President Obama hasn’t even signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act yet, but right-wing activists are already “challenging” it … or at least their warped version of it.
Here is the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission vowing to defy the legislation:
“The fact the hate bill had to be passed in such an unscrupulous and cynical manner (attaching it to the Defense Authorization Act) reveals the depth of President Obama’s commitment to a radical, anti-Christian agenda. He will stop at nothing to undermine the will of the majority of Americans to pay back militant homosexual activists who raised millions of dollars for his campaign and worked to get him elected.”
“To sign the bill in the Rose Garden is another slap in the face and shows the level of contempt President Obama has for the majority of Americans who oppose the “homosexualization” of marriage and public education.”
“The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission will soon be announcing its plans, along with other leading pro-family groups, to defy, counter and challenge this unconstitutional attack on our religious liberty.”
And here is Gordon Klingenschmitt daring Obama to prosecute him:
In other words, A) pastors may quote the Bible publicly if their “intention” is the free exercise of religion or speech, but B) pastors may not quote the Bible publicly if their “intention” is to conspire with listeners to commit an act of violence. This begs the question, if the pastor never announces whether the unspoken “intention” of his heart is A or B, how can any prosecutor, judge, or jury know whether the pastor’s secret thoughts intended A) free exercise or B) conspiracy? Without revealing the secret intention of my own heart, whether A or B, I hereby publicly quote both Romans 1:32 and Leviticus 20:13:
Romans 1:32 — “Men with men working that which is unseemly…who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death.”
Leviticus 20:13 — “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
I further invite President Barack Obama, as the chief law enforcement official of America, to discern the secret thoughts and intentions of my heart, and to prosecute me for conspiracy or inciting the violent crimes of others who might read my words and act upon them, if he dares to think he knows or can prove my motives were not pursuant to the free exercise of religion or speech.
Of course, neither CADC or Klingenschmitt nor anybody else is going to be prosecuted for speaking out or “defying” this and they know it. After all, the legislation expressly protects free speech and religious freedom:
(4) FREE EXPRESSION- Nothing in this division shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs.
(5) FIRST AMENDMENT- Nothing in this division, or an amendment made by this division, shall be construed to diminish any rights under the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
(6) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS- Nothing in this division shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution of the United States does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.
But just because the legislation poses no threat to their religious freedom or right to free speech, amazingly that is not going to stop some on the Right from trying to use the legislation to turn paint themselves as martyrs.