Tuesday, July 31, 2007

NO ONE IS TRYING TO MUZZLE YOUR PULPIT!

The Human Rights Campaign e-mails me newsletters every few days and just today they sent me one asking for money to help pay for a full-page ad in the USA Today to refute the one above (amongst other fund raising needs).

Now, not to get too political here, but I can not understand the group of Minister's concerns about preaching against homosexuality in regards to being held liable to inciting any sort of action against a gay person based on a sermon. This strikes me as a possibility so far removed from reality it boarders on outright absurdity (how would one prove that in a court of law?).

Regardless, if you examine the specific language of the bill in question, you'll find the following:

"Nothing in 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."

Obviously I am not a constitutional scholar, and at the risk of sounding like an idiot, this leads me to believe that the successful passage of this bill will in no way, shape or form prohibit a preacher/minister from espousing their religious beliefs. Although I'm "preaching to the choir", if I'm missing something really obvious, please let me know.

From my understanding, the purpose of this bill is not to restrict anyone's First Amendment right to Free Speech, but rather the effort seems to ensure that anyone that maims or kills someone based on their sexual orientation receives an extended sentence and to provide additional federal funds to ensure that local municipalities actually follow through on prosecuting stupid fucking pieces of shit like the guys that killed Matthew Shepard. Right? This isn't even a new bill but rather an amendment to the existing Hate Crimes bill.

So what is the problem with these Ministers? This question is not derived from any predetermined ignorance...rather I'm trying to understand the opposition's point of view. Is it just political? Religious?

1 comment:

Dee said...

I find it interesting that all of the Minister's featured on the cover of this ad are African-American (not that it makes a difference or not just a observation on my part).

I will have to agree with you on this topic Justin.