It has now been more than five years since the passage of the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which anti-gay activists predicted would lead to the end of free speech and the criminalization of the Bible. None of these predictions has yet to come true, but that hasn’t stopped Rep. Louie Gohmert from warning that the catastrophic consequences of the hate-crimes law will materialize any day now.
The Texas Repubilcan joined Florida talk radio host Joyce Kaufman yesterday to discuss the attempted attack on a Texas anti-Islam event hosted by Pamela Geller. Kaufman was not pleased with Bill O’Reilly for criticizing Geller’s event, which she said was an attack on Geller’s free speech. This made Gohmert think of the hate-crimes law, which he said was also an attack on free speech and was useless anyway because “people who have this kind of hate, they have the best chance of being rehabilitated.”
The government will eventually use the hate-crimes law, he said, to charge Christians who quote the Bible with “hate speech.”
“I mentioned some years back that hate crimes, eventually, somebody is going to bring that up when a Christian says, ‘I believe what Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, the life, nobody goes to the Father but through me,"’” Gohmert said. “That is hate speech. You’re saying that nobody else but you goes to Heaven? That’s hate speech. I mean, this is where it ultimately goes if we’re not free to say what we believe and have disagreements about it without being shot.”