I have literally just spent the last two hours trying to make sense of this claim from Focus on the Family:
House Hate-Crimes Bill May Target Pro-Life Servicemen and Women
Senate Republicans have called a hearing Thursday to discuss proposed hate- crimes legislation. The contentious language would elevate some victims of violent crimes over others.
The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed a hate-crimes bill, and is trying to take the concept one step further.
Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings has added language that would ban the recruitment, enlistment or retention of military personnel affiliated with “hate groups.” Just a month ago, the Department of Homeland Security issued a study listing pro-life advocates as potential national security threats.
Does this make any sense at all? Focus is claiming that passage of hate crimes legislation will somehow prevent anti-choice individuals from joining the military by stirring together three completely separate issues into one steaming mass of nonsense.
First of all, hate crimes legislation has already passed in the House and contains no such language regarding military recruitment, nor does the version being debated in the Senate. And considering that the legislation has already passed in the House, there is no way that Rep. Hastings could have “added language” to it.
Secondly, what Hastings has done is add an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 that “would prohibit the recruitment, enlistment, or retention of individuals associated or affiliated with groups associated with hate-related violence against groups or persons or the United States government.” The language of the amendment can be found here [PDF] and defines “hate groups” as groups that advocate violence against others based on race, religion, or ethnicity, engage in criminal activity, or advocate armed revolution against the government.
Thirdly, these two things have nothing to do with one another and neither has anything to do with the recent Department of Homeland Security report.
Yet, somehow Focus on the Family’s Steve Jordahl has managed to combine all three of these issues into one claim that hate crimes legislation would somehow lead to pro-life members of the military being targeted.
And even though this claim is utterly incoherent and fundamentally nonsensical, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see it get picked up by others in the right-wing echo chamber and quickly establish itself as part of the narrative.