Are Religious Scriptures “Hate Speech?”

The Westboro Baptist Church picketing at the m...

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According to Wikipedia hate speech is defined as:

In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group. The law may identify a protected individual or a protected group by race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or other characteristic.[3] In some countries, a victim of hate speech may seek redress under civil law, criminal law, or both.

Over at Anne Rice’s Facebook page there is discussion about hate speech and homosexuality. Many are claiming the christian bible as their authority to call out homosexuality as sinful behavior. They have every right to label something sinful if they want. That’s their choice. However, one person’s comment struck me however when they said that the bible itself was hate speech. Hmm. I tend to agree that bible could be construed as hate speech. So can the Koran and other scriptures that advocate killing due to behavior or ethnicity. The Hebrew god condoned killing when “he” moved the tribes of Israel around and demanded others move out to accommodate them. The Muslim god condones killing those who don’t believe in their religion. This falls under the category of inciting violence against a protected group. So I believe both of their scriptures can be construed as hate speech if they are taken literally as guides for modern life. In fact, I think anyone inciting violence using religion and their scriptures as a prop for supporting such violence should be prosecuted for hate crimes. Let’s just call it for what it is and be done with it. You can claim something as sin all you want as long as you keep it to yourself. If your religion is peaceful you have nothing to fear.


4 thoughts on “Are Religious Scriptures “Hate Speech?”

  1. “I think anyone inciting violence using religion and their scriptures as a prop for supporting such violence should be prosecuted for hate crimes. Let’s just call it for what it is
    and be done with it.”

    Yes they should.
    First, to return to an old obsession of mine, this is just people looking for permission from God to indulge in their own spiteful vengeance against particular groups.

    Second, if there is any positive tendency in modern societies, it is the rise of more widespread humanitarian aspirations. I would put money on my assertion that the general tenour of the legal codes prevailing at the time when such vengeful scriptures were written, was much the same as words promulgated as the word of God. In fact God was probably invoked to give such laws greater force for those told to obey them.

    And third, modern democracies are not theocracies. The legal system is explicitly placed under the control of the temporal authority. Whether fundamentalists of all types like it or not, the law specifically comes under the category of what is to be “Rendered unto Caesar”.

    • “modern democracies are not theocracies” is a very good reminder to others. Most religionists act as if they were and they need to realize that we do not live in a theocracy nor do we want to. They might want to, but that doesn’t make it imperative to anyone but them. Why this is so hard to get through to them is why I think it’s a waste of time to try.

  2. A year or two ago, a church about an hour away from where I live was vandalized with some spray paint. I can’t quite remember the symbols used but suffice it to say they were anti-religious.

    The t.v. reporter interviewed a church member and he talked about the defacing of the church as a hate crime.

    I thought, fair enough.

    However…what about the hate crime of your God and His scriptures. Is it a hate crime to tell people who are not of your religion that they are going to burn in hell for all of eternity?

    The man interviewed spoke in such a way that was condescending. As though he was an elevated human being and those who vandalized quite an evil sort. I couldn’t help but think, who is the evil sort? 😦

    • Right. That’s what I’m talking about. People who feel god is on their side are the worst perpetrators of hate crimes in my opinion. Sure we can go toward the famous atheists who killed, blah, blah, blah…. but that doesn’t excuse those who STILL use religion to be one over the head with archaic strictures and ancient codes of conduct never meant to see the 20th century light of day. It’s time it goes and something else takes its place. How that’ll happen I don’t know but one doesn’t have to give up the deity concept to do it. Unlike some, I believe morality is a societal construct and need not have a “commander” to enforce it. Society enforces it as society changes and evolves with new needs to be met. As far as I can tell it’s been evolving sans “god” for several centuries now. No sign of “him” yet.

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