Hate Speech / Crimes

Today’s iter is the via misanthroposis (don’t bother looking the Latin up, I made it up).  I have this feeling of misanthropy creeping over me as I see events in our world, and our country, more specifically, unfold.  It seems as though we’ve forgotten how to be civilized.  If you disagree with someone, verbally attack them with ad hominems calling them some type of -ist or -phobe, then physically attack them or just destroy, loot and burn anything around you.  It’s a problem in our society that we are too far too little to address.  Personally, I think everyone rioting, looting and destroying property should be arrested and tried for their crimes.  If the property they destroyed exceeds the state/local values for grand larceny, then try them for that, sentence them appropriately and make them provide restitution for the damage.  This is me venting, but it leads me into my next thoughts:  hate speech and hate crimes.

I do not like the distinction of hate speech and hate crimes.  It criminalizes a person’s thoughts.  I know people are going to say that it should, but I disagree.  As Catholics, we have a very strong opposition to abortion not only because it ends an innocent life, but because it also creates a culture of death that has a slippery slope towards forced euthanasia.  When we determine someone is too old or incapable of providing any benefit to family / society / etc., we can euthanize them and be done with it (see this article for an example).  That’s the fear of the culture of death (see Pope Benedict XVI’s homily on 8 January 2006).  If we are going to acknowledge that slippery slope, then we also have to acknowledge the slippery slope that is attached to the nominative of “hate” attached to speech, crimes or thoughts.  If we give credence to increasing the punishment for a crime based on a person’s thoughts, how long before we no longer wait for a crime to be committed before we start punishing people?  How long before people who speak something that is against the view of those currently ruling the “dictatorship of relativism”(Note 1)  are jailed only for saying it, thus jailed only for their thoughts?  Then how long until we start setting up reeducation camps?  Someone is going to say that I’m being a bit hyperbolic.  That’s fine, I hope that I am.  But we already see the carnage being created because someone has a different view or a different thought.  Is this the grease being put on the slope?

This post is a little more morbid than I really wanted, but I wanted to get it off of my chest.  If nothing else, I wanted to write it down.


Notes:

  1. Cardinal Ratzinger, Joseph, Homily at Mass for Electing Supreme Pontiff, 18 April 2005. Accessed at  https://www.ewtn.com/pope/words/conclave_homily.asp
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