Evangelical Extremists Rail Against Hate Crimes Bill genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

Stop The Hate

If one reads the propaganda of evangelical extremists, one might think that a hate crimes bill to punish crimes committed upon gay individuals is intended to silence all statements of religious opposition to homosexuality. The right wing rhetoric machine is in full gear to characterize Senator Ted Kennedy's legislation as a virtual "thought police" measure that not only punishes the faithful but also will punish our military because the bill is attached to a defense appropriation and may force the President to sign the bill.

From World Net Daily:

Sen. Edward Kennedy's "hate crimes" plan – feared by Christian leaders as a way to censor biblical condemnations of homosexuality – has been proposed as an amendment to a defense spending bill, a maneuver opponents are calling "shameless" and "manipulative."

The Kennedy plan, which earlier was introduced as separate legislation, would classify gender and sexual orientation as specially protected classes of people under federal law. Opponents say it would require law enforcement personnel to become "thought police" to determine whether a crime already addressed by existing law could be prosecuted under an enhanced standard of "hate crime."

The White House already has suggested the proposal is unneeded and a veto would be in order if it is approved. But Kennedy has proposed inserting it into the defense appropriations plan, which Bush wants to pass.

"The maneuver is one clearly calculated to put the president in the position of ending up vetoing a defense appropriation," Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel told WND.

Joe Glover of the Family Policy Network said the move is "shockingly manipulative."

"It is a shameless attempt to push the homosexual agenda on the American people by exploiting American soldiers who are currently in harm's way around the world," he said.

Just how many cases do we need to cite before America stands up and stops the bill that will criminalize Christianity?" she asked.

"It will criminalize not just those willing to speak the truth and spread the Gospel in the public square, but those pastors, authors, radio hosts and anyone who 'counsels, commands, induces or procures [the commission of a 'hate crime']'," she said.

Rev. Rick Scarborough, president of Vision America, said the plan will "punish Christians for preaching certain biblical principles and lead to pastors being jailed in violation of their First Amendment rights as we have already witnessed in Europe."

"If this bill passes, a pastor who preaches about homosexuality being sin could be prosecuted if someone who has heard his message commits a crime against a homosexual. The implications for conservative biblical pastors who have broadcast ministries are staggering. We cannot allow Christians to be dragged into court for simply fulfilling their biblical mandate of preaching the gospel," said Scarborough, a Southern Baptist pastor who now is participating in a "70 Weeks to Save America" campaign.

"It is clear the enemies of the cross are wickedly shrewd," said Rusty Lee Thomas, of Elijah Ministries.

"Hate crimes legislation that includes sexual orientation is bad law because it criminalizes speech and does nothing to prevent violent crimes. All crimes are motivated by hate. Hate crimes laws will not be used to punish the perpetrator, but will be used to silence people of faith, religious groups, clergy, and those who support traditional moral values," said Staver.

So let me see if I understand the logic of these fanatical fundamentalists. The fact that homosexuals are the victims of violent hate crimes ought not be subject to heightened punishment because the hateful rhetoric of Christians might face scrutiny.

Aren't these the same people who feel that radical Islamic clerics need to be silenced when they suggest that Western civilization is evil? So the bottom line is hate speech is acceptable as long as it fits the doctrine of Christians. Perhaps they should also have state sanctioned authority to open Guantanamo like camps to imprison homosexuals or maybe they prefer the right to execute homosexuals in order to cleanse society of the infidels?

If one were to take this same faulty logic, then wouldn't it be acceptable to accuse those who voice extremist rhetoric against homosexuals of being terrorists’ intent on fomenting violence against gays? Perhaps I simply need to establish a religion so that I can preach hatred towards Christians? Would that allow me to spew whatever venomous animosity and hatred I felt was warranted...no, make that required... by my anti-Christian beliefs?

Frankly, the growing practice of faith based hatred is an issue in need of attention. Look, I have no problem with those who hold religious beliefs that suggest that homosexuality is sinful...just as I am amenable to other religions holding beliefs I find to be little more than fanaticism. The problem arises when religious leaders move beyond just pointing out that their doctrine is opposed to a particular behavior and towards calls for extinguishing those behaviors and characterizing those who practice those behaviors as militant activists with radical agendas who must be silenced.

Specifically, there is nothing radical about homosexuals asking that they not be discriminated against by employers...there is nothing radical about homosexuals wanting the right to visit their partners in the hospital...their is nothing radical about homosexuals wanting the same benefits afforded to committed couples able to exchange marriage vows...their is nothing radical about wanting to be able to walk down the street hand in hand without fear of being assaulted.

If equal rights and equal opportunity are radical concepts in America, then the radicalization of America has already been perpetrated by those who seek to deny such basic rights. This practice of bait and switch being espoused by extremist evangelicals is detestable. Their effort to portray Christians as victims is little more than a sham to couch their own radical actions as family values and to deny their fellow Americans the very same basic rights. Portraying gays as a threat to all they hold sacred is the guise by which they seek to deny homosexuals their fundamental rights and to paint them as militant extremists who are bent on destroying the established order.

The growing practice of faith by division is unacceptable. Instead of focusing on positive and proactive messages, religious leaders have chosen the easy route...they have capitalized on existing hatreds in order to obtain power and line their pockets with the cash that comes from the creation of conflict. They may prefer to call that the practice of Christian values but I doubt Christ would recognize the value of such divisive and deceitful doctrines.

Daniel DiRito | July 17, 2007 | 9:29 AM
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