Starnes: Pastors Will Be Arrested for Crimes That Don’t Exist!

Todd Starnes, Fox News’ well-paid professional liar and hysteric, was a guest on Matthew Hagee’s show and spun a lurid tale of how, if the Supreme Court rules for marriage equality, pastors will be arrested for preaching the Bible as a hate crime.

“I do believe that if the Supreme Court does move forward and affirm this ruling,” he said, “I suspect that it is going to open up the floodgates. And I believe, Pastor Matt, that you are going to see militant LGBT activists directly target churches and directly targeting pastors and I think that we, in the very near future, could see American pastors brought up on hate crime charges for preaching from the Bible.”

Funny, you said the same thing six years ago when the federal hate crimes bill passed. So did all of your fellow paranoia-peddlers. Guess what? Hasn’t happened. You know why? Because it can’t happen. In order to qualify as a hate crime, there has to be an actual crime, an act of violence of destruction of property. Merely preaching anything does not and cannot qualify. Starnes knows this, of course, but he doesn’t care that he’s lying. It’s his job to lie.

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  • Doug Little

    Pastor Matt, that you are going to see militant LGBT activists directly target churches and directly targeting pastors

    Well they could do with a bit of a makeover, perhaps a glitter bomb or two.

  • John Pieret

    Unless the preacher is in front of a mob surrounding a LGBT person screaming “Leviticus says to stone the infidel,” there is no chance that “preaching from the Bible” could be a hate crime.”

  • Artor

    John P, even that wouldn’t cut it. “Leviticus says to stone the infidel,” is a factual statement. It’s right there in black & white. Now, if the preacher continued to say, “So you should go out and do it right now! Here’s a rock.” then we have incitement to murder.

  • emc2

    Maybe if the Bible wasn’t filled with such hate-filled rhetoric, Starnes wouldn’t have to worry about the implications of preaching it.

  • rietpluim

    Since preaching the Bible is a hate crime, I think Starnes’ suggestion deserves some serious consideration.

  • John Pieret

    Artor:

    I was giving the minimal threshold where quoting/preaching the Bible might make for a hate crime (and there would have to be at least some stones thrown). Of course, a jury would have to determine that the preacher wanted the crowd to throw stones as well. But you don’t have to be as explicit as “kill him” to be found guilty of incitement to murder or physical harm.

  • grumpyoldfart

    #6

    (and there would have to be at least some stones thrown)

    We’ve got a similar law in Australia for domestic abuse. A man can threaten to kill his wife all day everyday but the police tell the woman there is nothing can be done until he actually gets physical. “But don’t worry sweetheart. If he does kill you, we’ll know who to look for.

  • John Pieret

    A man can threaten to kill his wife all day

    I can’t speak to Australian law but serious death threats (not merely saying during an argument “I could just kill you”) can be a crime here. It’s a tough line to draw but if you want to test it, just email the president saying “I’ve got a rifle and I’m coming to get you” and the Secret Service will happily explain it to you.

  • Anri

    He should have been asked to quote the parts of the bible he thought might have been considered hate speech. This would expose:

    1) His desperate ignorance of the bible (if he couldn’t come up with anything),

    2) The utterly asininity of his claim (if he quoted something innocuous), and/or,

    3) The deep awfulness of parts of the bible (if he actually quoted some of the “kill people who wear funny clothing” bits).

    Not that it would have convinced the target audience…

  • Die Anyway

    > “pastors brought up on hate crime charges for preaching from the Bible.”

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

  • eric

    JP:

    I can’t speak to Australian law but serious death threats (not merely saying during an argument “I could just kill you”) can be a crime here.

    IANAL and this is all IMO, but…in some ways the Australian system might actually work better (though its a trade-off; I’m not saying its better in every respect; its certainly bad in the respect of potentially ignoring the signs of a deadly crime about to happen). Because a serious threat is a crime in the US, the police must investigate. They must come and talk to the accused…and if there is no specific evidence, they aren’t going to jail them. So in practice, in the US reporting just notifies your abuser that you’ve talked to the police while offering little protection, which puts the victim at greater risk. Moreover, if you’re actually trying to work through problems with a spouse and don’t want to cut bait/get out, such notification is detrimental to those efforts: the legally required subsequent police visit is going to destroy any trust or goodwill the two are trying to build. OTOH if you don’t notify and things go bad, the abuser’s attorney can offer the defense: if this stuff was happening, why didn’t you report it? (Answer: because reporting it has a social/relationship cost and potential physical risk, dumbass.) Under the Australian system, it sounds like you can notify the police and they’ll record your visit/statement, but they won’t investigate or notify the accused because threats are not a crime. That may actually be more useful to some victims than the US method. Less useful to others, of course, but more useful to some.

  • caseloweraz

    Starnes: Pastors Will Be Arrested for Crimes That Don’t Exist!

    Well, why not? They’re already suffering from persecution that doesn’t exist. It wouldn’t be too surprising if some of them claim to have been arrested. (Gives new meaning to the term “false arrest.”)

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    I think that we, in the very near future, could see American pastors brought up on hate crime charges for preaching from the Bible.

    Sounds like an admission to me.

  • anubisprime

    Well if the numbnuts proudly insist on waltzing around with a stylized miniature instrument of torture around their scrawny necks tis only a hop skip and a jump to rounding the sickos up and off to the FEMA camps with ’em, cos anyone with that severe lack of taste, appropriateness or common decency really has no place amongst the rest of society…except as classic examples of when low IQ meets intense, but ever so skewed, self invented righteousness that bows and scrapes to the inherent bigotry therein…

    Possibly they are prime examples of the last huzzah of a defective gene on its way to the tar pit anyway. but who really knows?…certainly no point, or even sense, in taking chances…off with ’em…be gone!

  • dingojack

    Well at least they’ll get arrested for crimes that don’t exist, because they follow a god that doesn’t exist. There’s a kind of symmetry there, at least.

    Dingo

    ———

    I wonder if they’ll be arrested by imaginary police, tried in front of an imaginary judge and be defended/prosecuted by imaginary lawyers before found guilty by an imaginary jury and given an imaginary sentence in an imaginary jail? Imagine that!