"sadly" preserving freedom of speech

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 04, 2007

Yesterday the US House of Representatives voted (237 to 180) to approve a "hate crimes" law, which would separate standards of justice for defendants whose crimes (real or alleged) are motivated by beliefs that other people find offensive.

Tony Perkins, the ex-Congressman who now heads the Family Research Council, makes a persuasive argument that this legislation is unconstitutional, violating the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection of law for all US citizens.

But some congressmen, at least, seem willing to tear up the Bill of Rights, if necessary, to serve the cause of political correctness. On the floor of the House there was a lively debate as to whether "hate crimes" should include the expression of ideas that are judged socially unacceptable. (You know: such as the idea that homosexual acts are immoral.) Ultimately the majority backed away from that idea, but some ideologues were disappointed. Rep. James McGovern of Massachusetts (where else?) sniffed: "Sadly, this bill does not go after speech."

Just to recap quickly:

The 1st Amendment to the US Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech...

Congressman McGovern says:

Sadly, this bill does not go after speech.

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  • Posted by: - May. 05, 2007 9:32 AM ET USA

    Unfortunately far too many of our legislators and judges have absolutely no idea of what the Constitution does or does not contain. They are only intent upon getting their name before the media, who in turn is only intent on getting the reporter's name before the public. Once elected the perks become too strong a temptation to chance not being re-elected. Sadly, some of our religious leaders fall into a similar category of not knowing what the religion does and does not mean.

  • Posted by: - May. 05, 2007 9:23 AM ET USA

    "You cannot legislate morality" - are you sure? Most all of our laws are 'morality' based. No commiting acts of rape, incest, murder, theft, child porn, prostitution, bestiality, public drunkeness & lewdness, abuse, harrassment etc - all are deemed immoral acts, thus the laws. Those that aren't strictly 'moral' as in tax codes, are framed in that language during debate: i.e. "fair share". We can't let our God-given contitutional rights be taken in the name of a new 'morality' that isn't moral

  • Posted by: - May. 05, 2007 7:38 AM ET USA

    It's a matter of identity, boundaries and competency. We get ourselves into big trouble when priests become politicians and politicians become priests, bishops become lawyers and lawyers act like bishops, religious sisters become pastors and pastors become sisters, congress becomes the USCCB and the USCCB acts like congress, etc. You cannot legislate morality, but if those entrusted with the moral voice are trying to legislate politically I guess you might not realize the dangers involved.

  • Posted by: - May. 05, 2007 1:16 AM ET USA

    As the homosexual agenda gets put into the curricula for "health" around the country, this is just a situation waiting to happen.

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2007 8:58 PM ET USA

    The legislation doesn't go nearly far enough. Where is protection for senior citizens, red-headed folks, and those that limp. (/sarcasm)

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2007 4:50 PM ET USA

    Name the Hate crime (theoretical, though likely situation): A faithful Catholic teacher at a public school in California, refuses to promote homosexual lifestyles as 'normal' in her classroom. She doesn't say anything negative, but just refuses to participate. In turn she is fired from her teaching position as being "hateful against homosexuals". Any mention of the 'hate crime' of her being fired for being a faithful Catholic? Down the hall, a teacher compares Pope Benedict to Hitler....

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2007 12:47 PM ET USA

    Sadly, month after month and day after day the Democrat majority labels itself as the "Party of Perversion" whether promoting abortion or stifling opposition views. People like McGovern expose theit true beliefs.

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2007 12:09 PM ET USA

    Patriot, I don't think so. My take is that the McGoverns and the Kennedys, et al, will only be satisfied when no shred of honest speech is interdicted, and we end up with the same scandalous situation that one finds in Britain or Canada. The Bill of Rights will soon be a dead issue, and the Nemesis will be content, for the moment, until the next push against God's people.

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2007 11:59 AM ET USA

    congressman mcgovern is a man of his time. This is where we are headed. This bully stance against whoever disagrees is what our culture is turning to, and making it law to insure the rights of the secular. When the cloud is lifted nad we can understand the meaning of their words, we come into a better idea where we stand morally. Let the truth be spoken and understood.

  • Posted by: - May. 04, 2007 10:24 AM ET USA

    Perhaps Congressman McGovern and his ilk are in a time and place warp and think that this is either Germany or Russia, circa 1939. Let's pray that they come back safely and that their sanity is restored.