According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s HateWatch column, the Traditional Values Coalition is raising money by claiming that the 2009 passage of the Matthew Shepard Act outlawed the Bible as “hate literature.”
The Christian Seniors Association (CSA), a front group of the TVC, recently sent out a fundraising letter claiming that the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA) of 2009, which added sexual orientation to the classes protected by federal hate crime legislation, “makes the Bible illegal ‘Hate Literature.’” The letter further claims that “under this law, criticism of homosexuality is deemed discrimination – just like racism,” and ultimately, the intent of the law is to “outlaw Christianity.” Scary stuff. Except that none of it is true.
The SPLC points out that the good Christians at the TVC have a long track record of shady fundraising, including one mailed campaign that pretended to be from the federal government.
The CSA – which bills itself as “America’s Christian alternative to the far-Left AARP” – has a history of fundraising letters that prey on unfounded fears and, in some cases, even mimic government documents. In 2006, the CSA mailed out bogus “U.S. Taxpayer Census” forms. The packet included a survey about Social Security and dark warnings about politicians raiding the program for personal gain. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the mailing did not explicitly point out that money donated to the CSA would go directly to the TVC.
The head of the CSA is married to Andrea Lafferty, the daughter of Lou Sheldon, who is the founder of the certified hate group, the Traditional Values Coalition. Just keeping that ill-gotten money in the family.