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Hate Crime Laws Gone Bad

 
 
baddog1
 
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 11:21 am
As received by me on May 2, 2007:

May 1, 2007

In George Orwell's classic novel 1984, the government Thought Police constantly spies on citizens to make sure they are not thinking rebellious thoughts. Thought crimes are severely punished by Big Brother.

1984 was intended as a warning against totalitarian governments that enslave and control their citizens. Never have we needed this warning more urgently than now, because America's Thought Police are knocking on your door.

Last week the House Judiciary Committee, egged on by radical homosexual groups, passed what can only be called a Thought Crimes bill. It's called the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. But this bill is not about hate. It's not even about crime. It's about outlawing peaceful speech -- speech that asserts that homosexual behavior is morally wrong.

Some say we need this law to prevent attacks on homosexuals. But we already have laws against assaults on people and property. Moreover, according to the FBI, crimes against homosexuals in the United States have dropped dramatically in recent years. In 2005, out of 863,000 cases of aggravated assault, just 177 cases were crimes of bias against homosexuals -- far less than even 1 percent.

Another problem is that in places where hate crimes laws have been passed, hate crimes have been defined to include verbal attacks -- and even peaceful speech. The Thought Police have already prosecuted Christians under hate crimes laws in England, Sweden, Canada, and even in some places in the United States.

If this dangerous law passes, pastors who preach sermons giving the biblical view of homosexuality could be prosecuted. Christian businessmen who refuse to print pro-gay literature could be prosecuted. Groups like Exodus International, which offer therapy to those with unwanted same-sex attraction, could be shut down.

In classic 1984 fashion, peaceful speech will be redefined as a violent attack worthy of punishment.

This is the unspoken goal of activist groups. We know this because during the debate over the bill last week, Congressman Mike Pence (R) of Indiana offered a Freedom of Religion amendment to this hate crimes bill. It asked that nothing in this law limit the religious freedom of any person or group under the Constitution. The committee refused to adopt it. It also refused to adopt amendments protecting other groups from hate crimes -- like members of the military, who are often targets of verbal attacks and spitting. They also shot down amendments that would protect the homeless and senior citizens, also often targeted by criminals. Nothing doing, the committee said -- the only group they wanted to protect: homosexuals.

Clearly, the intent of this law is not to prevent crime, but to shut down freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of thought. Its passage would strike at the very heart of our democracy.

The full Congress may vote on this bill as early as this week. Unless you want Big Brother telling you what to say, what to think, and what to believe, I urge you to contact your congressman immediately, urging him or her to vote against this bill. If you visit the BreakPoint website http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp you'll find more information about this radical law.

If we do nothing, 1984 will no longer be fiction, and Big Brother will be watching you and me -- ready to punish the "wrong" thoughts.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,186 • Replies: 9
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Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 11:34 am
What provision in this proposed "Thought Crimes" bill outlaws peaceful speech?

Where are the citations to the alleged "hate crime" laws that include peaceful speech in the definition of the crime? How many preachers have been dragged from their pulpits and arrested for hate crimes as a result of all these alleged overly broad, unconstitutional laws that criminalize peaceful speech?

The article has no substance. It cries wolf.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 11:38 am
Nice to see you Deb.

Amazing how things have turned out these days

Cycloptichorn
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 11:48 am
The text of the bill can be found here.

baddog1 wrote:
But this bill is not about hate. It's not even about crime. It's about outlawing peaceful speech -- speech that asserts that homosexual behavior is morally wrong.

The bill says nothing about speech. It provides for governmental assistance to local and state law enforcement authorities in dealing with "hate crimes," and it adds a couple of prohibited "hate crimes" to the list. Those crimes, however, require that the victim suffer bodily injury -- there is nothing there that outlaws pure speech acts.

An argument can be made that the concept of "hate crimes" is unconstitutional, or that congress oversteps its bounds by enacting these laws under its commerce power, but it defies logic to suggest that this bill would outlaw peaceful speech.
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Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 12:04 pm
You are right Joe. The bill does not criminalize speech. Despite the unsubstantiated cries of the constitutional doomsday people, the bill provides this rule of construction:

SEC. 11. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.
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baddog1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 02:07 pm
Debra Law wrote:
You are right Joe. The bill does not criminalize speech. Despite the unsubstantiated cries of the constitutional doomsday people, the bill provides this rule of construction:

SEC. 11. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.


Of course it doesn't outwardly prohibit "free speech" - that is the premise behind the concerns! As in most hidden-legislation; one must consider the big-picture:

"The Davis amendment is nothing more than a fig leaf which does not address religious freedom concerns. The Davis amendment does not expand or contract the protections of the First Amendment. The Supreme Court already has decided that hate crimes laws are constitutional under the First Amendment, and upheld the criminal conviction of a person for "hate speech" when coupled with a violent act committed by other persons. Wisconsin v. Mitchell, 508 U.S. 476 (1993). The Davis amendment does not change the Supreme Court's decision, nor does it provide religious speakers or groups any additional protection from criminal prosecution, chilling involvement in the criminal justice system or potential civil liability. Religious speakers and groups will be subject to potential criminal liability under this bill."
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 02:35 pm
baddog1 wrote:
Of course it doesn't outwardly prohibit "free speech" - that is the premise behind the concerns!

Indeed. The concerns of people about a bill outlawing speech that doesn't actually outlaw speech are absolutely meritless. They need to stop worrying and get a hobby, like collecting stamps or knitting or denouncing apostates.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 03:54 pm
Christian groups are leading the charge to minimize the penalties for violent acts.

It just doesn't make sense.
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 05:35 pm
baddog1 wrote:
Debra Law wrote:
You are right Joe. The bill does not criminalize speech. Despite the unsubstantiated cries of the constitutional doomsday people, the bill provides this rule of construction:

SEC. 11. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.


Of course it doesn't outwardly prohibit "free speech" - that is the premise behind the concerns! As in most hidden-legislation; one must consider the big-picture:

"The Davis amendment is nothing more than a fig leaf which does not address religious freedom concerns. The Davis amendment does not expand or contract the protections of the First Amendment. The Supreme Court already has decided that hate crimes laws are constitutional under the First Amendment, and upheld the criminal conviction of a person for "hate speech" when coupled with a violent act committed by other persons. Wisconsin v. Mitchell, 508 U.S. 476 (1993). The Davis amendment does not change the Supreme Court's decision, nor does it provide religious speakers or groups any additional protection from criminal prosecution, chilling involvement in the criminal justice system or potential civil liability. Religious speakers and groups will be subject to potential criminal liability under this bill."


Your criticism has no merit. So long as "religious speakers and groups" refrain from committing violent crimes, they don't have to worry about their prior statements being used against them to prove motive or intent. Problem solved.
0 Replies
 
Mills75
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 08:21 pm
This is similar to another recent thread which began with a post asserting that recent California legislation, SB 777, might very well result in a ban on the terms 'mom' and 'dad' in California public schools if passed. Of course, the bill does nothing of the sort nor does it have any language that implies such (with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity, the bill only merely adds them to the list of human attributes protected from discrimination in schools).
0 Replies
 
 

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