Dear Jim and Linda,
As reported by Fox News' Todd Starnes, AFA was listed alongside domestic hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam during a military training session at Camp Shelby in Mississippi last week.
Let me be very clear. Your AFA does not condone the actions of those like Westboro Baptist Church preacher Fred Phelps and his followers, nor have we ever advocated hatred towards anyone, even those we don’t agree with.
The soldier said he was “completely taken back by this blatant attack not only on the AFA but Christians and our beliefs.” The soldier said a chaplain interrupted the training and repeatedly challenged the instructor’s assertion that AFA is a hate group, but the instructor refused to back down.
Later in the briefing, the soldiers were reportedly told that they could face punishment for participating in organizations that are considered hate groups.
The American Family Association has received numerous accounts of military installations using a list compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which wrongfully identifies and defames AFA.
This mischaracterization of AFA is reprehensible and inexcusable. AFA has many military members who support our ministry and know these accusations are false and misleading.
Ask your members of congress to begin investigating why the Pentagon relies on the extreme left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center as its source for listing “hate groups.”
Tim Wildmon, President
P O Drawer 2440
Tupelo, MS 38803