6 years ago: Unwanted

April 26, 2007, on this blog: Unwanted

The anti-anti-, i.e., pro-hate-crime talking point favored by Sheldon and his colleagues on the religious right is the idea that this will somehow lead to pastors being thrown into jail for preaching that homosexuality is a sin. It’s a “slippery-slope” argument that has no basis — and doesn’t claim any basis — in the text of the law itself. Nor does it have any basis in experience: Hate crime laws pertaining to racist motives are already on the books, yet none of the racist CHINO pastors still preaching their “curse of Ham” blasphemies has ever been prosecuted. Bob Jones III is still a free man.

So is Lou Sheldon dumb enough to believe his own slippery silliness, or is he just being dishonest to further his political agenda? Hard to say. But any question that begins with “is Lou Sheldon dumb enough …” I’m inclined to answer yes.

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  • Yeah, just makes me think of the case I heard a couple of weeks ago — a psychologist performed a neat little flip-flop, arguing that it was unlikely that the defendant would ever commit another murder, so he didn’t deserve the death penalty. Then when cross-examined, he readily admitted that “the race factor – black” made the defendant significantly more likely to commit another murder.

    This was in 1997 and was only one of seven cases in which this psychologist argued that race was a strong factor in whether or not a person should be executed. To date, none of the appeals have resulted in any other verdict (they have all been executed) and that psychologist is still working for the state of Texas.

  • MaryKaye

    While I doubt the people doing this would own up to the underlying logic, I think it’s really like this:

    The #1 factor contributing to tolerance of homosexuals is knowing some gay people. Shaming, bullying, ostracizing and committing violence against homosexuals helps keep them in the closet, thereby preventing people from getting to know them (as gay people, at least). Anything that challenges the “right” to attack gay people DOES advance the cause of having gay people recognized as people. And recent years make it very clear that if the opposition doesn’t stem the tide of people becoming acquainted with their gay neighbors, classmates, family members, co-workers, etc. they will lose, and lose bigtime.

    I see this in my own family. My father is from a generation and background where I might expect some ingrained bigotry, but he is totally pro-equality. He had a lifelong close friend who was gay and through much of his life was in a loving, committed relationship (sadly, the friend passed away due to cancer this year). How could he think that gay people are monsters?

    I imagine just the same thing was behind a lot of desperate attempts to preserve segregation. It’s much easier to think of black people as Other if you don’t have to rub elbows with them in ordinary life circumstances all day long. (I am grateful to my black high school teacher, in a very white town, for helping me with this.)

  • Jurgan

    “The TVC doesn’t explicitly call itself “pro-hate crime,” but the flier expresses their opposition to anti-hate-crime legislation, and to avoid the unwieldy “anti-anti-” prefix, the English language supplies us with the logically apt and more convenient prefix “pro.””

    What about “Anti-antichristianity?”

  • stardreamer42

    So the bigots are afraid that they will be treated in the same way that they advocate treating gay people? I play the world’s tiniest violin for them.