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Author Topic: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs  (Read 2879 times)

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Offline Oniya

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Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2010, 01:28:57 PM »
I saw a sign on one of the local churches yesterday that really sums things up:

God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2010, 01:43:45 PM »
I don't mymessage is simple: you don't need denominations or churches so leave (insert faith) and stop supporting the system that wastes money and resources better used to directly give to the poor. And oddly ministers should go get real jobs to support themselves. Its not exactly popular with the local churches and I preach in front of one church each Sunday and outside the local Morning Market (weather permitting).

But why are my rights being violated because I speak and I obey the laws and some priest or minister find its something they don't want near their church?

What starts with one thing hate thoughts can then go to hate speech being illegal, that is a concern of mine. If I preached that and burned the church down its then a crime ,arson, why should why I did it matter or be worth a harsher sentence? (not in my plans just saying it)

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2010, 02:12:21 PM »
If I preached that and burned the church down its then a crime ,arson, why should why I did it matter or be worth a harsher sentence? (not in my plans just saying it)

Hate crime laws have exactly nothing to do with punishing motivation. They're meant to punish the additional crime of committing an act that terrorizes an entire group.

Offline Kip

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2010, 10:11:08 PM »
Hate crime laws have exactly nothing to do with punishing motivation. They're meant to punish the additional crime of committing an act that terrorizes an entire group.

There is a very important point there - a random murder or bashing concerns everyone....

But, using a local example...  four guys wearing motorcycle helmts and wielding baseball bats driving into the gay and lesbian district and bashing someone randomly based on their sexual orientation (or presumed) and doing this anonymously over a few weeks before being caught put fear into a specific subset of the population and had further impacts than the one random bashing. 

It is technically the same act but the consequences are vastly different.

Offline kylie

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Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2010, 11:12:12 PM »
Quote from: Kip
It is technically the same act but the consequences are vastly different.
          To prosecute it as a hate crime, I understand they would look for some evidence of particular orientation-related spite.  Like if the attackers are screaming slurs about an identity while they do it.  Or perhaps they were sitting around the bar an hour before going on about how lesbians should be punished, etc.  So very technically...  I think it wouldn't be the same as far as the law is concerned. 

         The physical attack itself (say, the wielding of the weapon) might appear the same, but the context is different than in a "random" attack that just happened to strike lesbians.  Much as the context may different in determining murder versus manslaughter, harassment versus libel, attack versus accident or self-defense.  My point being, there are specific identity-related actions that can be pointed to in an investigation.
 
          Agreed that the criteria for prosecution is that it's shown to involve targeting based on identity, and that the consequences for the targeted population are markedly different than a random attack.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 11:15:45 PM by kylie »

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2010, 01:27:02 AM »
In many cases a hate-crime charge is not made until an investigation has been conducted.  Using the lesbian scenario referenced above the actor would attack a woman and be arrested and charged with assault.  After investigating the crime the actor could be charged under hate-crime laws if evidence of bias against lesbians was found and the woman attacked were a lesbian, but proof would have to exist that the actor knew the woman was a lesbian.  It might even be required that the actor have previous contact with the woman that involved his attitude toward her sexuality.

Many hate crimes are hard to prove and a thorough investigation is usually carried out before the charges are filed.  Also, in cases where the evidence is strong enough to guarantee a guilty verdict and the evidence for a hate crime is weak, the hate crime charges may be withheld or withdrawn in favor of prosecuting the criminal charges.


Offline ThePrince

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2010, 07:10:24 AM »
Does the law criminalize their speech? Does it criminalize their thought? Does it stop them from peacefully demonstrating their beliefs?

If so then the law needs to be changed, if not the law is fine.

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2010, 08:34:11 AM »
The core issue that seems to be takign place, is that because the laws as presented do not allow the religious minority that has filed suit to act as they wish without concern for their actions, they believe it is an affront to their belief system. 

I could be reading that wrong, but since the laws protect them and their religious community from those who would inflict hate crimes upon them, i think it is a silly reaction.

