Two local churches labeled "hate groups" by civil rights organization

Southern Poverty Law Center
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 11:26pm

Two local religious groups are under fire for allegedly being "hate groups" and it isn't the first time they're received that label.

For the fourth year in a row, Tom Brown Ministries in El Paso and Aggressive Christianity in Berino, New Mexico have been listed as "hate groups" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based non-profit civil rights organization.

SPLC argues Bishop Tom Brown's group uses vicious words to put gay people down, and that's why the organization has labeled them "a hate group."

"Brown likens homosexuality to incest and bestiality, which is quite an extreme statement to say the least," said Mark Potok, a Senior Fellow at SPLC.

In an online article called, "Homosexuality: Its Cause and Cure," written and posted by Brown on his group's website, the Bishop argues homosexuality is "an emotional, psychological disorder brought on early in childhood."

Brown refused to comment on the SPLC report on camera and referred NewsChannel 9 to another online article he wrote in response to the report.

In the article, Brown denies hating gays and claims he's being singled out by SPLC because he fought to end special health benefits to homosexuals.

"Teach people about what the 1st amendment of the US Constitution says, and what it doesn't say, and it doesn't give you the right to legislate your moral or religious beliefs," said David Marcus with the Join Us For Justice organization in El Paso.

Marcus argues Brown also crosses the line with his teachings when he tries to make his beliefs public policy.

Meanwhile, the SPLC also listed the Aggressive Christianity group in Berino a "hate group" for similar reasons.

On their website, Aggressive Christianity says homosexuality is "a death cult belief system which victimizes multitudes through AIDS" and a "plague of gross darkness and sexual sins."

The group is also accused of being anti-Islam.

Local4News reached out the group and didn't get a response.

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