Magazine article Insight on the News

A Hidden Agenda Drives the Antihate Movement

Magazine article Insight on the News

A Hidden Agenda Drives the Antihate Movement

Article excerpt

Recently, Americans at 350 different locations participated in a "Stop the Hate Day" on the first anniversary of the murder of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old homosexual who was beaten to death in Laramie, Wyo. Organized by the left-leaning Interfaith Alliance and Fellowship of Reconciliation, this protest supposedly was aimed at simple hate and violence.

More than 100 organizations endorsed "Stop the Hate" but, oddly, none of them were conservative. Indeed, none of them really could be called anything but left of center. Many even could be called far left. Has America really become so poisonous that only left-wing groups can summon the courage to condemn criminal assaults aimed at minority groups?

In truth, "Stop the Hate" was about considerably more than opposition to hatred. It was a thinly disguised effort to stigmatize conservative and traditional religious beliefs as the torpid spawning waters of prejudice and violence. Religious-left groups comprised the majority of the antihate coalition. Apparently unwilling to engage in the specifics of a thoughtful debate, they instead resort to smearing their ideological opponents as allies of white supremacists, misogynists and "gay-bashers."

The America described by the anti-hate coalition is quite an ugly one. "Profligate hatred fills the population of this nation," the Rev. Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance warned at the antihate press conference. "Violence inspired by that hatred is rampant in our midst."

"Our country is devastated by hate crimes," agreed the Rev. John Dear, a Catholic priest with the Fellowship of Reconciliation. The Rev. Steven Baines of the Equal Partners in Faith added: "Hate violence and the rise of hate groups in America are threatening to deteriorate the very fabric of our national tapestry." Baines alleged that the killers of Shepard "had learned from society and places of worship to hate someone who was perceived to be gay."

Shepard's were bar lizards, not altar boys. Their apparent objection to Shepard's homosexuality, if in fact that was their motive, was not likely based on anything they overheard in a church. They obviously were ignorant of, or indifferent to, basic Christian teachings about human decency, as found in the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments. Yet the antihate coalition discerns that traditional Christian (and Jewish) opposition to homosexual practice was somehow the root cause of Shepard's murder. …

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