In his delusion of double standards, Mr. Baillargeron (ProJo 3/18/06 pg B7 also included at the end of response) leaves out that there are several parts to a crime in addition to the action or inaction itself. The other parts are state of mind, motive, and intent. The churches in Alabama were clearly burned and that is a crime: arson (The three suspects are facing five years for each count of arson.). As to whether the crime was a hate crime, one needs to look at the three college students’ motive and intent. If the two were anti-Christian and burned out of hate, then yes, a hate crime was committed. However, Governor Bob Riley said, “We don’t think that there is any type of conspiracy against organized religion or against the Baptists or against religious beliefs in particular” (http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/03/08/alabama.churches/). It seems then that the emotion of hate was not espoused by the youths in Alabama, but by the preachers of double standards that believe the world is against them and look to be victimized.

Providence Journal – March 18, 2006
I am loath to accept the concept tendered in legislation that birthed “hate-crime” sanctions in sentencing guidelines, when the crime involves certain pampered groups, currently in vogue. However, since the legislation exists, I am at a loss as to why the governor of Alabama and the U.S. attorney there opined that there was no hate crime when three miscreants burned down nine Baptist churches in Alabama. They said that it was merely a prank that had gotten out of hand.While I think hate-crimes-legislation proponents are morons, I am also open to being convinced by any of their exalted ranks that would be willing to share with me the methods used to ascertain the state of mind of criminals when they are engaged in the commission of a crime. What is the method that lets them ascertain the criminals’ mental state when they committed the crime?Question: Would these church burnings have been considered a prank if the targets had been mosques, synagogues or homosexual bars? What if they had been nine abortion clinics?Nah! Just a prank. Double standard for Christians? Yup!
JAMES BAILLARGERON
Newport

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