06 February 2010

Would the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act criminalize the preaching of Leviticus 20:13?

I think it would. Here's why.

Leviticus 20:13 reads as follows:

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:13

This is, according to the Bible, a direct quote from God. It says simply this: "Male homosexual acts are an abomination. Anyone who performs such acts must be killed."

Or even more simply: "Kill Homosexuals."

If a pastor read Leviticus 20:13 and told his followers that they should do as God says in this verse, he or she would be advocating (and, therefore, aiding and abetting under Section 2, Title 18 of the U.S. code) a violent crime against homosexuals, which would be a criminal act under the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Of course, it's unlikely that any Christian minister would read Leviticus 20:13 in church. Even the most vile and virulent Bible believers are embarrassed by this verse, and no one, not even Steven Anderson, Fred Phelps, or Doug Wilson is crazy enough to tell followers to do what God clearly commands them all to do in Leviticus 20:13.

But a preacher that did that would not just be crazy, but also a criminal under the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.


GMpilot said...

I've been saying that for years. Any text which specifically targets a group of people for destruction is by definition "hate speech". Even today's neo-Nazis try to avoid using such language, but why should the Bible get a break?
There are no Amalekites any more, murdered at the express direction of the alleged Lord of the Universe. The secondary lesson that Leviticus teaches is: if you kill for God, you're not a killer.

Even Fred Phelps won't actively kill gays; he believes his God will set things right, but he also knows that the civil authorities would take a dim view of it.

Erp said...

You need a crime in addition to the speech. The speech alone unless it is accompanied by something like a direct order to go kill someone for being gay isn't sufficient.

Steve Wells said...

Actually, Erp, according to 18 USC Sec. 2, all you need is a preacher telling the congregation to do what God tells them to do in Leviticus 20:13 (kill homosexuals).

"(a)Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is
punishable as a principal.

(b)Whoever willfully causes an act to be done which if directly performed by him or another would be an offense against the United States, is punishable as a principal."

twillight said...

I wonder if that law also declares, that whever would say "you shall live by the Bible", or "all the Bible is good, therefor you shall follow it" or something like that, should be punished?

I definitly hope so.

I Am said...

matt311, your comment reminds me of Ernie Chambers' lawsuit against God which sought "a permanent injunction ordering God to cease certain harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats."


Only several thousand years after the writing of Old Testament, it looks like we may finally have a law in the US saying it's a hate crime to kill people just because of their sexual orientation.

Preston Brown said...

Actually it was a certain people God was adressing. What you are referring to is one of the 614 mosaic laws given to the children of israel. Moses also said to punish the adulterer, disobedeint child and many other sins against God in the same way.A pastor wouldnt stand in the pulpit and preach killing a homosexual because that text was a law for a certain time, (prior to Christ fullfiling the mosaic law in entirety therefore doing away with it) and a certain people. Preachers arent ashamed to preach thae scripture you speak of. Most just understand its not for the people of today.