SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 17, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), a religious liberties defense organization, is demanding apologies and retractions from television and newspaper media outlets after PJI was listed alongside extremist white supremacist groups and linked to recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. No reporters reached out to PJI to verify their stories, which repeated information from the incendiary, discredited and far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The SPLC’s false accusation that PJI is a hate group is calculated to provoke contempt and potential violence against PJI. PJI has never promoted or engaged in acts of violence against any person or group. The work of PJI includes the defense of victims of intolerance against individuals and institutions because of their faith. The case files of PJI’s attorneys include the representation of immigrants fleeing religious persecution from Asia and the Middle East. During the last year lawyers for the organization have fought hospitals and government officials—in court—to prevent the removal of life-support from two children of African-American descent and a construction worker who is a Mexican immigrant. SPLC’s attempts to associate PJI with violent racist hate groups is incendiary and dangerous.
“It is unacceptable and inexcusable to compare the First Amendment work of a legitimate religious freedom defense group to abhorrent White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis. PJI believes in mutual respect and tolerance. We have absolutely nothing in common with hate groups working to spread discord and violence, as has recently manifested in Charlottesville.” said Brad Dacus, president and founder of PJI.
The SPLC is an extremist organization that creates vitriol and division instead of tolerance, dialogue, and understanding by attacking non-profit organizations like PJI for helping to defend those who cannot defend themselves. Further, in recent years, SPLC has created an enemies list which include nonviolent and law abiding individuals and organizations who, as a matter of conscience, simply promote biblical values on sexual ethics.
By projecting the acts of violent racist extremists onto PJI, SPLC creates the conditions for further persecution and invites violence against PJI. For 20 years, PJI has defended religious freedom, parental rights, and the sanctity of all human life and we will continue to do so no matter the fabrications and defamation by SPLC and their allies.