Next week Fort Lauderdale-based Coral Ridge Ministries will broadcast a nationwide 30-minute show warning evangelicals that they must fight all hate crimes laws or else the evil gays will criminalize Christianity.
“Hate Crime Laws” is a half-hour exposé that shows how Christians in America, Canada, Australia, and Sweden have been arrested and prosecuted for expressing opinions that are rooted in the Bible regarding homosexual conduct, Islam or other topics about which Scriptures express clear teachings.
“On the surface, hate crime laws might sound like a good idea,” said Jerry Newcombe, of Coral Ridge, who hosts the special. “After all, none of us advocates hatred or violence against another person. But if you look below the surface, suddenly you realize that these laws are really thought crime laws.”
In Colorado, for example, Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law earlier this year a plan that analysts believe effectively bans publication of the Bible in the state. [JMG: Untrue, obviously.] The gender “anti-discrimination” law bans publication of statements that can be perceived as being negative toward those individuals choosing alternative sexual lifestyles.
As proof of their claim, the show offers the recent cases of the New Mexico photographer fined for refusing to work a gay wedding and the Canadian pastor fined for writing a letter to a newspaper in which he compared gays to pedophiles. (The latter case resulted in an excellent discussion here on the differences of free speech law in Canada and the U.S.)
More from WingNutDaily:
In Colorado, for example, “Section 8 of the bill makes it a crime to publish or distribute anything that is deemed a ‘discrimination’ against the homosexual and transsexual lifestyle,” according to the Christian Family Alliance.
Mark Hotaling, executive director for the Alliance, said initially supporters and even some opponents of the bill explained that there was an exception for churches and church organizations. However, lawmakers then attached to the bill a state “safety clause” which is supposed to deal with laws that are fundamental to protecting the lives of residents.
That, he said, simply stripped away any potential allowances for churches and church groups. “Anyone who claims that there’s an exception for churches really doesn’t know the ins and outs of the bill,” Hotaling told WND. “So the religious exemption is purely window dressing and very deceptive,” he said. “The Word of God literally now is banned, and that’s a legitimate slam-dunk First Amendment issue there.”
As I’ve said here before, I am very uneasy with Canadian and European laws that restrict hate speech past the American standard of direct or immediate incitement to violence. Obviously, the Christianists are using the above examples to prevent the inclusion of LGBT people in physical hate crimes laws. The irony here, of course, is that God’s loving gentle people are crying injury over laws that are meant to protect us from THEM.