Offline kylie

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Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2010, 11:39:27 AM »
Quote from: Beguile's Mistress
After investigating the crime the actor could be charged under hate-crime laws if evidence of bias against lesbians was found and the woman attacked were a lesbian, but proof would have to exist that the actor knew the woman was a lesbian. 
          There is no requirement that the victim be proven to be a lesbian, or a member of whatever targeted group is in question.  Thankfully, I would say, because demanding that could open a very intrusive and intractable sort of discussion.  ( Code below from search on http://thomas.loc.gov


Quote from: Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007
SEC. 3.  Definition of hate crime.
In this Act—
(1) the term “crime of violence” has the meaning given that term in section 16, title 18, United States Code;
(2) the term “hate crime” has the meaning given such term in section 280003(a) of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (28 U.S.C. 994 note)...
Quote from: H.R.3355 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994
280003 (a) In this section, `hate crime' means a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 11:41:59 AM by kylie »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2010, 12:49:57 PM »
These people need to understand that the world doesn't follow them. Their entitled to their beliefs... but it has been a long time since not going to Church has been a demonizing event. It seems every other month some priest or the Pope is claiming that the world is losing its way. Thats not the case at all... their losing us. The world does not NEED Christianity to function in a morally rich way. The sooner they stop whining like spoilt children, the sooner we'll outgrow the need for hate crime laws in the first place.

I think I like that outlook. Particularly after the last 10 years in the US. My mom pointed out a report in Ireland dealing with the Catholic Church's actions over the last fifty odd years. Scarey stuff.

Offline Farmboy

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2010, 06:03:43 PM »
          280003 (a) In this section, `hate crime' means a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.

There you have it. The law protects Christians, too. If the Christian or his property is targeted simply because of their religious belief, it is a hate crime under this wording.

Therefore, they have no case.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 06:05:16 PM by Aislin »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2010, 07:27:21 PM »
My pragmatic libertarianist leanings are offended generally by adding criminal charges due to motivation even if that leads to gross violence. Murder is murder, if the idiot scum doing it is a racist doing that to a black man or woman then its still illegal on its own - murder. Why murder plus a Federal charge making it a Federal case over state laws for murder? If one wants to stop organized attacks by groups then use the laws there such as racketeering or terrorist related charges. In a case of one idiot then arrest them and take the motivation into consideration but not an added charge, most judges would add to the charges suitably.

There are cases I can get it killing an officer of the law since that shows a criminal is very dangerous and doesn't care about the consequences, will kill anyone. But that is not a hate crime its killing an official of the law.

But there is an issue laws like this in other nations have led to hate speech being illegal and a crime. I recall a case in a nation online where a minister was arrested for street preaching against gays and was arrested for "intolerant" hate speech. One could lead to the other in the US all it takes it a law and sympathetic courts. This was also a European Nation just don't remember which one.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2010, 10:19:15 PM »
But there is an issue laws like this in other nations have led to hate speech being illegal and a crime. I recall a case in a nation online where a minister was arrested for street preaching against gays and was arrested for "intolerant" hate speech. One could lead to the other in the US all it takes it a law and sympathetic courts. This was also a European Nation just don't remember which one.

I would be interested to have an actual citation of this event rather than just hearsay. Also, please note that a number of nations do not guarantee freedom of speech, making it fairly unremarkable that a law be passed against hate speech. Laws against hate crimes are not laws against hate speech, and for a United States hate crimes law to impinge hate speech their would have to be constitutional revision and an extreme failure at multiple levels of the court.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2010, 07:48:44 PM »
It would not take much though that is the sad thing. If they claimed hate speech leads to a chance to hate crime and get one precedent that holds up through the Supreme Court - bammo!


Offline Jude

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2010, 10:38:15 PM »
Look at it this way.  Under hate crime legislation:
Commit a murder = Face punishment x
Commit a murder + say something homophobic = Face Punishment x + Punishment y

How can you not say that free speech is being punished by that law?  Maybe not entirely on its own, but it's definitely being discouraged.

Offline kylie

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Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2010, 11:56:25 PM »
          The text of the legislation includes this.  (3) and (4) in particular were mentioned in the article cited by the OP.  (Bold is mine.) 

SEC. 10. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

      For purposes of construing this Act and the amendments made by this Act the following shall apply:

            (1) RELEVANT EVIDENCE- Courts may consider relevant evidence of speech, beliefs, or expressive conduct to the extent that such evidence is offered to prove an element of a charged offense or is otherwise admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence. Nothing in this Act is intended to affect the existing rules of evidence.

