Mars Hill Forum #7: Homosexual Lawyer at the University of Rhode Island Calls Me “Too Dangerous to Educate”

John C. Rankin

[excerpted from First the Gospel, Then Politics …, 1999, Vol. 2, not published]

In April, 1995, I addressed a Mars Hill Forum at the University of Rhode Island, on the subject of homosexuality. My sponsor for the evening was Dr. Richard Vacarro, subsequently chairman of the electrical engineering department. He told me afterward of avowedly homosexual persons seeking out Christians to talk with as a result, and pf the Christian students with InterVarsity and Campus Crusade having an excellent opportunity to examine the Bible in light of such a controversial subject.

During the intermission I was approached by a lawyer who identified himself as a politically active homosexual. I had made a statement during the forum that I did not believe there was any need for “gay rights” legislation to protect the civil rights of those who live a homosexual lifestyle. He challenged me on this, and I responded by saying that regular laws which protect the civil rights of all people are sufficient, and that certain “hate crime” legislation actually gives less protection (at that time). I said that “hate crimes” seek to define a person’s motivation (how accurately can that be done?), which adds nothing to justice in terms of prosecuting violent acts against a person.

First, it can err in terms of a person’s motivation in committing a violent act. For example, Thomas Jefferson, in his 1801 letter to the Danbury Baptist ministers, in supporting religious liberty, said that “the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions ….” In other words, if laws seek to judge opinions or motivations unacted upon, then religious liberty, and its cognate liberties of speech, press, assembly and redress of grievances, are assaulted. As Jesus says, we are to judge a tree by its fruit, for we as humans cannot accurately and fully judge the human heart. There should be equally severe laws against a person who assaults, steals from or kills another person – regardless of the motivation.

Second, I cited a case I read about where a homosexual had been assaulted, and instead of having the perpetrator prosecuted under standard assault and battery statutes, he was prosecuted and convicted under a “hate crime” law. The tragedy was that the assailant received a less severe punishment than he would have received under the regular laws, as the “hate crime” laws were then constructed.

I believe that “hate crime” laws, specifically in terms of the goals of the pansexual jihad, are much more of a public relations ploy to gain sympathy, than in service to true justice. As well, it masks an ugly fact that most violence against homosexuals is done by other homosexuals, and usually in a domestic context, or in the context of drinking and in “bathhouses.” It reflects the same reality that most violence against women is done by men unmarried to, but who are sexually involved with them. This does not mitigate the violence that does happen by people motivated by hatred of homosexual persons. They deserve equal protection under the law from any violations of their persons, equally with all people – but based on their humanity, not on their “sexual preference.”

This homosexual lawyer kept interrupting me as he tried to manipulate the discussion toward his preset conclusion – that I wanted to foster violence against homosexuals. He needed to make me into a caricature of former Louisiana legislator David Duke (with his Ku Klux Klan background). In fact, he specifically tried to make the comparison several times (and too, someone that evening scrawled “David Duke” on my mailing list sign-up sheet).

When I would not fall into this trap, he argued that I was ignorant about the nature of the law, and the need for specific “hate crime” legislation to protect homosexuals. So I said that I understood the philosophy of American law as rooted in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights. And,I said, if could “educate me” concerning any specific laws in question, then I would be delighted. In response to my offer of an opportunity to persuade me, he answered, “You’re too dangerous to educate” and walked away. His vicious attempt to defame me failed and he refused a gracious response on my part.