Wednesday, August 31, 2011

When the zealots aren't batshit crazy enough...

I recently stumbled across some opinion pieces by hatemongers who are outraged by the comparative sanity of Rick Perry of Texas, or more specifically, his signing a hate-crimes bill (1) back in 2001. Having noted the crazy zealots who sponsored Perry's "The Response" (2) this would seem to be next-level craziness. One author, Gary Glenn, President of American Family Association of Michigan, compared the Texas bill to one Obama signed, saying of both:

"As lead plaintiff in a federal civil rights lawsuit asking the courts to declare the Obama-signed law an unconstitutional and chilling violation of religious free speech rights, honesty requires that I be equally critical of Gov. [sic] Perry for signing into law the exact same type of legislation, which — it’s clear from the enforcement record of such laws in Europe and Canada — poses the greatest single threat to religious free speech rights in America today."

Now, whether one agrees with stiffer penalties for crimes that are motivated by prejudices, or not, the above statement must be rather troubling. Not because it is true in any sense of free speech that members of civil society observe, but because it NECESSARILY presumes numerous violent acts to be free speech merely because the perpetrator holds a religious conviction that their action is just. The text of the federal law above mentioned states:

"(3) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS.--Nothing in this division shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence."


"(4) FREE EXPRESSION.--Nothing in this division shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual's expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual's membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs."

Therefore, we MUST conclude that Gary Glenn, President of American Family Association of Michigan DOES believe "planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence." is legitimate religious expression. There is no other possible explanation. After all, if he was lying about the whole thing, he would be thrown into the Lake of Fire at the End of Days, right?

Further reading:



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"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men: Therefore the people alone have an incontestible unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it." -- Constitution of Massachusettes (1780)