Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Weeping, Wailing, and Gnashing of teeth continues...

Wife of Utah Democrat Party bigwig Ted Wilson and Pravda of Utah columnist Holly Mullen has provided her snippy take on the recent failure of the proposed Utah Hate Crimes Law (see here and here for details). A clueless rant such as this one simply begs to be fisked, and Captain Holly is just the person for the job.

Mullen begins her drivel with this non sequitur:

The 1838 massacre at Haun's Mill was the perfect hate crime.

Acting on an order issued three days earlier from the governor to "exterminate" all Mormons or drive them from the state, a Livingston County, Mo., militia descended on members of the embryonic church, who were hiding in the little mill town. Mobsters shot women and children point-blank. They executed men and hacked them to pieces. In the end, 17 people paid the ultimate price for practicing their religion.

In 1844, LDS Church founder Joseph Smith suffered the same fate, assassinated by a mob at the Carthage, Ill., jail. Smith, a prophet and martyr to millions of LDS faithful, remains a timeless symbol of religious persecution.

Uh, Holly, why don't you actually read a little history before writing about it? If you will notice, in both cases the mobs were acting with the express (Missouri) or implied (Illinois) permission of the governors of those states. These men, Governors Boggs and Ford, ignored the laws about murder, conspiracy, riot, robbery, etc, when they ordered or winked at the mob violence. Do you really think that a Hate Crimes Law would have stopped them?

Strange that in the 160 years since Smith's murder - a relatively short spell in history - our state leaders just can't get their arms around a law to protect minority groups singled out for violence based on who they are or what they believe.

Get a clue, Holly. What happened in Missouri and Illinois was government-sponsored terrorism -- and a Hate Crimes Law wouldn't have made a whit of difference.

And are you now comparing today's Utah Legislature to Missouri mobsters?

The tables have turned, of course. Utah's majority at the Legislature - nearly 90 percent LDS - is well in charge. Hard as it is to recall the days of minority persecution, it's on their shoulders to try. It boggles the mind to know that they can't. Or won't.

Answer: I guess you are.

It boggles the mind how a second-rate writer such as yourself gets a regular column, but I digress.

Once again, a hate-crimes bill has fizzled at the Legislature. A Senate committee axed it 4-3 on Tuesday.

Yeah, so? And is there something illegal about that?

The most effective witnesses dazzled the panel by transporting it from what should have been a rational discussion of crime and its specific, hate-based motivations to a special Twilight Zone - a place where the "gay agenda" rules and homosexuals will rewrite our children's textbooks.

You know, considering how hate crimes laws are being applied in Sweden, Britain, Canada, and even Pennsylvania, I don't think this is very far-fetched.

Optimists had thought the bill finally had a chance. Silly believers in humanity, those optimists.

They were silly, alright. They believed that just because the Upper-Crust East Bench Liberals of Salt Lake County support something, everyone else should support it as well. Sorry, democracy doesn't work that way. We plebes down in the valley have a say in government, too.

A black woman testified how her home and car had been vandalized and tagged with racist graffiti.

Yeah, about 10 years ago. The thing that got her upset recently was the fact that someone had the temerity to criticize Martin Luther King. Or do you think that should be a crime, too, Holly?

A Latino Republican described a Hispanic man who had been shot and skinned.

And how is this horrendous deed not already against the law?

Senate Bill 181, tweaked and scrutinized by umpteen lawyers, is not about special treatment, extra rights or devaluing other crime victims. It has always been about increasing punishment for those who commit crimes with the intent of intimidating an entire minority group. Police would still have to produce evidence. Prosecutors would still have to prove a case.

I agree that it's not about special treatment or extra rights. It's about stigmatizing and marginalizing certain points of view, with the ultimate goal of criminalizing them. This is the reason why so many proponents of the Hate Crimes Bill say that we need the law in order to "send a message".

It's another way of saying they want to shut certain people up.

Based on the examples I've provided above, I'd say the targets of this "message" are religious conservatives, both Mormons and Evangelical Christians, who believe that homosexuality is a sin.

And there are times when Utah shows its weak and fearful side. We can do so much better.

And there are times when Utahns have to stand up to protect their rights. As you seem to have forgotten, Mormons were persecuted by the government because the powers-that-be didn't like their doctrines. Kind of like how the governments of Sweden, Great Britain, Canada, and Pennsylvania are persecuting Christians for their opposition to homosexuality.

I agree: We can do better. Let's promote religious freedom and free expression, instead of speech codes and political correctness.


At 8:54 PM, Blogger The Great El-ahrairah said...

Funny, when I was in Sunday School, I don't remember the teacher talking about Haun's Mill and saying that men were "hacked to death" by the mob. I could be wrong, but I think Holly Mullen is "stretching the truth" to shock the readers of Tribune into buying into her loony ideas.


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