In April of this year, the House of Representatives voted on and passed a legislation in the interest of banning hate crimes against homosexuals. The Senate is up next for a similar bill, and Christians are freaking the eff out. Who can blame them? Groups like Westboro Baptist Church base their whole schtick on the fact that homosexuality is so against Christianity that it makes bridges collapse and levies break.
Protected activities include “the exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment and peaceful picketing or demonstration,” according to the legislation. The bill also states that no one can be prosecuted solely for expressing racial, religious, political, or other beliefs.
However, the bill adds that “speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence” is not constitutionally protected. That sentence is alarming to conservative Christian groups such as Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, who say the law would severely hamper Christians’ freedom to address homosexuality in sermons, radio programs, and other public venues.
What kind of crap are these people planning that a legislative bill banning violence and violence-related activities is going to disrupt how they deal with homosexuals? Apparently they can still blast fire and brimstone from the pulpit, not that they would have stopped anyway. According to a Focus on the Family representative, a church member who goes out and commits a crime against a gay person leaves the pastor of the church open to prosecution as well. And here I thought Christianity was supposed to be about loving fellow man [no pun intended], acceptance and forgiveness… If that’s the case, shouldn’t pastors be teaching their flock not to go out and recreate the Matthew Shepard case? Instead they’re shaking in their robes over what might happen if one of their members does what they’ve been preaching about for eons.
According to [Congressmen Louie Gohmert, R-Texas] if a religious leader teaches â€œthat homosexuality is wrong and someone goes out and commits a crime of violence then [the religious leader] can be arrested for inducing that person to do it and under existing Federal Law you are as guilty as the one who committed the act of violence.â€
Dobson then quipped in response, â€œSo much for the 1st amendment.â€
I’m not one for censorship, but these people are teaching hatred. They are teaching it to people who they know are likely to act upon it, and that is a statement coming from a government official.
The bill does not adequately protect Christians from gay activists.
Out of curiosity, I googled “gay activists attack church,” as I’ve never heard anything about a bunch of gay guys or a bunch of lesbians inflicting the kind of hatred on church goers that they have received from them. First of all, the only articles on the first page are by religious organizations – I see no news or legal articles on the matter. Secondly, the main article that popped up and was posted by more than one of the search results was this, in which a self-proclaimed radical group called Bash Back infiltrated a Catholic service by waving a rainbow flag and pulling fire alarms. Every way of life and every philosophy has extremists. If churches only have an anarchist group to worry about as far as interruptions in their way of living, they’re doing well. Gays, lesbians and transexuals have every religion, extremist or not, scrutinizing them, considering them lesser people and, in some cases, acting out against them in violent displays.
This bill is a fantastic thing, and I hope it passes with flying colors. It’s meant to protect the livelihoods of people who have been discriminated against for far too long, not just take the “fun” out of religion. However, the religious should feel that it’s directed slightly towards them. Frankly, if it weren’t for them, the bill would likely not be needed. Not much good can come from the soapbox mentality.