Friday, May 04, 2007


I was listening to NPR this week, regarding the House passing a bill extending the definition of hate crimes to include attacks based on gender and sexual orientation.

Apparently this is something that many people object to -- the religious televangelists and neo-conservative groups are trying to paint this as a religious freedom issue. There was a representative from Georgia (I think) who was objecting strenuously to the bill. He claimed that this would somehow stifle freedom of religion. He was going on and on about how passing this bill on national prayer day was in and of itself hateful against Christians.

The primary people against the bill? Mostly religious groups, the "social conservatives",
who say the bill threatens the right to express moral opposition to homosexuality and singles out groups of citizens for special protection.
Umm. ooookay. Apparently these people don't quite get the concept of "hate crime".

According to the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), Congressional Democrats rammed through the hate crimes bill defeating all 25 Republican amendments, which [included those that] ...ensured Christians would not be prosecuted for expressing religious convictions opposed to homosexuality.

I really need someone to explain this to me. Classing attacks on homosexuals, and hate-speech aimed at gays and lesbians is somehow stifling religious speech? Are the fringe religious groups actually arguing that it is their right to bash gays because they have somehow twisted their scriptures to tell them to? This is somehow a christian behavior?

Maybe I'm missing the point.

No comments: