you’re not one of the good ones then we’re going to try to destroy you, and that to me that is racism at its worst.”
In October 2014, the SPLC posted an "extremist file" on Carson because of his conservatives views and his criticism of President Obama's polices. But after coming under "intense criticism," SPLC removed the file because "it did not meet our standards." The group also apologized to Carson, but Bishop Jackson suggested the apology was not sincere:
“They should be celebrating someone like Ben Carson, and instead they’re saying he’s not one of the good ones. Now they withdrew their labeling (of) him as an extremist and then they went on to list all the reasons why he’s an extremist -- so...what they took back with one hand they then reached out with the other and slapped him again.”
Jackson noted that the Southern Poverty Law Center's name “derives from the idea that they’re supposed to be people who are concerned about poverty and about helping minority people.” He called SPLC’s labeling of Carson ironic, since the doctor “grew up taught by a welfare mother who couldn’t even read but instilled values in her son such that he became academically outstanding and went on to become one of the renowned surgeons.”
“To say that we don’t care how many children you saved, we don’t care how much of a pioneer you’ve been in the field of medicine, we don’t care what background you came from, all we know is because you don’t agree with us we are going to attack you -- what that says to me is that the Southern Poverty Law Center needs to drop poverty from their name, because they’re no longer about helping poor people, they’re now about being ideological police, that if you don’t agree with us, we are going to come after you. And labeling someone an extremist is dangerous, it’s very dangerous.”
Jackson noted that SPLC also labeled the conservative Family Research Council (FRC) as extremists: "And while we may not be able to draw a direct correlation, not too long after that someone went to the Family Research Council headquarters with the intent of killing everybody in the building. We shouldn’t be throwing these labels around this way, and when we do so, when they do so, they put Dr. Ben Carson and his family at risk and so this has got to stop. Christians cannot be put in this kind of position,” he emphasized.
“They attacked Ben Carson primarily because he had the audacity to say that as a Christian he believes that marriage is a union between one man and one woman,” Jackson said. “To call a man an extremist simply because he has expressed a biblical view of marriage is really beyond compare and this kind of thing has absolutely got to stop. It’s got to stop.”
CNSNews.com asked Bishop Jackson about anti-Christian bigotry and what Christians can do to combat it.
“Well I believe that what’s behind it ultimately is a spiritual battle -- of course, as a pastor, we see these things as spiritual. But beyond that there’s also the issue of an agenda by the far-left political community and Christianity, and Christians are in their way. We simply cannot as a matter of conscience support marriage as a union between anything other than one man and one woman, so we’re in their way. We have to stand up for the sacredness of human life, so we’re in their way.
“So we’re a big target for them because they know that if they can silence the church, intimidate the church, shut down the church as they’re trying to do all the time with various ordinances that they try to use to include churches so that you must hire gays, you must compromise your own values. If they can shut the church down they have eliminated what they probably see as their biggest enemy, so that’s part of it.
“Churches have to speak up, they have to stand up, they have to let their voices be heard. As I’ve heard so many say, everyone’s coming out of the closet these days, churches have to come out of the closet, the closets of their sanctuaries and they need to stand up for what they know to be right.
“This is something we understand that the world doesn’t understand or give us credit for,” he continued. “We’re not interested in killing anybody or hurting anybody but we have to stand before God one day and give an account for what we’ve done and we’re simply trying to be true to what we believe He requires of us. We want to do that with love, we want to do that with integrity, but we have to do it, so churches have got to stand up.”