"Three Michigan Christian pastors sue to halt federal anti-hate crimes law. They demand the right to speak hate toward GLBT people. Sheesh...have they even checked their own religion? Last I checked, Jesus didnt speak hate against anybody."From what I read online, the pastors weren't demanding, ".. the right to speak hate toward GLBT people." Instead they were suing to protect their First Amendment right to practice their religion and their Fifth Amendment right to due process.
They don't want to be prosecuted for thought crimes any more than I do.
One of the articles I found online summed up their complaint:
"Robert Muise, Senior Trial Counsel for TMLC (Thomas More Law Center) who is handling the case, observed, “This new federal law promotes two Orwellian concepts. It creates a special class of persons who are ‘more equal than others’ based on nothing more than deviant, sexual behavior. And it creates ‘thought crimes’ by criminalizing certain ideas, beliefs, and opinions, and the involvement of such ideas, beliefs, and opinions in a crime will make it deserving of federal prosecution. Consequently, government officials are claiming the power to decide which thoughts are criminal under federal law and which are not."I resisted the temptation to edit-out, ".. based on nothing more than deviant, sexual behavior," for its obvious bias against gays, deciding instead to leave it as-is because it is not my responsibility to mask others' biases.
The actual complaint is available online at The Thomas More Law Center.
The challenge with constitutional rights is we must protect others' rights as jealously as we guard our own--even when we disagree them. As it's been said too often before, but is worth repeating, it is easier to protect someone elses speech when you agree with it than when we do not.
Or as Mark Twain wrote, "Tis a fine thing to fight for one's own freedom; tis a far sight finer to fight for another man's."
And so it is with freedom of speech and equal protection. I don't understand the Commerce Clause argument but will keep reading.
PS Christ's teachings and Christianity's position on homosexuality is orthogonal to this issue, and has already been exhaustively argued elsewhere. To debate the merits of the complaint based on either misses the point of the law and more often exposes our ignorance of New Testament scripture than anything else.