Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Only If We Allow It

Will Politically Incorrect Opinion Become a Hate Crime?

If a “human relations” task force in California has its way, the answer will be yes. Its victims are two Lancaster, Calif., city officials: Mayor R. Rex Parris and Councilman Sherry Marquez. Their sins? Parris told a group of Christian ministers, “We are growing Christian community — and don't let anybody shy away from that.” And Marquez posted quotations on her Facebook page from Muslim leaders encouraging adherents to win the world for Islam along with excerpts from the Bible that encourage Christians to defend themselves.

Mayor Parris had expressed his sentiments previously as well, during a State of the City address; this prompted a federal civil-rights complaint by the Council on American-Islamic Relations based on the separation-of-church-and-state principle.

Now, while the mayor didn’t violate the the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause (properly understood), this isn’t surprising given how it is almost universally misinterpreted and misapplied. But now some are pushing the envelope and wish to do to freedom of speech what has already been done to freedom of religion.

Jody Brown at OneNewsNow.com reports that “according to the Antelope Valley Press, the local human relations task force will convene on Monday evening [February 8] to discuss whether those remarks could potentially be ‘hate incidents.’

Darren Parker, chairman of the task force, tells the newspaper that if the mayor's comments are so deemed, ‘a complaint will be made to the [federal] Justice Department’ and to state and county district attorneys.”

Wow, let’s get this straight:

In the “land of the free and home of the brave” you could conceivably be charged with a hate crime for expressing opinions and desires?

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