Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tommclaughlin@fairpoint.net

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hate Crime Absurdity

Our media is hypersensitive when it comes to reporting perceived insults to Muslim students in our schools, but downright obtuse when it comes to whatever may trouble Christian or Jewish students.

It was big news in Lewiston, Maine when a kid left a bag containing a piece of ham on a table in the lunch room where a group of Somalian immigrant students were sitting. The story made front page headlines in the Sun Journal, the city’s daily newspaper. It also ran on WMTW, the local TV station. The Boston Globe picked it up too. The April 19th Sun Journal reported:
One student has been suspended and more disciplinary action could follow a possible hate crime. Lewiston police are investigating, and the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence is working with the school to create a response plan. . . . Placing ham where Muslim students were eating was "an awful thing" said Stephen Wessler, executive director of the Center for Prevention of Hate Violence. "It’s extraordinarily hurtful and degrading" to Muslims, whose religion prohibits them from being around ham. It’s important to respond swiftly, Wessler said.

There have been no reports I know of about how Muslims may be offended by classes teaching that homosexual behavior is normal and natural. Several public schools sponsor assemblies in which homosexual and transgender behaviors are natural too. Certainly there have been no front page headlines. Jews and Christians may be offended by such material also but our media is virtually silent about it. They must know that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality itself is “intrinsically disordered” and homosexual behavior is sinful. Under Islam a homosexual act is punished with death by stoning. Orthodox Jews consider it an abomination. None of this comes up to leaving a bag containing a piece of ham on a table though.

Christian, Muslim and Jewish students must accept homosexuality in the schools even though it offends their religious beliefs. It’s legal in Maine and every other state since the recent Supreme Court ruling in “Lawrence vs Texas.” Muslim (and Jewish) students have to accept students in the lunch room who eat ham sandwiches even though it offends their religious beliefs because it’s legal too and always has been. The boy who left the bag with ham on the table was suspended because he was flaunting his dietary behavior around students who considered it offensive. It was “an awful thing . . . extraordinarily hurtful and degrading,” and the Sun Journal strongly suggested his suspension didn’t go far enough and more punishment was warranted because of an alleged “hate crime.”

A week after the ham incident, over five thousand public schools across the country observed a “Day of Silence” in support of homosexuality. Students at all these schools were encouraged to be silent for a day to protest purported harassment of gay and lesbian students. They were also encouraged to wear T-shirts and buttons supporting homosexuality. Events of this nature have been sponsored by public schools for more than ten years. Though no homosexuals were harassed that day, Christian students who were offended by the school’s orchestration of homosexual propaganda were. After peacefully expressing their opposition to what they consider brainwashing, dozens were suspended in several districts around California. In the Sacramento area, more than three thousand students stayed home to avoid exposure to pro-homosexual indoctrination. According to the Catholic news service lifesitenews.com:

Other students concerned about the one-sided messages determined to wear clothing and distribute literature which peacefully highlighted the dangers of homosexuality. Dozens of religious students were disciplined for expressing their viewpoints at Inderkum, Rio Linda and San Juan high schools.

Did you hear anything about this anti-Christian harassment? Probably not. The same media outlets that trumpet “hate crimes” involving their pet minorities ignore similar incidents involving groups of which they disapprove. None of this comes up to leaving a piece of ham on a table, I guess. Anything that would make a particular group feel uncomfortable is a possible “hate crime” - unless that group is Christian.

American students have been disciplined for using the word “gay” as a pejorative. Our media regularly trumpets so-called hate crimes, many of which are later discovered to have been staged. The new Democratic Congress is pushing a beefed-up “hate crimes” bill adding sexual orientation to the list of potentially aggrieved minorities. Attempted enforcement of similar laws in the UK illustrate their absurdity. An 11-year-old boy, for example, was visited in his home by two policemen for calling another boy “gay” in an email. He was using the word to mean “stupid” as many children do, but in the UK it’s a hate crime. In another case, the Daily Mail reported last October:

14-year-old Codie Scott was arrested and thrown in a police cell for almost four hours after she was accused of racism for refusing to sit next to a group of Asian pupils in her class. Teachers reported the youngster . . . after she claimed it was impossible for her to get involved in the class ‘discussion’ because only one of the Asian pupils spoke English. She had her fingerprints and DNA taken but was eventually released without charge.

Mark Steyn, in his recent book American Alone reported on a UK homosexual charging a Muslim cleric with “homophobia” for preaching against homosexuality and the Muslim countercharging the homosexual with “Islamophobia” for criticizing Islam. UK Thought Police were having a difficult time sorting it out.

I can’t help but wonder what George Orwell would say about all this.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

George Orwell was a very astute individual. I need to read 1984 again. We're there!

Harvey in North Baldwin

5/10/07, 6:57 AM  
Anonymous Gwendy said...

There's a new movie out called God & Gays: Bridging the Gap. This blog reminded me of it. It's interesting. Their website is godandgaysthemovie.com.

5/14/07, 8:10 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Hi Harvey,

George Orwell would definitely write something about the UK is becoming. Meanwhile, we can read people like Mark Steyn.

5/25/07, 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Keith said...

hey mister mclaughlin

6/20/07, 6:10 PM  

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