Yesterday I read Atheist sign = hate speech. I was already thinking about the subject of hate speech/hate crimes earlier. Recently I have heard it bandied about by "our side". By "our side", I mean those who have traditionally opposed hate crime/hate speech bills and laws. Now they seem to want in on the act, too. I say we need to remain consistent.
With the recent rash of church building burnings in East Texas, the word "hate crime" has been attached to that. Sure they are crimes rising from hate. Most crimes are. But these should not be pursued for special punishment because of what the people were thinking. Burning a church building is a crime, whether done to cover a theft or because one hates Christianity. In this country one is free to not be a Christian or even oppose Christianity. He is not free to kill Christians, burn church buildings, etc. Murder and arson are crimes.
We who oppose the concept of hate crimes don't need to change our tune when we think it might benefit us. We need to remain consistent.
[Notes: 1. This post is no judgment on whether the sign mentioned in the article was appropriately placed. Just that "free speech" is not "hate speech". 2. Two young men have been arrested related to burning the Dover Baptist Church near Tyler.]