Christians a "hate group"
Christians a 'hate group'
By: Mannix Porterfield, Staff September 02, 2001
Quietly, behind the scenes, an assistant attorney general has been, for several years, teaching police across West Virginia a course in hate crimes.
Even though lawmakers twice in as many years have repulsed efforts to graft "sexual orientation" into West Virginia's so-called hate crime statute, Paul Sheridan covers this controversial aspect in his classrooms.
His teaching manual, crafted by former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno partly with his input, by definition is "aimed at a law enforcement audience."
Much of the manual prepared by President Bill Clinton's attorney general, already used to indoctrinate an untold number of law enforcement agencies in this state, has stirred disquiet in the ranks of the West Virginia Family Foundation, an affiliate of the American Family Association.
Led by Kevin McCoy of Charleston, the state group finds sections of the curricula especially disturbing and perceives in them a sinister undercurrent. Ultimately, he suggests, it could be employed to muzzle men of the cloth.
Under "hate group ideology" identification, for instance, it is written, "Homophobia recently has been added to their agenda."
"There goes 95 percent of West Virginians," McCoy said last week in an interview.
"I believe, by and large, the majority of West Virginians oppose the homosexuality of our society, our state. Unless the senior assistant attorney general would like to give us a different definition of what homophobia means, my contention is this applies to anybody who has a problem with homosexuality."
The same section identifies some hate-mongers as those who "blame the federal government, an international Jewish conspiracy or communism for most of this country's problems."
What disturbs McCoy and people like him most is the next sentence:
"Some groups include apocalyptic Christianity in their ideology and believe we are in, or approaching, a period of violence and social turmoil which will precede the Second Coming of Christ."
Unless Reno and Sheridan can show otherwise, McCoy takes this to mean anyone with a literal interpretation of the Bible, especially in regard to scriptures on prophecy, is part and parcel of a hate group.
Two pages later in the manual, Reno speaks of "exceptions" to the U.S. Constitution's free speech guarantees under the First Amendment.
A statement McCoy finds curious reads:
"Words expressing discriminatory animus may serve as evidence of the prohibited conduct (e.g., to prove reason for failure to promote) or may constitute the prohibited conduct itself."
McCoy feels this is ominous, "laying the foundation for certain types of speech that are not politically correct and how they could be possibly perceived to be not appropriate within the law enforcement community ..."
"If this curricula is continued to be taught to law enforcement in this state, it will not be long before they roll out the big guns and start cracking the whip," McCoy says.
Could this mean preachers would be hauled off to the courts to face hate crime violations?
"What they're waiting for now is to get 'sexual orientation' into West Virginia's hate crime law," McCoy said.
"Their goal is to get sexual orientation included. Once they do that, this is laying the foundation for law enforcement to take care of those people that they consider to be members of the hate group. Churches, pastors, the whole nine yards.
"I don't think there will be any group left untouched when their agenda is finally completed."
If that's not the case, he reasons, then why did Reno use as part of her brain trust the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Association of Attorneys General and National District Attorneys Association?
Yet another paragraph in the Reno curricula states, "Organized hate groups focus on issues of concern to middle America as a method for cloaking and marketing their hate philosophy (i.e., "government interference, cheating.")
Under motivation, the manual says hate crime offenders feel led by "a higher order," and, in parenthesis as examples, God is grouped with Adolf Hitler and the Imperial Wizard.
"Has a sense of urgency about his/her mission; believes he/she must act before it is too late," the manual says of those who commit hate crimes.
McCoy says "hate crime" legislation is a public relations effort to mask the hidden agenda of homosexuals - a re-shaping of America to make their lifestyle acceptable.
"The hate crime law is being used across the country by homosexual activists," he said.
"The reason they're doing it is they want to be able to use hate crime laws as a club against anyone that opposes their radical agenda, which is really re-ordering a society into the fashion that they desire to re-order it.
"And this is what the curricula is doing - laying the foundation to be able to accept that agenda."
The West Virginia Hate Crime Task Force, the vehicle through which Sheridan conducts his workshops, distributes a red, white and gray brochure that states, "Hate crimes may be committed because of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity or sex."
It also says such offenses "usually" involve violence, intimidation or vandalism because the targeted victim is "different."
Fragmented newspaper headlines appear in the brochure as subliminals, and the phrase "neo-Nazi" is prominent.
To conservative groups such as McCoy's, cleverly linking Nazis and Klan groups or others backgrounded in violence with opponents of homosexuality is an old tack harking back to the "big lie" method of the Third Reich.
In this year's legislative session, McCoy said, a group of children from a Charleston-area church paid a visit to a senator's office to voice opposition to SB23, the hate crime measure which easily cleared the upper chamber before it died in a House committee.
McCoy described a scene that followed as one that left a pastor and some young members of his flock in disbelief.
"He (the senator) ran them out of his office, and said, 'you're a bunch of Nazis,'" McCoy said.
"We're not Nazis, we're Christians," the children protested.
"Then your whole church is Nazis," the senator shot back.
McCoy said the lumping of hate crime law opponents with Nazis and Klan groups is advocated by homosexuals in a book, "The Overhauling of Straight America."
"It is evident that our elected representatives are falling into the militant homosexual propaganda campaign by linking homosexual opponents to Nazis and the KKK," he said.
Another catch phrase which has crept into the vocabulary of hate crime law advocates is "domestic terrorism."
An 8-hour course, billboarded on the West Virginia State Police Academy, is titled simply "Domestic Terrorism," and topics advertised are "philosophies of hate and anti-government groups," and threats such people pose.
Again, groups such as McCoy perceive this as propaganda attempting to link any opponents of homosexuality, including those who use biblical teachings as their guide, as "terrorists."
In reality, McCoy says figures provided by police and homosexual groups themselves show the threat of violence among homosexuals is 50,000 times greater than the threat of hate crimes caused by those outside their ranks.
FBI figures disclosed this year revealed only 1,317 "hate crime" episodes nationwide inspired by opposition to homosexual behavior, he said.
"Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence that homosexuality is a deadly lifestyle, and despite the fact that a majority of West Virginians oppose special protection for this chosen behavior, we have our own attorney general and the West Virginia Human Rights Commission propagating this big lie that homosexuals are targeted for violence and deserving of the protected status," McCoy said.
"On both sides of the House, there is a trend with legislators becoming more and more sympathetic to the homosexual agenda as well."
So what is domestic terrorism?
McCoy feels the phrase leaves little doubt where Reno and those swept up in the hate crime movement want to take America.
"If you follow Janet Reno's curricula, it probably would be those that follow in the 'hate group ideology,' such as apocalyptic Christians and homophobes."
McCoy is vowing an all-out campaign to counter the seminars and the attempt by some legislators to embrace the homosexual lifestyle in the protection of the hate crime umbrella, officially section 6-6-21 of the State Code.
To accomplish its goal, the Family Foundation plans an intense networking with members of Congress, along with state and local authorities in West Virginia.
"It might be impossible to reverse," McCoy acknowledged, "but we can try to slow it down."