How bizarre can it get you might ask. A Christian Cafe in Blackpool England were told last month by police to stop displaying Bible verses. You heard right! A complaint was made and the result sadly was the now predictable visit from the local bobby! You can read the details on the website of the Chrisitian Institute.
With the continual perversion of language leading to liberal interpretation of law I thought it was worth digging below the surface of alleged "Hate Speech". As an evangelist we continually need the wisdom of God to communicate the truth of the Cross to a very confused world.
Matt Slick wrote an excellent article on the matter of "Hate Speech". I have pasted it in full below. Your comments are very welcome.
"Hate Speech" is a term often used by liberals in their attacks on Christians. Anything that does not agree with the liberal viewpoint is sometimes labeled as hate speech and ridiculed. But, what really is hate speech?
- dictionary.com, "speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation."
- usaeducationguides.com, "A term for speech intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against someone based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. The term covers written as well as oral communication."
- definitions.uslegal.com, "Hate speech is a communication that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, especially in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence. It is an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and the like. Hate speech can be any form of expression regarded as offensive to racial, ethnic and religious groups and other discrete minorities or to women."
So we can see that hate speech is that which attacks a person or group based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation and has the potential result of inciting harm.
Maybe the liberals should study hate speech a little more. Apparently they don't get it. Don't we Christians have the right to our opinions? Don't we have the right to exercise the freedom of our religious beliefs? We do--for now. But that may change as a result of the hate speech of liberals, which is so often directed at Christians. Liberals like to name-call (homophobes, hate-mongers, etc.,), label us as bigots and say that we serve an antiquated God. In doing this, they commit the very error of which they accuse us. Here's how . . .
They degrade and attack us as Christians (a religious group), and, I am sure, attempt to intimidate Christians into staying out of the political realm and social structuring of our culture--based on our religious beliefs. They degrade our Christian lifestyle which includes the right to disapprove of homosexuality, bestiality, pedophilia, polygamy, polyandry, pornography, etc. Also, they incite prejudicial action against Christians with their ill-informed misrepresentations of Christianity. For example, they will sometimes call the God of the Old Testament a baby-killer, murderer, genocidal maniac, homophobe, etc. Such accusations can easily incite anger, hatred, and violence towards Christians. After all, if you accuse a religious group long enough, people will begin to believe the accusations. And, as we all should be aware of, beliefs lead to actions (think of Hitler's propaganda effect on the Jews).
What would happen to Christians if everyone around them thought they were following a murderous, baby-killing, homophobic God who casually supported genocide? By labeling groups (i.e., Christians) in negative ways, it makes it easier for one group (liberals?) to hate another, to become emotionally detached, increasingly irrational, and potentially violent. Would those thus indoctrinated by the hate speech of liberal hypocrisy (which modern societies seem to embrace so readily) treat the Christians with love and kindness or with fear and intimidation? Which would bring peace and which would bring persecution?
Ah, but such reasoning does not stop liberals from their doublespeak and hypocrisy (probably because they haven't thought things through very far). The name-calling, accusatory, intolerant liberals are quick to judge and slow to love. They are eager to blame while ignoring their own guilt. They readily condemn and remain blind to how they do the very thing of which they accuse others. Who knows? Perhaps their attitudes have been shaped by their own hate speech more than they realize.
But if we are persecuted, we count it a blessing for Christ who was also persecuted unrighteously (1 Cor. 2:8). Our response is to bless those who persecute us (Rom. 12:14). If we are accused, we should bear it well (1 Pet. 4:16). This does not mean to be idle and do nothing. We have the right of self-defense (Luke 22:36) as we give an answer to everyone who would ask (1 Pet. 3:15). Yet, while we do this, our love is to be without hypocrisy (Rom. 12:9). We are never to pay back evil for evil (Rom. 12:17) and as far as it is possible, we are to be at peace with all people (Rom. 12:18)--even those who may not want to be at peace with us.
Finally, it is not bigoted, narrow-minded, or hate speech to say we follow God and believe that homosexuality, pornography, pedophilia, rape, adultery, etc., are all wrong. We are expressing the freedom of our religion--in spite of what the liberals fear and foment. Rest assured, fellow Christians, it is for righteousness and truth that we are persecuted, reviled, mislabeled, and falsely accused by those who seek to sit in judgment over our faith.