We hear the words “hate speech” used a great deal in today’s national conversation. These two words automatically trigger an emotional response since nearly everyone’s natural reaction is to protect others, and be protected, from acts of hate and violence.
What constitutes hate speech? Is it a verbal death threat, character assassination or vicious personal attack on someone? Technically, hate speech does not have a legal definition under U.S. law, but it is commonly regarded as any form of expression intended to vilify, humiliate or provoke hatred against a particular group or class of people. Certainly there should be consequences for those who practice this type of animosity.
However, as we continue digging deeper to connect the dots, it is very apparent that hate speech is becoming synonymous with those who live according to the tenets of their faith regarding life, marriage, and more. For example, Illinois Family Action (IFA) and Illinois Family Institute (IFI) were recently reprimanded by 10 state representatives for their stance against the extreme, anti-life policies sponsored by Illinois lawmakers that would permit abortion anytime during pregnancy… right up to the moment of natural birth.
Government leaders in Illinois are wasting taxpayers’ money to call for a formal investigation into IFA and IFI’s “hate speech” through an alarming resolution called, “Illinois Family Action-Hate Speech” (HJR 55). This action is a massive overreach of governmental authority!
Congressman Randy Forbes, President of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation and National Strategic Center, emphasizes, “Freedom of conscience can include nothing less than the way a person lives all aspects of his or her life. As a nation, our laws must encourage and support, not penalize, citizens who seek to adhere to their moral convictions.”
Disagreement does not equal hate. U.S. citizens have far more in common than the limited obstacles that sometimes find a way to divide us. It is vital that we work together to end real “hate speech” and encourage protection of First Amendment rights, including Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion.