[251] Hate Crimes

[251] Hate Crimes

Despite being a sociologist, I have never been comfortable with the concept of “hate crimes.”  The reason is that it creeps into identity politics and First Amendment issues. I have a hard time understanding the legal concept, as many such crimes are crimes regardless of motivation.  And while we are at it, all crimes have some motivation but we do not take that into account upon arrest, conviction, or sentencing for most felonies.  First degree murder is just that, irrespective of its motivation being that of hate, greed, or revenge.

More important for the faith and learning adherent is how the hate crime focus soon tumbles into condemning hate speech.  Just exactly what is hate speech?  Oh, I know there are nifty-worded definitions, but that is not the issue.  At what point does speech become hateful?  I can answer that for you.  It becomes hateful at the point at which it violates secular political correctness.  You are well to pick your words very correctly when you speak about race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation or the hate finger will be pointed your way.

How long do you think it will take before the gospel will carry that hate speech label?  Think about it.  From a secular standpoint, what is more offensive than being told you will spend your eternal life in hell if you do not commit yourself to an invisible person who claims to be divine?

The early Civil Rights leaders focused on law.  Martin Luther King said it well.  We cannot legislate hate, but we can make shooting people, because of our hate, illegal.

Prosecute crime, not intent, and let all of us say what we want to say.  DC

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