NC Pastor Says To Break Bones of Gay Children

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by steampunk, May 22, 2012.


Should Pastor Sean Harris Go to Jail?

  1. Yes.

    7 vote(s)
  2. No.

    2 vote(s)
  1. steampunk Registered Senior Member



    Is Pastor Sean Harris' Violent Sermon Against Children Protected Speech?

    In an angry tirade during a church sermon, Pastor Sean Harris says to break the bones of children and punch them.

    I would like to talk about the criminality of such statements and weather or not this type is speech is protected or should or should not be protected?

    Should this Pastor Sean Harris be in jail right? If so, what is his crime?
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
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  3. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Hate speech.

    I wonder if anyone's already pressing charges, or if I could file a suit right now.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    See Also

    See Also

    See also:

    #2932267/573 — Includes partial transcript.

    #2937288/575 — Commentary on NC vote.

    #2937345/576 — Considering "incitement" as criminal behavior.

    #2937660/577 — On preacher's retraction and claim to be joking.​

    These are all found in "The Gay Fray", page 29 by standard view.

    Don't let that stop this discussion from going forward, though; I mention these posts because some might wish to include them in the present consideration.
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  7. arauca Banned Banned


    Why is he not entitled of his opinion ? you can suppress the freedom of speech in Canada and don't tell the Yank to do what you want.
  8. Neverfly Banned Banned

    I voted yes, not because I want him sent to jail- But I would want him investigated.

    Verbally, I agree with arauca
    Contrary to to the vote- The vote only gave one option.

    Ironically, the bible has some interesting suggestions on how to punish certain people...

    Just because some ***** preacher makes a tirade, doesn't mean we cannot allow for parents to know better than to follow his instructions. Would like to believe, anyway, that people would know better...
    Either way, he has the right to express his opinions, no matter how ugly and hateful those opinions are.
  9. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Hate speech is not illegal in the USA - or did you have a different tort in mind?
  10. Balerion Banned Banned

    Yeah, as much as I'd love to crack his wrists and give him a good punch, this whole idea of hate speech being illegal frightens the hell out of me. No words, no thoughts should ever be illegal.
  11. steampunk Registered Senior Member

    I'm not for unprotected speech in principle. But, we should be responsible for speech that leads to harming the innocent. Harmful speech would be like yelling fire in the theatre. Yell "Fire", freely, but you are responsible for the mess. As a rational society, we shouldn't wait for speech to harm someone, we should prosecute them before the speech gets out of hand and children do end up with broken bones and socked by parents. It's not a slippery slope. Religion is resposible for many social atrocities in the past. It's a very realistic threat.
  12. Balerion Banned Banned

    People have blamed violence on television and gaming and music. Should we also apply the same "be responsible for what you say" logic to that, too? If not, why not? Games and films depicting awesome action heroes mowing through police officers would have to be illegal, by your logic. So would movies depicting child abuse, or any other kind of violence, because of what some idiots might take from it. The answer is never to take away rights.

    It's not going to happen anyway. The constitution protects our right to say whatever we want, no matter how vile or irresponsible it is.
  13. steampunk Registered Senior Member

    That's a good point JDawg. But, let me distinguish something here. Entertainment expression, meant to be taken as fiction (not acted out), whereas Religion Direction is meant to implemented in your real life and acted out.
  14. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Sounds like this guy has been reading too much Bible and other related monotheistic literature. He is probably also a product of child abuse himself and is obviously gay.
  15. Neverfly Banned Banned

    Not quite. In fact there are many laws on the books about speech. Hell, even most cities have ordinances against foul language on the bus!
    It does seem possible considering how many violently vocally homophobic public people get outed.
    Swaggert. "Fornicators should burn!"
    Larry Craig. "Dropped something on the bathroom stall floor... must reach for it..."
    Charles Worley... Bishop Eddie Long...
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    If the pastor is speaking as the leader of a group, if he has authority and can predict or expect obedience from followers, then he would be liable for the consequences of his "dispensations".

    A day care center supervisor, for example, who recommended that adults punch young boys who acted effeminate, would be liable for any punching done accordingly at that day care.

    That's not a free speech issue.
  17. Bells Staff Member

    That may actually depend on a few factors. If the people in his congregation take him at his word and actually beat their children because of it, he could be dragged in to the fray for having incited the violence and for having told his 'flock' to beat their children if they appear to be gay.
  18. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    If this was a Muslim cleric calling for Muslims to blow up gay bars then there would be no question that it was incitement of a crime (terrorism)

    This is no different, its incitement of a crime (child abuse) and just because he claims to be (hes not really) Christaian doesnt make any difference.
  19. Bells Staff Member

    Yes, but in the US, free speech makes arresting people for just making such comments tricky [same in Australia as well].

    If someone who listened to that buffoon actually goes out and does exactly as he says, then yes, you can possibly nail him for inciting violence against homosexuals. Especially since he goes on about how he gave them a "special dispensation" to beat up their children if they appear to be homosexual.

    But let me ask you something, how is he any different to this fellow?

    Mississippi state Rep. Andy Gipson (R) weighed in on President Barack Obama's gay marriage decision last week, invoking a bible passage that calls for gay men to be "put to death."

    In a May 10 Facebook post, Gipson called homosexuality a "sin," citing Leviticus 20:13 and Romans 1:26-28:

    Leviticus 20:13 reads: "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."​

    You can't jail people for the words they say. Only for what they do or incite people to do. And if someone is stupid enough to take them at their word and commit such an act, then possibly, you might be able try them.
  20. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    To be fair in the second case as far as i know he isnt SPECIFICALLY saying they should be put to death, only invoking the passage which says they shoul and also supports his argument that its a sin (DEFINITLY NOT DEFENDING HIM, DISSAGREE 100%). However if he came out and said "we should follow this passage and kill gays" then YES that should be a crime.

    However on your point about how to get him, you dont think there is something wrong with having to sit back and wait for someone stupid enough to actually carry out his words BEFORE he can be charged? His crime has already happened, he already said that people should be commiting child abuse, encoraged them to do it. So now we have to wait for some poor kid to get it before we can deal with him? If the answer is yes then there is something compleatly wrong with the laws and i mean the laws HERE if thats what your saying would be the case here.
  21. Bells Staff Member


    Has a child been beaten or had his/her bones broken because of what this pastor has said?

    In other words, you cannot arrest someone for a crime that has yet to be committed. For all we know (and hope), no one could take him at his word.

    What it comes down to is whether you believe people should be arrested for their personal beliefs?
  22. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    Hes not advocating the rights of the terminally ill here (i use that because euthasia is also a crime), he is advocating parents beat there children into a bloody pulp because there son happens to like dolls (not even being gay, because he is to girly) or there daughter happens to like to play rough like the boys.
  23. Bells Staff Member

    Again, do you believe someone should be arrested for a personal belief?

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