"We must have hate crime laws immediately!"

This cry comes from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. It is heard on TV, radio, in news papers and other forums of free speech. It is also heard in the halls of Washington, DC. Why? Two young men murdered Matthew Shepard outside the city of Laramie, Wyoming. It is not as though Wyoming has no laws to deal with murderers. It does. Murderers have been punished in Wyoming since statehood. This murder, however, was supposed to be motivated by hate - hate for a homosexual!

What "hate crime law" can stop a rapist who hates women? What "hate crime law" can stop hatred which leads to spousal murder? What "hate crime law" can stop a drunk driver from killing on the road? What "hate crime law" can stop a member of one race from murdering someone of another race? What "hate crime law" can stop Arabs and Jews from killing each other in the Middle East?

Can "hate crime laws" stop smokers from hating those who try to stop them from smoking? Can "hate crime laws" stop slobs from creating a mess for others to clean up? Can "hate crime laws" stop road rage which results in highway shootings? Can "hate crime laws" stop hatred during strikes in the work place? If hate could be stopped by a law, it would have been done ages ago. Hatred cannot be stopped by a law any more than love can be enforced by a law.

It can be argued that the better way to use law to stop hatred is to post the Ten Commandments everywhere in the land, even in the halls of schools and universities. One of the commandments requires love - the only solution for hate. Another forbids murder! If these two commandments had been enforced in Wyoming, Matthew Shepard would still be alive - without any "hate crime law." We do not need "hate crime laws" when we have the Ten Commandments, but then some hate the Ten Commandments! If the Ten Commandments were enforced, there would be no more hate crimes! Yet, they are being pulled out of almost every place except churches and one judge's chamber in Alabama.

The atheist wants no law which attempts to make him love God or creationism; yet, some people think they can pass laws which will force Christians to accept evolution as a fact without dispute or argument. According to the Christian Law Association's "briefcase," one Idaho city's School Board plans by 2003 to make it impossible for students to graduate from their science course unless they accept evolution as a fact!. The only thing "hate crime laws" will do is make certain kinds of belief and free speech unlawful. They will provide the power to punish Christians who disagree with, and speak against, the "approved" belief system.

Christians were thrown to the lions in Rome, not because they were Christians, but because they dared preach that Caesar was not a god. There exists now enough hatred toward Christians in this country to throw them to the lions if laws allowed, simply because they speak for a higher moral standard than some want to live. Our president committed sexual sins, lied about it, and before the blue dress stained with his semen was brought to light to prove his guilt, his wife accused the Christian Right of causing his problems. That, fellow Americans, is hatred!

Many have defended our lying president while they attack with hatred those who seek the truth for the sake of justice. It is some of the same who are demanding "hate crime laws," but, against whom will they use them? Is there any doubt about that question? Such would fill our nation with gross immorality, and use the "hate crime laws" to pass judgment and imprisonment upon anyone who dared speak against their immoral behavior. This fact is before the American people even now!

What "hate crime laws" will stop the hatred James Carville has for Kenneth Starr and the Christian Right, upon whom he has declared war? Kenneth Starr is even being accused by Susan McDougal's defense lawyer of being behind her embezzlement case in California.

The way such "hate crime laws" would be written, Christians who continue to speak and write their opinions about the homosexual life-style, will be thrown in jail in short order. The James Carvilles of the nation will continue, without any punishment, to wage war against duly appointed judges with a job to do, and against Christians on the Right who oppose lying and immorality in our White House. The White House is ours as much as it is theirs, right? We are citizens, too!

Hatred and murder have been around since Cain and Abel. They were brothers! Cain hated Abel because Abel's life-style was acceptable to God and his was not. Christians in general are being blamed for the murder in Wyoming because they have exercised their free speech to express their beliefs about the issue of life-style, and the consequences of life-styles. The truth is, there is as much hatred for God, the Bible, and Bible-believers by some as there ever has been for homosexuals and lesbians by some Christians. Do those who blame Christians for Matthew Shepard's murder love Christians? Would their "hate crime laws" protect Christians' free speech who speak against homosexuality as acceptable life-style? The answer is obvious in recent news reports!

When laws are written which violate free speech and freedom of expression of beliefs, this nation is in grave danger of becoming a despotic nation. The homosexual and lesbian must be free to state their beliefs and defend their position. Christians must also be free to use speech and the written page to state and defend their beliefs. Neither, however, has the right to murder another human being and not pay for that crime of murder, whatever the motive was for the murder!

"You can't legislate morality."

Many moral laws which have been on the books since nationhood, have been repealed under this same argument. Leaving what? This cry is made by the opposition when legislators attempt to pass laws to raise the standards of morals to a higher level. Can laws be written which will force someone not to hate something or someone? No, no more than a law can be written which will force someone to love something or someone. No law can make anyone love, or not hate, anyone or anything! Who will determine what cannot be hated under "hate crime law" legislation? Who will have that power?

I hate what the homosexual and lesbian life-style has done, and is doing further, to my homeland! I have that right, as much as I have the right to hate drunkenness and what it does to families and nation. I hate what drugs are doing to my nation, too. "Hate crime laws" would punish me for my hatred. I do not have to hate the drunkard, the drug-taker, nor the homosexual to hate the life-style. I have never abused nor harmed nor murdered any homosexual or lesbian, nor will I in the future. My respect for the sanctity of one's life is far greater than my hatred for one's life-style.

We are in a crises in this nation. It is a moral and a legal crises. We are legalizing behavior which has destroyed every nation before us. "Hate crime laws" will legalize hatred toward those who oppose the "new morality." We are on a collision course with a sad destiny if we do not see what is happening to us.

I would chose jail before I would give up my freedom to declare my beliefs and convictions on a matter. "Hate crime laws" will do more to destroy these freedoms than one can imagine, except those who know what they really want to accomplish with such laws. In the spirit of Patrick Henry, I say, "Give me liberty [freedom of belief and public expression of those beliefs] or give me death." Let one of the greatest world leaders ever in human history, King David, state the case:

Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? (Psalms 94:20)

There is very real "mischief" in the "hate crime laws" being demanded because of the murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming. Use the death penalty for those murderers, but do not tamper with freedom by passing "hate crime laws."

Pastor H. Wayne Williams
Liberty Baptist Tabernacle Rapid City, SD
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Rapid City, SD 57701

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