Sunday, February 04, 2007
JUDGE MOORE SPREADS THE LOVE
BY CODY LYON
He’s so full of love that he just keeps on sharing the hate. Not to be cliché, but Right wing poster man, former ten commandments waving, former Alabama state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore has written an op ed piece that’s so far to the right it’s just plain wrong. Published in “WorldNetDaily”, Moore decries Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas’ and her H.R. 254, a bill that proposes to extend federal hate crimes law protections to lesbian and gay people across the country. In his short “federalist club” inspired sermon, Moore points out legal and historical justifications for his opposition to such protections. But then the ten-commandments judge man broke one and told what some would call a lie.
“Hate crime legislation today is being used in our own country and around the world to prohibit Christians from expressing their beliefs” said Moore in his “What’s not to Love about Hate Crimes” column.
Don’t those Fred Phelps ministry people prove that argument false? Those are the folks who show up at funerals of gay people, and more recently, that is until they were chased off by the government, military members funerals. When they show up, not only do they express their beliefs, they hold signs and harass family members of the dead about their loved ones burning in hell. If that doesn’t show you that the First Amendment is alive and well, nothing will.
Judge Moore, an obvious attention monger, is the former boxer, former Etowah County Judge, former Governors candidate, who earned fame by installing a giant washing machine size replica of the ten commandments in the state’s Supreme Court building. When he was ordered to get rid of it, he refused, and soon, the Alabama Supreme Court building became a mecca for right wing disciples who came to the steps to pray, cry and sing, a vigil of sorts, in a state that has seen more political showdowns than Jerusalem. In the end, Moore’s challenge to the constitution failed, he was ousted from his office, and the now famous washing machine size concrete holy tablets were placed inside a giant janitorial closet. And, if Moore had his way, all the gays would be in there with it.
But, the gays are out and on the move. And it’s not hard to find somebody who would like to whip up on there heads. And, although Moore and those who subscribe to his beliefs would like to think violence that is motivated by the hatred of those who are different, including gay people, is not a serious problem, they are wrong.
In 2001, The National coalition of Anti Violence Programs, using data from just 25 cities or other jurisdictions from across the country, reported 1,965 incidents of hate bias crimes that were motivated by sexual orientation. But, a 2005 report compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics that analyzed over three years of statistics from the biannual National Crime Victimization Survey found that the level of hate crimes runs between 19 and 31 times higher than the actual numbers reported. One of the reasons hate crimes are underreported, has been linked to a lack of national uniform in the reporting process.
What Judge Moore fails to understand as he speaks his love the sinner hate the sin message, is that hate crimes laws also raise awareness, and serve as statements to the public including potential hate crime perpetrators, that people who are different from the majority, are worthy citizens, just like Roy Moore is, and that they are entitled to the same protections offered by the law. Unfortunately, in every corner of this nation, including a big city like New York, there are individuals who feel they can get away with inflicting violence upon those they feel are not worthy of those protections. Thousands of Lesbian and Gay people know this all to well. This is an unfortunate legacy and part of the baggage that comes with being gay in many societies, including America.
Judge Moore, while you may say that you are fighting for the right to “speak out in love” or as you analogized, that hate crimes legislation lead to an Orwellian mind control system, it appears more likely that you have a problem with homosexuality, and the very idea of sexual orientation being singled out as worthy of any legal protection, even protection from violence, all of this probably makes you very uncomfortable. On the other side, when the passions, reactions and whatever Politically correct finger pointing is checked at the door, and one has a closer look at your arguments, an even more baffling and disturbing picture emerges. Judge Moore, a devout Christian, is opposed to a bill that may, just might, prevent or at least cause an individual to think twice before he carries out an act of violence against a person that he thinks may be gay or lesbian. Judge Moore, who placed the largest model of ten-commandments, a book of laws handed down from God to Moses as he led his people to the promised land, is going to say that people should have the right to “speak out” against entire classes of people as you call it. Speaking out, my fellow Alabamian, was responsible for some of the most notorious hate motivated crimes in the civil rights movement, much of which took place in the heart of dixie. A number of people have would probably agree, that although he repented, George Wallace went to his grave with blood-stains on his lips from his speaking out during the early 1960’s, as he gave a verbal wink and a nod, to violence.
So Judge Moore, please re think your loving argument, and realize, that no one is asking you to accept anyone’s lifestyle, they are only asking that every citizen have the same dignity and with that dignity, a message to the community, that violence motivated by hate, is especially wrong.