Claim Hate Crime Laws Hinder Free Speech

Black Churchies v. Reality

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A group of conservative black preachers have banded together to take on comprehensive hate crime laws.

As the Senate gears up to debate The Matthew Shepard law, shit-stirring Reverend Ken Hutcherson and his peers have placed the above ad, which reads:

Christian clergymen and people of faith are making a stand today for religious liberty. WE OPPOSE S.1105, “The Matthew Shepard Act.” We believe prosecutors and anti-Christian groups will use loop holes in this proposed legislation to muzzle the church. Unnecessary lawsuits will bring a chilling effect to the free speech and religious liberty of our churches and of our members.

It goes on:

We understand more clearly than most that racially motivated violence can be a form of internal terrorism. The Black Community needs a free puplits. Indeed, ALL Americans need free pulpit. We urge Senate to to avoid misguided compassion take away America’s most basic freedoms – our freedom of speech, our freedom of conscience and our freedom to exercise religion.

Sounds to us like they’ve taken a page from Family Research Council. And, what’s more, lost their consciences.

Of course, it’s not surprising to hear black churches speaking out against homosexuality. As we’ve discussed, such congregations have a powerful voice in the culture wars. This ad’s logic, however, can certainly be described as “surprising,” especially because, as Box Turtle points out, black people are included in hate crimes laws, yet still find themselves on the receiving end of hate speech:

Despite enjoying hate crime protections for a number of years, the African-American community continues to be the target of constitutionally protected hate speech whenever the Klan wins approval to hold rallies on courthouse squares and statehouse lawns. Nothing in the existing hate crime laws has succeeded in muzzling their First Amendment rights to free speech.

There are at least thirty seven racist Christian Identity groups active across America. Some even operate radio broadcasts and “prison ministries.”

Indeed. Hate crime laws do not and will not hinder free speech, particularly with regard to religion. Those who say the laws will are either idiots, over-zealous, blinded by discrimination or all of the above.