So, since it seems we're destined to talk about the issue of "hate crime" legislation a bit longer, here is a little more input. Don't give up half way through it, for it concludes with the wisdom of someone who richly deserves the last word on this issue, as on so many others, Thomas Sowell, one of the most thoughtful public intellectuals of our time.
First, this just in from WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh:
The leader of a pro-family organization says families across the nation need to contact their U.S. senators now to try to derail a legislative plan that already has passed the U.S. House and is being awaited by President Obama – after a Democrat confirmed that it would protect "all 547 forms of sexual deviancy or 'paraphilias' listed by the American Psychiatric Association." . . .WND columnist Janet Porter offered this:
The proposal, formally called the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act after a Wyoming homosexual who was killed in a horrific robbery and beating in 1998, creates a special class for homosexuals and others with alternative sexual lifestyles and provides them protections against so-called "hate."
It specifically denies such protections to other targeted classes of citizens such as pastors, Christians, missionaries, veterans and the elderly.
"I've written extensively about how this bill would criminalize Christianity and turn those who disagree with the homosexual agenda into felons, but criminalizing Christianity is just the beginning of what this bill would do. It would also elevate pedophiles as a special protected class – since the term 'sexual orientation' which has been added to the 'hate crimes' legislation includes them in the American Psychiatric Association's definition of various 'sexual orientations."Porter cited the amendment offering from Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, in committee that was very simple:
The term sexual orientation as used in this act or any amendments to this act does not include pedophilia.Congressman Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, then explained what that means:
But majority Democrats refused to accept that.
If a mother hears that their child has been raped and she slaps the assailant with her purse, she is now gone after as a hate criminal because this is a protected class. There are other protected classes in here. I mean simple exhibitionism. I have female friends who have told me over the years that some guy flashed them, and their immediate reaction was to hit them with their purse. Well now, he's committed a misdemeanor, she has committed a federal hate crime because the exhibitionism is protected under sexual orientation.Congressman Gohmert added:
And having reviewed cases as an appellate judge, I know that when the legislature has the chance to include a definition and refuses, then what we look at is the plain meaning of those words. The plain meaning of sexual orientation is anything to which someone is orientated. That could include exhibitionism, it could include necrophilia (sexual arousal/activity with a corpse) … it could include Urophilia (sexual arousal associated with urine), voyeurism. You see someone spying on you changing clothes and you hit them, they've committed a misdemeanor, you've committed a federal felony under this bill. It is so wrong.According to Porter, Congressman King told the full U.S. House that the APA has a list of 547 different "paraphilias" that would be protected by members of Congress under the "hate crimes" plan.
U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., a "hate crimes" supporter, agreed, saying:
This bill addresses our resolve to end violence based on prejudice and to guarantee that all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability or all of these 'Philias' and fetishes and 'ism's' that were put forward need not live in fear because of who they are. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this rule…"
Porter said families, parents, Americans, anyone interested in the future of the nation, needs to contact their members in the Senate and demand hearings, then demand a filibuster.
"Pushing away an unwelcome advance of a homosexual, transgendered, cross-dresser or exhibitionist could make you a felon under this law. Speaking out against the homosexual agenda could also make you a felon if you are said to influence someone who pushes away that unwelcome advance. And pedophiles and other sexual deviants would enjoy an elevated level of protection while children, seniors, veterans, and churches would not," Porter said.
The "hate crimes" proposal not only sets up criminal charges against those whose actions or words offend homosexuals but also provides money "to improve the education and training of local officials to identify, investigate, prosecute and prevent hate crimes."
President Obama, supported strongly during his campaign by homosexual advocates, appears ready to respond to their desires.
"I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect ALL of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance," he said.
Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission said the Senate proposal could be voted on in committee as early as tomorrow. (my upper case emphasis)
"You must call the Senate today and demand that they hold hearings on this bill," he wrote. "It is one of the most radical pieces of legislation to ever make its way to the Senate. If passed, it will lay the groundwork for restricting religious liberty and freedom of speech as it has in Canada and Europe."
Gohmert warned the law will be used against pastors – or anyone else – who speaks against homosexuality or other alternative sexual lifestyle choices. He said it provides that anyone who through speech "induces" commission of a violent hate crime "will be tried as a principal" alongside the active offender.
Critics say that would allow for prosecutions against pastors who preach a biblical ban on homosexuality if someone who hears such a message later is accused of any crime.Those who think these concerns are exaggerated have not been paying attention and remain naive about how methodically committed those driving this agenda are to imposing a thoroughly post-Christian moral order on our society -- one that implicitly declares that there is no such thing as sexual deviancy -- and to impose this worldview with the help of a pliant and empathetic judiciary.
Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, said, "A pastor's sermon could be considered 'hate speech' under this legislation if heard by an individual who then acts aggressively against persons based on 'sexual orientation.' The pastor could be prosecuted for 'conspiracy to commit a hate crime'" she said.
I say "empathetic" of course in reference to President Obama's single enunciated criteria for appointing the next Supreme Court justice. And it is on that score that we need to turn to Thomas Sowell:
Justice David Souter's retirement from the Supreme Court presents President Barack Obama with his first opportunity to appoint someone to the High Court. People who are speculating about whether the next nominee will be a woman, a Hispanic or whatever, are missing the point.
That we are discussing the next Supreme Court justice in terms of group "representation" is a sign of how far we have already strayed from the purpose of law and the weighty responsibility of appointing someone to sit for life on the highest court in the land.
That President Obama has made "empathy" with certain groups one of his criteria for choosing a Supreme Court nominee is a dangerous sign of how much further the Supreme Court may be pushed away from the rule of law and toward even more arbitrary judicial edicts to advance the agenda of the left and set it in legal concrete, immune from the democratic process.
Would you want to go into court to appear before a judge with "empathy" for groups A, B and C, if you were a member of groups X, Y or Z? Nothing could be further from the rule of law. That would be bad news, even in a traffic court, much less in a court that has the last word on your rights under the Constitution of the United States.
Appoint enough Supreme Court justices with "empathy" for particular groups and you would have, for all practical purposes, repealed the 14th Amendment, which guarantees "equal protection of the laws" for all Americans.
We would have entered a strange new world, where everybody is equal but some are more equal than others. The very idea of the rule of law would become meaningless when it is replaced by the empathies of judges.
Barack Obama solves this contradiction, as he solves so many other problems, with rhetoric. If you believe in the rule of law, he will say the words "rule of law." And if you are willing to buy it, he will keep on selling it.
Those people who just accept soothing words from politicians they like are gambling with the future of a nation. When you buy words, you had better know what you are buying. . . .
Some people say that who Barack Obama appoints to replace Justice Souter doesn't really matter, because Souter is a liberal who will probably be replaced by another liberal. But, if no one sounds the alarm now, we can end up with a series of appointees with "empathy"-- which is to say, with justices who think their job is to "relieve the distress" of particular groups, rather than to uphold the Constitution of the United States.