D. James Kennedy Ministries Pres. on Documentary Critiquing SPLC: Hope to See 'Reformation' of Liberal Group

Profits of Hate
The D. James Kennedy Ministries documentary "Profits of Hate." |

D. James Kennedy Ministries has recently released a documentary aimed at critiquing the recent actions and agenda of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In recent years, the SPLC has garnered controversy for its designation of numerous socially conservative organization as hate groups. Critics have argued that their labeling has inspired multiple acts of violence against groups like the Family Research Council.

Titled "Profits of Hate," the special program was broadcast on various stations earlier this month and will be aired again on various local television stations in September.

In the meantime, it's available online and on DVD format that includes bonus content in addition to the original nearly 30-minute long program.

southern poverty law center

D. James Kennedy Ministries President Frank Wright, who hosted the documentary, told The Christian Post that the "ultimate aim here would be the reformation of the Southern Poverty Law Center."

"They did some really good work in the early 1970s and they really have drifted from their historical mission," said Kennedy.

"And so, I'd love for the Southern Poverty Law Center to repent of their folly and return to the good work they did at first."

The Christian Post talked with Wright about the documentary, its origins and the message he hopes to convey with it. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

CP: Why did you decide to release this documentary?

Wright: We've been planning to do this for almost two years. I arrived here two and a half years ago, we had a strategic planning meeting. We sat down and said 'what are some issues that need to be addressed that represent significant existential threats to religious freedom and to Christian ministries like ours that try to proclaim the Gospel faithfully?' And the Southern Poverty Law Center was at the top of our list.

The reason it was at the top of our list was their attempt to redefine historic Christian teaching as hate speech is so insidious and had the potential for having such a damaging effect on the cause of Christ that we put it at the top of our list.

CP: You mentioned in the documentary that the SPLC never apologized for their rhetoric following the 2012 shooting, yet they did release a statement denouncing the shooter's actions. What did you find lacking in their statement?

Wright: The first thing lacking is their unwillingness to own up to the fact that their tactic of defining people's ideas as hate is the issue here. There are always the nut jobs on both sides of the political spectrum that will go out and do violent acts, and incitement is a difficult thing to draw a line as close as you like.

But, where they were deficient is not owning up to the fact that they call hate anything that departs from a progressive liberal socialist ideology. If you support traditional marriage, you're a hater. If you support the sanctity of human life, you're a hater. But also if you support immigration reform, you're a hater. If you're concerned about Islamic radicalism, you're a hater.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has literally descended into nothing more than an attack arm of the liberal leftist agenda in America.

CP: What has been the response to your documentary so far?

Wright: In terms of initial feedback, it's been very, very positive for the simple reason that many people said they had no idea. For those who had heard about the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate map, they had no idea that the criteria that the Southern Poverty Law Center uses for determining who gets on the hate map are things like historic Christian teaching and conservative principles.

That part, so far of the special and the DVD, was very gratifying because that's what we had hoped to see happen would be essentially the unmasking of the SPLC. Twenty or 30 years ago, we did a number of specials doing the same thing to the ACLU, because the ACLU had a reputation for being 'hey, we're for civil liberties, right?' But over time they became less and less in favor of the civil liberties of people like us. So we wanted people to understand what was really going on with them at that time and we want the same thing now with the SPLC.

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

Free Religious Freedom Updates

Join thousands of others to get the FREEDOM POST newsletter for free, sent twice a week from The Christian Post.

Most Popular

Free Religious Freedom Updates

A religious liberty newsletter that is a must-read for people of faith.

More In U.S.