            (2) VIOLENT ACTS- This Act applies to violent acts motivated by actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability of a victim.

            (3) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.

           (4) FREE EXPRESSION- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs.
In short, the intent is as Valerian said:  "For there to be a hate crime, there must first be a crime."

          The punishment is not for simply saying something hateful.  (We might go on elsewhere about just what kind of society still allows the KKK to march down Main Street.)  The punishment is for going out and acting upon it in a criminal way when the targeting is based upon a hatred against historically vulnerable groups. 

          Now, this is the extent of my stretching the (better) implications:  If the powers that be happen to observe that organizations with lots of hate speech are actually often associated with hate crimes, then maybe it would make sense for them to patrol and probe a little more often around a few more radical rightist hangouts.  I don't deny that law enforcement sometimes focus more where they can get easy career points making politically-backed arrests.  I would hope they have the foresight to balance with priorities on other things, such as domestic terrorism which may or may not have some relationship with organizations that regularly host some hate speech.  As long as they keep watch based on some demonstrated pattern of connection to crime, and don't wiretap illegally or jump with no evidence.

          In actuality, though, the police and sometimes the feds have still been jumping on gays with little to no evidence (or seeking to inflate the most harmless of crimes into scandals) from the 1950's on through very recent years.  So, I'd be a little surprised if they paid as much attention to hate speech.  They might gradually shift as their career incentives change with the law, but I doubt so many can change their approach to vulnerable minorities very easily.  I can see how Ruby might be a little concerned that smaller, less conventional churches could receive a little more police scrutiny or pressure.  With regard to the OP though, I don't think the larger, more organized Christian ones would generally be subject to that.  The police just don't tend to play "what if" so often with people who have more resources and historical power.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2010, 12:34:12 AM by kylie »

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2010, 12:05:33 AM »
          There is no requirement that the victim be proven to be a lesbian, or a member of whatever targeted group is in question.  Thankfully, I would say, because demanding that could open a very intrusive and intractable sort of discussion.  ( Code below from search on http://thomas.loc.gov

Thank you for that correction.  However, that point doesn't change the fact that hate crimes are not charged indiscriminately.  Adequate proof to convict is needed.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2010, 12:51:25 PM »
It would not take much though that is the sad thing. If they claimed hate speech leads to a chance to hate crime and get one precedent that holds up through the Supreme Court - bammo!

I think you have a quite skewed and alarmist view of the court system. Not only would such an absurd case have to work its way through many lower courts successfully appealed at every level, the Supreme Court would also have to agree to hear the case (which is certainly not a guarantee), and then they would have to return an argument that could logically conclude that there is an interpretation of: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." that allows for the abridgement of free speech. It is not easy to get a case to the Supreme Court, and even if you did the Supreme Court are not lawmakers with the power to change that which is explicit in the constitution.

Look at it this way.  Under hate crime legislation:
Commit a murder = Face punishment x
Commit a murder + say something homophobic = Face Punishment x + Punishment y

How can you not say that free speech is being punished by that law?  Maybe not entirely on its own, but it's definitely being discouraged.

This has nothing to do with what you say. I can stand on the street corner and decry gays and religions all day and it is not a crime. This has to do with the motive for and effect of the murder. Just like a self-defence plea or a "crime of passion" plea can reduce the punishment, a charge of a hate crime can increase it (just as malice aforethought can up the degree of murder). The hate crime is meant to cause fear within a specific community. As such it is a crime against all members of that community, not just the individual. It seems reasonable that something be added to the base charge for the extra victims. Do you also take issue with penalties under law for terrorism, criminal intimidation, or harassment?

Offline Secretwriter

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2010, 12:52:32 PM »
I honestly think that if people would pay more attention to what is or isn't going on in their own bedroom, they'd be too worn out to worry about everyone else's.  :-)

But in today's society, those performing the hate crimes, hate speech, and other hateful things are spending way too much energy on stupid bullshit when they could be working to better the environment, protect abused women and children, putting in time by making people's days brighter with smiles instead of sitting there with narrowed eyes and judgmental scowls, contemplating other people's sins.  They could start by looking at their own when they're chugging their Jack Daniels and watching porn and then proclaiming that they're devout. They need to start worrying about what they're doing right or wrong, more on what could be improved upon versus sitting there feeling self-righteous.

