Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sarah Palin, Hate Crimes and Halloween

I have written in the past about how I disagree about the concept of "hate crimes". I have written that crimes should be prosecuted and punished in accordance with the nature of the crime itself. Punishment should not be more sever if the motivation for the crime is deemed to be bigotry. Crimes of vandalism, violence and those that incite violence, are serious crimes, and should be prosecuted and punished zealously, regardless of the motive. I believe that it is wrong to dole out additional punishment in order to appease certain minorities groups and be more lenient to other criminals due to political correctness.

A good example of why hate crimes are intrinsically unfair, is an incident that is occurring in Los Angeles this week. A "waste of human flesh" (I hope that I did not commit a hate crime with that description),decided to decorate his house for Halloween. This decoration included a mannequin, that was made to resemble Sarah Palin, hanging in effigy from the top of his house. Of course when this "waste of human flesh" was interviewed, he said that his display was merely his expression of art.

This display is not considered a hate crime, despite the recent outcry that displaying a noose, is an expression of hate against African Americans. These claims of noose related hate crimes were stirred up by the controversy and misinformation circulated about the Jena six, and subsequent nooses that turned up around the country, many of which later proved to be hoaxes. These random nooses, were all investigated as hate crimes.

Surprisingly,many commentators have agreed that if Barack Obama was hung in effigy, that would be considered a "hate crime", because Obama is black. Current law classifies hate crimes as crimes that are specifically targeted against people because of their race, religion or national origin. Women are not protected under hate crime laws.

Interestingly, the man who decorated his house for Halloween, with a dead replica of Sarah Palin, swinging from a noose, appears to be a homosexual, a minority that is not currently protected under hate crime laws. However, if proposition 8 fails in California on election day, homosexuals could become a protected minority under hate crime laws. Homosexual activists feel that churches, that preach that homosexual behavior is sinful, would like to see these churches and their ministers prosecuted under hate crime laws. The US senate is considering a bill that would expand hate-crime legislation to include homosexuals. Legislation is being proposed in England, allowing parishioners to sue ministers for preaching that homosexual behavior is a sin.

What will come next? Will preachers be charged with hate crimes for preaching that premarital sex is sinful? Will preachers be sued for preaching that adultery is sinful? Will Christianity be banned due to its "hateful" beliefs? This is absurd, because Christianity promotes love and fellowship between all men an women. Christianity preaches love, compassion, forgiveness, self improvement and helping your fellow man. Christianity acknowledges that all men are sinners, and offers us a path to eternal salvation. Christianity does not stand for hate in any way, shape or form.

I believe that laws already exist on the books that outlaw public displays that are abhorrent, repulsive, detestable, obscene. It is obvious to anyone with common sense, that this display of Sarah Palin hanging from a noose, violates these laws. Calling this "art" for a Halloween display, is convoluted logic and defies reason. It is obviously a political statement that crosses the line, because this display is abhorrent, repulsive, detestable and obscene.

As well as being a vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin is also someone's daughter, wife and mother. How would you like to see your loved-one hanging in effigy, as part of someone's twiated idea of a Halloween display? Would this so-called "artist" stand for a likeness of his lover hanging from the roof of a neighbors house, who merely claims that he has the right to express himself with that kind of a Halloween art display? I think not. Allegations of gay-bashing and hate crimes would likely ensue. Hate crime laws are unfair. They are not necessary, if we merely enforce the laws that already exist, dispassionately and reasonably.

To go down a path that prosecutes crimes to appease vocal minorities, while ignoring others, is dangerous, unfair and un-American. We should be judged on our behavior, rationally and reasonably, not emotionally. Justice should be dispensed dispassionately and without prejudice, according to the "actions" of the perpetrator and not the emotions that his crime stirs up.

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