One of the predominant themes of Religious Right discourse over the last couple of years has been to claim that Christians are under constant attack in America and to play the victim at every opportunity. And nobody dedicated more effort to pushing this theme than Janet Porter …. heck, she even wrote a book about it called “The Criminalization of Christianity.”
And so it is not surprise that she would also be at the fore-front of efforts to prevent hate crimes legislation from including “sexual orientation” by claiming, naturally, that it would grant gays and lesbians special status at the expense of Christians. As I pointed out when she made that claim last week, she was fundamentally wrong.
But that is not stopping her and this week she is back and playing the victim once again – this time literally:
I am the victim of a hate crime.
I’ve been targeted. Stalked. Threatened. All because I’m … pro-life.
Back when I was working to pass the nation’s first ban on partial birth abortion, my car burst into flames when I started it. The arson investigator said the attack was deliberate. The banner headline of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Friday, May 13, 1994, read: Right to Life Leader’s car Sabotaged, Odds are it is connected to abortion issue, police say.” The sticker on the bumper read: “Abortion? Pick on someone your own size.”
Why don’t I have an elevated level of protection in the so-called “hate crimes” bill soon to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee? I’ll tell you why. Because I’m not a lesbian, an exhibitionist, or a practitioner of one of the American Psychiatric Association’s list of 547 sexual deviancies, which includes pedophilia.
Let’s get this straight, if you threaten and attempt to kill me, no problem. No special protection; I’m just pro-life. But if my bumper sticker said “Lesbian Rights,” the perpetrator would be looking at an additional decade in jail … In addition to being targeted for being pro-life and threatened for being pro-marriage, I’ve also had to push away unwelcome advances. If that unwelcome advance were to come from someone of the same sex or someone who is on the APA list of sexual deviances, according to H.R.1913 and S.909, I would be a felon for pushing them away. So would you – unless you rise up to stop this insidious bill now.
I’ve already addressed several of these false claims in previous posts, so I’m not going to bother doing it again … but the assertion that she deserves protection because she is “pro-life” warrants a response.
Now, one way to look at it is to say that being pro-life is a political position and since political positions are not protected by any hate crimes legislation, then she is really in the same boat as the rest of us. If someone who was pro-choice was violently attacked because of that position, the attacker would not be subject to hate crimes legislation either.
Of course, Porter would probably claim that her pro-life views are rooted in her religion … and guess what? Religion is already protected under existing hate crimes law.
I can almost guarantee you that if someone were to violently attack Porter because of her pro-life views, she would claim that she was really targeted because of her religion … and, if that was indeed the case, she would certainly receive “special protection.”
Frankly, this whole line of argument doesn’t even make sense – it’s like saying “if I were violently assaulted because of my anti-death penalty views, I’d get no protection while someone who was violently attacked for being an African American would get ‘special protection.'”
They are two completely different things.
And finally, if “special rights” or “special protections” or whatever are so bad and so unfair, maybe Porter and everyone else on the Right who has been screaming about this legislation for weeks should be working to repeal the existing protections for religion and race because, as Christians, they are already protected by hate crimes laws. But you didn’t hear them complaining about the “special rights” they were receiving until “sexual orientation” was going to be added to the list of protected classes.
It seems that, for the Religious Right, the predominant theme of late has been “special rights for me, but not for thee.”