It's been a wild and woolly day chasing down various facts being spun and spread around by local campaigns so I haven't had time to blog. As much as we condemn the tactics some Republicans use some of our fellow Democrats are just as bad.
Today though the House passed a Hate Crimes Law by a vote of 237-180. The Pennsylvania delegation again voted along party lines. This bill provides harsher penalties for those committing crimes as the result of hatred. It provides for new protections for people in groups subjected to hate crimes. I've been the victim of hate crimes and I condemn every Republican who voted against this bill.
The right wing noise machine was in full force recently spreading misinformation about this legislation. They maintain it will result in religious leaders being prosecuted for their Biblical beliefs. Essentially they are afraid that ministers who preach hatred from their pulpits will be thrown in jail. These people, already protected by the current hate crimes law, are denying those same protections to other groups routinely subjected to hate crimes.
Frankly I think any clergy fomenting and motivating others to commit hate crimes should be held accountable. If you stand at an altar and tell people to hate others and who to hate then they go out and commit a crime against those people how are you different from someone yelling fire in a crowded theater? These people are supposed to be all about personal responsibility then let be held accountable for their actions. Too many Matthew Shepards have been the result of this irresponsible behavior. Jesus taught we should love one another, heal the sick, feed the poor, etc. He didn't preach hatred. Those who do are Neo Christians because they twist and pervert the message for their own purposes.