Federal Hate Crimes Case Illustrates Christian Myopia
On Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 3:00 p.m., Federal District Court Judge Thomas L. Ludington heard Attorney General Eric Holder’s Motion to Dismiss in the Glenn v. Holder matter. The case is the first court challenge to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
To date, the Judge has not entered an Order granting or denying the motion. According to a statement issued by The Thomas Moore Law Center:
The Thomas More Law Center… filed the federal lawsuit in February of this year challenging the constitutionality of the federal Hate Crimes Act, against U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. The Act adds violence based on ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ alongside race and color motivated violence deserving special federal protection by means of tougher criminal penalties.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, on behalf of Pastor Levon Yuille, Pastor Rene Ouellette, Pastor James Combs, and Gary Glenn, the president of the American Family Association of Michigan (AFA-Michigan).
The sole purpose of this law is to use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically-based religious belief that homosexual conduct is a sin.
The point in this statement that got my panties in a bunch is the statement that the Hate Crimes Prevention Act is solely for the purpose of prosecuting Christians for expressing opinions that homosexuality is a sin. The TMLC has ignored the portion of the Act named for Mr. James Byrd, Jr., who was not a homosexual. Mr. Byrd was a black man who was tied to the back of a pickup truck by Shawn Allen Berry, Lawrence Russell Brewer, and John William King. They then drove the truck three miles serving the truck from side to side. Byrd survived the dragging until his body hit the edge of a culvert cutting off his arm and head.
In spite of the passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, it is still perfectly legal for a preacher to preach that black people are cursed by Hamm (at least in the United States). Such preaching was a common tool of white southerners to promote segregation of the races. The Act has done nothing to silence that opinion.
While it is perfectly legal for preachers to preach such hateful and ignorant opinions, it is not legal for them to tie a man to the back of a pick up and drag him down the road until his death.
It is also perfectly legal and very common for preachers in the United States to opine that homosexuality is a sin; however, it is not legal for the preachers to pistol whip gay people, tie them to a fence and attempt to expedite our trip to hell. Murder is not an action protected by free speech.