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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Comments

Emproph

I apologize for the length.

You said:

Like what is needed with the issue of bullying in the public school, can't a broad coalition of non-like-minded people band together and say, despite our agenda (and we all have one), "violence against people who are different from what is considered normal is wrong and must end." No religious or social cause is promoted, just love and respect for our fellow man.

Is that possible in today's agenda driven society? I'm interested. I really am.

In an ideal world, yes. Because bullying laws and hate crime laws would be unnecessary. But as long as “religious freedom” is used as an excuse to define others as unrepentant sinners, and to express that definition with impunity (Such as isolating them in particular, and incessantly attempting to convince them that they are unrepentant sinners, or promoting the notion that this certain group in particular needs to be “reached” with that message, then "just love and respect for our fellow man" will never do.

I do, however, respect -- but not agree with -- those who proclaim loud and clear that they are against ALL bullying and hate crime legislation, and who have the guts to lobby congress to rescind all bias related laws.

I did a poll on this at SoulForce called: "I support the repeal of ALL hate-crime legislation."

I hope he doesn’t mind -- as he’s a good friend -- that I repeat his comment in full, because it clarified for me what the major differences are:

I certainly do not think that people who are against ALL hate crimes legislation are necessarily hatefilled or bigoted.

There are so many laws that are on the books, and that get added, because the existing laws are not enforced equally or appropriately. In an ideal world, hate crime legislation would be redundant, because crime would be investigated and prosecuted with an even hand. The need for hate crimes legislation, in reality, comes from the follow-up crimes of police and justice officials exercising their power in a biased manner by determining that certain crimes against certain people are not worth their effort.

One definition of bigotry, according to American Heritage Dictionary, is: One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

Police and justice officials, many times, exercise bigotry, resulting in the need for hate crimes legislation. That is a fact.

Believing so strongly that the system is unpartial and inherently fair, despite the plethora of evidence to the contrary, is another form of bigotry. While it may be delusion, it is fed by the insensitivity and intolerance of opposing viewpoints - notably of those who experience life and the legal system differently than they. While this delusion may not be the result of hate, it is the result of bigotry - the insidious kind of bigotry that masquerades as patriotism and social conservatism. It would allow injustice to happen, so that a fixed perception of the value of the system, based on its value to that individual, can be perpetuated.

To clarify, I’m not for extra punishment for hate crimes or bullying, nor do I think they are a deterrent. But I think a record of those incidences is important for the sake of isolating and understanding where, how and why the harassment or violence is occurring, in order to target those places where increased sensitivity needs to occur. But as long as “religious freedom” is used to justify the prevention of sensitivity measures that include sexual orientation, increased bias crimes/bullying, the recording of them and follow up, against certain groups will continue to be disproportionate.

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