If a “human relations” task force in California has its way, the answer will be yes. Its victims are two Lancaster, Calif., city officials: Mayor R. Rex Parris and Councilman Sherry Marquez. Their sins? Parris told a group of Christian ministers, “We are growing Christian community — and don't let anybody shy away from that.” And Marquez posted quotations on her Facebook page from Muslim leaders encouraging adherents to win the world for Islam along with excerpts from the Bible that encourage Christians to defend themselves.
Mayor Parris had expressed his sentiments previously as well, during a State of the City address; this prompted a federal civil-rights complaint by the Council on American-Islamic Relations based on the separation-of-church-and-state principle. Now, while the mayor didn’t violate the the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause (properly understood), this isn’t surprising given how it is almost universally misinterpreted and misapplied. But now some are pushing the envelope and wish to do to freedom of speech what has already been done to freedom of religion. Jody Brown at OneNewsNow.com reports that “according to the Antelope Valley Press, the local human relations task force will convene on Monday evening [February 8] to discuss whether those remarks could potentially be ‘hate incidents.’ Darren Parker, chairman of the task force, tells the newspaper that if the mayor's comments are so deemed, ‘a complaint will be made to the [federal] Justice Department’ and to state and county district attorneys.”
Wow, let’s get this straight: In the “land of the free and home of the brave” you could conceivably be charged with a hate crime for expressing opinions and desires?
Don’t get me wrong, I doubt this effort will result in actual charges at this juncture. But the fact that some among us would even conceive of such a thing should send chills up any constitutional spine. Worse still, many other Americans are asleep at the wheel, as a perusal of the comments under Brown’s piece proves. The respondents got bogged down talking about religion in the public sphere, totally ignoring that speech in the public sphere is also now under assault. Understand, for instance, that the hate-speech police aim to silence all criticism of Islam — whether it emanates from religious or secular mouths.
This is why you should know that “hate speech” is but a euphemism for “expression the tolerance crowd just won’t tolerate” — meaning, anything they can’t refute in the arena of ideas. Yet, there is also a Trojan horse here, one of which most are unaware. I speak of the “local human relations task force.”
Understand that in Canada — where citizens have been prosecuted for criticizing Islam and homosexuality — the inquisitor entities are called “human rights commissions” or “human rights tribunals.” Of course, the term “human rights (or relations)” sounds like something no one should object to, just as hate speech sounds like something everyone should object to. That’s the whole idea: People won’t knowingly embrace tyranny, so you must cloak it in an appealing guise. But here’s why I mention these bureaucracies:
They have proliferated in our nation as well.
Don’t believe me? Just check your county government, as odds are they have already instituted a human rights commission. Oh, this doesn’t mean they’ll be arresting your politically incorrect tongue today or tomorrow. After all, no precedent justifying that has yet been established in American jurisprudence. But once one is (I explained here the process by which we may lose our freedom of speech), all bets are off. Because with human rights commissions peppering our nation, the mechanism for tyranny is already in place. The thought police will be able to hit the ground running — or, perhaps I should say, chasing.
Then we will find out that some people’s conception of “human rights” sounds a lot more like human wrongs.