Dispatches from the Creation Wars

“Hate Speech” Cuts Both Ways

Spain has given us a perfect example of why hate speech laws should be abolished. Who decides what is and is not hate speech? Is it hate speech to condemn homosexuality as a sin? Or is it hate speech to condemn religious leaders for condemning homosexuality? Both? Neither? The organizers of a gay pride event are being charged with hate speech in Spain for attacking the Catholic Church:

A “pro-family” activist group in Spain has filed charges against the organisers of the 2008 Madrid Gay Pride march.

HazteOir accused them of making hateful statements against Catholics, pro-family organisations, and those politicians opposed to the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE).

Some details about those “hateful statements”:

Gay Pride marchers in Madrid held a banner depicting Pope Benedict XVI on fire and calling him “chief of the inquisitors.”

“Yet again, the march has been marked by attacks against the Catholic Church, mockery of the bishops and slogans against Christians, ” said HazteOir, according to lifesitenews.com.

And if this item from the penal code of Spain isn’t Orwellian, I don’t know what is:

Article 525.1 of the Spanish Penal Code, which HazteOir is invoking to support their case, carries heavy fines for those who seek to “hurt the feelings of the members of a religious confession” by “publicly, by word or through any type of document, make fun of their dogmas, beliefs, rites, or ceremonies, or publicly humiliate those who profess or practice them.”

There’s a recipe for totalitarianism if ever I saw one. Remember: those hate speech laws that seek to protect you against being offended can just as easily be turned against you.