- In the UK, 7000 citizens signed their name to a petition
to expand hate crime laws. They want the laws to punish anyone who commits
violence because someone looks different. The petition responds to the
murder of a young Goth-dressing woman and her boyfriend in a park.
- The assailants didn't know the girl.
Presumably they attacked her because she was wearing black lipstick. That's
how the argument goes. The thuggish kids who attacked her should get tripled
penalties because their violence was motivated by her weird looks.
- So, it would have been less heinous
had she been an upper class, pearls-wearing babe attacked because she looked
rich? What if she'd been a gorgeous blonde cheerleader and they attacked
her because they weren't getting any? The list goes on forever.
- It is hideously unjust to label the
value of various victims, stiffening penalties for some murders and not
others, for some assaults and not others, etc. Every violent crime is a
tragedy to be redressed. Endlessly add to the list of special "hate
crime" victims, and someday everybody will be on it. Then we'll be
right back where we started: equal law.
- But unjust penalties for violent crimes
aren't the greatest danger of hate crime laws. Their greatest danger is
that they criminalize free speech. They criminalize certain beliefs and
animosities-emotions with which the government has no business meddling.
The government has no more right to say you can't be biased against homosexuals
than to say you can't be biased against professional athletes or workaholics
or overbearing mothers-in-law.
- Hate crime laws were created by the
Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, a Jewish organization committed
to demonizing-and yes, defaming-beliefs and values it opposes. Specifically,
the ADL opposes anti-Israel and anti-homosexual activism and Christian
evangelism. Hate crime laws were not created primarily to respond to violent
crime (which is, obviously, already illegal). They were created to marginalize
and then criminalize certain kinds of speech and "bias"
- The Case at the Lakefront
- Last July in Sacramento, a Fijian died
after slamming his head on the concrete after being punched by an irate
Russian immigrant. The Russian and his family had been picnicking beside
the Fijian at a public lakefront where the islander, Satender Singh, was
dancing in a sexually explicit way and hugging other men.
- "Witnesses told authorities that
the two camps on the shoreline traded insults for hours." Slavic authorities
call it a "street fight," and decry the scapegoating of a 21-year-old
Russian friend who faces 3 years if convicted even though he never threw
a punch. The Russian whose blow led to the death of the Fijian should justly
be convicted of manslaughter. But under California's tripled penalties
for "bias-motivated" crimes, he could spend most of the rest
of his life in prison for his alleged bias against homosexuality.
- LA Times quotes the founder of a Sacramento-based
group that "monitors the religious right." He said, "The
roots of what these guys did to Satender Singh can be traced to what's
being preached in their churches. Some sitting in those pews believe they've
heard it straight from God: that homosexuality is an abomination."
- The Slavic Christian community in California
offers some of the state's most vocal opposition to homosexuality. The
Times article on the story points out that the Russian was "fresh
from morning church services". Many Slavic Christians in California
participate in the Christian group <http://www.watchmenonthewalls.com/>Watchmen
on the Walls. The Watchmen website is available in Russian as well as English.
Its mission states, "Watchmen On The Walls is the international Christian
movement that unites Christian leaders, Christian and social organizations
and aims to protect Christian morals and values in society."
- The Southern Poverty Law Center counts
Watchmen as a "hate group." LA Times notes that, "Using
battle-tinged rhetoric, the Watchmen have called for evangelicals to step
aggressively into the political realm to fight what they see as a gay agenda
threatening the traditional family." Is Watchmen the only group to
use "battle-tinged rhetoric" to try and galvanize political activism?
Are "fundamentalist" Christians the only ones to moralize about
the behavior of others?
- Of course not. But homosexual and hate
law activists (like ADL and SPLC) seize every opportunity to marginalize
evangelical and Christian beliefs. This is one example of using the rhetoric
of "anti-hate" initiatives to blacken the reputations of basic,
long-standing Christian beliefs.
- More and more evangelical leaders must
speak up about the basic injustice of hate crime legislation, recognizing
it deeply threatens their own freedom. Beliefs, thoughts, and words must
not be criminalized-no matter how unpleasant we (or powerful leaders) find
- Harmony Grant writes and edits for National
Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog group.
- Let the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith
teach you how they have saddled 45 states with hate laws capable of persecuting
- Learn how ADL took away free speech in Canada
and wants to steal it now in the U.S. Congress. Watch Rev. Ted Pike's <http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7217700265038533779>Hate
Laws: Making Criminals of Christians at <http://video.google.com>video.google.com.
Purchase this gripping documentary to show at church. Order online at <http://www.truthtellers.org/>www.truthtellers.org
for $24.90, DVD or VHS, by calling 503-853-3688, or at the address below.
- TALK SHOW HOSTS: Interview Rev. Ted Pike on
this subject. Call (503) 631-3808.