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Religious Reich leaders say it is anti-Christian to oppose hate

Friday, June 19 2009 @ 08:35 AM CDT

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Ron Moore

In the war of ideas those who believe only they have Truth on their side often find they provide the best ammunition for their opponents. This is certainly true in the hysterical reaction on the extreme religious right’s opposition to hate crime legislation. They worry that prohibiting the encouragement of violence against certain groups will have a "chilling effect" on religious free speech.



Majority Leader Harry Reid has reaffirmed his plans to have the Senate take up a so-called hate-crimes bill before Congress' August recess.

In a Monday news conference, Reid, D-Nev., called hate crimes "a unique brand of evil."

"A violent act may physically hurt just a single victim and cause grief for loved ones," he said. "But hate crimes do more. They distress entire communities."

In response, Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said Reid has it backwards. A hate-crimes law, she said, could distress entire communities – particularly Christian churches.

"As we've seen in other nations where such laws are passed, they can have a chilling effect on the free speech of those who would simply share from the Bible God's views on issues such as homosexuality," she explained. "Hate-crimes laws are unnecessary in a civil society like ours based on the rule of law.

"All crimes are hate crimes," she added, "To give special status to certain groups of people allows courts to reach beyond punishing people for the illegal acts they commit and judge them for what they may or may not be thinking as they commit those acts."

As for Reid's pledge to push for a vote on a hate-crimes bill before the end of summer, Horne said its old news.

"That's nothing new," she said. "What we do see here is that Democrats in Congress who are pushing this legislation forward really just have a solution looking for a problem."

The religious right seems to believe that opposing hatred of gays may remove the stigma they wish society to brand on certain individuals. In a bizarre video found here, Gary Bauer explains that hate crime laws are fronts for advancing the “homosexual agenda”. He even trots out a black minister who explains that in the race to be oppressed gays have nothing on African-Americans. It would appear that American fundamentalist right wing Christians have added an 11th Commandment: Thou shalt hate gay people above all others.

http://www.examiner.com

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