Posted by: Beverly Dale | October 26, 2009

New hate crimes legislation provoking religious opposition

Finally, Congress is poised to add sexual minorities to the list of groups currently protected against hate crimes that would hold people accountable who target, bully, and harm LGBT people simply because they are a sexual minority. But of course, those who fear homosexuals are spreading lies…in church again.

The biggest myth/lie that is going around, although there are several, is that this bill, according to Tony Perkins, would somehow “diminish protections and thereby penalize everyone else.”  I suspect they fear that they will be unable to preach that homosexuality is an abomination, a right they will still maintain. They will however be barred from inciting riots or organizing lynching parties from the pulpit!

For the record, there were some 8,000 hate crimes last year (with half being racially motivated), and currently 45 states already have hate crimes protection for LGBT communities. It seems that  one of the chief fears is that this will mean religious persecution of them.  However, given that there were more hate crimes last year against religious groups (18%) than crimes aimed at the sexual minority communities (16%), one would think they might consider supporting this legislation out of enlightened self-interst. But I have stopped trying to find rationality in fear-based arguments or applying logic to such myths. These are perpetuated out of fear, not reasoned thought. In what kind of God do they have to believe to allow them to live in such a state of fear and panic?

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