This video and post by David Neiwert of Pat Robertson blasting the inclusion of protections for “sexual orientation” in federal hate crimes legislation tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the Religious Right’s fundamental ignorance about the issue:
Then, of course, there’s the Religious Right, which is holding its collective breath and pouting over the event. Case in point: Pat Robertson at The 700 Club, ripping into the new law both yesterday and today on his show.
His basis for opposing the law, however, is completely detached from reality. For instance, Robertson argues:
Robertson: You know, there’s a law – what about a law that says it’s a federal crime to attack somebody because of his religious beliefs? Not a chance!
Robertson seems completely unaware that in fact religious bias is one of the categories of bias crime covered by hate-crime laws — and it has been from the very start, since these laws were first enacted on the state level in the early 1980s!
I had made this point time and time and time and time and time again and just assumed that the Religious Right leaders and activists were simply lying about this basic point … but apparently they are genuinely ignorant of the fact that there already is a law “that says it’s a federal crime to attack somebody because of his religious beliefs.”
And yet people still continue to take the Right’s claims seriously. Amazing.