The religious right’s campaign against a stronger federal law on hate crimes has increasingly been, well, hateful. An e-mail blast from one Texas-based pressure group this morning calls on recipients to express
“opposition to the pending hate crimes legislation, also known as the “Pedophile Protection Act” due to its inclusion of pedophiles as a protected class under the proposal that protects homosexuals from hate crimes.”
Protecting pedophiles? That’s a lie, of course, as the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out months ago. Media Matters for America and Politifact also looked at how the “pedophile” meme got its hateful start.
We’ve seen a lot of far-right e-mails about the proposed hate crimes legislation in Congress. Over time the venomous language attacking it has evolved. At first was the absurd suggestion that clergy preaching against homosexuality would fill our nation’s jails if the legislation passed. The increasingly prominent message in recent months equates homosexuality with pedophilia.
We wonder how proud religious-right groups must be that they are sharing the same message as anti-Semitic white supremacists and hate mongers like David Duke, whose Web site blames the Anti-Defamation League for both hate crimes legislation and “a history of hate for Christian values.”