Daily Archives: October 27, 2008

Hate speech laws are dangerous

Hate speech is a dangerous thing. And I don’t necessarily mean speaking it.

One of the issues our government (both state and federal) continues to debate is hate crime bills. Fortunately for us, most of the serious ones have been defeated. You can bet they’ll be back, though—bonehead legislators in Arkansas have tried to pass this sort of bill nine times. NINE TIMES! If Obama is elected, they may very well pass!

Am I the only one who thinks this is not only a waste of taxpayer money, but a very dangerous thing?

The first question to come to mind is why do we need to add the “hate” part onto our current body of laws? After all, a crime is a crime is a crime. If a guy shoots his next door neighbor, will the neighbor be less dead if the shooter was filled with hate? Is the neighbor more dead? Is the killer more murderer?

Hate and emotions cover such broad spectrum of judgmental issues, what is hatred for one is not for the other. How can you put that into a law? Orwell knew, of course.

What about all our other laws? Will we also add emotional aspects into law? “I’m sorry officer, I was so filled with hate that I was speeding.” Tack on an extra $50 for hate speeding. Or maybe get a deduction if we’re filled with happy thoughts.

Free speech is one of the biggest issues on which this country was founded (that and freedom of religions from governmental interference). And, the biggest fear surrounding these hate bills should be for Christians.

Canada has already tossed several preachers in jail for preaching a religious belief straight out of the Bible. The preachers in question were preaching what the Bible said on homosexuality and were tossed in jail under the accusation that they were spewing hate speech.

Already in the U.S., Catholics in Massachusetts have stopped their adoption operations because the state told them if they didn’t place kids in homosexual homes, they would not be allowed to receive a license.

“All that matters are the delicate feelings of members of federally protected groups,” said Michael Marcavage, director of RepentAmerica.com. Marcavage said that truth is tossed out the window in hate crime trials. “A homosexual can claim emotional damage from hearing Scripture that describes his lifestyle as an abomination.” Then, that person can press charges and the ‘hater’ can be fined thousands of dollars.

That could potentially make the Bible hate literature and then preaching from it would be hate speech.

One opponent said the bills “attempt to get into the mind of the offender and penalize him for his thoughts. Are the bill’s proponents going to now lobby for a Federal Department of Thought Enforcement?”

In fact, California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled not long ago in the matter of Good News Employees Association v. Hicks that the municipal employers can completely censor the terms “natural family,” “marriage” and “family values” as hate speech. The Court wrote, “the district court correctly held that [the City of Oakland] had a more substantial interest in maintaining the efficient operation of their office than appellants had in their speech, appellants cannot establish a viable free speech claim.” The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that an agency in Arkansas cannot ban gays from adopting, saying there is no proof of negative consequences when there are hundreds of studies showing there is.

The Wall Street Journal even weighed in on hate crime laws when they said, “Like all restrictions on free speech, bans of “racist” or “homophobic” expression rests on a slippery slope.  Some Christian denominations believe that homosexuality is a sin. … But when people can be given additional time in jail for what they were thinking while committing a crime, we are approaching rule by a thought police.”

We often read columnists who decry Orwell’s 1984, but this is getting far too close for comfort. The thing we have to realize is that this is happening here, in the United States, in our country, in our state. And it will only get worse if Obama is elected.

And that scares me.

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