May 8, 2007

Why Hate Crime Legislation Should be Opposed--Ron Paul

This week the Gazette ran an article complaining that Bush would veto proposed hate crimes legislation that passed the House, and of course based most of their complaint on Christian pastors and a (phony) Christian-posturing president. Here is an excellent analysis from Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul--someone who does not wave a Christian banner--as to why Hate Crimes legislation is draconian, and the foundation of a creeping New Inquisition that should be opposed. It is simply a case of the Constitution vs. Hate Crime Laws.

"HR 1592, like all hate crime laws, imposes a longer sentence on a criminal motivated by hate than on someone who commits the same crime with a different motivation. Increasing sentences because of motivation goes beyond criminalizing acts; it makes it a crime to think certain thoughts. Criminalizing even the vilest hateful thoughts--as opposed to willful criminal acts--is inconsistent with a free society."

HR 1592 could lead to federal censorship of religious or political speech on the grounds that the speech incites hate. Hate crime laws have been used to silence free speech and even the free exercise of religion. For example, a Pennsylvania hate crime law has been used to prosecute peaceful religious demonstrators on the grounds that their public Bible readings could incite violence. One of HR 1592's supporters admitted that this legislation could allow the government to silence a preacher if one of the preacher's parishioners commits a hate crime. More evidence that hate crime laws lead to censorship came recently when one member of Congress suggested that the Federal Communications Commission ban hate speech from the airwaves.

Hate crime laws not only violate the First Amendment, they also violate the Tenth Amendment. Under the United States Constitution, there are only three federal crimes: piracy, treason, and counterfeiting. All other criminal matters are left to the individual states. Any federal legislation dealing with criminal matters not related to these three issues usurps state authority over criminal law and takes a step toward turning the states into mere administrative units of the federal government.

See full article here:

The Gazette should reconsider its position in light of the constitutional argument, which is also a threat to freedom of religion, as well as speech, for it impugnes (as does the Gazette) beliefs based upon the teachings of the Bible as "evil". The Gazette should be ashamed of its own hate and biggoted prejudice against such beliefs (i.e. condemnation of homosexuality, criticism of Jewish religion or atheism, etc). It is also completely contrary to their position against the State making a zone banning free speech around funerals, provoked by the protesting of the pastor from Missouri who indicts America for defending homosexuality, and saying America is under God's wrath, where they defended free speech to do so as a matter of principle.