H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, was introduced in the Senate Tuesday April 28th, and is slated to reach the House floor for a vote Wednesday. The bill would expand existing hate-crimes law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
David Limbaugh, in his TownHall article, showed cause for concern when he had this to say:
Color me, also, alarmist, but I think the main purpose of this bill is to demonize and criminalize thought, especially the politically incorrect belief that homosexual behavior is either abnormal or sinful. It is to make an emphatic societal statement that this belief constitutes “hate” and possibly to lay the groundwork for outlawing speech expressing this belief, including from the pulpit.
I hardly think I’m being hysterical here. The practice of criminalizing peaceful expression of this belief has already occurred in other nations — including Sweden, Canada and Great Britain — and even in our own Philadelphia.
New York City authorities ordered the removal of billboards — citing an anti-harassment ordinance — that displayed various biblical versions of Leviticus 18:22, such as the New International Version’s rendering, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari reportedly publicly condemned the language in the displayed verse as “mean-spirited” and “hate speech.”
Others believe the warnings being raised around the proposed bill are not warranted, Trina Hoaks of the Atheist Examiner had this to say in an April 21st article:
As is to be expected, certain evangelical Christians are focusing on the “sexual orientation” portion of the bill, which only proves their hatred and allows their true motives to shine through. They are opposing this bill and encouraging others to do so by inciting irrational fears and beliefs in people. (Sound familiar?)
They said “[they] believe prosecutors and anti-Christian groups will use loop holes in the proposed legislation to muzzle the church from speaking out on Biblical standards of morality which are shared by most Americans. Unnecessary lawsuits will bring a chilling effect to the free speech and religious liberty of our churches and of our members.” Actually, there is little chance of a “loop hole” that will permit this to come to pass.
Consider, if you will, what they fail to point out – Section 10 – The Rule of Construction (the last item of the bill) says, “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.”
And, to further drive home my belief that this point is being omitted intentionally from their conversations is that when I pointed this out to one of them via the internet, my comment was promptly deleted.
Gotta love those righteous Christians!
Warnings to be taken seriously? Or fear-mongering to disguise hatred? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments section below.
Posted in Law & Politics, News Tagged with: atheism, Atheist Examiner, christians, congress, David Limbaugh, hate crimes bill, homosexuality, TownHall, Trina Hoaks