Rubio Jumps on the Faux Persecution Train

Marco Rubio did the obligatory interview with the 700 Club that all Republican presidential candidates must do and threw the usual red meat out about how gay marriage is going to lead to Christians being turned into criminals under those hate speech laws that don’t actually exist.

In a new interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network featured on Tuesday’s episode of The 700 Club, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) warned that the momentum of marriage equality and other LGBT equality advances pose a threat to religious freedom. Specifically, he worried about the impact of categorizing opposition to LGBT equality as “hate speech.”

“We are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech,” he explained, “because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater. So what’s the next step after that, after they’re done going after individuals? The next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech. That’s a real and present danger.”

No, it isn’t. It’s barely an imaginary danger. Repeat after me: Hate speech does not exist as a legal matter in this country. People are free to label anything they want to be hate speech, but legally there simply is no such thing. There is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment, nor is it even remotely likely that there ever will be. Anti-bigots can be called haters by their opponents and they certainly are and will continue to be, but where is the causal link to making that illegal? We don’t even make racism illegal to express in this country (nor should we).

This is just demagoguery and fear-mongering. That’s how you keep people perpetually alarmed and clamoring for your protection, to borrow a phrase from Mencken, whether that means keeping the money flowing in or convincing people to vote for you.

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  • rationalinks

    Ah yes, the old, if we make SSM legal they will be mean and call us bigots and haters and THAT is persecution. But for us to actively pursue legal discrimination of a group because we think they are icky….nope, totally not persecution.

  • moarscienceplz

    This is OT, but I gotta say something Ed. When an ad video autoplays on any FTB blog, it is preventing me from scrolling it off the screen. This means I can’t read anything on FTB that is more than one screen long. I can reload the page, but it will start doing it again after about a minute.

    Please get it stopped, Ed. Thanks.

  • abb3w

    Turning the wayback machine to 1966….

    “We are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech, because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support interracial marriage, you are labeled a racist and a hater,” the Florida senator said. “So what’s the next step after that? After they’re done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the confessions of the Baptist Church, is hate speech. And that’s a real and present danger.”

    Hm.

  • busterggi

    “mainstream Christian teaching”

    Since when have all Christians agree on what mainstream Christian teaching is? RCC? JW? Mormonism? Calvinism? 40, 000+ other Christianisms?

  • colnago80

    Re busterggi @ #4

    To the born again churches, JWs, Mormonsand Seventh Day Adventists aren’t real Christians, while The Raping Children Church is the Whore of Babylon.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Try having some empathy for them, Ed. Imagine how terrible it must be, occasionally not getting everything you want. Now add to that the terror of being left behind in society, simply because you were on the wrong side of a social issue, and no matter how deep you dig in your heels society keeps getting farther and farther from your position on that social issue. Now multiply that by being left behind on every social issue!

  • gshelley

    How does he explain the Westboro Baptist church. If anything can qualify as anti gay hate speech, that would. Does he somehow think that if people are allowed to marry “God hates fags” is hate speech, but if not “god hates fags” is not?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.criley jason the cripple

    “because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater.”

    Try coming up with a reason to oppose same sex marriage besides “Eww, it’s icky”, and we’ll stop calling you what you really are.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    gshelley “How does he explain the Westboro Baptist church. If anything can qualify as anti gay hate speech, that would.”

    Sure, they’re safe. Now. But in the future, they’ll be sent to jail after The Gays bash down their doors and force their so-called “gay” so-called “marriage” so-called “ceremonies” down the throats of that church, and if they open a public business that’s open to the public, publically, they’ll be fined after refusing to arrange flowers for homos!

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Anti-bigots can be called haters by their opponents and they certainly are and will continue to be…

    Doesn’t that call for an “LGBTQetc” after the hyphen? I know the bigots call us anti-bigots “haters” because parroting our language is their very cleverest trick they can do, but the sentence seems a bit contradictory in context.

    (Yes, I know about the kidney stones & the meds – get better soon, Ed!)

  • zevonsky72

    Hate speech does not exist as a legal matter in this country.

    And I say who cares whether it does or it does not. Whether gay people have the right to get married has no more relationship to hate speech than any other rights any group has that someone else may object to. In theory, one could argue that gay people should have no rights at all, because legal homosexuality could be used as a basis for prosecuting as hate speech any reference to the “abomination” of homosexuality in Leviticus. Why should gay marriage have a special tie to hate speech that homosexuality in general does not have?

  • NYC atheist

    @11 zovonsky

    Because reasons. Shut up!

  • Lady Mondegreen

    @moarscienceplz #2

    This is OT, but I gotta say something Ed. When an ad video autoplays on any FTB blog, it is preventing me from scrolling it off the screen. This means I can’t read anything on FTB that is more than one screen long. I can reload the page, but it will start doing it again after about a minute.

    Please get it stopped, Ed. Thanks

    Ed probably won’t see that, as he rarely reads the comments. BUT ad-free FtB is really cheap (like, about $3/month.)

  • thebookofdave

    @moarscienceplz #2

    Also, the “Tech Issues” link at the top of the page can be used to report such problems.