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Hate-crime laws are marketed as protection for some subgroup, some minority which is, or is claiming to be, abused. Hatred of a class of persons is now deemed to be a crime, at least as part of a motive in doing harm to someone. It is supposed, one must assume, that punishment for the attitude of hating someone rights the hateful behavior better than merely behavior-oriented punishment without the hate-crime punishment.
The objection commonly, and rightly, lodged against hate-crime laws is that they attack attitudes and beliefs, not just behavior. America's founding fathers, notably Jefferson, disallowed such extension of government coercion, saying that the force of government extends only to behavior, action, not to belief. The colonials and many others of their time had either left Europe for being so attacked for their religious beliefs, or experienced it themselves here in America, and were not about to put the coercive force of law to work at punishing beliefs or attitudes. Only behavior. Such laws are the tools of the control-minded, not of justice-seeking persons.
Another, and related, objection is that hate-crime laws are meant to subvert and prevent the possibility of truth-seeking in a specific area. The problem was not so readily seen when such laws were applied to racial discrimination because black people were not yet organized so as to shut down their opposition. They just wanted the same freedoms others had, and objected to being discriminated over characteristics which were natural to their being, not a part of behavior.
But the problem is glaringly evidence in homosexual issues, because hate-crime laws are being blatantly used to target anyone who objects to homosexuality on any grounds whatsoever. We are moving in the direction, and in some areas are already there, where critique of homosexuality in any of its aspects and for any reason, will be criminalized. In other words, asking whether homosexuality is good and right in the eyes of God will not be tolerated. Asking whether homosexual behavior leads to massive health problems will not be tolerated.
Someone remarked that when truth becomes optional, it will soon become forbidden and criminalized. That is precisely what we are seeing with hate-crime laws. Hate-crime laws are being used to forbid seeking truth about homosexual behavior and orientation.
Truth-seeking is the primal of all moral obligations -- because if we are not truth-seekers, we have little chance of getting any other issue right. All other issues depend on our first being truth-seekers. When we do not hold ourselves to truth-seeking, we blind-side ourselves, and ensure that we will fall into a ditch down the road. There is no preventing it.
Hate-crime laws are an example of that to which St. Paul was referring in Romans 1:18, when he made subversion of truth the first step in the Fall. Subversion of truth leads always to blindsiding ourselves, in which the primary casualty is our knowledge of God. We no longer can discern who God is, we get it wrong so that we distort the Image of God. We begin worshipping the only other option, the creation rather than the Creator. Having a false and therefore inadequate, God, our trust and obedience get derailed onto the creation which is incapable of being God for us. We have now an inadequate God which means that we will sooner or later fall into compulsive and self-destructive behaviors. Paul uses homosexuality as an example, but he could have use your or my favorite sin.
Hate-crime laws are subversions of truth because they inhibit the truth-seeking process. They do not protect the allegedly abused group, they will much more likely endanger that group. Homosexual persons are the very ones most in need of the truth about homosexuality. If the truth is that homosexuality is a compulsive, lethal addiction, as the evidence shows, then they most of all need to know that in order to get help.
The color of one's skin is a natural, non-harmful fact of life. So the earlier hate-crime laws with respect to racial abuse did not so easily manifest this kind of problem. Black persons were not in danger of their blackness. But even there, it was laying the foundation for subversion of truth, as now, with homosexuality. It made an attitude or belief criminal, rather than sticking to behavior.
So, hate-crime laws are now being used by persons who are either ignorant, dishonest, or caught in their own compulsive-addictive condition -- to shut down criticism of homosexual behavior.
Jefferson was right, the coercive force of law should never be extended beyond behavior to beliefs or attitudes. It puts a power into the hands of civil governors which will for sure be used to inflict great damage. It will be done by those who are looking for ways to create moral and political chaos with the end of increasing their own power -- as a way of "dealing with" their own self-created chaos.
Truth-seeking is the foundation of civilization -- at its most basic level. We must protect the open arena of truth-seeking at any cost to ourselves. That is the Godly way to sustain civilization, and the underlying principle on which the American Constitution was written.
We must fight hate-crime laws until they are eradicated from our legal structure.
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