From Al Mohler:
As Sen. John McCain recently remarked, "elections have consequences." President Barack Obama signed the "Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act" into law on Thursday, fulfilling a campaign promise and handing the gay rights community one of its most sought-after achievements.Read the entire article HERE.
The bill, named for two men killed in vicious attacks, extends the definition of federal hates crimes to include attacks "based on a person's race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or mental or physical disability." Referring to Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd, the President said:
It's hard for any of us to imagine the mind-set of someone who would kidnap a young man and beat him to within an inch of his life, tie him to a fence, and leave him for dead. It's hard for any of us to imagine the twisted mentality of those who'd offer a neighbor a ride home, attack him, chain him to the back of a truck, and drag him for miles until he finally died.
Those words are eloquent in exposing the deep evil that resides in far too many human hearts. If anything, the President spoke too cautiously. It is not only "hard" for any morally sane person to imagine the mentality behind these attacks, it is and must be impossible. Such crimes of violence against any human being should and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But defining these crimes as "hate crimes" shifts the legal issue from the criminally violent act itself to the thoughts and intentions of the criminal. This is a dangerous and unnecessary step, for the very idea of a hate crime requires the government to play the role of psychiatrist and also requires a list of those who deserve special protections. How can government stop the extension of that list? If criminalizing hate is legally justifiable, should not every citizen be granted these same protections?
Even more ominously, the logic of hate crime laws inevitably leads to the idea of laws against what is defined as "hate speech." It is not fair to suggest that this specific legislation includes a hate speech provision. It is fair, however, to sound the alarm that very important rights involving the freedom to speak openly against homosexuality, for example, are now at far greater risk.