|Quoting Halls120 (Reply 5):|
I agree wholeheartedly. My fear is that we will soon see laws equating criticism of religion with hate speech.
You heard it here first.
I wonder if it is first. Now, I'm going to go into some dangerous territory, and I'm going to make sure up front that you all understand that I'm not saying anything other than theoretical supposition, and nothing I'm saying is designed to point the finger or denegrate any race, creed, or religion.
There's no question that people of the Jewish faith have long been target of hatred, or at best, scorn and distrust. Now I wonder whether this mis-guided attitude is based on their religious beliefs, or their race. The two are hard, if not impossible to separate, but hatred is often based on a specific attribute. Indeed, those of the Jewish faith seem to no longer ahve one race, but may be Russian, Polish, German, American, or truly from the Middle East. But is this one race, or one religion? I suspect that the hatred of Jews is based not so much on their religious beliefs, but because, simply, they are Jews. Like most hatred, a basis not grounded in any reality.
There may be a faction of people who feel this way because they were apparently the race of people who condemned Jesus Christ to death, but I suspect that that is not the driving cause of anti-Semitism.
Interestingly, it is my perception that the Arab-Israeli conflict is a racial and not a religious conflict, but the two are again, very hard to separate. It is a conflict over land, and a cultural dispute. But is not their culture predicated on religion? This is a tough one.
Let's look at a couple of other conflicts in history:
1. Serbs and Croatians
2. British and Irish
Both of these are clearly disputes based on religion. However, the Serbo-Croatian conflict was also deeply cutural, whereas it is hard, at least for me, to separate Irish and British culture to any great degree. If you want to point to anything, it is the Catholic-Protestant difference. ANd so, we are back to religion. Religion does not define culture, and yet it seems to most often define lines of dispute.
So, has the criticism of religion already served as the basis of hate crimes? I say yes. But I'm not sure...
[Edited 2006-02-13 01:03:58]
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."