Burning Crosses: The True Purpose of Hate Crime Laws

By Scott Lively, J.D., Th.D.DefendTheFamily.com Alert

My first encounter with the “gay” movement was a trial by fire. I was Communications Director for Oregon Citizens Alliance during its first attempt to stop the homosexual agenda through a state-wide ballot initiative in 1991-1992. The opposition built its campaign on the theme that opponents of “gay rights” are like Nazis and the KKK. The “poster-child” of their campaign was Azalea Cooley, a Black, wheelchair-bound lesbian who lived in a poor neighborhood of Portland. Over many months, Ms. Cooley was terrorized by a series of 21 cross-burnings on the front lawn of her home. The police could never seem to catch the perpetrators until just before the election when a couple of rogue cops set up their own private surveillance of the Cooley home. The puzzle was finally solved when they caught Azalea herself walking out her own front door with a wooden cross in one hand and a can of gasoline in the other.

At the press conference held the next morning by these brave policemen, I thought I was seeing justice unfold and my hopes were lifted about our campaign to preserve family values in Oregon. However, except for very limited coverage in the liberal Portland stronghold, the media spiked the story. No reporter asked if Police Chief Tom Potter (a leading champion of our opposition whose daughter was an outspoken lesbian on the force) was complicit in the obstruction of the cross-burning investigation, and a few days later the media and all the public officials remained silent during the grand finale of our opponents campaign, a massive “March Against Hate” through Portland, led by none other than Azalea Cooley -- in her wheelchair. Our opponents went on to win the election, Tom Potter later became Mayor of Portland and the “gays” moved even more rapidly to consolidate their power over Oregon.

Let us jump to the present, over a span of almost two decades of “gay” political advances. Nearly every item of the homosexual agenda has been achieved except the final barrier to their dreams, marriage. Yet time, and population trends are on their side and they expect to win this victory in due time. So their attention has moved to the final chapter of their vision to remake society in their own image: the destruction of the Christian church and revenge against all of those who opposed them through their long “struggle for equal rights.“ The weapon of their vengeance is the “hate crimes” law, passed as an amendment to an essential defense appropriations bill, and signed into law by President Obama, whose administration includes seventy open homosexuals and an unknown number of “closeted” ones.

Make no mistake, “hate crimes” is nothing more or less than a formula for silencing Christians. Ostensibly the law is designed to enhance the sentences of violent criminals whose motive is dislike of homosexuals rather than mere greed or anger, However, the real purpose of this law is to focus law enforcement, judicial and public policy instruments against the belief that homosexuality is wrong and harmful, and to associate this belief with criminality. Eventually, speech against homosexuality will be criminalized independently of any violent act (as in already true in several countries), but until then the “gays” and their allies will simply act as if this is already the law.

One little-known aspect of the hate crimes law is that it holds a person responsible for the crimes of another if the criminal was influenced by that person. In other words, if a pastor preaches against homosexuality from the Bible and later a member of the congregation is charged with any sort of hate crime, the pastor can also be prosecuted. This will obviously have a deeply chilling effect on the church. What is worse, however, is the likelihood that those who continue to publicly and articulately oppose the “gay” movement will be subject to dirty tricks. All it would take to set up a preacher for a hate crime charge is one homosexual willing to take a beating by another “in-the-closet” homosexual who is himself willing to confess to assault and battery and blame the preacher for inciting him to do it. Is that a paranoid delusion? Or do you think there might possibly be a few other Azalea Cooley types in the “gay” community?

The cross is the symbol of authentic Bible-believing Christianity and its very presence is a reminder to homosexuals of their error. When they staged the cross burnings in Portland, they intended for people to believe it was done by their enemies, following the inspiration of the Ku Klux Klan. But in fact what they did was to reveal their own brand of hatred, a hatred so passionate that it reduced them to a level beneath even the Klan. And the symbol they used to harken back to the hate crimes of the past, turned out instead to be a foreshadowing of their own future. Their future is now, and it is all about burning crosses.