"De bajo de mi manto, al rey mato." (An old Spanish proverb)
What is the rationale for hate crimes legislation? Sheila Jackson-Lee (D, Tx-18) must have some idea, since she has introduced The David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009"(HR256) in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill "Amends the federal criminal code to impose penalties for willfully causing bodily injury to any person…because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability of any person, where the offense is in or affects interstate or foreign commerce." It "directs the U.S. Sentencing Commission to study the issue of adult recruitment of juveniles to commit hate crimes and, if appropriate, to amend the federal sentencing guideline to provide sentencing enhancements for such an offense."
In one respect, hate crimes legislation defies the age-old logic of punishment. Webster's defines hate as "intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury." In the past, people generally regarded intense passion as a mitigating factor in the commission of a crime, though usually not sufficient simply to exonerate the person responsible. The influence of intense passion was taken to indicate a diminished capacity for rational choice, like the influence of alcohol or drugs. Of course, such ideas assumed that laws aimed to constrain behavior, not punish heretical states of mind.
Liberals nowadays are disposed to blather condescendingly about the separation of church and state when it comes to defending the natural family or legally established standards of decency for sexual behavior. Ironically, their penchant for hate crimes legislation seems intent on revisiting the mentality of the medieval statutes that enabled the Inquisition- laws that insisted on states of mind that satisfied a standard of purity in the understanding and observance of sacred ideas, people and things. Much like the special penalties imposed by some religions for mistreatment of sacred groups of people or animals, the proponents of "hate crimes" legislation deal in special classes of people against whom criminal acts are somehow more grievous and offensive.
Pity benighted individuals like me, who actually thought it an advance in jurisprudence when people concluded that actions, rather than thoughts and attitudes, are the proper objects of legal regulation and punishment. How absurd were those philosophers of human liberty who saw efforts to impose purity of thought and attitude as thin excuses for sectarian persecution or vengefulness. Of course, today's benevolent liberals aren't looking for excuses to arrest and try those who disagree with their promotion of homosexuality. They aren't seeking a legal excuse to censor the language of preachers who reject their worship of hedonistic sexuality. They are liberals, whose sole aim is to free the world from every semblance of thought that might produce an evil consequence, provided only that everyone is made to think of good and evil exactly as they do.
Sarcasm aside, hate crimes legislation is the statutory framework for the forceful imposition of a political and social religion. The so-called liberals mean to institutionalize intolerance, even as they loudly proclaim Holy Tolerance as their all in all. Because we seek to protect a form of human life that they despise, they defame as bigots or religious fanatics people working to re-establish respect for the law against abortion. Meanwhile they move boldly to use the force of law to punish the thoughts and attitudes of any who move against the sacred untouchables of their new cult of sexual pleasure and self-indulgence. Behind their phony slogans of hope and progress comes the return of Dark Age zealotry, dressed up in the fleshy tones of New Age vanity and glamour.
I say unequivocally that I hate this camouflaged return to the dark ages. I detest the persecution of people for their beliefs, thoughts and attitudes. More than anything that has to do with the body, this effort to delve into and directly impose upon the mind rapes the deepest form of privacy and smacks of the detestable crimes that invade the truly most intimate places of human existence in order to impose the leering tastes and heartless fancies of spiritual tyrants disguised as lawmakers and judges.
If someone has bad judgment enough to hate me, I say let them do so, so long as it never produces an action otherwise against the law. When and if it does, they should be subject to the same punishment that I or anyone else would suffer for the same act, with nothing added or taken away because of their putative beliefs or feelings about me. Adding to the burden of punishment because of their hate exposes me and every other person in society to a danger worse than any crime of hatred. It comes in the form of crimes that simply disregard first conscience and then humanity in order to treat people with the hate-less, cold-blooded ruthlessness of those who feel nothing as they order or tolerate the deaths of millions. Odd isn't it, that what are ostensibly efforts to cure hate may mask the insidious encouragement of the state of mind that, with ruthless efficiency, lends itself to the tasks required in order to impose totalitarian rule. It also leads to a society of people grown accustomed to the presence of the state in the one precinct of our existence that ought to be reserved for us, for us and God alone.