Again in the news today, Exodus International sent out a press release to invoke more fear in Christians about gay and lesbians folks. The email urges people to fight Hate Crime Legislation.
The release starts right off by saying:
“Today, as the nation celebrates Religious Freedom Day, Exodus International, the world’s largest ministry to those desiring freedom from unwanted homosexuality, joins pro-family groups around the nation in urging Congress to stop a hate crimes bill that would penalize those with faith-based beliefs about homosexuality.”
There is no language in the proposed legislation that limits free speech or religious freedom, so right off the top, Exodus is lying to you to invoke fear against GLBT folks. This is shameful on the part of Exodus. No law can be passed that will limit religious expression or free speech as long as we have the Constitution.
We have had hate crime enhancements federally for years covering race, gender, age, religion, disability and nationality. It has not stopped anti-semitic websites or KKK rallies from thriving. It has not stopped white supremacist groups from marching, spewing hate speech, protesting, testifying on legislation or holding anti-black, anti-semitic demonstrations. Exactly how will adding gays limit religious freedom if adding religion or race did nothing to stop this stuff? Hate Crime Lawss didn’t stop these cute little blonde haired, blue eyed twins from singing “White Power” music, so how will hate crime laws stop anyone from preaching against gays? It won’t because Exodus is lying to invoke their own brand of hate dressed in cute clothes and holy looks. They are outwardly trying to invoke fear in others about gays. GUESS WHAT, that is protected by the constitution too! It is not protected by the court of public opinion.
The email continues (emphasis mine):
“Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, said, “Today, we celebrate a sacred right to freely practice our individual religious beliefs, and at the same time, Congress is debating legislation that could eventually destroy these freedoms. Hate crimes legislation does not prosecute illegal actions that harm others, it prosecutes beliefs about homosexuality that for many Americans, is consistent with their faith.”
Alan, again is lying to the public and his followers. Hate crime legislation is designed to punish crimes, not beliefs. If you believe homosexuality is gross, big deal. If that belief caused you to burn down your gay neighbors home then you should get a hate crime enhancement. Has nothing to do with belief, it is all about action. It is about what you do with that belief, not the belief itself.
Now Exodus would have you believe that there are already laws in place to cover this. There are not. Punishment needs to fit the crime and science has shown that hate crimes do more damage to both the community and the victim. The science has shown that hate crimes do more harm than the same crime without the hate. Let’s look to the experts about hate crimes, Dr. Gregory Herek:
All victims of serious crime are at risk for such distress, but the problems associated with hate crimes appear to last longer than for random crimes. In Dr. Herek’s study, crime-related psychological problems dropped substantially among survivors of non-bias crimes within approximately two years after the crime. Hate crime victims, however, continued to have higher levels of depression, stress, and anger for as long as 5 years after their victimization occurred.
Many of the problems observed by Dr. Herek’s research team may result from hate crimes victims’ feelings of personal danger and vulnerability associated with their identity as a gay man or lesbian. All crime victims are likely to feel more vulnerable after their experience and to perceive the world as more dangerous, unpredictable, and hostile. Dr. Herek’s data suggest that hate crime victims, in addition, often link this sense of vulnerability and powerlessness to their gay or lesbian identity. This association can be psychologically harmful because sexual orientation is such an important part of the self-concept.
Hate Crimes send a message to the community affected that they should be afraid for who they are regardless if we are talking about sexuality, gender, race, disability or yes, RELIGION. Painting a swastika on a Jewish Temple is not just vandalism. It is a message to the Jewish community that they are not welcome and should be afraid. Hate crime legislation sends a message right back that such hate will not be accepted. Why Exodus or any other group ignore the science, the statistics and the reality of hate crime laws is obvious, they hate, therefore hate crime laws scare them.
Alan Chambers tells a few half truths:
Chambers notes that there have been many examples of this in the United States and around the world. Canada, Australia, Sweden and other European nations have used hate crimes law to punish, even imprison preachers for speaking out against protected persons. Preachers have been fined or jailed in Canada and Sweden for quoting passages from the Bible about homosexuality. In England, a Christian was thrown in jail for passing out pamphlets with Bible verses condemning homosexual activity. In Philadelphia, eleven Christians were jailed for sharing a message from the Bible to a crowd of people attending a public pro-gay event.
To start with, anything that has happen in other countries is NOT relevant here in the USA due the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Secondly, Alan is not giving you all of the facts in these cases. The men in Philly bullied gay men with a bull horn, disrupting Pride Activities, pissing people off, of course they didn’t get a warm response. If gay men did that at a Promise Keepers rally, we would get our butts kicked.
Just the fact Alan mentioned other countries in his argument to get you to influence law in this country shows he is using fear tactics. He should be ashamed of such lies.
It ends with this:
Chambers says these and other examples should cause members of Congress to reconsider their support for hate crimes legislation. “The freedom to live our lives in a manner consistent with our faith-based beliefs is precious and so is the ability to share truth with others,” said Chambers. “As we celebrate the blessing of religious liberty today, we urge Congress to recommit to preserving these freedoms for generations to come by rejecting any legislation that would weaken or destroy it.”
With such nice wording Alan has made one huge lie after another. He is telling you that adding gays to the Federal hate crimes laws will limit their free speech. A trip to any KKK Rally will prove to you that is an outright lie.
It appears Focus on the Family has also joined in with lies about hate crime laws claiming they have been used to silence “peaceful protests”, but the evidence against these claims are so ample and clear. They are lying.
Please distribute this posts to everyone you know. I appreciate a link, but don’t care about it. Just spread the word. Get the message out there. Enough is enough, Exodus should be held accountable in the light of public opinion. Send this out!
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