by Robert Knight and Lindsey Douthit
Bringing ‘Thought Crime’ to America
Proponents of “hate crime” laws say they are needed to protect minorities from acts of violence. However, criminal acts are already illegal. “Hate crime” laws add penalties to a criminal sentence if the person had a “hateful intent” or “thought crime” toward the victim.
In 2005, anti-war demonstrators came to the Tremont Temple Baptist Church in Boston, to disrupt the “Love Won Out” conference, which featured former homosexuals and how to overcome homosexual desires. Obscenities, shouts of, “Shut it down,” and threats of violence could be heard. Although Massachusetts law prohibits interfering with constitutional rights to freedom of speech, the police declined to enforce it.
In 2004, “hate crime” law was used to arrest nearly a dozen Christians in Philadelphia when homosexual activists celebrated “National Coming-Out Day.” The Christian group “Repent America” sang hymns and carried signs encouraging homosexuals to repent. Eleven Christians spent the night in jail! The next day, five of them, including a teenager, faced eight charges, three felonies and five misdemeanors, stemming from Pennsylvania’s “hate crimes” law. Charges were dropped 2005.
In 2005, a militant homosexual mob threatened “Repent America” with physical violence, and a city-funded event included simulated sex acts on floats. One float at the parade featured partially dressed women bending over and being spanked with hands, whips, and objects. During the event, the Christians were “surrounded, obstructed, and continuously harassed”.
Dary Byczek of Wisconsin, lost his temper and yelled at four lesbians living next door. He also wrote on the side of a truck parked on his property, “All lesbians will go to hell.” He was ordered by a Lafayette County Circuit Judge to undergo “anger management classes” paid for with his own money.
Crushing Dissent in Other Nations
In 2004, Ake Green was the first pastor prosecuted after Sweden added “sexual orientation” to its “hate crime” law. Green was sentenced to one month in prison. The public prosecutor said “Collecting Bible verses on this topic make this hate speech.” Sweden’s chief prosecutor appealed the verdict, and the Swedish Supreme Court ruled unanimously to dismiss the charge. “We hope this will deter other attempts to censor Christian ministers from delivering Bible-based messages against harmful homosexual conduct,” an Alliance Defense Fund attorney said in a press release.
The Scottish Parliament has a four-minute slot in its proceedings called “A Time for Reflection.” In 2004, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Catholic Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, gave a Christmas message that included a vague mention of “sexual aberrations” as a form of human captivity. The Parliament called this a “gratuitous insult.” A motion was proposed to prohibit ministers from speaking against homosexuality during the reflection time.
In England, the Public Order Act of 1986 covers hate crimes based on race. Parliament is considering legislation to add religion, “sexual orientation,” and age.
Dr. Peter Forester, Anglican Bishop of Chester, England, was investigated by police for saying that homosexuals “could and should seek medical help to ‘reorient’ themselves.” The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) accused him of advocating a “scandalous” and “offensive” argument from a “bygone age.” The LGCM’s communications director, said, the Bishop’s remarks “could inflame latent homophobia.” Cheshire’s chief constable criticized Forster, saying, “Civic leaders ought to promote diversity, including homosexuality and race, in a positive manner. The Liverpool Daily Post noted that the investigation occurred even though English hate crime laws are limited in scope: “Although it is illegal to incite racial hatred, there is at present no ban on inciting hatred against the lesbian and gay community.”
A Christian group called “Living Word” made two videos that questioned “safe sex” slogans by exposing the link between AIDS and homosexual behavior. These were rejected by the New Zealand Film and Literature Board of Review for encouraging “hate speech.”
Canada is enacting hate crime laws and legalizing same sex marriage. The country’s “hate crimes” law reads: “Everyone who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, willfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of … an indictable offense and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.”
In 2004, Canadian Internet journalist Robert Jason received a visit from two plainclothes police officers investigating a possible “hate crime” because of Jason’s pro-family website. “The officers were quiet and friendly, but just having them there was very intimidating to me and my wife,” Jason said.
In 2000, Christian printer Scott Brockie refused to print material for the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, contending that he would be abetting sin if he did so. The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ordered him to pay $5,000 in damages to the president of the Archives and to “henceforth print materials for any homosexual individual or group on the same basis as all other clients.”
Chris Kempling, a professor at British Columbia College of Teachers, was suspended from his job in 2002 for writing letters to his local newspaper objecting to promotion of homosexuality in the public schools. The college said his views were “conduct unbecoming of a member,” a view upheld by the Canadian Supreme Court in 2005. Kempling appealed his case twice, but both courts upheld his suspension. The British Columbia Court of Appeals supported Kempling’s punishment.
Hugh Owens took out a small ad in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix newspaper in 1997. The ad had a stick figure of two men holding hands, with a circle and a line through it, and a list of Bible verses on homosexuality. The Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal ruled that both Owens and the newspaper publisher had to pay a total of $4,500 in damages to three homosexuals who were “offended” by the ad.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger, an Orthodox Jew and radio talk-show host, was rebuked by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for her remarks during programs in 1999. Schlessinger contended that people with unwanted homosexual desires should seek counseling and therapy. In 2000, the council announced that her on-air statements violated the human rights provision of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ code of ethics. “In Canada, we respect freedom of speech, but we do not worship it,” the council said. “It is the view of the Council that the sexual practices of gays and lesbians are as much a part of their being as the color of one’s skin or the gender, religion, age or ethnicity of an individual.”
The broadcasting board also warned Dr. James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family” and Dr. Jerry Falwell’s “Old Time Gospel Hour” not to broadcast in Canada anything critical of homosexuality.
William Whatcott, a former homosexual, distributed fliers in 2001 and 2002 in Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, that listed the medical dangers of homosexual behavior. He was charged with a “hate speech” violation of Canada’s “hate crimes” law. The chairman of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal ruled that Whatcott violated the ban in Section 14(1) of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, and noted that it did not matter whether the material was true or whether it reflected Whatcott’s Christian beliefs. Whatcott was ordered to pay $17,500 in damages to four homosexuals who sued him for distributing the fliers.
Murray and Peter Corren, a homosexual couple, filed a complaint against the British Columbia Ministry of Education in 1999 claiming that its curriculum did not adequately “address issues of sexual orientation.”
In 2005, their complaint reached the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. Murray Corren is an elementary school teacher and, along with his “husband,” is demanding that schools promote homosexuality as a safe and normal lifestyle.
While proponents argue that the laws protect threatened groups, especially homosexuals, from being targets of hateful acts, they more often grant a license for those groups to abridge religious freedom. If anyone tries to point out the Biblical truth that homosexuality is blatantly wrong, a sin like every other sin from which Jesus Christ offers redemption, that is considered “hate.”
Canadian columnist Lorne Gunter:
Hate-crimes laws are based on the fallacious premise that we may be punished for our thoughts and feelings, not just our actions. It gives legislators, the courts, and human-rights tribunals far too much power to decide what emotions and beliefs are acceptable and, more ominously, which are not.
The Bible is being deemed “hate” literature. Christians have already been jailed for upholding traditional morality in public places, and if hate crime laws proliferate, the freedom to speak one’s mind will be limited to those who celebrate and promote homosexuality.
Endtime Magazine would like to thank Concerned Women for America for their permission to publish this article: www.cwfa.org