I suppose for some I may be auditioning for the “Knuckle-dragging, out-of-touch” Award with the comment I am about to make, but I am going to say it anyway. Hate crimes legislation is stupid. If kidnapping, rape, and murder are awful evils in and of themselves, then justice will be served when the criminals who perpetrate these crimes are punished. What good is it to add the obvious statement that these things are hateful?
The truth of the matter is that hate crimes are hateful. I mean that. Hate crimes hate certain people and certain ways of thinking. Therefore, hate crimes are motivated by hate. People who hate this thought or that thought pass laws so that you are branded and punished more severely if you think hateful thoughts while you are doing hateful things. (Some bureaucrat or judge gets to decide what is hateful and what is not. Remember, all of us hate someone, even though we know hating others is wrong).
Hating Jews is wrong. Hating blacks is wrong. Hating lesbians is wrong. Hating Christians is wrong. Hating is wrong. But it is NOT criminal. Criminal actions enter in when action takes place. I don’t want a judge deciding what I can and cannot think. If I murder, I do want a judge to execute justice on behalf of all humankind.
I read this particular article today from the Louisville Courier Journal, and it really frustrated me. In the article, the writer bemoans the fact that someone was convicted of murder but not convicted of a hateful murder (a hate crimes murder). Is murder not hateful enough? Does the silly judge think this was somehow a “loving” murder? What murder is anything but hateful? The judge, in fact, whimpers and whines because Kentucky’s law does not go far enough. Oh, if only the law would go further, the jury could “enhance the defendant’s penalty.”
Think about that. The defendant is convicted of murder, but there is no hate crime to make it really bad—no way to make his penalty worse. Shouldn’t we have the toughest penalties for those convicted of murder? I, for one, believe that anyone who murders another should forfeit his own life. (If you live in Eastern Kentucky, that means I believe in the death penalty ; -). according to the article, the legislature must act to fix this awful problem of convicting murderers but not getting to really punish them for the hateful thoughts that may have motivated them.
This nonsense has 1 purpose: to police your thoughts. It does not protect the value of any race or group of people (particularly Christians who are almost never mentioned in hate crimes legislation. Indeed, often it is the case that the hate crimes are passed to prevent Christians from preaching the truth that Jesus Christ saves homosexuals and washes them and presents them, along with other sinners, to the Father, as His bride—the church).
I say it does not protect the value of anyone for this reason. In the case mentioned, a woman was brutally murdered. A man was convicted of her murder. The best thing to uphold the value of that woman’s life would be for this criminal to forfeit his own. Barring that, the second best thing would be for him to forfeit the remainder of his life on this earth to prison. One of the worst things that could happen is that the murder conviction get swept away by some supposedly worse charge of hatefulness. I don’t know, and I don’t care whether this murderer hated black people or not. Even if he did (and that might be hard to prove), his hating black persons is not in any way comparable to his murdering this particular black woman. His crime was so awful that he should have to pay for it with his own life. Taking attention off of that fact diminishes the value of all human life in general, and the life of Ms. Griffin in particular. Her life was valuable because she was created in the image of God.