This morning, RABid is pimping Ken Blackwell’s latest column on TownHall. The entire column is a fabrication – a lie – and plainly claims a bill does something it explicitly does not. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Blackwell says:

A bill making it illegal for people of various faiths to freely hold and profess their respective religion’s teaching on sexual morality is working its way through Congress.

The bill says:

Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Krazy Kenny says:

While criminal law treats all violent acts equally, the proposed law would additionally punish the accused for any prejudice they might have toward the victim. Instead of ending discrimination, this bill would create a judicial caste system in American society by creating categories where some victims are given more consideration and attention than others. This is a direct affront to the equal protection provision of the U.S. Constitution.

The bill says:

OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN .. GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY – Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the [reasons listed above]

The law itself provides the ability to apply for “in-kind” federal assistance for felony violent crime investigations, and to apply for grant money to supplement local hate crime investigations under extraordinary circumstances.

This is not about the class of the attackee – it’s about the actions of the attacker. Blackwell continues…

As a country, do we want to be in the business of “proving” what someone thinks or denying them freedom of conscience? Do we want to rip the heart out of the First Amendment of our Constitution? Do we want to deconstruct our public square where progress has been advanced by a dialogue between faith and reason? Do we really want to embolden a 21st century secular fundamentalism by forcing religious expression from the public square?

Look, if you think it’s OK for someone to scream “I hate niggers!” while dragging a man to his death down a country road, that’s fine. Reasonable people can disagree about whether acts of violence motivated by discrimination should be prosecuted more strongly than random acts of violence. But don’t try to sell us that it’s a First Amendment issue. That’s insulting to everyone involved.

Can the government punish a person for a “thought crime” whose religious faith includes the belief that homosexual behavior is immoral, and same sex marriage is morally objectionable?

Straw man – prosecution of someone for simply thinking homosexual behavior is immoral is not in the proposed law, and not under suggestion by anyone.

Or is Krazy Kenny suggesting that violence against homosexuals is OK if it’s motivated by religious belief?

Still more!

No rational person argues against the proposition that all American citizens should be afforded full rights and protections under the law and Constitution.

Well, except for you, Kenny, and people who think like you.

The present debate surrounding this bill is derived from the fight to preserve the most fundamental institution necessary for the continuation of any human civilization – the family.

Family values: the right to scream “I hate niggers!” while dragging a black man to his death on a country road.

Isn’t it classic community doublespeak when a society that has decriminalized homosexuality is now contemplating criminalizing opposition thoughts?

Nobody is criminalizing thoughts. You are free to be a sexist, misogynistic, homophobic jackass all you want. We just think you should be punished when you physically harm someone simply because they are gay (or straight!), or black (or white – 1 in 5 hate crimes are against white people just for being white!), or Muslim (or Christian!), etc.

In Sweden, a pastor was imprisoned for 30 days for simply expressing his faith’s view of homosexuality in a sermon. In Canada, Christian leaders received a hefty fine for expressing the same view over the radio. And right here in America, in Philadelphia eleven people were arrested and prosecuted for sharing the Christian gospel at a homosexual rally.

Boy, it’s a real shame for Kenny’s argument that none of these things are prohibited by this bill. I’m not going to bother with the incidents in Sweden and Canada, since neither is America, and our laws do not affect them and vice versa; but the case in Philadelphia is not quite as clear-cut as Kenny portrays. (In other words, they were arrested for interrupting a rally with a bullhorn, and ultimately charges were not dropped. Had they been simply handing out materials and talking to people interested in talking to them, there would have been no problem.)

Bottom line, this issue has nothing to do with “free speech” or “thought police”. It has to do with violent crime, and Kenny is a lying sack of shit to say otherwise.

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  • Forgot to put this in the article: Blackwell hates Teh Gay.

  • Modern Esquire

    Dammit, Brian, you beat me again!

    Oh well, you can read my thoughts over at BSB.

  • This is a hate crimes bill and has nothing to do with religion- because religion SHOULD have nothing to do with the hateful, denunciatory speech Ken Blackwell claims to be protecting.

    The fact is: people who use religion as an excuse to teach hate and promote violence are doing much more than just professing their religion- especially if their speech leads others to do commit violence.

    Hell, the ‘rights’ Ken claims to be protecting don’t even exist. It’s ALREADY against the law. It’s called Inciting to Violence:

    no person shall knowingly engage in conduct designed to urge or incite another to commit any offense of violence, when either of the following apply: (1) the conduct takes place under circumstances that create a clear and present danger that any offense of violence will be committed; (2) the conduct proximately results in the commission of any offense of violence

    (Ohio Revised Code, ?2917.01, 1996).

    As far as I know, there aren?t anti-gay ministers currently in jail on an Inciting to Violence conviction. And I doubt the hate crimes bill will be any different.

    At the end of the day, this is the typical gay-bashing, homophobic crap we always hear from Ken ‘one-note’ Blackwell. It will have no impact on the the hate crimes bill or on the opinions of typical voters.

    It is right-wing rhetoric intended for a right-wing audience; exactly the kind of hateful speech that TownHall.com readers expect and love.

  • I think what is most alarming is how Blackwell tries to claim that the bill will criminalize average people simply believing that homosexuality is a sin. People will believe him, and that’s a real problem.

  • You know what REALLLY scares me??

    The possible existence of a smart HONEST Ohio conservative leader.

    But this weak stuff? Fugetaboutit

  • Modern Esquire

    Actually, Joseph, you’re incorrect to suggest that this hate crimes bill has nothing to do with religion. It includes religious preference as one of the classes protected from hate crimes.

    Something Blackwell also conveniently ignores.

  • This stuff is recycled almost word for word from something I read in Oregon about a month ago. These guys all read off the same page and can’t even bother re-arrange the words. What an “idjit”

  • True M.E.- what I meant to say was: Ken Blackwell’s dislike for this bill has nothing to do with the bill’s impact on religious speech- which is none. Instead, it has to do with his hate for TEH GAYS.

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