by Missi Lastra
Democrats in Congress seem to believe we need to have legislation specifically to protect those of Muslim faith living in America. Representative Donald S. Beyer, Jr. of Virginia submitted H.Res.569 – Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States. This bill doesn’t just attempt to protect Muslims in America from acts of violence but also includes “hate speech” in the same context as violence, arson, vandalism and other hate crimes.
I’m not certain who in Virginia voted on and elected Mr. Beyer but I wonder if they realize he is severely uneducated on existing laws that already take care of most of his proposed bill, and the remainder of his bill is protected under the 1st Amendment. You know, the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which is that pesky document the Dems are forever attempting to undermine. After all, our forefathers created all these pesky road blocks to prevent government from shutting us up. Imagine that?
So let’s chat about this monstrosity called a bill that House Dems are trying to sneakily push through during the Holidays. First, who doesn’t want to protect folks from anti-religion hate crimes? Wait a minute, I believe we already have things in place for that. For example, the first line of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution begins with ” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”. Is it possible that our founding Fathers actually put provisions in place to protect our religious freedoms? (I recognize the stupidity of this is dripping through my sarcasm)
But there is more, the United States Justice Department Civil Rights Division protects religious freedom in the areas of employment, public housing and education discrimination, access to public accommodations and facilities and land-use issues. State laws may vary somewhat but all have some hate crime provision. Current statutes permit federal prosecution of hate crimes committed on the basis of a person’s protected class of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. And I must mention the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 which adds further protections and penalties for acts committed against persons of protected classes because of their respective classes.
I believe I have made it abundantly clear that we take necessary measures in this country to protect the liberties and unjust persecution of those of all religions and therefore have no need for “extra” provisions for a specific religion. I would like to go even farther to say that we do not need to specify any single religion above others as to place higher importance of one over another. Based on the FBI’s hate crime statistics, 60.3% of hate crime victims were from anti-Jewish bias versus 13.7% which were victims of anti-Islam bias. It makes me wonder what Mr. Beyer’s motivations may be since a Jewish person is five times more likely to be a victim of a hate crime than a Muslim.
Now let’s address the highly controversial subject of “hate speech” and it’s relation to the 1st Amendment’s …..” or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Hate speech seemed to get more attention with anti-Semitism and can be defined as speech directed at a historically repressed religious or racial minority with the intent to insult or demean.
The Supreme Courts interpretations of the freedom of speech and hate speech basically finds that government has no right to regulate speech at all. The Supreme Court has also made clear that simply because certain speech is offensive to people does not justify government from punishing those exercising their 1st Amendment rights. The Supreme Court has excluded items identified as obscene from 1st Amendment protection. Child pornography is an example of obscene material that is not protected and punishable speech. Other than that, government should remain impartial in the sharing of ideas.
After all, if government got involved in regulating speech then we would no longer be the very special United States of America. Our forefathers experienced firsthand the violation of limited speech and worship by King George III. They knew what they were doing when they penned the provisions for our freedoms. This may be more insidious than stupid on the part of Mr. Beyer. This could very well be an attempt to begin the implementation of Sharia law just as it has been implemented in current day Islamic countries.
Nahmod Law (http://nahmodlaw.com/2013/12/04/know-your-constitution-5-free-speech-and-hate-speech/)