Tuesday, October 9, 2007

UK Religious Institutions Want Protected Hate Speech

So, there's a new law being proposed in the United Kingdom that would serve up jail time to anyone who incites hate against any gay or lesbian person.

Of course, since nearly every religion opposes homosexuality, leaders from all major religions are in an uproar. Not surprising, but it was this quote from the article that really got to me:

"Religious groups warned it could lead to preachers being prosecuted for emotionally expressing their firmly-held beliefs and will restrict freedom of speech."

It's this "emotionally expressing" cop-out that I find ridiculous. If a preacher of whatever religion is emotionally expressing his belief that homosexuality is wrong, it sounds like a euphemism for inciting hatred to me.

Leaders of religious congregation wield a great deal of influence. If they believe that homosexuality is wrong, but they also believe that homosexuals have a right to exist and should not be attacked, then they should say this clearly to their congregants. A good leader should be able to keep emotions in check, especially if the result of an "emotional expression" could be violence.

There is a less sensationalized article about the legislation here.

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