But that's just me.

Offline Serephino

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2010, 08:03:41 PM »
Also, one must remember that Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Religion do have limits.  Every single right granted to American citizens only extends to the point of infringing on another's rights.

For instance; you can't yell fire in a crowded theater.  Why?  Because most likely the crowd will panic and rush to the exits.  Someone could get hurt or trampled.  One is free to be a Satanist, but if you do a ritual human sacrifice it's still murder. 

Basically, the point I'm getting at here is that you can believe homosexuals are sinners and are going to hell if you really feel that way, but just because it's a religious belief it doesn't make it okay to harass, intimidate, assault, or murder them because of it.  I hope we can at least agree on that.

Personally, I just think Christians love to bitch and whine.  It gets them attention, although it really only makes them look like idiots.  Hell, a church shouldn't be preaching hate anyway. 

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Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #45 on: March 05, 2010, 07:40:05 PM »
Okay, after looking over all this, here are my thoughts...

Hate Crime Laws:  To a degree, HCLs not only discourage violent crimes, but also prevent people from becoming serial criminals.  It's common knowledge in the law enforcement community that serial killers and rapists tend to fixate upon a given subset of persons - and then commit those crimes against that subset.  So, theoretically, a serial rapist could be charge with a hate crime on top of his others.  Furthermore, HCLs punish racism - something that Christians should be on board with, since it says in the Bible that all peoples are equal.  However, as others have mentioned, it is possible to charge people with a hate crime wrongfully.

Take this example: a white crack addict beats up a black person and steals his wallet because he needs a fix.  Sounds simple enough - until a police search turns up virulent anti-black literature in his place of residence.  Do you charge him with a hate crime, or no?

To me, it would depend upon a pattern of behavior.  If you look at his rap sheet and find, hey, he only beats up black people when he's looking for crack money, then hell yes slap him with a hate crime.  If he's an equal opportunity offender, however, charging him with a hate crime is a violation of his freedom to believe what he wants.

In short, the hate crime statue should be reserved for serial offenders, and not every Tom, Dick, and Harry that winds up in court.

Christianity complaining about this:  The problem with Christianity, like *every* religion, is that there are always crazy fundamentalist whackjobs who complain about life choices that people make, from their sexual orientation to which schools people send their kids to.  And unfortunately, this minority of people is *always* the loudest, preaching damnation and hellfire when they should be preaching repentance and acceptance. 

Take the Biblical example of Paul the Apostle: before his conversion, he was a *virulent* hater of the Christian faith, and actively sought to make the lives of Christians *everywhere* miserable.  All of a sudden, he gets turned around because of his conversion, and now is seeking to join the early Christian church.  Now, I wasn't there, but I'm sure that at least *some* people raised eyebrows over the fact that Paul claimed to be converted.  But, what did they do?  They accepted him; they took his repentance as truth - and *now* he's perhaps one of the most respected figures in Christianity.

Furthermore, there is a saying: "Anyone who claims to have moral superiority...doesn't."  If you claim to be a better person than someone else, *just* because of your religion, then that's wrong.  The Book of James tells us that if we have faith - *true* faith - then there will be evidence of it, evidence done in the way of good doing, good thinking, and good living.  And that should be *regardless* of where you come from, who your father was, and what you do. 

I heard a priest say this once: "True Christians come with a discloser - no person shall, on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, or lifestyle, be denied charity."  Basically, if you are a Christian, then you should help people who need helping - no matter *how* different they might be from you.

That's just my thoughts on it.

Offline Brandon

Re: Christians claim hate crimes law an effort to 'eradicate' their beliefs
« Reply #46 on: March 05, 2010, 08:00:13 PM »
I think it just comes down to some christians need to be more like Christ himself.

Hate crime laws themselves, well I think theyre a bunch of bull. The idea was to create laws that punish criminal actions based on race, sex, sexual orientation, etc but in practice I dont see them doing much except further segregating groups from each other.