Religious Right participants in the upcoming hate crimes legislation protest sure intent on generating some press for themselves, as in the last few hours both Gary Cass and Paul Blair have issued press releases about it.
And this is raising an interesting question about just how they intend to go about challenging this legislation, because they seem to think that they are going to be challenging the law by simply preaching from the Bible:
Pastor Paul Blair, founder of Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, said, “Pastors have preached the Bible in America for over 400 years, pointing people to Jesus Christ and standing against sin. If preaching the Bible is now against the law, then let us be arrested. If not, may every pastor across America know that he can stand strong and proclaim Biblical Truth without fear of persecution or prosecution.”
Of course, merely preaching that homosexuality is a sin is not going to be a violation of the hate crimes law, which even Cass seems to realize:
While the ministers do not expect to be arrested, they are willing to go to jail, if necessary, to stand for freedom of speech and religion.
The question really comes down to just how they intend to preach against homosexuality. Do they intend to preach Leviticus 18:22?
Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
Or do they intend to preach Leviticus 20:13?
If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
Judging by this quote from Cass by OneNewNow, it’s difficult to know:
“We’re going to exercise our First Amendment rights to preach [the entire] Bible, including those parts that deal with homosexuality and the truth of the sin of homosexuality,” explains Dr. Cass. He further says this is being done as a way to clarify “….that this does not constitute a hate crime.”
The legislation explicitly protects religious freedom and freedom of speech, but “does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.” So if they intend to preach that homosexuality is sinful, that is not much of a challenge, as that sort of speech is clearly protected.
But since they obviously intend for this protest to be a direct challenge to hate crimes protections, that really only leaves them one option: demanding death for gays.
If that is the case, they ought to see if Steven L. Anderson is available to join them.