Jacob Tyler recently talked with Pastor Chuck Baldwin for a little background and perspective on why the Southern Poverty Law Center has persistently had him in its sights for nearly a decade.
By Jacob Tyler
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has had conservative Christian Pastor Chuck Baldwin in its sights since at least 2008, labeling him an extremist and cautioning law enforcement to be wary of his supporters, as they’re potentially “domestic terrorists.” Anyone who has spent time in the trenches for the cause of truth is acquainted with the slanderous shenanigans of the SPLC.
The self-proclaimed arbiter of justice and tolerance, defender of civil rights, and hate-group watchdog purports to shine the bright light of truth on the misdeeds of the mythical right-winger ever skulking in the dark, tirelessly scheming to repress people of color in ever new and more imaginative ways. In truth, however, from the SPLC’s perspective, merely possessing a political outlook even slightly to the right of the leftist behemoth is enough to warrant being targeted. In its zealous pursuit of this paranoid agenda, the SPLC attacks and defames even the most dignified and respectable of individuals.
Its focus on Baldwin is one such example. Baldwin, who now lives in Montana, founded the Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla., hosted “Chuck Baldwin Live” for eight years, and is a prolific writer. The “shoot first, ask questions later” approach employed by SPLC co-founder and attorney Morris Dees and his lackeys has invited more than a little criticism throughout the years.
An article in the July/Aug. 2017 issue of Politico Magazine notes: “As Dees navigates the era of Trump, there are new questions arising around a charge that has dogged the group for years: that the SPLC is overplaying its hand, becoming more of a partisan, progressive hit operation than a civil rights watchdog. . . . Critics say the group abuses its position as an arbiter of hatred by labeling legitimate players ‘hate groups’ and ‘extremists’ to keep the attention of its liberal donors and grind a political ax. . . . [I]ts authority to police the boundaries of American political discourse is facing its greatest challenge yet.”
It has gotten so bad that even Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer in a December 2016 speech condemned the SPLC as “defamers and blacklisters.”
AFP recently spoke with Baldwin, who explained the chronology of the SPLC’s focus on him. He first came under fire shortly before beginning his presidential campaign in 2008. “A deputy sheriff came into my office one day and asked if I’d come out to his squad car, where he proceeded to show me on his computer a report that had been issued to law enforcement personnel . . . which identified myself and my friend, Pastor Greg Dixon [an independent Baptist preacher who was a principal founder of the American Coalition of Unregistered Churches and an iconic figure in modern Christian circles] on a watch list of potential government extremists,” Baldwin stated.
When asked by AFP what put him on the “extremist” radar to begin with, Baldwin stated he believed that anyone who takes stands such as those he is known for will not go long without receiving a similar level of attention. The SPLC’s attention has continued intermittently since then. In the past decade, there have been other examples of the SPLC targeting Baldwin.
In 2009 law enforcement officials were instructed in a now infamous February 2009 report titled “The Modern Militia Movement,” prepared by the Missouri Information Analysis Center, to be on the lookout for anyone driving vehicles with bumper stickers promoting the campaigns of Ron Paul, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr, or the Constitution Party’s Chuck Baldwin, asserting there was a tangible possibility that such people were “right-wing extremists.”
In 2010, after Baldwin relocated to Montana, another deputy sheriff showed him a copy of a memo released by a local police lieutenant for other law enforcement officials in the area that once again placed Baldwin on a watch list based on reports being disseminated by the SPLC.
In 2011, Baldwin was targeted yet again by the SPLC shortly after starting a non-501(c)(3) church organization, Liberty Fellowship. Again, he was labeled an extremist.
“I have lived under the cloud of these accusations spawned by the SPLC for all of these years,” Baldwin lamented. “Almost without exception, reporters I encounter will bring up claims leveled against me by the SPLC. For the most part, it seems that they have a political agenda, and for the most part they’re going to stick with what the SPLC has to say. But there are also many who are only interested in my message and support me even more when they hear about the SPLC’s attacks. They’ll look me up and become a supporter as a result of the attacks, so it is a mixed bag of results.”
Perhaps most galling about all of this is that Baldwin, a conservative Christian pastor who advocates for traditional American values, is being routinely targeted and slandered by the SPLC while many left-leaning pastors are given a free hand to foment disinformation and division among the American people, then exalted by the SPLC and the media for doing so. AFP asked Baldwin to comment on this.
“It just goes to show the biased agenda of the SPLC,” he stated. “The organization has a very prejudiced agenda in which people they deem to be outside their political persuasion are targeted for destruction while people that favor their political ideology are given a pass.
“It also serves to spotlight the agenda of the mainstream media, as it follows in lockstep with whatever narrative the SPLC decides to run with—which I feel people are definitely waking up to. This has, of course, had a lot to do with the election of Donald Trump—but the underlying answer is that this is a very biased organization with no interest in truth or honesty with a definite political agenda. That agenda is the politics of destruction. They try to destroy the reputation and character of individuals that oppose them. The real hate mongers here are the SPLC.”
When asked if he felt patriots being targeted by the SPLC had any recourse against the persecution, Baldwin concluded:
“They have to recognize that the MSM [mainstream media] and all its facets is deliberately going to lie to them. Start looking to independent news sources instead. American Free Press has been around for a long time and puts out news that other people will not put out. [Much of] the independent media is truly presenting a balanced view on what’s going on and doing some good, old-fashioned journalism, which is virtually a dead art as far as the MSM is concerned.”
Jacob Tyler is a freelance writer and graphic designer based in Tennessee.