Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hate Crime

Race, religion and gender are "Immutable characteristics" said a spokesman for John Böhner. The House Minority Leader feels that existing Federal protections ore OK for people born with such handicaps as being female or dark skinned, but not for people who against nature and for entertainment purposes choose to be gay or to be in a wheelchair.

"He does not support adding sexual orientation to the list of protected classes,"
said Böhner spokesman Kevin Smith in an email to CBS News. It's important to note that he includes religion as something worthy of special protection. Of course gender is not currently given special protection, and religion is hardly "immutable" or innate or the product of genetics, but we're quoting Republican leaders here, who can't be expected to be rational or consistent, not normal human beings.

Rep. Tom Price, who heads the GOP conservative circus caucus cites the slippery slope fallacy to predict that such legislation would lead to "thought crimes" while felonies of intent which account for a good part of our prison population would not. Sounds dishonest to me and it's apparent that the real opposition comes from the fear that some preacher might be called to task for preaching hatred against infidels or "sinners" or witches even though no violence can be traced directly to him. Don't tell me it doesn't happen, I've endured many a sermon that prompted me to leave in disgust and I don't mean Pastor Muthee. The danger of exposing the inherent anti-Semitism in certain foundational documents must seem very real to people like Price.

"We believe all hate crimes legislation is unconstitutional and places one class of people above others,"
said a spokesman for Buck. Perhaps this is all about principle, despite all appearances, yet it seems like yesterday to me when segregation was the backbone of American Conservatism and the exclusion of ethnic groups from neighborhoods and hotels was de regueur and fiercely defended by people like Barry Goldwater. Of course I think it's not about egalitarian sentiment at all. I think it's that if you took the license to preach hate away from the far right religious faction that owns the GOP, they'd be out of business.

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