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Monday, 16 November 2009

Bigots out in force

Hate crime, I know, can open a whole can of worms – not the crime, but the idea. What constitutes a hate crime? Shouldn’t all crime be treated equally?

However, if this writer is correct, then religionists want the idea of hate crime to apply to all but one particular community.

You’ve guessed it. Gays.

And this is due to happen today, when, writes Carrie Poppy, “pastors and other clergymen (yes, clergyMEN. Get your feminist head out of the gutter.) will be congregating at our nation’s [the USA’s] capitol to publicly defame homosexuals, in order to ‘challenge’ the Matthew Shepard Act, a congressional act which protects citizens against hate crimes committed because of the victim’s perceived sexuality”.

“The pastors don’t have a problem with hate crime legislation itself,” says the writer, “but specifically with this hate crime legislation, which limits their god-given rights to incite violence against gay people”.

Poppy’s piece continues:

Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation League (oh, yes) had this to say about what happens when hate crime laws include homosexual victims:

"Christians are singled out for prosecution, with threats, imprisonment and fines simply for refusing to stop doing what Christ commands: proclaiming the truth."

In the interest of sympathy, let's put ourselves in these Christians' shoes. How tragic it is, that so many people devote their lives to spreading hatred, not because they are hateful people, but because they have been indoctrinated – brainwashed – with a bronze age story about the origin of the universe. When someone asks you, "Yeah, but what harm does religion do?" point them to examples like this.

Whenever we teach our children that groundless faith is a virtue, we pave the way for groundless violence.

Rest in peace, Matthew Shepard.

We second that.
Related links:
Remembering Matthew
Ten years on, but more to be done, says Matthew’s mom
A law for Matthew

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