Why hasn't anyone taken out their frustration at the real hate groups, your neo-Nazis, skinheads and Klansmen? Well, those guys would shoot back and be happy to kill the folks that started the fight. One only messes with groups like that with military-level firepower or a SWAT team at minimum.
A Christian conservative group? They won't be packing AK-47s in their office and will merely subdue an attacker if they can; while the security guard at Ted Haggard's old church killed a gunman in defense of her church-mates, the FRC guard tackled the shooter rather than killing him in a shootout. Turning the other cheek is the default value where possible.
Thus, the hate-group label that the SPRC put out on theocons like the FRC wasn't a secularist fatwa; well, in the sense that fatwa means decree/ruling in Arabic, yes, but not a theological hit order as we normally use the term stateside. Morris Dees isn't M giving liberal James Bonds their licence to kill.
That's why I'm not thrilled with FRC boss Tony Perkins taking the low road yesterday-
"Let me be clear that Floyd Corkins was responsible for firing the shot yesterday," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told reporters in Washington about the suspect. "But Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations hate groups because they disagree with them on public policy."
Perkins said the SPLC "should be held accountable for their reckless use of terminology that is leading to the intimidation and what the FBI here has categorized as an act of domestic terrorism."
That second paragraph should have done the job. The SPLC was guilty of term-inflation when they took the "hate group" label that they previously reserved for your Klan-Nazi-skinhead types and applied it to a wide swath of theocons. While some targets, like the AFA, do have a level of bile towards liberals that verges on hatred, merely disagreeing with the trend to normalize homosexuality in various ways isn't "hate" as the word is usually used.
However, what the SPLC did wasn't declaring open season on conservatives. Most folks in that ideological quadrant have a pacifist and anti-gun streak and wouldn't stomach putting a hit on even their arch-enemies in the political sphere. That's good, since the bile that was flowing towards the FRC and other beneficiaries of Chick-fil-A donations (only 1000 to the FRC, as it turns out) was rather thick.
I wasn't old enough to get a good handle on the protests of the 60s as they were happening, but the emotions on the left today seem roughly as high as those of that era. The classic liberal protestors of the 60s were largely peaceful, but they had a few armed radicals as outliers. One can only hope we don't get anti-theocon analogues of the Weathermen or SLA.
Until then, Mr. Perkins has returned the SPLC's hyperbole, which isn't helpful.