A postcard showing the 1920 Duluth, Minnesota lynchings
As mentioned, I’m spending some time reviewing It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America by Georgia Congressman Jody Hice. Go back to the initial post to get my overview of the book and the lowdown on the front matter. I’m reviewing the book a chapter at a time. These reviews involve taking quotations from the book and providing appropriate comment. This is Chapter Four, titled “The Truth About Hate Crimes” Here’s how it starts:
For instance, there is much talk these days about “hate crimes” legislation and various related bills, such as ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act). The outcome of these bills will have horrible consequences if they become law. So bizarre has the conflict become, that elected representatives in Washington, D.C. actually attached a hate crime bill to the Defense Authorization spending bill. By so doing, they associated ‘hate crimes’ with terrorism. This was nothing but a politically correct way of saying, “those who disagree with the liberal, radical, left-wing agenda have
the same mentality of terrorists, and need to be dealt with accordingly.”
Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (pp. 82-83). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.
I’m going to say this just about dispenses with Congressman Jody Hice’s thinking there is no such thing as a hate crime.
Surprise, surprise! Bleeding heart liberal that I am, I have one agreement with Congressman Hice. The concept of hate crimes is redundant. Then-governor George Bush of Texas famously spoke in a debate with presidential opponent Al Gore back in 2000. This was concerning a particularly gruesome murder of a black man in Texas. With as little adroit as could possibly be mustered, our governor stated there was no need for a hate crime. These murderers were going, themselves, to be murdered by the state of Texas. And he gave a little chuckle.
The problems I have with legislating hate crimes are:
- This places an extra burden on the prosecution. The prosecution needs to prove something more than the facts of the case. Proof is needed of what was in the mind of the accused.
- It’s superfluous. The act itself is a crime without the added charge.
- People will be prosecuted for something that is likely protected under the Constitution. We do not require that people like each other. We just require they get along.
Fortunately for this writer, Congressman Hice has few bounds when he arranges to set his thoughts to hard copy. For example:
Unfortunately, there is an eerie silence from Washington about the real nature and purpose of hate crime legislation. It is not about protecting a discriminated class of Americans, in particular, homosexuals. Truthfully, there is no significant national problem of unfairness or harm against the gay and lesbian community. In fact, in many ways they already enjoy more rights and freedoms than other Americans. Take, for example, the partially taxpayer funded Hedonistic Folsom Street Fair held in San Francisco during September. Over 400,000 people attended the despicable event. Matt Barber, currently with Liberty Counsel but previously, Policy Director for Cultural Issues for Concerned Women for America (CWA) said, “we have photographic evidence that the San Francisco government suspends indecency and child abuse laws for a day allowing fair goers to parade the streets of San Francisco, fully nude, engaging in illegal public sex while tax-payer funded police stand-by and do nothing. Children are allowed to-and do-attend this event and are exposed to this activity which is illegal child abuse.” What other group could get away with such unlawful behavior and enjoy police protection for so doing? They have become “untouchable” from a political or public point of view.
Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 83). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.
I have to say, I went to the site, and I viewed the photos. There definitely are some people with an overwrought obsession for things leather. Little doubt is left there are people doing things in public that would best be left for the privacy of one’s home. Some of these people really ought to be ashamed of themselves. I am sure if Congressman Hice were made king for a day he would put an end to all of this.
And there, as one might say, is the rub. There is a lot here to do with Congressman Hice’s personal preference and not as much about what may really be wrong with this country.
Beyond that, the congressman rightly points out that the incidence of hate crime is minuscule in relation to the total crime problem. Then—and this is why I enjoyed so much reviewing this book—the congressman takes that extra step:
Based on these facts, where is the justification for “hate crime” legislation? Why is no one in Congress proclaiming the truth about these people and their horrible “woes?” All we hear about is their persecution, the discrimination they face and the desperate need they have for police and law enforcement protection. We are told that millions of tax dollars should be spent for this legislation in order equip and hire the adequate law enforcement needed to stop the bloodshed.
Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 85). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.
Did he say “millions of tax dollars?” Does he really mean extra police officers will be needed? In all fairness, Pastor Hice wrote this before he was actually elected to public office with the aim toward making our country’s laws. His job as pastor of a Bethlehem, Georgia, church was not sufficient preparation in the ways of the world. In all fairness, the people of Georgia District 10 may not have been aware of this when they voted for Pastor Hice, sending him to Washington to make law.
Again, Congressman Hice points out the paucity of actual hate crime prosecutions. Again he goes a little hyperbolic:
We are entering an era in American history where people are going to be criminalized for a particular belief system they embrace. The outcry for protecting homosexuals and gender-confused people is manufactured. You must look beyond the “politically correct” hullabaloo. If there is no statistical problem, then why are millions of dollars being offered to “protect” 151 people? Again, protecting 151 people is not the concern. The real effort is to criminalize millions of Americans who do not accept the lifestyle or worldview of that these 151 represent. The goal is to create fear through threat of punishment and thereby, silence opponents. By so doing, the influence of those who hold to traditional moral values will be squelched, and the liberal, sexually twisted agenda of the Left will march forward, unchallenged. That is what “hate crime” legislation is about; it is not about protecting 151 people!
Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 86). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.
“The real effort is to criminalize millions of Americans who do not accept the lifestyle or worldview of that these 151 represent.” Millions of Americans are going to perpetrate crimes against 151 people? Surely Congressman Hice did not mean to say exactly that. We can only hope. We can only hope that millions of Americans are right now not preparing to attack, brutalize, murder homosexual and transgender individuals in any number.
“By so doing, the influence of those who hold to traditional moral values will be squelched, and the liberal, sexually twisted agenda of the Left will march forward, unchallenged.” Hate crime legislation is meant to keep people from challenging the “sexually twisted agenda of the Left?” Congressman Hice omits any description of how hate crime legislation is going to keep himself, as well as millions of others, from speaking out against anything to which they object. Assaulting, brutalizing, murdering maybe. A look at actual hate crime legislation hints that nobody is convicted of a hate crime unless an otherwise unlawful act is also involved. Does Congressman Hice miss this point? Does he hope his readers do?
The congressman advances into a discussion of employment discrimination:
Not only are we fighting hate crime legislation, but also a host of other related bills are pending, such as ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Just as hate crime legislation is not about crimes, ENDA is not about stopping discrimination in the workplace. The evidence of sexual-oriented discrimination is horribly lacking. Nonetheless, if ENDA goes through and we protect this ‘special’ group of people by claiming them to be disadvantaged and discriminated against in the workplace; then private businesses will be forced by law to accommodate homosexual and transgender activity, thus legitimizing their lifestyle. Why not do the same with other classes of people, Christians for instance?
Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 87). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.
His reasoning is not clear. At one point he notes that employment discrimination hardly exists. Then he says employers will no longer be able to do what they are hardly doing already. Further, such legislation will work to make the lifestyles of homosexuals and transgenders acceptable. Sort of like making interracial marriage acceptable (adding my own translation).
Contrary to all the hullabaloo regarding homosexuals and transgenders, it’s really Christians who are receiving the brunt of anti-discrimination legislation. To be sure, Congressman Hice cites the case of Christian minister Mark Holick:
Discrimination cases against Christians have become too numerous to count. Pastor Mark Holick went to a homosexual event in Wichita, Kansas in July 2007. He wanted to give away Christian literature and to silently pray while the event was taking place. There was a small fee for entrance into the event park. Holick did not enter. Instead, he intended to stay outside the park on a public sidewalk. Several days prior to the event, he went to the Police Department and informed them of his plans. He obtained official permission to proceed with his objective. One high-ranking officer assured him that he would encounter no problems, saying, “the sidewalk is your friend.” What he experienced was alarming. Within three minutes of his arrival on the morning of the event, Mark Holick was arrested for “trespassing” on a public sidewalk, while hundreds of other people on the same sidewalk were allowed to “trespass.” An obvious question is, “How can you trespass on a public sidewalk?” but off to jail he went! This situation comes much closer to an authentic “hate crime” than does the fabricated accusations touted by the media in defense of homosexuality. In this case, Mark Holick’s Constitutional rights were clearly violated.
Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (pp. 87-88). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.
The Wichita Eagle provides some background:
A judge ordered a Wichita pastor to stay away from the Islamic Society of Wichita, as part of a sentence for loitering and disrupting business.
Sedgwick County District Judge Phil Journey this morning sentenced Mark Holick to serve 12 months unsupervised probation, pay $300 in fines and stay at least 1,000 feet from the Islamic Center, where he was arrested in August 2010.
Holick, pastor of Spirit One Christian Ministry, and more than a dozen followers had gone to the Islamic Center as members there were trying to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan. Holick said they were there to hand out Bibles. Police said he was causing a disturbance and blocking access to the center.
Police had said they asked Holick to move to a public sidewalk. In one instance, cited by Journey, Holick marched in place in response to police orders to move.
“The only reason you were the one arrested is because you were the only one who disobeyed the police orders,” Journey told Holick.
It would appear a lot of what Congressman Hice says is contrary to known facts. Are we surprised? We shouldn’t be. If all suspicions are correct, the congressman also believes a magical person in the sky sent himself, disguised has his own son, to this planet in order that his son (himself) could be tortured and killed to redeem the sin committed by two imaginary people about 6000 years ago. Once you get past that you can believe all kinds of stuff.
Congressman Hice recounts a case that highlights a number of interesting points: Here is a lengthy quote:
A case of attempted robbery has revealed that hate-crimes laws are not about “hate” but about enshrining homosexual behavior into law. Anthone Fortunato lured 28-year-old Michael Sandy to a New York City beach to rob him. Fortunato and some other men chased Sandy into a street, where he was struck by a car and killed. Fortunato said that he had selected Sandy because he thought a gay man would be an easier target. As a result, he was charged with murder as a hate crime. Interestingly enough, Fortunato testified in court that he too, is gay.
Nonetheless, prosecutors argue that Fortunato’s sexual preference is irrelevant because New York law can convict defendants of hate crimes even if they bear no actual hatred for their victim. Did you get that? A person can be convicted of a hate crime, even if there is no hate involved! The law merely requires “that they singled out a person for a violent act because of some belief or stereotype about that person’s ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation.” The judge agreed with that interpretation!
Bruce Hausknecht, a judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said this case proves hate-crimes laws are not about hate. “If you can be prosecuted for a hate crime without demonstrating any hate for the victim, and you even belong to the same protected class as the victim, then all of the publicly touted reasons advanced by liberals for the necessity of these types of laws are pure fabrications designed to cover up their political motivations.” This case demonstrates that “hate” is not the issue. The point of hate-crime laws is to normalize a certain lifestyle; it is about forcing the American public into acceptance of humanistic ideology. The attempt is to force all public aspects: politics, business, education and religious organizations, to accept something that might not otherwise, be accepted.
Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 89). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.
Now, that’s interesting. Fortunato sought to rob Sandy. Sandy got killed in the process. A crime was committed. Fortunato was charged with that crime. Then he was charged with an additional crime. Congressman Hice has a point here. No hate may have been involved. Maybe Fortunato did not hate Sandy. Maybe Fortunato actually liked Sandy. That’s why he robbed him. Because Fortunato liked him. That’s what people do when they like somebody. They rob (and kill) them.
Of course I’m being facetious. Hate crimes may be a silly idea, but Hice has some silly ideas of his own. The American Justice system is being used to force people to do something—accept people the way they are—that would not otherwise do. That’s not the job of the American justice system. That’s the job of people such as Pastor Hice, leader of a Christian congregation in Bethlehem, Georgia. Whatever happened to the principle of Christian love and acceptance? Is it a myth on the same order as hate crimes?
Coming up next: Chapter Four, “Religious Liberties Under Siege ” It’s going to be interesting.
Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.